Our fiscal year 2014 results are out today, and the lottery’s annual sales, proceeds to state causes, and prizes to players all rank among the Top 4 in our 29-year history.
The preliminary figures show that lottery sales in FY 2014 totaled more than $314 million, marking the third year in a row that the total has topped the $300 million mark. Proceeds to state causes totaled nearly $74 million, the fourth-highest amount for the lottery since its start in 1985. Prizes to lottery players totaled $186.9 million in FY 14, the second-highest total in the lottery’s history.
The lottery’s overall results for the year are down from its record figures in FY 2013. Two big factors came into play that affected things this year:
• Mother Nature. Who can forget the blizzards and frigid temperatures this past winter? The weather often made it impossible for folks to get out and about here in Iowa, and when people aren’t in their normal routines, they don’t make their usual purchases, including lottery tickets. The winter weather definitely impacted lottery sales. • Cyclical Powerball jackpots. The lottery’s FY 2013 results got a big lift from strong Powerball sales, with the game’s jackpot topping the $300 million mark four different times that year. FY 2014 saw the Powerball jackpot top that mark only three times, which impacted that product’s overall sales in Iowa. As you’ve heard us say before, big jackpot runs can’t be predicted, and that’s why we know the lottery has to carefully budget for results that reliably can be achieved.
Statistically, we know that our results will fluctuate from year to year, but we anticipate that lottery games will continue to be a consistent, key source of proceeds for vital state causes here in Iowa.
Here are some other highlights from FY 2014: With our players’ help, we were able to raise $1.8 million for the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund to benefit our state’s veterans and their families. The lottery has now raised more than $15 million for the Trust Fund since we began providing proceeds to that cause in 2008.
And local Iowa businesses received $20.1 million in commissions from the lottery for selling our products in FY 2014. Our retailers are the front lines when it comes to selling our tickets and we’re glad to know that lottery commissions make a positive difference in the bottom line for businesses across the state.