The latest financial year is going into the books as a definite jackpot for lottery players, the Iowa Lottery itself and the worthy causes that receive help from lottery proceeds. Strong sales of lottery products here in Iowa combined with some unique circumstances in FY 2012 to produce record numbers all the way around.
Our preliminary figures have been released this morning, showing that the Iowa Lottery generated a record $78.8 million in proceeds to state causes from its core products. And that doesn’t include another $9.9 million in state withholding from lottery prizes won in Iowa, including the $241 million Powerball® jackpot claimed in June by a group of Cedar Rapids co-workers, the largest lottery prize ever won in the state.
Annual lottery sales totaled $310.9 million in FY 2012, and that’s the third year in a row the lottery has had record sales from its core products. Prizes to players for the year totaled $182.4 million, and that’s also a record.
We feel incredibly proud of the success we’ve achieved and the extra help that means the lottery was able to provide for state causes. Our goal is to provide a base of $60 million in annual proceeds to state causes and we knew this year would be good, but all we can say is: “Wow!”
It may be some time before we see results like this again, but it definitely was a phenomenal year.
Another highlight of the past year’s results was the $2.7 million the lottery raised for the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund to benefit our state’s veterans and their families. The lottery has now met its goal of providing at least $2 million for the Trust Fund each year since it began raising proceeds for the cause in 2008. And we know that’s because Iowans remain committed to helping the cause.
The previous overall record for lottery returns to the state was set back in 2006, when the TouchPlay program was in operation and lottery proceeds along with state withholding from lottery prizes had totaled more than $88.3 million. The lottery’s results in FY 2012 squeaked by to top that at $88.7 million.
With all this talk about lottery proceeds, I should tell you how that money is used here in Iowa! Today, lottery proceeds in Iowa have three main purposes: They provide support for veterans, help for a variety of significant projects through the state General Fund, and backing for the Vision Iowa program, which was implemented to create tourism destinations and community attractions in the state and build and repair schools.