Lottery sales nearing 2018 record, scholarship tally tops $82 million in April

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 178 views 

Arkansas lottery officials said Monday (May 13) that game sales in fiscal 2019 so far have raised $82.5 million for state scholarships, more than $11 million, or 15.4%, over the projected budget period that ends June 30.

According to Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Director Bishop Woosley, the three major draw game jackpots continue to grow, including national Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots sales that have increased by $250 million and $316 million, respectively. The ASL’s Natural State Jackpot is also up to $300,000 year-over-year, officials said.

“Draw game sales actually produce more proceeds for scholarships,” said Woosley. “And when jackpots get big, our sales go up, which means more money for scholarships.”

Overall, Arkansas lottery revenue in fiscal 2019 is already nearing the record sales of $500.4 million in fiscal 2018. Through April, lottery revenues were $436.6 million for the year, up 8% from a year ago and above the budget forecast of $404.3 million. For the month, April sales of $43.9 million were above forecast by 2.6% or $1.1 million with two months left in the fiscal year.

More than 92 cents of every dollar of lottery revenue goes to prizes, scholarships, retailer commissions and other expenses in Arkansas. Since 2009, the Arkansas lottery has provided more than $781 million for more than 302,000 college scholarships, more than $2.8 billion in prizes to players, about $248 million in retailer commissions and more than $125 million in state and federal tax revenue, officials said.

Link here for the most recent monthly disclosure report submitted to the Arkansas Legislative Council’s Lottery Oversight Subcommittee.