Lottery sales in Iowa increased for a fourth straight year, pushing the lottery’s proceeds to state causes to their highest total in its 28-year history. And lottery players took home a record amount in prizes during the fiscal year.
Our preliminary figures show that the lottery generated a record $84.9 million in proceeds for state causes during the fiscal year that ended June 30. That’s the highest annual total since the lottery’s start in 1985.
Annual lottery sales totaled $339.3 million, making it the fourth straight year that the lottery achieved record combined sales from lotto, instant-scratch and pull-tab games. Prizes to lottery players totaled $200.8 million in FY 2013, also a record for the fourth year in a row. And, it’s the first time that Iowa Lottery prizes to players topped the $200 million mark!
One of the big reasons behind the numbers is those eye-popping Powerball® jackpots we’ve seen over the past year. Powerball’s top prize topped $500 million twice in FY 2013 and exceeded $300 two other times. When the jackpot gets up there like that, it seems like everybody wants a chance at it! Scratch-off tickets were another big seller for the lottery in the past fiscal year. Scratch tickets were the first product introduced by the Iowa Lottery and they’re always one of our leading product lines.
A couple other items that jump off the page: The lottery raised $2.1 million for the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund in FY 2013 to benefit our state’s veterans and their families. The lottery has now met or exceeded its goal of providing between $2 million and $3 million for the Trust Fund each year since we started raising proceeds for that cause in 2008. And our retailers just were phenomenal this past year. Local Iowa businesses received a record $22.1 million in commissions from the lottery for selling its products in FY 2013. That’s a $2 million increase from the year before. We’re proud that the lottery can make a difference in the bottom line for businesses across the state and we can’t thank them enough for their hard work in selling lottery tickets.
A lot of things came together this past year to produce really strong numbers. It was just a phenomenal year. No one can expect that every year, but we have a solid, long-term business plan as we move ahead. Statistically, we know our numbers will fluctuate from year to year, but we anticipate that the lottery will continue on an upward trend.
We always remember that lottery products are an optional purchase. Our job is to keep it fun for the consumer while running an operation based upon best practices. We do our best to take care of the behind-the-scenes work so you can just have fun and dream a little!