State Lottery Continues to Spend 70% of Revenue on Prizes

The Arkansas Lottery continues to spend more than 70% of its monthly revenue on prizes, according to reports filed with the Governor’s Office.

The reports show the Arkansas Lottery took in more than $47.5 million in September.

Out of that money, $33.4 million was spent on prizes for lottery players — roughly 70.4% of the Lottery’s revenue for the month.

Less than $7.7 million went to college scholarships — about 16.2% of the Lottery’s revenue.

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

All told, since Fiscal Year 2021 began last July the Arkansas Lottery has taken in nearly $147 million, but only about 16 cents out of every dollar has gone toward college scholarships.

Below is a breakdown of Lottery revenue, scholarship budgeting, and prize spending so far this fiscal year.

Lottery Scholarship Spending

MonthGross Lottery RevenuePaid to Scholarships% Gross Revenue

Lottery Prize Spending

MonthGross Lottery RevenueTotal Prizes% Going to Prizes

State Lottery Spends Another $7K on Travel in September

Based on information from the state’s transparency website, the Arkansas Lottery spent approximately $7,000 reimbursing employees for mileage expenses in September, and a little over $30,000 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 average hundreds of dollars every month in reimbursement for their mileage. The Arkansas Lottery probably could save a lot of money by using state vehicles for travel instead of paying employees to drive their personal vehicles.

The Arkansas Lottery spends about 70% – 71% of its revenue on prizes for lottery players. About 16% – 17% goes to scholarships. The rest of the money pays for Lottery operations.

For perspective, the typical state lottery spends about 60% of its revenue on prizes and 30% on education. If the Lottery followed this model, it would be able to provide millions of dollars in additional scholarship funding.

Eleven years running, the Arkansas Lottery continues to budget its money poorly.

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