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FY 2013: Historic Lottery Proceeds To State Causes, Record Prizes To Players, Bonds Paid Off Early

Annual Lottery Sales Increase For Fourth Straight Year

Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich   Hear more about this story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A fourth straight year of higher sales pushed Iowa Lottery proceeds to their highest total in the organization's 28-year history while players took home a record amount in prizes during its latest fiscal year.

Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich announced the lottery's fiscal year 2013 results Wednesday, noting that some exceptional circumstances combined to make the year a bonanza, with proceeds to state causes increasing nearly 8 percent from the previous year's results.

"We always remember that lottery products are an optional purchase," Rich said. "Our job is to keep it fun for the consumer while at the same time running an operation based upon best practices. We take care of the behind-the-scenes work so our players can just have fun and dream a little."

The preliminary figures released Wednesday show that the lottery generated a record $84.9 million in proceeds to state causes in FY 2013, the highest annual total since the lottery's start in 1985. That toppled the lottery's previous proceeds record of $80.9 million that had stood since 2006.

Annual lottery sales in the fiscal year that ended June 30 totaled $339.3 million, making it the fourth straight year that the lottery achieved record combined sales from lotto, instant-scratch and pull-tab games. Prizes to lottery players totaled $200.8 million in FY 2013, an additional $18.4 million from the previous year, and also a record for the fourth year in a row. It was the first time that Iowa Lottery prizes to players had topped $200 million.

Eye-popping Powerball® jackpots that twice topped $500 million and twice exceeded $300 million fueled the lottery's strong results for the past year. Strong sales of scratch tickets, the first product introduced by the Iowa Lottery and always one of its top-selling items, also helped lead the way.

Rich said he and the rest of the lottery team relish the latest results but know that not every year will be as lucky.

"A lot of things came together this past year to produce really strong numbers for the lottery," he said. "It was just phenomenal. No one can expect that every year, but our focus moving ahead is on consistency in a solid, long-term business plan based upon a four-year rolling average of our latest results. Statistically, we know our numbers will fluctuate from year to year, but we anticipate that the lottery will continue on an upward trend."

The unaudited figures released Wednesday show that lottery proceeds to state causes in FY 2013 were up 7.9 percent from the previous year's total of $78.7 million and well ahead of budget for the year. The lottery's sales increased 9.1 percent from the previous year's total of $310.9 million and also were well ahead of projections.

Another highlight of the lottery's FY 2013 results was the $2.1 million it raised for the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund to benefit our state's veterans and their families. The lottery has now met or exceeded its goal of providing between $2 million and $3 million for the Trust Fund each year since it began raising proceeds for that cause in 2008.

"We're reminded every year how much Iowans are committed to veterans' causes," Rich said.

Mike Klappholz, a retired Cedar Rapids police chief who chairs the Iowa Lottery Board, commended the lottery for a remarkable year.

"The members of the Lottery Board know that the lottery's positive impact in Iowa extends beyond the proceeds it provides for state programs," Klappholz said. "As residents from across the state, we especially note that local Iowa businesses received a record $22.1 million in commissions from the lottery for selling its products in FY 2013. That's a $2 million increase from the year before. I congratulate the lottery team and its retailers on a truly notable year."

Another significant financial development for the lottery in FY 2013 came when it was able to pay off its bonds six years early. In order to buy ticket-vending machines and its headquarters building, the lottery had issued $8.8 million in revenue bonds in October 2004 with a maturity date of June 2019. However, the entire remaining principal and interest of a little more than $1 million was paid off on June 5.

Rich said that the lottery looks to build on its success by keeping focus on its key missions of providing innovative entertainment to players; efficient business practices throughout its operations; and a consistent focus on security and integrity. Specifically in the next year, he said the lottery will concentrate on updating some of its lotto games; adding additional second-chance drawings through its VIP Club that allow players to enter non-winning tickets for a chance to win prizes; and enhancing its game offerings in bars and "big-box" retail locations.

"It's so rewarding to see the millions of dollars in additional help that the lottery has provided for state causes," Rich said. "Time and again this past year, an incredible set of circumstances combined to produce extraordinary results. But we're into a new year now so we're back at work to try to build that success again."

Here is a year-to-year comparison of annual lottery sales by product:

  FY 2013 FY 2012
Instant-scratch games $202.3 million $188.8 million
Pick 3 $6.8 million $6.7 million
Powerball $81.4 million $57.9 million
Mega Millions $13.3 million $22.3 million
Hot Lotto $11.7 million $10.5 million
Pick 4 $3.1 million $2.8 million
Iowa's $100,000 Cash Game $4.5 million $4.3 million
Pull-tab games $16.2 million $17.4 million
TOTAL SALES $339.3 million $310.9 million


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