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Hot Lotto® Game Being Redesigned To Offer Cash-Only Jackpot With Withholding Taxes Paid

Sales Kick Off May 12 With Special Gas Promotion For Revamped Game

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DES MOINES, Iowa - The Hot Lotto game, which offers Powerball-style play with easier odds and smaller jackpots, will be redesigned beginning May 12. The revamped game will offer a cash-only jackpot with withholding taxes paid, meaning that if the advertised jackpot is $2 million, the winner will receive a one-time, lump-sum payment for that full amount.

Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said that the updated game will be introduced with a special promotion this spring and summer offering 85 prizes of free gas. The "3X the Sizzle" promotion will allow players to purchase three Hot Lotto plays with the Sizzler for $5 (a regular $6 value) and the chance to enter a drawing for up to $500 in free gas.

"Taxes are a big discussion point when it comes to lottery prizes, and we've heard players say they'd like to see cash jackpots with withholding taxes paid," Rich said. "We're excited to be offering that very feature when we re-launch the Hot Lotto game."

The numbers available to play in Hot Lotto will change when the new version of the game begins next month. Players will choose five balls from a pool of 47 (currently 39) and another number, called the Hot Ball®, from a separate pool of 19 (unchanged). The minimum Hot Lotto jackpot will be $1 million cash with state and federal withholding taxes paid for the winner, and will grow until someone wins it. Hot Lotto jackpot winners currently can choose to receive the prize in annuitized payments over 25 years or as a one-time cash payment, with state and federal withholding applied in either instance.

"We're happy to say, 'We hear you' to our players," Rich said. "And Hot Lotto will continue to have easier odds than some of our other lotto games, something we know players like."

Hot Lotto plays will still cost $1, and the Sizzler option, which triples non-jackpot prizes, will still cost an extra $1 per play. Players can choose their own numbers or let the computer randomly select them.

In addition to the change in the jackpot, several other prize levels in the game also are increasing. The eight non-jackpot prize levels in the redesigned game will range from $2 (unchanged) for matching the Hot Ball alone up to $30,000 (currently $10,000) for matching the first five numbers but missing the Hot Ball. All nonjackpot prizes will still triple with the Sizzler option, meaning a player would win $90,000 for matching the first five numbers with the Sizzler option added.

When a player purchases a 3X the Sizzle ticket during the promotion, the lottery terminal will automatically generate a bonus offer trailing ticket containing a special code the player can enter on the lottery website for a chance to win ethanol promotional checks for free fuel from the Iowa Corn Growers Association. Players can purchase 3X the Sizzle tickets from May 12 through July 13, and can enter the promotion until noon on July 23 at www.ialottery.com.

The lottery will select 85 winners of ethanol checks in a drawing July 25. Fifty players will each win $100 in ethanol checks, 25 each will win $250 in checks and 10 each will win $500 in checks.

The number of Hot Lotto drawings for which players can purchase plays in advance will gradually decrease until the start of the revamped game, then return to the usual 10 drawings in advance once the redesign takes effect.

Hot Lotto drawings will continue to be held at 9:40 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Hot Lotto is played in Iowa, 13 other states and the District of Columbia. The overall odds of winning in the redesigned game will be about 1 in 17 (currently about 1:16), while the odds of winning the jackpot will be about 1 in 29.1 million (currently about 1 in 10.9 million).

In addition to Hot Lotto, the Iowa Lottery sells five other numbers games: Powerball®, Mega Millions®, Pick 3, Pick 4 and Iowa's $100,000 Cash Game.

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