Published: March 12, 2023

Iowa Lottery set to launch $50-a-ticket scratch-off game with $500,000 jackpot

Would you pay $50 for a lottery ticket?

You'll get your chance beginning April 4, when the Iowa Lottery will begin selling a $50 scratch-off game, becoming the 15th state to do so.

Currently, the highest-priced Iowa Lottery scratch-offs are two $30 games that offer top prizes of $300,000. The new $500,000 Cash scratch game will offer prizes ranging from $50 to $500,000.

Iowa Lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer said that although the $50 game is new to Iowa, the games have been around in some other states for years.

"The price point is an industry standard that dates back to 2007," Neubauer said. "Iowa retailers with locations in other states that already have a $50 scratch game note high player interest in the product, and a strong performance for it in the other jurisdictions."

In May, Texas upped the ante again as it began selling $100 scratch-off tickets with a top prize of $20 million.

The appeal of the high-dollar scratch-off games is that they come with lower odds. In Iowa's $500,000 Cash game, odds of winning a $50 prize will be 1 in 6.67, and odds of winning the top prize will be 1 in 120,000, Neubauer said. That compares to the current odds of winning the 45-state PowerBall game: 1 in 38.2 for any prize and 1 in 292,201,338 for the top prize.

"A business based upon a model of serving those who cannot afford its products will not be successful for long," she said. "Throughout its 38-year history, the Iowa Lottery has taken seriously its commitment to responsibly raise proceeds for state causes while providing a local entertainment option across the state. About 80 percent of adult Iowans play the lottery, and we therefore have always considered all Iowans 21 and older to be our audience."

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