The woman asked why some other states can offer larger top prizes in their scratch games than we in general have been able to offer here in Iowa. And it’s a two-part answer. In some instances, we’ve purposefully designed a particular game so that it offers more prizes at its lower levels rather than trying to offer the biggest top prize possible. But a huge part of the picture also comes down to population.
We do our best to keep a variety of games in the marketplace to give our players lots of choices. We offer different game designs, colors, price points, themes and prize structures, understanding that what works for one person may not interest another at all.
That means that games at the same price point may offer far different top prizes because different players look for different things in the tickets they choose to play. Take our current $20 scratch games as an example. “The BIG Ticket” and “The Lucky Game Book” both offer a top prize of $100,000, while “Aces High” has a top prize of $250,000. The first two offer extended playing time, with lots of different spots to play on one ticket. Those two games also have more smaller prizes in them, so the top prize involved is not quite as high. The Aces High game, on the other hand, puts more concentration on the top prize.
That’s because some people want to play for bigger prizes while others prefer a better chance to win a prize at any level. We hope that by having a variety of games out there, you’ll find something that you like.
Population is the other big factor when it comes to determining the prizes that can be offered in a particular game. A lottery in a state with a larger population will be able to design a game with bigger prizes – and more of them – simply because that state will have so many more people playing it. A greater population base means larger sales overall, which in turn supports higher prizes.
With a population of about 3.1 million, Iowa’s is fairly small compared to states like California (39.8 million) or Florida (21.3 million). But when it comes to being inventive and coming up with new game ideas, we think we’re small but mighty!