The results are in for our lottery’s latest year: Scratch-ticket sales set a record for the fourth year in a row as the Iowa Lottery hit record total sales in fiscal year 2018, had record prizes to players and finished with annual results in its overall Top 2.
Our preliminary figures for the year show that the Iowa Lottery generated $87.1 million in proceeds to state causes in FY 2018, which ended June 30. That’s the second-highest proceeds total in the lottery’s 33-year history and the fifth time that our annual proceeds have topped the $80-million mark.
Lottery players won a record $227.5 million in prizes for the year. And total annual lottery sales were a record $371 million, topping the $300-million mark for the seventh year in a row.
But those numbers aren’t the only way we judge the outcome of a year, and there were a lot of other positives during the past 12 months. We got a clean audit for FY 2017 from the State Auditor’s Office, had record exposure for play responsibly messages in March as part of our work to support National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and we won an international award for gaming compliance in the long-running jackpot investigation case. We are extremely proud to have been able to achieve success on those fronts as well.
Scratch-ticket sales in Iowa have set records each year since FY 2015, did that again this past year, reaching a grand total of $244.3 million. Powerball and Mega Millions also both saw sales increases this past year in Iowa.
I give a huge shout-out to Iowa retailers for their work in helping lottery customers and selling tickets. Local businesses across the state received $24.2 million in annual sales commissions from the lottery in FY 2018, and we’re glad to be able to make a difference for their bottom line.
Another highlight for the year was the $2.5 million that the lottery raised for the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund to help our state’s veterans and their families. We’ve now has raised nearly $25 million for the Veterans Trust Fund since we began providing proceeds to that cause in 2008.
The largest prize won by an Iowa Lottery player in FY 2018 was a $4.38 million Lotto America jackpot claimed by Chuck Anderson of Davenport on May 10. Four other Iowa tickets won prizes of $1 million during the year, including a Powerball ticket purchased in Nevada for the April 11 drawing that's still unclaimed.
I know there is always a lot of interest in where people buy their lottery tickets. The Top 10 retailers for lottery sales in FY 2018 were in four different communities: