FY 2018: Record Sales & Prizes To Players In A Well-Rounded Year For Iowa Lottery

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“We have just finished an astounding year on several fronts,” Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said Friday. “With strong sales, another clean audit, strong support for ‘play responsibly’ messages and an international award for gaming compliance in the long-running jackpot investigation case, it was a well-rounded, successful year for our organization.”

FY 2018: Record Sales & Prizes To Players In A Well-Rounded Year For Iowa Lottery

Lottery’s Annual Results Are In Its Overall Top 2

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CLIVE, Iowa  – July 20, 2018 – A fourth straight year of record sales for instant-scratch tickets led the Iowa Lottery to achieve record sales overall and annual results in its Top 2 as it finished fiscal year 2018 well ahead of budget projections, amid other significant achievements. 

 “We have just finished an astounding year on several fronts,” Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said Friday. “With strong sales, another clean audit, strong support for ‘play responsibly’ messages and an international award for gaming compliance in the long-running jackpot investigation case, it was a well-rounded, successful year for our organization.” 

 Preliminary figures released Friday show that the Iowa Lottery generated nearly $87.1 million in proceeds to state causes in FY 2018, which ended June 30. That was second-highest proceeds total in the lottery’s 33-year history and the fifth time that its annual proceeds topped the $80-million mark. Total annual lottery sales were a record $371 million, exceeding the $300-million mark for the seventh year in a row. And, lottery players won a record $227.5 million in prizes during the year. 

 Iowa Lottery Board Chair Mary Rathje of Marion, manager of her family’s construction company there, said she was gratified to see positive results on several fronts, including a clean audit for the lottery for FY 2017 from the State Auditor’s Office, and record exposure for play responsibly messages in March as part of the lottery’s support for National Problem Gambling Awareness Month.   

“Success for an organization is measured in many ways, and as Board members we look to see that the lottery is positioned well,” she said. “The gaming-compliance award that the Iowa Lottery received in April emphasized the security and integrity behind its games, and the lottery also had the chance to emphasize responsible play throughout the year. Those are factors that I believe mean the lottery can continue to serve Iowa well.” 

 The unaudited results released Friday show that Iowa Lottery sales in FY 2018 increased 5.3 percent from the previous year’s total of $352.2 million. Lottery proceeds to state causes for the year increased 7.8 percent while prizes to players increased 5.5 percent from the previous year’s total. 

 In general, the type of lottery product that sells best in a given time period has a big impact on overall lottery results. In a year like FY 2018 when scratch tickets sell particularly well, lottery profits overall will likely be a smaller percentage of total sales simply because scratch games have a smaller profit margin. Sales in lotto games are largely jackpot driven and can therefore fluctuate greatly from week to week and year to year, while sales of scratch games, pull-tab games and InstaPlay games are more consistent over time. 

 Scratch-game sales in Iowa, which have set records consecutively since FY 2015, totaled $244.3 million, an increase of nearly $7 million from the previous record for that product set the year before. Rich noted that sales growth for scratch games in Iowa is far outpacing the rest of the country. He said that scratch-ticket sales in Iowa increased 89 percent from FY 2007 to FY 2017, compared to the national average 58 percent increase during that same timeframe. 

 “Those results are something that truly shows the strength of our team’s efforts,” Rich said. “By working to keep a mix of game themes, price points and playstyles in the field, and by coming up with some really inventive game ideas, we’ve driven the success of our leading product.” 

 Powerball and Mega Millions, both lotto games offered across the country and known for their large jackpots, saw sales increases in FY 2018 in Iowa. 

 Rich thanked retailers for their work in serving lottery customers and selling tickets, noting that local businesses across the state received $24.2 million in annual sales commissions from the lottery, an increase of about 5.7 percent from the previous year. 

 Another highlight for the year was the $2.5 million the lottery raised for the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund to benefit our state’s veterans and their families. The lottery now has raised nearly $25 million for the Veterans Trust Fund since it began providing proceeds to that cause in 2008.  

 Here is a year-to-year comparison of annual lottery sales by product: 


Product                                  FY 2018 Sales                                    FY 2017 Sales


Scratch games                         $244.3 million                                     $237.6 million


InstaPlay games                      $9.7 million                                         $5.8 million


Pick 3                                      $7.7 million                                         $7.3 million


Powerball                                $58.5 million                                       $54.3 million


Mega Millions                         $21.3 million                                       $15 million


Hot Lotto*                              $3.8 million                                         $8.2 million


Pick 4                                      $4.3 million                                         $3.9 million


All or Nothing*                       -------                                                   $3.2 million


Lucky for Life                         $5.6 million                                         $5.6 million


Lotto America*                       $4.9 million                                         -------


Pull-tab games                         $10.9 million                                       $11.3 million  


*The All or Nothing game ended sales on June 30, 2017, while Hot Lotto ended on Oct. 28, 2017. The Lotto America game debuted Nov. 12, 2017.                                                        


The Top 10 retailers in Iowa for lottery sales in FY 2018 were in four different communities: 


Retailer                       Address                                  City                         FY 2018 Sales


Hy-Vee                       20 Wilson Ave.                       Cedar Rapids              $897,463

Hy-Vee                       1843 Johnson Ave. NW          Cedar Rapids              $833,455


Hy-Vee                       2540 E. Euclid Ave.               Des Moines                 $815,175


Hy-Vee Gas                3935 Blairs Ferry Road NE    Cedar Rapids              $768,261


Hy-Vee                       2323 W. Broadway Ave.        Council Bluffs             $732,535


JJs on Johnson Ave.    235 Edgewood Road NW      Cedar Rapids              $701,439


Hy-Vee Drugstore      1520 6th St. SW                       Cedar Rapids              $675,484


Hy-Vee                       3235 Oakland Road NE         Cedar Rapids              $662,862


Pronto                         810 Fourth Ave. S.                 Denison                       $661,152


Hawkeye Conv. Store 2330 Wiley Blvd. SW           Cedar Rapids              $643,469                    


The largest prize won by an Iowa Lottery player in FY 2017 was a $4.38 million Lotto AmericaSM jackpot. Four other Iowa tickets won prizes of $1 million during the year, including a Powerball ticket purchased in Nevada for the April 11 drawing that remains unclaimed.


Winner                          City                 Game                   Prize                Claimed


Chuck Anderson           Davenport       Lotto America        $4.38 million   May 10, 2018


George Dickerson         Colfax             Powerball               $1 million        Jan. 5, 2018


Karen Harger                Glenwood       Powerball               $1 million        Dec. 19, 2017


Vicki Dixon                 Allen, Texas    Powerball               $1 million        Aug. 14, 2017


Since the Iowa Lottery's start in 1985, its players have won nearly $4.2 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised nearly $1.9 billion for state programs.


Today, lottery proceeds in Iowa have three main purposes: They provide support for our state’s veterans and their families through the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund; help for a variety of significant projects through the state General Fund; and backing for the Vision Iowa program, which was implemented to create tourism destinations and community attractions in the state and build and repair schools.





For additional information, contact:

Iowa Lottery External Relations

Mary Neubauer at (515) 725-7906

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