« Two Big Winners In Our Latest Promotions! | Main | Yesterday’s Date Caused Lottery Sell-Outs »

September 04, 2009


Hi, Dennis. Thanks so much for contacting me through the blog. We love to hear from our readers, so keep those comments coming!

Earlier this year, I addressed the issue you’ve described below in a blog entry letting people know where they can claim their prizes. Here is the direct link:
As I describe in that blog entry, the Iowa Lottery requires that its retailers pay prizes of up to $100. We ask that they pay prizes up to $600, but not all stores keep the cash on hand to do that. We all have to remember that security and workplace safety are top priorities for retail locations and their staff, and cash on hand in a location often is kept to a minimum, especially during business hours after dark.
If the retail location you've visited isn't able to pay your prize, you have a couple options: You might try to claim the prize at a larger store that sells lottery tickets, such as a supermarket. Because that type of business has a high customer traffic level, it may have the cash on hand to pay your prize. Or, you can visit one of our offices or send the ticket to us so we can validate it. Lottery prizes (except Powerball and Hot Lotto jackpots) also can be claimed by mail. A claim form is required for prizes of more than $100. Sign the back of your ticket and mail it along with your name and address to:
Iowa Lottery
P.O. Box 10474
Des Moines, IA 50305-9996.

Take care!

i won $3,000 dollars on pick three jackpot, i ran my same numbers five times and i ended up with five $600 straight exact match this month, and i had such a hard time cashing all of them, i knew its a large amount to cash because i read how to claim the ticket, but each store had a different limit, or excuse. i tried cashing it at a local dynos gastation the same night and the cashier said she had enough to cash it but when she scanned the ticket, the machine said the drawing hadnt taken place yet, wich i knew it had, because i got so excited on the saturday night when i watched my numbers drawn, so we came to the conclusion by brainstorming that i proabally had to wait the next day to cash it, no big deal, so i came back in the morning and the manager said she couldnt cash the ticket because thier limit on a payout is only 500, wich i told her last night her employee was going to pay it out, and she never mentioned anything about it, im not sure if she just was in a bad mood, or changes her rules of a payout at a store, but she kinda mad me feel like i didnt deserve to get the money i won and took away some of my enjoyment, anyway, i wasnt going to let her attitude ruin my good forturne, because i knew this moment only comes once in a blue moon. so i drove to the caseys store, and the manager said she cant cash anything over 300, and she said i HAD to go to the lottery office to claim it, and i told her that i read the payout and it says anything 600 or less can be claimed at retailers that sell lottery. i almost drove the two hours, wich would be four by the time i came back, but i went into hyvee and told her that i won and she said she didnt have the money at the time, but if i came back later in the day, she would gladly cash in the ticket, wich made my day. i still needed to cash the others, so i went to the other dynos in town and the manager said she cant cash anything over 500, i didnt argue or anything, just tried another store, i went to the holiday gas station store manager and she said she didnt have enough money to cash it and she said i HAD to get it cashed at the lottery office, i didnt argue, another bad mood of a manager or another store that was trying to rain on my parade, so i went to crossroads gasstation and she said the same thing as hyvee that if i waited later in the day i could get it cashed, so i went back, wich i appretiated her for setting aside money to cash my winning ticket, on the way home i stopped at hyvee gas because i figured maybe they could cash one of my 600 ticket and they said they couldnt cash it and to try the hyvee store, and i told the clerk i already did, and told him i won 5 of the jackpots on pick 3 and are hard to cash, each store has a different amout they can pay out or change thier rules on payouts as they go, wich i dont think is fair, if iowa lottery says you can cash any 600 dollar winner or less ant any lottery retailer, every store should follow that rule. i know managers at gastations are there to work and run a buisness, but my money doesnt come out of thier paycheck and i assume most of the money that i recived comes from iowa lottery so thier store would had been credited with the payout, so i was wondering why the managers are so concerned about paying money out, they are willing to take the money to sell the ticket and should honor any prizes, or lottery should send all retailers to have the same payout rules or simpler way to claim winning prizes, i ended up having to drive a half hour to get one cashed but i called the hyvee store there and asked if they had enough money to cash it and they did. im still happy about my win, got them all cashed, and overall satisfied with how i won, but i think the store managers should have the same rule or policies, the one that really bothered me is dynos where the clerk would, but the manager wouldnt the next day, dont make sence, they either need to be in a better mood or take a vacation and relax, i wanted to thank iowa lottery, pick 3 is my favorite game, i have won straight box twice this year 400 each, and any order for 50 but this was incredible having my numbers drawn five times. now im going to have to see if i can win the pick 4 LOL.

I’ll try to address all the issues you raised, Mike. State law mandates that lottery winners’ information is public in Iowa. The Lottery has to follow the law and provide the information that it has available. It is not required that winners hold news conferences after winning lottery prizes, but there is a great deal of public interest in their stories. We at the lottery can help winners handle the media here at our offices and disseminate their information in one stop so that it’s all handled and the winners can then “get back to life.” In regards to the issue of winning tickets being cashed at retail locations, customer-service issues must be balanced with those involving workplace safety. Many businesses have rules concerning the amount of cash they keep on hand in order to keep their employees safe, and we respect those rules and concerns. Also, in addition to its headquarters office in Des Moines, the lottery has offices in Council Bluffs, Storm Lake, Mason City and Cedar Rapids. Customers can visit any of those offices to have most tickets cashed. Tickets that have won prizes of more than $250,000 have to be validated at lottery headquarters, but tickets for prizes of smaller amounts can be cashed at any lottery office. Take care, Mary

Get in your car and drive a couple hours each way to a lottery office.There are so many lottery retailers that don't keep enough cash on hand to pay a winner that its pathetic.Lottery retailers SHOULD BE REQUIRED to keep enough cash on hand to pay a winner if they win less than $600.No one wants to make a trip that takes two hours each way,causes you to lose a days work and recieve a check that local banks require a 5 business day hold before cashing it.Most people that live in Iowa DON'T live in DesMoines and find it a hassle to deal with the lottery.

Is it required by law to hold a press conference after winning a Powerball jackpot?Only an idiot would allow the press to photograph them after winning a life changing amount of money.There are just to many thieves and con artists out there to allow your image to be spread all over the media.Its bad enough that the lottery releases your name & address & phone number to the media.You are setting the winners up to be scammed.

The comments to this entry are closed.

SEARCH ialotteryblog.com

Profile Blog Image_400x400
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!