I replied to a letter this week that offered a new twist on an argument we’ve heard at different times through the years. The twist this time around was the location involved – the man who wrote to us asserted that most of the big winners in our scratch games are in northern Iowa, and he does not think that is fair. He said that there should be winners all across the state in our games. He is right – there should be. And in reality, there are.
The argument that "no one from here ever wins" appears to be a myth that’s based upon the area that you’re from, no matter where that is. Urban vs. rural, east vs. west, north vs. south, any particular city or county vs. another, you name it, we’ve heard it said that there are no/fewer winners from those locations.
We think the root of the situation is that people will never be truly satisfied unless they're the ones who win a big prize! In reality, people can and do win lottery prizes every day. In the Iowa Lottery's latest financial year, our players won more than $197 million in prizes from lotto, scratch and pull-tab tickets.
We operate from this basic principle here at the lottery: You want to know that you have the same fair shot at winning as anyone else.
Here is another truth to keep in mind: In areas with higher populations, more people live there, which means more people are buying lottery tickets there and winning prizes. It doesn’t mean that spot is luckier than any other, it simply means that more tickets are being purchased there, and more prizes are therefore being won there.
Another way of looking at it is that if 5 percent of lottery tickets are sold in a particular area, you expect to find about 5 percent of the overall winners there. That has always been the case with the Iowa Lottery. Everyone has the same chance of winning but there will be more winners in places where more tickets are being sold.