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December 21, 2018


Hi, Dane. You've raised a really good point that has a lot to do with state population. The population base that will play a lotto game is one of the biggest determinates for the size of prizes that it can offer. And the size of the prizes involved drives interest in the game. Florida is the third-largest U.S. state in terms of population, with about 20.1 million residents. Iowa, in comparison, has about 3.1 million residents and ranks 30th in terms of state population. With our smaller population, it is difficult to design an Iowa-only lotto game that offers the size of prizes that capture people's interest. That is what led all those years ago to the start of multi-state games like Powerball and Mega Millions. We always keep player input in mind and do our best to respond, but just know that in this instance, population is one of the major determining factors -- and Iowa is a relatively small state in that regard.

Hi, Herb. I’m not sure what you’re referencing regarding winners in Des Moines. In just the past week (since Dec. 17), Des Moines residents have claimed two prizes of $3,250 in Pick 4; a $1,000 prize in the Merry Multiplier scratch game; a $30,000 prize in the Holiday Bonus Crossword game; a $30,000 prize in the Merry Multiplier game; a $3,500 prize in the Pick 3 game; a $2,500 prize in the Jingle All the Way scratch game; and a $100,000 prize in the Treasure Tree scratch game. (I listed the prizes in the order they were claimed by date.) Winning tickets in our games are distributed randomly, so there’s no way of knowing when – or where – the next big winner will hit. But overall, if 5 percent of lottery tickets are purchased in a particular area, you expect to find about 5 percent of the overall winners there. Everyone has the same odds of winning, but there will be more winners in places where more tickets are being sold.

Why doesn't Iowa hve their own pick 6 lotto or at least a daily Fantasy 5 like Florida. 300,000 would change a struggling Iowan family in a heartbeat.

how about a few more winners in des moines??? you have a lot of small town winners but the biggest city,you bread and butter,has very few winners why???

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Mary N
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!