The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is saying after five years of operation it’s meeting one of its lesser-known objectives: collecting unpaid taxes and child support.
Public Relations Director Patrick Ralston said the lottery has recouped nearly $1 million as part of an often overlooked part of the law which created the lottery.
“One of the lesser known provisions of that act requires that the lottery cooperate in identifying debtors who owe money to the state, specifically prize winners with unpaid state taxes or child support payments,” said Ralston.
He said such collections are built into the way the lottery disperses prize money to winners.
“They’re checked against a database of unpaid taxes and unpaid child support enforcement and it comes right off the top. We check this and boom it comes right out. You get the balance after the debt is satisfied,” said Ralston.
The collection data is from September 2009 through July 31st of this year. Nearly $300,000 in child support and almost $700,000 in unpaid taxes has been collected from people claiming prize money.