According to the state transparency website, the Arkansas Lottery has spent $111,995.74 reimbursing employees for mileage expenses since July 1, 2019.

Since 2018, the Arkansas Lottery has spent more than $200,000 on mileage each fiscal year.

For perspective, last year the Arkansas Department of Education spent about $62,000 on fuel and on mileage reimbursements for its employees — about one-third what the Lottery Office spent.

State employees — like those who work for the Arkansas Lottery — can be reimbursed for the mileage they drive in their personal vehicles on work-related trips.

For example, if a state employee drives his or her personal vehicle on a business trip from Little Rock to Fayetteville, the employee is eligible for reimbursement.

According to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration’s website, the current reimbursement rate for mileage is 42 cents per mile.

That means an employee at the Arkansas Lottery would receive 42 cents for every mile he or she drives in a personal vehicle on a work-related road trip.

If that’s accurate, then $111,000 in mileage reimbursements would be enough money to cover 264,000 miles of travel.

The Department of Finance and Administration has a fleet of state vehicles. Why doesn’t the Office of the Arkansas Lottery use them for official travel?

The cost of fuel for a state vehicle would be about half the cost of reimbursing a state employee for driving his or her own car.

Or for that matter, why doesn’t the Arkansas Lottery purchase a couple of vehicles that employees can use for business trips? It would be cheaper in the long run than paying people to drive their personal vehicles on state business.

Click here to see a breakdown of Arkansas Lottery mileage reimbursements for FY 2020.

Photo Credit: Airtuna08 at English Wikipedia [CC BY (]