The Arkansas Lottery spent very little on college scholarships in May, despite having what appears to be the Lottery’s best single month ever.

According to its latest report, the Arkansas Lottery made a staggering $61.1 million last month.

For comparison, the Lottery averaged about $41 – $42 million in revenue per month prior to May.

Despite making so much money, the Lottery paid only $8.6 million to college scholarships — about 14% of the Lottery’s revenue.

Seventy percent of Arkansas Lottery revenue went to prizes. That’s nearly $43 million!

For perspective the typical state lottery pays about 30% of its revenue to education and budgets about 60% of its revenue for prizes.

Because the Arkansas Lottery budgets so much money 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.

As we have written before, it’s telling that lottery ticket sales in Arkansas surged amid the COVID-19 pandemic just as people received economic stimulus checks from the government.

In other words, there’s a very good possibility Arkansans spent their unemployment checks and federal stimulus money on lottery tickets.

The Arkansas Lottery also has continued to rely heavily on scratch-off tickets despite the fact that scratch-off tickets are closely linked with problem gambling and gambling addiction.

Below is a breakdown of Arkansas Lottery ticket sales and scholarship funding so far this fiscal year.

MonthGross Lottery RevenuePaid to Scholarships% Gross Revenue
January, 202040,802,067.758,239,083.7720.2%

Photo Credit: Powerball and Mega Millions Lottery Billboard in Missouri by Tony Webster, on Flickr.