We just announced the lottery’s preliminary results for fiscal year 2016, which ended June 30. It was a phenomenal year, with records being set for lottery sales, proceeds to state causes, prizes to players and retailer commissions.
The lottery’s annual sales topped the $300 million mark for the fifth year in a row at a total of $366.9 million. That allowed us to raise a record $88 million in proceeds for state causes. Another huge number came in prizes to players, which totaled a record $221.8 million in fiscal year 2016.
Two big factors came into play for the Iowa Lottery during the past year:
- Powerball. I think we all remember the game’s world-record jackpot of nearly $1.6 billion back in January. That giant jackpot was accompanied by huge sales in Iowa and across the country. Powerball sales hit $74.9 million for the fiscal year in Iowa.
- Instant-scratch games. Scratch tickets were the first product introduced by the Iowa Lottery and have always been one of our top-selling items. Sales of those tickets hit an annual record of $233.7 million in FY 2016, topping the previous record of nearly $212 million that had just been set the year before.
Among other highlights of the year is the $2.5 million that the lottery raised for the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund to benefit our state’s veterans and their families. With our players’ help, we’ve been able to raise nearly $20 million for the Trust Fund since the lottery began providing money to that cause back in 2008.
Local Iowa businesses also received a record $24.6 million in commissions from the lottery for selling our tickets in FY 2016. Businesses receive a commission for every lottery ticket they sell and we’re proud that the lottery can make a positive difference in the bottom line for businesses all across the state. We can’t thank our retailers enough for their hard work on behalf of the lottery.
Statistically, we know that lottery results will fluctuate from year to year. Our job is to keep it fun for players while running an operation based upon best practices. We anticipate that lottery games will continue to be a consistent, key source of proceeds for vital state causes here in Iowa.