Idaho? Iowa? So hard to tell the difference! :) Many thanks to our friends at the IDAHO Lottery for having fun with the confusion some people seem to have with our states.
Both jackpots in the “Cherry Twist Progressive” InstaPlay game were won on Wednesday. The first was won about 5:30 p.m. that evening with a ticket purchased at a tavern in Ankeny. That ticket was for a $16,163.30 prize. About three hours later, a jackpot of $2,263.10 was won with a ticket purchased at a Des Moines convenience store. They were the 14th and 15th progressive jackpots won in the game since the InstaPlay product debuted in November here in Iowa.
Both jackpots have now been claimed. The prize of $2,263.10 was won by Daniel Cramer of Des Moines while the prize of $16,1630.30 was won by Robbie Goodwin of Ankeny.
I call that a nice way to head into the weekend!
With six pages of games within each ticket, our “Little Black Game Book” offers many ways to win. And in the last few weeks, players have offered suggestions about two of the games that it contains. They referenced “Prize Line Bingo” on page 2 and “In$tant Winner” on page 4.
One player said she knew right away that she didn’t win a prize on the Prize Line Bingo game within the Game Book because she didn’t get a number under each of the Bingo letters in the “Caller’s Card” section. (Those familiar with this game know that they need to complete a B-I-N-G-O line to win a prize.)
After receiving that feedback, we reviewed the specifics of that section with our game-development team here at the lottery. Because numbers are randomly assigned within the Caller’s Card area. there’s no guarantee that you’ll receive at least one of each of the Bingo letters. But we know that one of the reasons players choose our Game Book scratch tickets is for the extended play that they offer. So, the folks on our development team said they’ll make adjustments so that in the future, Bingo games within a Game Book will have at least one of each of the Bingo letters in the Caller’s Card section.
Bingo is just one of the games available within the pages of any Game Book ticket, so there are multiple chances to win every time, but we want to do our best to produce a fun playing experience on each page!
Another player offered a suggestion about the In$tant Winner game within the current Game Book. In that game, one of the ways you can win is if you reveal a prize amount in one of the “Instant Bonus” circles. The nonwinning play symbols in that area include a “dollar,” “piggybank,” coin, etc.
A woman emailed us last week and said she found the dollar-bill symbol in that area confusing. She said she thought she should have won $1 after uncovering that symbol.
We’re reviewing that section and may use different symbols in the future in games with a similar play style. But we’ll make any such adjustments carefully, as there may be as many interpretations about the meaning of symbols as there are people in the world.
Have additional comments or suggestions about our Little Black Game Book? Let us know in the comments section below, or email us at Wmaster@ialottery.com. We always appreciate your feedback!
Since I blogged a few weeks ago about the six-month mark hitting for an unclaimed $2 million Powerball® prize in Cedar Rapids, we’ve heard from some folks who wondered if they might have had the winning ticket and misplaced it or thrown it away. But so far, none of them appear to be the lucky person who bought that winning ticket.
So, it’s still out there and we’re still looking for the winner! The calls and contacts we’ve had tell me that we’re getting the word out and people are noticing. And they're double-checking their tickets and their memories from that time period, which is what we want.
We’ll keep looking and sending out reminders. There are still five more months to go before that prize will expire and we want to see it claimed in time!
We’ve gotten several great questions this week from players about our “Power Cruise™” promotion, so we’ve compiled them here in an overall Q-and-A list so you’ll have the details, too.
Are all Powerball® tickets eligible? Yes, both winning and nonwinning Powerball tickets purchased in Iowa between Feb. 5 and March 29 are eligible for this promotion.
Do I need to keep my Powerball ticket after I’ve entered it in the promotion? You should hold on to your Powerball ticket until the drawing for which it’s eligible occurs because you’ll need your ticket to claim any cash prize you may win in that drawing. But once the drawing has passed and you’ve successfully entered your ticket into the Power Cruise promotion, then you no longer need to keep your ticket. Should one of your entries be selected as the winner of a cruise package, you won’t need to present the tickets you entered in the promotion to claim your prize.
If my entry isn’t selected as a winner in the first drawing, do my entries carry over to the other drawings? Yes. Entries not selected in drawings 1-5 will roll to the next eligible drawing. Entries not selected in the sixth and final drawing will not be eligible for any prize. You can see the drawing schedule on our website.
Do you have to be a VIP Club member to participate? Yes, you must be a member of our free VIP Club to enter the promotion using Powerball tickets that you’ve purchased in Iowa. If you’re not already a member, we recommend that you register for an account first.
I’m a VIP Club member, but every time I try to enter my Powerball ticket into the Power Cruise promotion, I receive this error message: “Application has encountered an error. Please contact support.” Why is that occurring and how can I fix it? Please double-check your VIP Club account to make sure that you have a phone number listed in your profile. We need a phone number to be able to contact you should you win a cruise package. To check for your phone listing, log in to your VIP Club account on our website and then click on the “Manage Profile” link on the left-hand side of the screen. Once there you can add a phone number and update any other contact information as needed.
Is the Collect ‘N Win mobile app available for both Apple and Android devices? Of course! You can find the Collect ‘N Win app in both iTunes® and Google PlayTM. And you can download it here. Don’t have a smartphone? You also can enter eligible Powerball tickets through our VIP Club website, so you don’t have to download the app or have a smartsphone to scan them.
Is there a minimum purchase required? No. Any Powerball ticket (winning or nonwinning) purchased between Feb. 5 and March 29 is eligible. And remember that each ticket can only be entered once – you will not receive more Collect ‘N Win symbols if your ticket has plays for more than one Powerball drawing.
