Press Room

FY 2010 Results: Lottery Sales Increase, Players Win Record Level of Prizes

Lottery Provides Record Returns From Core Products In Fiscal Year

  hear comments from Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich.

DES MOINES, Iowa - Ticket sales increased and players won a record total in prizes during the Iowa Lottery's latest financial year. Lottery profits to state causes, meanwhile, totaled nearly $58 million.

Preliminary figures released Tuesday show that lottery sales totaled $256.3 million in fiscal year 2010, which ended June 30. That marks the highest sales total from lotto, instant-scratch and pull-tab games since the lottery's start in 1985.

Lottery players also had a good year, taking home a record $150.5 million in prizes from the lottery's core products, a 4 percent increase from the previous record prize total from those products of $144.7 million in FY 2008.

"Bottom line, the Iowa Lottery returned a record $208.4 million to Iowans for the year either directly in prizes or in profits to the state programs that benefit us all," said Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich. "That's the highest total for prizes and proceeds from our core products in the lottery's history."

The unaudited figures show the lottery raised more than $57.9 million in profits for state programs during FY 2010, down slightly from the lottery's profits total the year before.

Lottery proceeds to the state were impacted during FY 2010 on a couple fronts: The lottery accrued expenses totaling about $1.5 million related to the State Employee Retirement Incentive Program approved during the 2010 legislative session. The retirement incentive program was not foreseen in the lottery's budget for the year. However, accounting standards required that expenses from the program be recorded during FY 2010.

Prize payouts, which are cyclical and vary over time, were ahead of projections for the year. That's in comparison to FY 2009, when prizes in instant-scratch games in particular ran behind prize totals during the same time period a year earlier.

Rich noted that such fluctuations are a function of the random nature of lottery games, which can have variations in a particular year, but average out over time.

"We feel good about these numbers," Rich said. "Compared to the previous year, the lottery returned an additional $12.1 million in prizes directly to players, which made for a positive impact in local communities across the state."

Another highlight of the lottery's results is the $5.4 million it now has raised for the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund. The Lottery's first games to benefit the Veterans Trust Fund began sales in July 2008 and it will continue to create two new instant-scratch and two additional pull-tab games each year, with proceeds from those games dedicated to the Veterans Trust Fund.

When the idea of games dedicated to veterans was initially discussed, the lottery estimated it could raise $2 million to $3 million annually for the Trust Fund. The FY 2009 total was $2.8 million, and with another $2.6 million added in the latest year, the lottery has raised $5.4 million for the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund in two years.

"The lottery's strong results in that category continue to demonstrate Iowans' support for such a noble cause," Rich said. "Our thanks go out to our players for helping us provide a stable, ongoing source of revenue for the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund."

Mega Millions® sales also were a highlight for the lottery in FY 2010, with the game being added to Iowa's mix of lotto games in January. Powerball and Mega Millions are both lotto games with jackpots that have climbed into the hundreds of millions of dollars. But until January, the games were sold by separate groups of lotteries. U.S. lottery directors reached an agreement in late 2009 that allowed for cross-selling of the games and many lotteries, including Iowa's, began selling both games in January.

Mega Millions sales in Iowa totaled $5.5 million for the year.

Powerball sales also continued strong in Iowa in FY 2010, increasing nearly 2 percent to $59.2 million.

Sales of instant-scratch tickets, the first product introduced by the Iowa Lottery and always one of its top-selling items, rose more than 5 percent to a record $143.8 million in FY 2010. The lottery's previous record for scratch sales had been set in FY 2008, when $137.9 million in scratch tickets were sold.

"We will continue to focus on variety in our products and entertainment for our players while keeping our eye on results," Rich said.

Rich also noted that the lottery's positive impact in Iowa extends beyond the proceeds it provides for state programs. Iowa businesses received about $16.1 million in commissions from the lottery for their daily work in selling lottery products in FY 2010, while the state of Iowa received $1.6 million in withholding tax revenue from lottery prizes, and more than $300,000 from the state Income Offset program.

Rich said he is pleased with the lottery's position for the coming year.

"This past year saw a lot of positives for the lottery, from another clean report in our annual audit from the State Auditor's Office to repeated security compliance checks that have shown a retailer system that is functioning well here," he said. "We're pleased that lottery tickets remain a secure, affordable, local entertainment option for consumers."