Last week the Arkansas Lottery unveiled a new lineup of scratch-off tickets that sell for anywhere from $1 to $20 each.
The tickets are:
- X10 Multiplier (Cost: $1)
- X20 Multiplier (Cost: $2)
- X50 Multiplier (Cost: $5)
- Cool Cash (Cost: $10)
- $50,000 Payout (Cost: $20)
These scratch-off tickets offer notoriously bad odds.
Players who fork over $20 for a $50,000 Payout ticket stand to lose their money two-thirds of the time.
The odds of winning the $50,000 top prize are a staggering 1 in 20,000.
And the odds of winning even $1 from the X10 Multiplier ticket are not good — roughly a 1 in 5 chance.
As we have written many times, scratch-off tickets are controversial, because they are tied to problem gambling and gambling addiction.
A 2015 study in Canada described them as “paper slot machines.”
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions found a link between how often a person played scratch-off tickets and the severity of a person’s gambling problem.
Expensive scratch-off tickets — like the Lottery’s new $10 and $20 tickets — are particularly controversial, because they prey on the poor and desperate by offering long odds on big prizes.
The Arkansas Lottery seems to be in a never-ending cycle of consistently rolling out new lottery games to prop up ticket sales and entice people to gamble.
Despite all of this, the Arkansas Lottery gives Arkansas’ college students only a fraction of the money that it makes.
Most of the Lottery’s revenue pays for prizes that few lottery players ever win.