Updated: Arkansas Lottery Still Spending Thousands On Employees’ Mileage

As we have written time and again, the Arkansas Lottery takes in millions of dollars every month, but it pays only a fraction of its revenue to scholarships.

Most of the money goes to prizes.

Among other things, the Arkansas Lottery spends a lot of money on its operational expenses — especially travel.

We’ve written before about how the Arkansas Lottery reimburses its employees for travel across the state instead of using Department of Finance vehicles, which are cheaper.

Since July 1, 2019, the Arkansas Lottery Office has spent more than $143,000 on mileage reimbursements.

One employee alone, according to the state’s website, has been reimbursed more than $10,000 for mileage.

Considering that state employees receive 42 cents for every mile they travel on state business in their personal vehicles, $10,000 would be enough money to drive nearly 24,000 miles!

All told, mileage reimbursements appear to be the Arkansas Lottery’s eighth highest operational expense.

There are plenty of ways the Arkansas Lottery could cut costs and provide more money for college scholarships.

Unfortunately, that’s something the Lottery Office doesn’t seem interested in doing.

Photo Credit: Airtuna08 at English Wikipedia [CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

Updated: 4/1/2020 to reflect the latest mileage reimbursements.

State Lottery On Track for Near-Record Sales, Lousy Scholarship Funds

According to a press release from the Arkansas Lottery Office, the state-run lottery is “trending toward [a] record year.”

Earlier this month the lottery sold $10,755,205 worth of scratch-off tickets in a single week — a state record.

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

In spite of that, the Arkansas Lottery relies very heavily on them for revenue.

The Lottery is on track to sell about $480 million worth of tickets this fiscal year, which would be its third-highest year ever.

However, the Arkansas Lottery also is on track to pay only $80 million to college scholarships this fiscal year — its lowest year since 2015.

At the Arkansas Lottery, ticket sales are up, but scholarship funding is down.

There’s something wrong with that picture.

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