Arkansas Lottery trumpets $300 million in scholarship money | Arkansas Blog

Monday, December 10, 2012

Arkansas Lottery trumpets $300 million in scholarship money

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Arkansas Lottery Director Bishop Woosley image
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery sent out a news release today celebrating an eye-popping number: $300 million contributed to scholarships in a little more than three years.

That $300 million has funded more than 90,000 scholarships, Lottery Director Bishop Woosley said in the release.

Not included in the release: In the last fiscal year, Arkansas's lottery did what it was designed to do — raise scholarship funds — more inefficiently than all but three state lotteries, according to figures provided by the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries. In other words, last fiscal year Arkansas netted a lower percentage of its total sales than all but the lotteries in Rhode Island, South Dakota and Massachusetts. Around 20 percent of the Arkansas Lottery's $473 million in sales went to scholarships last year. The most efficient lotteries — Oregon and West Virigina — netted 50 and 45 percent of their total sales, respectively.

What's the problem? At least in part, early lottery brass, Ernie Passailaigue and co., made inexplicably bad deals with vendors. The lottery's contract with Scientific Games got a lot of scrutiny last year, but as we reported earlier this year, its deal with Intralot, a Greek company that provides and services the lottery with the technological infrastructure to administer both instant ticket and so-called draw games like Powerball, is even worse.

Rather than getting a percentage of draw games only — terms Passailaigue negotiated for the South Carolina Lottery before heading Arkansas's — Intralot gets a percentage of total sales. It's a contractual difference that costs the lottery millions every year, and one that then Lottery Commission chairman Ray Thornton didn't seem to grasp when it was being reviewed by the legislative oversight committee. Intralot is currently the lottery's largest vendor, according to the lottery website's financial summary section. The Intralot contract doesn't expire until 2016.

Better terms alone wouldn't make the lottery efficient, keep it from maturing or address the funding shortfall on the horizon, but it's a clear example that legislators, as they're considering how to preserve scholarship funding in the upcoming session, need to pay careful attention to the numbers.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (17)

Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

More by Lindsey Millar

  • An Arkansas-themed gift guide

    Get out your shopping list.
    • Nov 23, 2017
  • The Marshmallows on Sweet Potatoes Edition

    The legacy of Bill and Hillary Clinton and answers to readers' questions on politics, ancient canoes and more — on this week's podcast.
    • Nov 22, 2017
  • The Tom Cotton's Bright Idea Edition

    The downfall of Jeff Long, Tom Cotton’s terrible contribution to the Republican tax plan, a no-bid consulting contract in state government and #metoo in Arkansas — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • Nov 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016
  • City Board votes to table homeless feeding ordinance for 8 weeks, study with commission

    The Little Rock Board of Directors voted tonight to table for eight weeks an ordinance that homeless advocates say would severely limit the ability of charities to feed homeless people in city parks. Before the ordinance was punted, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb proposed a nine-member commission to study the issue and make recommendations to the board.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation