Press Room

February 2012 Results: Record Combined Sales From Lottery Core Products

Lottery Achieves Highest Monthly Sales Total Ever From Lotto, Scratch and Pull-Tabs

DES MOINES, Iowa - Sales of the Iowa Lottery's core products set records in February, led by continued strong sales of instant-scratch tickets and $2 Powerball.

Lottery proceeds to state causes also were strong in February, hitting nearly $7.8 million for the month - a 69 percent increase from February 2011 - and kept the lottery on pace for another record year.

"We're always proud to know that the proceeds raised by lottery sales will make a positive difference for the vital programs that benefit all Iowans," Lottery CEO Terry Rich said Tuesday as the February results were announced. "As always, we'll continue our work to raise as much money as we can as responsibly as we can."

While its numbers for fiscal year 2012 remain strong, Rich said that the lottery is not without concern as it keeps an eye on rising fuel prices.

"Fuel prices through the years have been one of the biggest issues to impact lottery sales, and with predictions for the possibility of $4 to $5 gas heading into summer, our sales in the coming months may be affected," he said. "It's an issue we have seen and discussed during previous times of gas-price increases."

February was the lottery's highest sales month ever for its core products. The monthly total of $30.2 million in combined sales from lotto, scratch and pull-tab tickets topped the lottery's previous monthly sales record for core products set back in March 2011 by more than $3 million and kept the lottery on pace for a double-digit sales increase over the previous fiscal year.

February also saw the lottery's highest monthly sales in its history for instant-scratch tickets, which totaled $17.5 million, an increase of nearly $500,000 from the previous record, which had just been set in January. And January's figures had topped the previous record high that had just been set in December, so Iowa scratch sales have now set records for three months in a row.

"Lottery tickets today remain what they always have been: an affordable, local entertainment option for consumers," Rich said. "We're working hard to keep an attractive mix of games in the field so our players can continue to have lots of fun choices."

Scratch tickets were the first product introduced by the Iowa Lottery at its start in 1985, and have remained one of its top-selling items in all the years since. Rich said that $2 Powerball, which debuted in January, also has been well-received in Iowa, achieving a double-digit sales increase each month so far.

Overall, Rich said that several factors have contributed to the lottery's sales success: a strong mix of games and themes; continued winners of large prizes in Iowa; popular promotions such as the lottery's current "Warehouse Dash" promotion that will give six lucky players the chance to grab as much top-brand merchandise as they can during a 90-second dash through its VIP Club warehouse; and vital lottery help for worthy causes including the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund. The spate of headlines generated by the recent handling of that ultimately unclaimed Hot Lotto jackpot also raised the lottery's profile, he said.

"Our thanks go out to our retailers for the work they do in selling lottery tickets and to our players for helping us provide a stable, ongoing source of revenue for the programs that make a difference for us all," Rich said.