Lottery Scholarship Funding Dismal in December Despite Uptick in Revenue

January 10, 2018 | Posted in Arkansas Lottery | By

According to a report released today by the Arkansas Lottery, December was the second-best month the Lottery has had so far this fiscal year at just over $44.7 million in revenue.

However, despite this uptick in revenue, December was the second-worst month when it came to scholarship funding.

The Arkansas Lottery set aside a little less $6.6 million for scholarships last month — about 14-15 cents out of every dollar it made. That’s worse than every other month this fiscal year, except October.

Since Fiscal Year 2018 began last July, the Arkansas Lottery has spent a paltry 17% of its total revenue on college scholarships. For perspective, the average state lottery spends 30%.

Last December the Arkansas Lottery issued a press release in which it said,

We are always looking to maximize the winning and the fun for our players — as well as the revenues for scholarships for our students here in the state.

If the Arkansas Lottery is really concerned about maximizing scholarship funding, then why doesn’t it give Arkansas’ students more than just 17 cents out of every dollar it makes?

Below is a breakdown of the Lottery’s revenue and scholarship funding so far this fiscal year.

Month Gross Lottery Revenue Paid to Scholarships % Gross Revenue
July $36,885,396.81 $6,661,762.99 18.1%
August 49,320,459.23 8,912,741.54 18.1%
September 36,405,731.14 6,755,333.93 18.6%
October 39,802,740.53 5,667,305.74 14.2%
November 36,186,107.78 6,691,228.00 18.5%
December 44,716,219.32 6,583,355.77 14.7%
Total $243,316,654.81 $41,271,727.97 17.0%

AR Lottery Gave Less Than 19 Cents of Every Dollar to Scholarships in November

December 12, 2017 | Posted in Arkansas Lottery | By

According to monthly reports the Arkansas Lottery released yesterday, the Lottery made nearly $36.2 million in November, but paid less than $6.7 million to scholarships — about 18.5 cents of every every dollar.

Since the Arkansas Lottery’s fiscal year began in July, roughly 17.5% of the Arkansas Lottery’s revenue has gone to scholarships. For perspective, the average state lottery budgets approximately 30%.

By our estimate, the Arkansas Lottery is on track to pay out about $85 million in scholarship funding in Fiscal Year 2018 — well below the $100 million Lottery proponents said Arkansans would receive every year.

According to the report, the Arkansas Lottery began offering 4 new scratch-off lottery tickets in November:

  • A $1 ticket called Holiday Cheer
  • A $2 ticket called Lucky Numbers
  • A $5 ticket called Bonus 7
  • A $10 ticket called Cash Diamonds

Like the Big Money Multiplier ticket the Lottery unveiled in September, Cash Diamonds  is an oversize scratch-off ticket that sells for $10 instead of the typical $1 or $2. The overall odds of winning a prize — such as a $10 break-even prize — are 1 in 2.89, but the odds of winning the jackpot prize are 1 in 320,000.

This is the same gimmick the Lottery has used since Day One: Roll out as much gambling as possible as quickly as possible in order to bolster ticket sales.

In this case, the Lottery is selling scratch-off tickets that are more expensive than most and offer larger prizes, but the odds are long, and in the end the results will be the same: Arkansans will spend — and lose — millions of dollars buying lottery tickets.

As we have written before, many people gamble out of desperation, and the Arkansas Lottery preys on those people with tickets like this one.

Below is a breakdown of Lottery revenue and scholarship funding so far this fiscal year.

Month Gross Lottery Revenue Paid to Scholarships % Gross Revenue
July $ 36,885,396.81 $ 6,661,762.99 18.1%
August 49,320,459.23 8,912,741.54 18.1%
September 36,405,731.14 6,755,333.93 18.6%
October 39,802,740.53 5,667,305.74 14.2%
November 36,186,107.78 6,691,228.00 18.5%
Total $ 198,600,435.49 $ 34,688,372.20 17.5%

AR Lottery Gives Scholarships 14 Cents of Every Dollar in October

November 15, 2017 | Posted in Arkansas Lottery | By

Last week the Arkansas Lottery released its monthly report detailing revenue and expenses for October.

The Lottery reportedly took in $39.8 million, but paid less than $5.7 million to scholarships — about 14.2% of the Lottery’s revenue for the month.

Overall, the Arkansas Lottery’s income is higher than it was this time last year. Lottery revenue is up nearly $22 million compared to 2016, but scholarship funding has risen by only $2.8 million.

As we have said for years: The Arkansas Lottery’s problem is not income; it’s priorities. The Lottery needs to prioritize scholarship funding. As it stands, students get a pathetic 17 cents of every dollar the Lottery makes.

Below is a breakdown of Lottery revenue so far this fiscal year.

Month Gross Lottery Revenue Paid to Scholarships % Gross Revenue
July $ 36,885,396.81 $ 6,661,762.99 18.1%
August 49,320,459.23 8,912,741.54 18.1%
September 36,405,731.14 6,755,333.93 18.6%
October 39,802,740.53 5,667,305.74 14.2%
Total $ 162,414,327.71 $ 27,997,144.20 17.2%