Press Room

March 2011 Results: Lottery Instant-Scratch Sales Hit Another Record

Lottery Achieves Highest Monthly Sales Of Its Core Product In Its 25-Year History

DES MOINES, Iowa - Sales of the Iowa Lottery's core product broke records again in March.

Preliminary figures show that sales of instant-scratch tickets in Iowa totaled $16.1 million in March, the highest sales total for that product category in the lottery's history. Scratch tickets were the first product introduced by the Iowa Lottery when it started in 1985 and have remained one of its top-selling items in all the years since.

The March sales total for scratch games tops the previous high for the product category of $14.7 million, which had been set in January. January's figure had topped the previous record set in November, which in turn had topped the previous high established in March 2010.

"Lottery tickets are an affordable, local entertainment option for consumers," said Lottery CEO Terry Rich. "And, more lottery players have been winning prizes this year, which raises the profile of the lottery and strengthens sales."

Ten lottery tickets purchased in Iowa have won prizes of $1 million just since January 2010.

Rich cautioned, however, that high fuel costs could impact lottery sales if the current trend of increasing prices continues.

"Fuel prices have long been something that impacts lottery sales, so we continue to monitor that situation closely," Rich said.

Scratch games accounted for 56 percent of the lottery's record sales of $256.3 million in fiscal year 2010, which ended June 30. And, scratch-game sales are helping fuel the lottery's continued strong performance in FY 2011, with total lottery sales through March running ahead of 2010's pace.

Rich said several factors have contributed to the lottery's sales success, including an innovative mix of games and themes; strong support from lottery retailers; popular promotions; and vital lottery help for worthy causes including the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund. He thanked the lottery's team that develops, delivers and promotes scratch games, particularly instant product manager Deirdre Demmerly.

"We've been able to help Iowans have some fun while providing a stable, ongoing source of revenue for the programs that benefit all Iowans," Rich said.