The Arkansas Lottery today announced that more than $850,000 in state income taxes had been withheld from the $12.1 million lump sum payment chosen by the recent $25 million Powerball winner in Arkansas. The lottery didn't reveal the amount of federal taxes withheld, but that amount of income puts the winner in a 35 percent federal tax bracket, good for a tab of more than $4 million.
Who is the winner? Good question. Lottery rules provide that lottery winners' names are public information for promotional purposes. The Arkansas Times and others made FOI requests for the winner's name days ago. Lottery officials have so far used the sham excuse that the records are in "active use." I doubt every record that contains the winner's name is in "active use" and thus unavailable.
Doesn't the FOI apply to the lottery? Why the refusal to provide information? We're trying to find out.