State Lottery Employees Spent Another $12K on Travel in August

Based on information from the state’s transparency website, the Arkansas Lottery has spent approximately $12,000 reimbursing employees for mileage expenses in August, and $23,000 total on mileage since July 1.

State employees receive 42 cents for every mile they travel on state business in their personal vehicles; some employees are receiving hundreds of dollars every month in reimbursement for their mileage.

As we’ve written many times, the Arkansas Lottery probably could save a lot of money by having employees travel in official state vehicles instead of paying them to drive their own cars.

Unfortunately, saving money and being fiscally responsible isn’t something the Lottery Office seems interested in doing.

Photo Credit: Airtuna08 at English Wikipedia [CC BY (]

Arkansas Lottery Budgets 17% of Its Revenue for Education

The Arkansas Lottery is continuing to set aside very little money for college scholarships, according to a report released this week.

In July the state-run Lottery took in nearly $49.8 million, but paid only $8.6 million to college scholarships — about 17 cents out of every dollar the Lottery made.

July marks the beginning of the Arkansas Lottery’s new fiscal year.

To date, the Arkansas Lottery has maintained a pattern of budgeting an extraordinary amount of money for prizes and other expenses while setting aside relatively little money for students.

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

State Lottery Rolls Out Even More Scratch-Off Tickets

Last week the Arkansas Lottery unveiled a new lineup of scratch-off tickets that sell for anywhere from $1 to $20 each.

The tickets are:

  • X10 Multiplier (Cost: $1)
  • X20 Multiplier (Cost: $2)
  • X50 Multiplier (Cost: $5)
  • Cool Cash (Cost: $10)
  • $50,000 Payout (Cost: $20)

These scratch-off tickets offer notoriously bad odds.

Players who fork over $20 for a $50,000 Payout ticket stand to lose their money two-thirds of the time.

The odds of winning the $50,000 top prize are a staggering 1 in 20,000.

And the odds of winning even $1 from the X10 Multiplier ticket are not good — roughly a 1 in 5 chance.

As we have written many times, scratch-off tickets are controversial, because they are tied to problem gambling and gambling addiction.

A 2015 study in Canada described them as “paper slot machines.” 

A 2018 study published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions found a link between how often a person played scratch-off tickets and the severity of a person’s gambling problem.

Expensive scratch-off tickets — like the Lottery’s new $10 and $20 tickets — are particularly controversial, because they prey on the poor and desperate by offering long odds on big prizes.

The Arkansas Lottery seems to be in a never-ending cycle of consistently rolling out new lottery games to prop up ticket sales and entice people to gamble.

Despite all of this, the Arkansas Lottery gives Arkansas’ college students only a fraction of the money that it makes.

Most of the Lottery’s revenue pays for prizes that few lottery players ever win.