We’ve gotten emails and heard from some folks on social media who say they’re having difficulty buying tickets at a discount in our “Power for Life” promotion that started last week. Here’s the inside scoop to help out, should you encounter that same situation.
We’ve provided information about the promotion to our retailers and our folks in the field who visit our retail locations each week will continue to provide them with updates and reminders. These are the details we’re sharing with them:
Retailers print plays in the promotion by using the Power for Life icon on the game screens for Powerball® and Lucky for Life® on the lottery terminal. The image above shows where to find the Power for Life icon along the right side of the screen.
By asking for the Power for Life bundle, you’ll get a $2 discount on plays in Powerball and Lucky for Life. They’re easy-pick plays for the next two drawings – a Powerball with Power Play ticket and a Lucky for Life ticket. That normally would be a $10 purchase but it costs just $8 during the promotion that runs through the end of this month. (This promotion is available at any retail location in Iowa where lottery tickets are sold.)
When the Power for Life icon is pressed on the screen, a confirmation window will pop up. The store clerk should choose “yes” to sell the promotional bundle. An audio recording then plays from the lottery terminal. You’ll hear, “Woo-hoo! It’s your lucky day!” and two easy-pick tickets, one in each game for the next two consecutive drawings, will be printed.
Hope this helps!
In a deck of cards, there is about a 1 in 4 chance that you’ll find a card in one of the suits – diamonds, clubs, hearts or spades. (I say “about” 1 in 4 because with the two jokers included, there are 54 cards in a deck.) But after you’ve shuffled the deck, there will be times when you deal more than four cards in a row without finding one in a particular suit.
It works the same way with tickets in our instant-scratch and pull-tab games. If a scratch game has overall odds of winning of about 1:3, that doesn't mean that if you buy four tickets, one of them will automatically be a winner. It means that if you were to buy all of the tickets available in that game, approximately 1 in 4 of them would win a prize.
The tickets within our games are distributed randomly, just like the shuffled cards within a deck. That’s part of our security procedures, and not even we know where the winning tickets are or which stores will receive them. So, there could be three winning tickets in a row in one of our games, and then several nonwinning tickets in a row after that. We work hard to ensure that everyone has the same fair shot at winning.
The bottom line is, big winners happen all over the state, and higher ticket sales at a particular location will mean more winners there as well. Some busy locations where scratch tickets are sold sell several times as many tickets as others, and therefore they sell through ticket packs more often, creating more winners.
The odds in lotto games like Powerball® and Mega Millions® work differently than those in scratch and pull-tab games. In lotto games, the odds of winning a prize are based on all of the possible combinations of numbers available to play in the game. In Powerball, for example, the odds of winning the jackpot are about 1:292.2 million because that’s how many different ways you can combine the numbers available in the game to make a play.
I’ve blogged many times through the years about the odds in our games and what they mean. I hope today’s explanation has given you a new visual picture of how the odds work. Next time someone asks you how the odds work in a lottery game, you can give the deck of cards example and be totally “in the know!”
Check out this video for all the details about our stop in Cedar Rapids as part of our search for the winner of a $2 million prize. It's been more than a month since the prize was won, so we're spreading the word!
It’s been a month since a $2 million Powerball prize was won in Cedar Rapids, but it’s still unclaimed. Here’s a reminder to double-check your tickets to see if you’ve won that big prize!
The $2 million-winning ticket was purchased at the Hawkeye Convenience Store, 2330 Wiley Blvd. SW in Cedar Rapids. The ticket initially matched the first five numbers but missed the Powerball to win a $1 million prize in the July 16 drawing. But whoever bought the ticket also added the Power Play® option to the purchase, which multiplied the prize to $2 million. It was the only one in the country to win a $2 million prize that night.
The winning numbers in the July 16 Powerball drawing were: 11-17-40-50-62 and Powerball 26. The Power Play number was 2. No one matched all six numbers to win that night’s $335.5 million jackpot.
