The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery (ASL) is celebrating record-breaking revenue and ticket sales during the last fiscal year. Students this year will receive a total of $98,411,747 in scholarships, a $6.6 million increase over the previous year.
“We broke the previous proceeds record of $97,582,528 set in 2012, which means more scholarship money for deserving Arkansas students this year,” says ASL Director Bishop Woosley. “We have provided more than $803 million for the Academic Challenge Scholarship program, which equates to more than 542,000 scholarships in our almost 10 years of existence, and that number will increase next month when the Arkansas Department of Higher Education awards scholarships to Arkansas students for the 2019-2020 school year.”
In addition to the $98.4 million earmarked for the scholarship fund, in 2019 the ASL awarded nearly $350 million dollars in prizes to their players, over $8 million more than last year. Accordingly, the lottery experienced unprecedented sales this fiscal year, totaling at $516.2 million, breaking the previous record of $500.5 million, set in FY 2018. Since its inception ten years ago, the ASL has paid out nearly $3 billion in prizes, $126 million in tax revenue, and $252 million in retailer commissions.
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has managed this by spending over 92 cents of each dollar they earn on scholarships, prizes and retail commissions. “Under the leadership of Governor Hutchinson and the Department of Finance and Administration and along with our staff, we have worked hard to continue to operate as lean as possible, maximizing every opportunity to enhance proceeds responsibly, which is our mission,” says Director Woosley. “Our excellent staff worked extremely hard this year. Every division played a role in our success.”
As the cherry on top of this successful year, the steps taken by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery to ensure proper training practices for its employees and to provide resources for treating gambling addiction gained nationwide recognition. In a recent press release, the ASL announced they had received the Responsible Gambling Certification from the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries and the National Council on Problem Gambling.