This is Family Council in Little Rock. Today, we delve into the Arkansas Lottery and its allocation of funds for college scholarships. For over a decade, concerns have been raised about the state’s lottery failing to prioritize education funding. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.
As percentages go, the Arkansas Lottery has one of the highest prize budgets among state lotteries in America. However, it allocates far less for education than the typical state lottery does, and less than it is capable of budgeting.
In fiscal year 2023, the Arkansas Lottery took in an astounding $608 million. It spent approximately 19% of that revenue on college scholarships and 69% of its revenue on prizes.
Now, let’s illustrate how the funding could change if the Arkansas Lottery decided to prioritize education further. Imagine the Lottery took in $600 million in a year. Currently, the budget would be approximately $114 million for college scholarships and $414 million for prizes.
However, by reducing the prize budget to 60% of its revenue, the Lottery could increase its scholarship budget to 25% of its gross revenue. This would result in approximately $150 million going towards college scholarships and $360 million towards prizes.
Lottery officials have expressed concerns that decreasing prizes and increasing scholarship funding might lead to a decline in ticket purchases. However, it’s worth noting that this has not been the case in other states.
Even if lottery ticket sales plummeted, the Arkansas Lottery could still provide millions of additional dollars for education by budgeting 25 cents out of every dollar for college scholarships instead of the current 19 cents.
The Arkansas Lottery has the potential to provide more money for college scholarships, even if lottery ticket sales were to drop. By adjusting its budget and prioritizing education, the Lottery could make a significant difference in the lives of Arkansas students.
That’s all for today. If you liked this story, be sure to check out our website at Family Council.org. You can find all kinds of news and information there. Thanks for listening.