Hawkeye Convenience Store has received a $2,000 bonus from the lottery for selling the $2 million-winning ticket at one of its stores.
Here at the lottery, we wonder if summertime is a factor in the prize still being unclaimed. People are often a little out of their normal routines this time of year, taking family vacations, playing sports and just being outside enjoying the nice weather. It’s possible that whoever won the $2 million prize doesn’t know it yet.
Powerball prizes in Iowa expire a year from the date of the drawing in which a prize is won, so there’s still plenty of time for the $2 million prize to be claimed. The prize will expire at the close of business on July 17, 2017, if it isn’t claimed by then.
Prizes of $2 million need to be claimed at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive. If the winner or winners need information before coming forward to claim the prize, they’re welcome to call us here at the lottery at 515-725-7900.
Time is running out for a $10,000 lottery prize that’s still unclaimed nearly a year after it was won in southwest Iowa. We’re reminding players to double-check their tickets!
Click on the video above to learn all the details about the unclaimed Powerball® prize. The $10,000-winning ticket was purchased in Crescent for the drawing on Sept. 5 of last year. The prize will expire next month -- at 4 p.m. on Sept. 6 to be exact -- if it isn’t claimed by then.
We hope this reminder will jog someone’s memory. So wherever you keep your tickets, get them out and double-check them!
The money from unclaimed prizes in Iowa goes into the lottery’s prize pools for future games and promotions, so it will be used to pay prizes, just not those prizes that have expired. In fiscal year 2016, nearly $1.3 million in lotto prizes expired in Iowa without being claimed.
There’s big news for someone who bought a Powerball® ticket at a Cedar Rapids convenience store: The ticket won a $2 million prize in last night’s drawing!
The $2-million winning ticket was purchased at the Hawkeye Convenience Store, 2330 Wiley Blvd. SW in Cedar Rapids. The lucky ticket came within one number of having at least a share of last night’s $335.5 million jackpot.
The ticket initially matched the first five numbers but missed the Powerball to win a $1 million prize, but the person who bought the ticket also added the Power Play option to the purchase, which multiplied the prize to $2 million. The Cedar Rapids ticket was the only one in the country that won a $2 million prize in last night’s drawing.
The winning numbers were: 11-17-40-50-62 and Powerball 26. The Power Play number was 2. No one matched all six numbers to win the jackpot, so the big prize climbs to an estimated $361 million annuity ($250.3 million cash option) for Wednesday.
Hawkeye Convenience Store will receive a $2,000 bonus from the Iowa Lottery for selling the $2 million-winning ticket at one of its stores.
Prizes of $2 million need to be claimed at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive. The lottery’s offices are closed on weekends, so tomorrow is the earliest that the winner or winners will be able to claim the prize. If the winner or winners need information before coming forward to claim the prize, they’re welcome to call the lottery at 515-725-7900.
This is the second ticket in Iowa to win a $2 million prize this year, while two others have won prizes of $1 million. One of those $1 million prizes, won with a ticket purchased in West Des Moines for the Mega Millions drawing on May 20, remains unclaimed.
July 7 update: Strong sales in Iowa and across the country have pushed the Mega Millions jackpot even higher for tomorrow night's drawing. The jackpot now stands at an estimated $540 million annuity, $380 million lump-sum option. It remains at No. 3 on the list of the largest Mega Millions jackpots and No. 7 among the largest jackpots in North America.
The Mega Millions jackpot just keeps climbing and climbing in what has become the longest jackpot run in the history of the game. The jackpot now stands at an estimated $508 million annuity, $357.7 million lump-sum option for Friday’s drawing. That puts it at No. 3 on the list of the largest Mega Millions jackpots of all time and No. 7 among the largest jackpots in North America.
THE GAME’S LONGEST RUN
The Mega Millions jackpot was last won in the drawing on March 8 with a ticket purchased in the state of Washington. So the big prize started growing with the drawing on Friday, March 11, and has continued to roll through a total of 34 draws thus far without a winner. Friday’s drawing will be the 35th in the run. The game has proven once again that you never know when the next big winner is going to hit.
