A man on Facebook reached out to us this month with a question about the hours that retail locations sell lottery tickets, and specifically, whether stores are required to sell lottery products at any time they are open for business. The quick answer is we have no such requirement, for a variety of real-world reasons.
The man said he had gone to a store in central Iowa that stopped selling lottery products at 10 p.m. even though the location didn’t close until 11 p.m. The man wanted to know if it was okay for the store to do that. It is perfectly okay for a business to set the hours it will sell the products it offers, and we understand that there are business factors behind that decision.
At the store the man contacted us about, the location stops selling lottery tickets at 10 p.m. each night so employees can begin the accounting work and other procedures they need to complete before the store can close for the night at 11 p.m. While we understand that everyone wants convenience as much as possible, the store clerks have check lists they need to complete each night and only so much time to do that work. If that means they need to stop selling lottery products an hour before close to ensure everything balances for the night, that’s perfectly understandable.
We were able to give the man a list of several other businesses in the same city that also sell lottery tickets, many of which are open for business 24 hours and could likely accommodate his schedule to buy lottery tickets after 10 p.m.
If you’re looking for retail locations in a certain area that sell lottery tickets, remember that you can use the “Find a Retailer” section of our website to search by city or zip code.