The fact is, as we’ve pointed out before, Arkansas’ lottery—whose foundational purpose is supposed to be providing college scholarships—is paying less than 22-cents on the dollar toward scholarships. That puts Arkansas’ lottery at the 4th lowest in the nation when it comes to revenue allocated for education.
Arkansas Lottery Director Ernie Passailaigue defends Arkansas’ position by stating that allocating a larger percentage of revenue for scholarships would require them to pay out less money in prizes, and that paying out prizes is what makes people play the lottery. So ensuring there are plenty of prizes is the key to scholarship revenue. But there are two huge problems with his logic.