THE BIGGEST MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT IN 2½ YEARS
It’s been some time since the Mega Millions jackpot has been this high. The jackpot in the game last climbed to this level back in 2013, when a $648 million jackpot was split in the drawing on Dec. 17, 2013, by two tickets purchased in California and Georgia.
STILL LOOKING FOR $1 MILLION WINNER IN IOWA
A $1 million Mega Millions prize won in Iowa is still unclaimed more than a month after it was won and the Iowa Lottery is reminding players to double-check their tickets!
The lucky ticket, purchased at the Kum & Go, 5967 Ashworth Road in West Des Moines, came close to winning at least a share of the $187 million jackpot in the May 20 drawing, matching the first five numbers but missing the Mega Ball. The winning numbers that night were: 19-24-26-40-68 and Mega Ball 8. The Megaplier® number was 2.
Kum & Go received a $1,000 bonus from the lottery for selling the $1 million-winning ticket. It was the third ticket purchased in Iowa to win a prize of at least $1 million in 2016.
Prizes of $1 million must be claimed at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive. If the winner or winners need information before coming forward to claim the prize, they are invited to call the lottery at 515-725-7900.
INTERESTING TAKE ON CALENDAR DATES …
The Mega Millions jackpot has been won only twice so far in 2016, both times on calendar dates of eight: Jan. 8 with a ticket purchased in New York, and March 8 with a ticket purchased in the state of Washington. The next drawing is in two days on Friday, July 8. Will lightning strike on Friday?
THERE IS A DEADLINE FOR BUYING A TICKET
One of the biggest questions the Iowa Lottery is fielding this week is how late players can buy tickets for Friday’s drawing. Mega Millions drawings are at 10 p.m. central time on Tuesdays and Fridays. Here in Iowa, you can buy a ticket for Friday’s drawing up until 8:59 p.m. that day. If you buy a ticket after that time, it will be for a later drawing.
Lottery tickets in Iowa are sold at about 2,400 locations. Players in Mega Millions choose their first five numbers from a pool of 75, and another number - called the Mega Ball - from a separate pool of 15. The Megaplier option, which multiplies any prize except the jackpot, is available for an extra $1 per play.
PLEASE PLAY RESPONSIBLY
With the jackpot climbing, the Iowa Lottery continues to urge the public to play responsibly. You’ve seen the lottery say this many times, and we really mean it: It only takes one ticket to win. Have fun playing, but play within your means and don’t get in over your head. The fun of our games is that you can do a lot of dreaming for just a few dollars.
Here’s a great question that came to us on Facebook about tickets in lotto games like Powerball® and Mega Millions®. The inquiry is from a man named Mark who asked: “If I have a multi-draw ticket and I have a winner before the end of the draws, do I have to wait until the ticket’s end date reaches, or can I cash the ticket in beforehand?”
It's a great question, and I can understand why he would wonder about it. If you’ve won a prize, you obviously would be excited and want to claim it quickly. And, what if you might forget to claim it if you waited until all the drawings on your ticket had occurred?
If you’ve never heard of a multi-draw ticket before, here’s how that works: In our lotto games, you have the option of buying a ticket for just the next drawing or for several upcoming drawings at a time. The multi-draw option is a convenience factor in these busy times!
We thought through the prize-claim scenario before we started offering the option of tickets for multiple drawings. So, if you win a prize before the last drawing on your ticket has been held, you can still claim the prize right away.
When your winning multi-draw ticket is scanned by the lottery terminal, you'll be paid your prize or get a prize claim form (depending on the amount won) along with a replacement ticket for the drawings you have left. Your original ticket will be kept by the retailer as part of the prize-claim process.
So, feel free to claim your prize at your convenience (but be sure to do so by the deadline for claiming prizes in that particular game).
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!