The Iowa Lottery provides a variety of information about the odds in its games and the prizes available in them. (Please click on the pages for individual games to learn more.)
The numbers will vary over time, depending upon the games offered and tickets purchased, but here is another way of analyzing the percentages: For every $1 spent, X cents is returned to the player in prizes.
In announcing the findings of its annual audit of the Iowa Lottery, the Auditor of State's Office provides an analysis of lottery prizes awarded. Here is an excerpt from the Auditor's information about the lottery for fiscal year 2013:
Scratch ticket prizes = 63 percent of instant-scratch ticket sales
Pick 3 prizes = 59 percent of Pick 3 sales
Pick 4 prizes = 59 percent of Pick 4 sales
Powerball prizes = 49 percent of Powerball sales
Mega Millions prizes = 49 percent of Mega Millions sales
Hot Lotto prizes = 48 percent of Hot Lotto sales
Pull-tab prizes = 63 percent of pull-tab sales
Note: Iowa's $100,000 Cash Game ended on Jan. 25, 2014. The All or Nothing game began on Jan. 28, 2014, so its prizes will be included in analysis for fiscal year 2014.