Iowa Lottery sales through February are up 16% compared to last year and are 57% above budget projections.
Lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer says the record sales pace is due to some large lotto jackpots. “Sales in games like Powerball and Mega Millions are almost entirely jackpot driven and so there are huge peaks and valleys in the sales in those games. You never know when the next big one is going to come along,” she says.
Neubauer says this is one of the years where things have lined up for the jackpots. “This year we’ve seen a bin buster in terms of both of those games having huge jackpots — not at exactly the same time but really following each other,” Neubauer says.
Sales of scratch ticket sales are another factor in the numbers. Those sales went from a nearly four percent decrease in the last fiscal year to up slightly so far in this fiscal year. Neubauer says high gas prices impact scratch ticket sales.
“None of us can control gas prices and inflationary pressures and as I said, I think all of us were feeling that in the last year,” she says. “And so it’s understandable why something like scratch tickets would be impacted. Scratch ticket sales have always been most closely tied to gas prices and I think it’s because notice I said when you’re at the pump and gas prices are high, you just don’t feel like you have those extra dollars to spend.”
Total Iowa Lottery revenue through February are around $36.4 million dollars. The fiscal year ends on June 30th.