The following blog post is by Family Council Staff member Ken Yang.

As we all know, the Arkansas Lottery would like the public to think it’s a “scholarship lottery.” For those of us who haven’t accepted this bogus claim, we know that it is false and not even close to the truth.

If you have listened to the radio or watched some TV recently, you might have come across one of the Lottery’s commercials.  One has to wonder why the Arkansas Lottery has to advertise so heavily when they have no competition; I guess being 7th-highest in the nation in administrative costs isn’t enough, but that’s for another time.

In the commercial, the Arkansas Lottery claims to give players a percentage back in winnings, and then offers a very large number of “proceeds” given for college scholarships. For example, 70 percent goes to players (70 cents of every dollar) and over $369 million to students.

See how they play with statistics? That $369 million is from the when lottery first started in 2009, and the 70 percent is prize money they pay-out right now. Why not say we give out 70 percent to players and only 20 percent to students? Why not say that $369 million is only part of over 1$.8 billion that was not given to students in need of scholarships?

The lottery knows it gives out the second-lowest percentage to students in the nation, so they have to cook up numbers on radio and TV ads to convince people they are giving a lot of money to students when they clearly aren’t.

Next time you and I find a hundred dollars, I’ll take 80, and you can have 20; if you feel cheated, perhaps the Arkansas Lottery can convince you that you got a good deal.