Press Room

March 2012 Results: Lottery Proceeds Top Annual Budgeted Total With Three Months Still To Go

Lottery Sets Another Sales Record For Total From Lotto, Scratch And Pull-Tabs

DES MOINES, Iowa - The latest figures show that Iowa Lottery proceeds to state causes have already topped what was budgeted for the entire fiscal year, with three months still to go.

Lifted by huge sales leading up to the world-record $656 million Mega Millions® jackpot drawing on March 30 and continued strong sales of instant-scratch games, lottery sales in March totaled more than $34.8 million - the highest monthly sales total ever for the lottery's core products.

Lottery proceeds to state causes also were strong in March, hitting more than $10 million - a 30 percent increase from March 2011 - and the second-highest monthly proceeds total in the lottery's history.

Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said the lottery is on pace for another record year.

"Playing the lottery is something that's completely optional and we work hard to find new ideas and concepts that our players will continue to enjoy," Rich said Wednesday as the March figures were announced. "These results are the reward for hard work combined with good business oversight from the Lottery Board and the many other sources of input that the lottery receives."

Rich said the lottery had conservatively projected that its proceeds to state causes would total about $58.7 million for fiscal year 2012, which ends June 30. Total proceeds through the end of March, however, had already topped $60.4 million.

"The lottery focuses on operating as an entrepreneurial business and we're pleased to see that our work is reaping benefits for the state," he said. "And we're having fun while we're at it."

March is now the lottery's highest sales month ever for its core products, topping February's total that had just set that record a month earlier. The March total of $34.8 million in combined sales from lotto, scratch and pull-tab tickets beat February's total by more than $4 million. Mega Millions sales in March in Iowa totaled nearly $8.3 million as players got in on a chance at that monster Mega Millions jackpot.

March also became the fourth month in a row with record scratch-ticket sales in Iowa. The monthly total of nearly $18 million topped February's previous record of $17.5 million. January and December also had set records at the time only to be outpaced the next month.

Brad Schroeder of Pleasant Hill, an attorney who chairs the Iowa Lottery Board, said it is gratifying to see the lottery's work paying off.

"The lottery has been able to provide tremendous help for the state by focusing on bottom-line proceeds," he said.

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; strong support from the retail community; 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.

Through the end of March, lottery proceeds to help veterans and their families through the Veterans Trust Fund had topped $2.2 million for the fiscal year and nearly $10.8 million since lottery games to help veterans debuted in Iowa in July 2008.

"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.