According to KATV news, Arkansans have spent $17 million on state lottery tickets in the past seven weeks.
Lottery ticket sales have surged in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lottery officials say the uptick in sales could be the result of lower gas prices, closure of the casinos during the pandemic, and simply boredom.
However, our office recently analyzed weekly sales from the Arkansas Lottery, and it appears that lottery ticket sales in Arkansas rose after Arkansans began receiving economic stimulus checks from the federal government.
In other words, there’s a very good possibility Arkansans have been spending their unemployment checks and federal stimulus money on lottery tickets.
Here are five points worth remembering about the Arkansas Lottery:
- The Arkansas Lottery relies heavily on scratch-off tickets despite the fact that these types of tickets can feed problem gambling and gambling addiction.
- The Arkansas Lottery continues to sell scratch-off tickets that cost as much as $10 or $20 a piece. People who spend $20 on these scratch-off tickets have roughly a 66% chance of losing their money.
- The Arkansas Lottery spends the vast majority of its revenue on prizes — upwards of 70%, which is far more than the typical state-run lottery.
- The Arkansas Lottery currently spends about 15% – 16% of its revenue on college scholarships — which is about half of what the typical state-run lottery spends.
- Because the Arkansas Lottery budgets so much for prizes and so little for education, the Lottery has failed to live up to its promise to provide $100 million per year in funding for college scholarships.
The bottom line: The Arkansas Lottery preys on the poor and desperate, and it has failed time and again to live up to its promises.
Photo Credit: Powerball and Mega Millions Lottery Billboard in Missouri by Tony Webster, on Flickr.