We hope this helps answer your questions! But if you didn’t find the details you were looking for here, let us know by commenting on this post or by sending an email to Wmaster@ialottery.com.
Our new “Queen & King Of Cash” scratch game has been popular since its release last month, and we’ve gotten a couple questions from players about the value that the game gives to face cards and aces.
The $5 scratch game, with its eye-catching graphics and bold colors, really captures concept of a wealthy monarchy. And its poker theme in the play area gives you multiple chances to win on each ticket and “become” the king or queen of cash!
But with pre-printed lottery tickets, the value of aces and face cards can’t change like they do in an actual game of poker. So, aces in the scratch game are worth 11 points each, while kings, queens and jacks are worth 10 points each.
There’s a code printed in the upper right of each ticket in the game that explains the values for those cards. (We’ve circled it in the picture.) The code is outside the area covered by the ticket’s security coating, so the explanation is always visible, before or after you’ve scratched the ticket.
A new Powerball® promotion that starts Sunday gives lottery players in Iowa the chance to win one of 25 Caribbean cruise vacation packages.
It’s called the “Power Cruise™” promotion and it runs from Sunday through March 29 here in Iowa. If you make a Powerball purchase during that time, you’ll automatically get a code you can use to enter the promotion via the lottery’s VIP Club website or the Power Cruise Collect ‘N Win app available through iTunes® and Google Play®.
Iowa is one of 24 U.S. lotteries participating in this promotion, with 25 cruise packages available to players who enter with Powerball tickets they purchase in Iowa.
The Caribbean cruise on the Royal Caribbean® “Brilliance of the Seas®” ship will depart from Tampa, Fla., in January 2018 to give trip winners plenty of time to plan for their vacations.
Twelve of the cruise packages available to Iowa players will be for Balcony staterooms on the ship; seven will be for Ocean View staterooms; and six will be for Interior staterooms. Each vacation package for two will include airfare to Florida; a one-night hotel stay in Tampa the night before the cruise departs; ground transportation from the airport to the hotel and the hotel to the port; a stateroom with all amenities for a five-night cruise to the Caribbean departing Jan. 15, 2018, with two ports of call; a $250 credit on the ship; primary gratuities paid for the room attendant and dining-room staff on the ship; and ground transfer from the port to the airport when the cruise has concluded. The cruise packages are each valued at more than $4,800.
Once the cruise begins, the fun will really get going for those on the ship. There will be 200 pre-paid gift cards of $500 each awarded to registered trip winners on the ship. And on the final evening of the cruise, a $50,000 top prize will be awarded to one of the registered trip winners onboard.
To enter, you’ll need to join or already be a member of our free VIP Club. You’ll need to key in the entry code from a qualifying
Powerball ticket either via the lottery’s VIP Club website or the Power Cruise Collect ‘N Win app. Each eligible Powerball ticket entered in the promotion will give the player entry symbols, with the goal of collecting enough symbols to complete a game card with six squares. Each card that a player completes will count as one entry in the promotion. The deadline to enter is by 11:59 p.m. March 29.
We’ll hold six weekly promotional prize drawings beginning Feb. 22. Here is the schedule and the number of prizes that will be awarded:
Entry Period Cruise Packages Drawing Date
Feb. 5 – Feb. 20 4 Feb. 22
Feb. 5 – Feb. 27 4 March 1
Feb. 5 – March 6 4 March 8
Feb. 5 – March 13 4 March 15
Feb. 5 – March 20 4 March 22
Feb. 5 – March 29 5 March 31
Rules and complete details will be available on our website at www.ialottery.com and winners’ information also will be posted there.
POWER CRUISE™ is a trademark of Alchemy 3, LLC. Used under license. │Royal Caribbean International logo is a registered trademark of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and is used with permission. ©2017 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.® │ Powerball® and Power Play® are federally registered trademarks and are used with permission of the Multi-State Lottery Association. All rights reserved.
We’ve heard from folks in the last week who all have received text messages claiming that they’ve won a big prize, or should enter a contest for a chance to win. In all of the instances, the scammers asked for the individual’s personally-identifying information – something you should never give out online for personal security purposes.
We’ve seen scams in the past that utilized telephone calls, letters and email, so we’re not surprised to see text messages in play as well. But it does appear to be a new twist. Scam operations are nearly impossible to trace and shut down because they generally are based outside the United States. You can have the most impact in thwarting their efforts by being alert and protecting yourself.
If someone contacts you and says you’ve won a big prize, ask yourself this basic question: Did I buy a ticket or enter that contest? If you didn’t, it’s likely a scam.
We have an entire section on our website dedicated to Player Security reminders, but here are a few quick highlights to remember:
• Keep your credit card, bank account and Social Security information private. Scam artists will often ask for them with the goal of accessing your accounts and stealing your money!
• Never pay processing fees, insurance or commissions to claim a lottery prize. Legitimate lotteries do not require winners to pay anything up front to receive a prize.
• Never believe a letter, phone call or Internet message from someone who claims they can guarantee you a prize. Legitimate lotteries do not guarantee that you will win a prize and do not require you to join a prize pool to play.
As the lottery’s vice president of external relations, I’m a member of the senior management team at the Iowa Lottery, where I’ve worked since 1999. I’ve spent my years at the lottery learning as much as I can about all the ins and outs of the lottery industry. I’ll put that knowledge to work here so I can share the behind-the-scenes details with you!