Earlier today the Arkansas Lottery released its financial report for the month of October.

The report shows lottery revenue fell by more than $872,000 from September to October; and scholarship proceeds dropped by more than $600,000 during that time.

All told, the Arkansas lottery paid 17.1% of its gross revenue toward scholarships during the month of October–the lowest percentage of any month this fiscal year.

Below is a breakdown of lottery ticket sales and scholarship revenue for Fiscal Year 2016:

Month (FY16) Gross Lottery Revenue Paid to Scholarships % Gross Revenue
July $31,665,651.14 $5,784,683.09 18.3%
August 31,265,177.55 5,490,094.00 17.6%
September 36,134,389.63 6,624,967.11 18.3%
October 35,261,533.80 6,020,642.32 17.1%
Total $134,326,752.12 $23,920,386.52 17.8%


During the month of October, the Arkansas Lottery rolled out seven a new scratch-off tickets, including a $5 ticket and a $10 ticket–evidence that the Lottery may be sticking with its strategy of artificially bolstering revenue with new games.

As of right now, the Arkansas Lottery is on track to sell roughly $403 million in lottery tickets and pay out roughly $75 million in scholarships for Fiscal Year 2016. 

There are no two ways about it. Arkansas’ lottery budgets one of the lowest percentages of gross revenue for education out of any state lottery in America. We have pointed out time and time again that our neighbors to the south of us in Louisiana can actually pay out more for education than Arkansas despite making millions of dollars less in ticket sales. They do so by budgeting 35% of lottery revenue for education instead of the 17% – 18% we see in Arkansas.

It all simply comes down to a matter of priorities.