Iowa Lottery broke sales records with a month left in fiscal year

in Lottery

The Iowa Lottery surpassed $400 million in sales in a year for the first time with a month left in the fiscal year, the board learned Tuesday. 

The lottery’s audited May financial report showed new records in sales, proceeds, prizes for players and sales commissions paid to retailers. The June report, to be reviewed later, is expected add to the records.

Lottery CEO Matt Strawn said the surge appears to be related to the pandemic. Many players seemed to buy tickets as at-home entertainment. Scratch tickets remained an especially popular choice.

“Fiscal year ‘21 will be a record year for the Lottery, in many respects,” Strawn told the Lottery board Tuesday. 

The sales mean the Lottery will deliver a record amount of cash to the state government for various programs, Strawn said. Sales through May mean $94.9 million already was headed to the state, with a month to go in the fiscal year. That is 30% more than last year and above the single year record of $92.8 million he added. 

In 2020, the year-to-date figure for revenue to the state through the end of May was $72.5 million.

As of the end of May, the Lottery’s nearly 2,400 retail outlets had sold $417.2 million in tickets, a year-to-year jump of 24.5%. The year-to-date figure from 2020 was $335 million.

The previous 12-month record for sales was $390.8 million in fiscal year 2019. 

Prizes awarded hit a record $265.8 million this year, beating the 12-month record of just under $242 million with a month of sales left in the fiscal year. 

Lotto sales were more moderate and, as usual, seemed to follow the size of the jackpots, Strawn said.