March 12, 2018 | Posted in Arkansas Lottery | By

On Friday the Arkansas Lottery released its monthly financial report for February.

The report shows the Arkansas Lottery took in nearly $39.4 million, but paid out less than $6 million for college scholarships — about 15% of all the money it made last month.

So far this fiscal year the Arkansas Lottery is allocating a paltry 17% of its income for college scholarships.

The Arkansas Lottery has been an abysmal failure. Ten years ago, lottery proponents said a state-run lottery would generate $100 million per year for Arkansas’ Academic Challenge Scholarship. That hasn’t happened.

Instead, last month the Arkansas Legislature voted to allocate $25 million in taxpayer money to help supplement the Academic Challenge Scholarship. Lawmakers have had to do this every year since the Lottery was established.

If the Lottery Office would change its priorities and increase the percentage of its budget it sets aside for students, it could easily generate much more money in scholarship funding.

Below is a breakdown of the lottery’s revenue and scholarship budget 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%
August 49,320,459.23 8,912,741.54 18.1%
September 36,405,731.14 6,755,333.93 18.6%
October 39,802,740.53 5,667,305.74 14.2%
November 36,186,107.78 6,691,228.00 18.5%
December 44,716,219.32 6,583,355.77 14.7%
January,2018 44,063,056.11 8,230,861.00 18.7%
February 39,389,927.57 5,947,647.50 15.1%
Total $326,769,638.49 $55,450,236.47 17.0%

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.