According to monthly reports the Arkansas Lottery released yesterday, the Lottery made nearly $36.2 million in November, but paid less than $6.7 million to scholarships — about 18.5 cents of every every dollar.
Since the Arkansas Lottery’s fiscal year began in July, roughly 17.5% of the Arkansas Lottery’s revenue has gone to scholarships. For perspective, the average state lottery budgets approximately 30%.
By our estimate, the Arkansas Lottery is on track to pay out about $85 million in scholarship funding in Fiscal Year 2018 — well below the $100 million Lottery proponents said Arkansans would receive every year.
According to the report, the Arkansas Lottery began offering 4 new scratch-off lottery tickets in November:
- A $1 ticket called Holiday Cheer
- A $2 ticket called Lucky Numbers
- A $5 ticket called Bonus 7
- A $10 ticket called Cash Diamonds
Like the Big Money Multiplier ticket the Lottery unveiled in September, Cash Diamonds is an oversize scratch-off ticket that sells for $10 instead of the typical $1 or $2. The overall odds of winning a prize — such as a $10 break-even prize — are 1 in 2.89, but the odds of winning the jackpot prize are 1 in 320,000.
This is the same gimmick the Lottery has used since Day One: Roll out as much gambling as possible as quickly as possible in order to bolster ticket sales.
In this case, the Lottery is selling scratch-off tickets that are more expensive than most and offer larger prizes, but the odds are long, and in the end the results will be the same: Arkansans will spend — and lose — millions of dollars buying lottery tickets.
As we have written before, many people gamble out of desperation, and the Arkansas Lottery preys on those people with tickets like this one.
Below is a breakdown of Lottery revenue and scholarship funding so far this fiscal year.
|Month||Gross Lottery Revenue||Paid to Scholarships||% Gross Revenue|
|July||$ 36,885,396.81||$ 6,661,762.99||18.1%|
|Total||$ 198,600,435.49||$ 34,688,372.20||17.5%|
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.