CLIVE, Iowa — As luck would have it, ticket sales for the Iowa Lottery have increased during the pandemic.
Through the first 11 months of this fiscal year, Iowa Lottery sales totaled over $417 million.
This is a nearly 25 percent increase in its yearly lottery sales performance and surpasses the previous 12-month record, which was $390.8 million in 2019.
Scratch cards have remained the top seller this year. However, Powerball and Megamillions both had big jackpot runs between December and January hitting $700 million at the same time.
With this sales boom, the Iowa Lottery is able to give nearly $95 million to state programs, including the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund, a survivor program for families who have lost a loved one in the line of duty, and a general fund to pay for a variety of other causes such as education, environment, and agriculture.
This increase in sales also led to bigger prize payouts. Iowa Lottery said it believes this sales boom was due to more people being in the house and wanting a contact-less form of entertainment. However, Vice President for External Relations for the Iowa Lottery, Mary Neubauer said, she does expect sales to return to normal soon.
“The lottery probably has picked up some players that it didn’t have before this, but I don’t think that the numbers are going to hold where they are,” Neubauer said. “Just because now, movie theaters are open again, restaurants are opening, sports games are being played again. So now, some of those options that folks who didn’t have during the pandemic are back.”
Iowa Lottery will have the final figures for the 2021 fiscal year at the end of this month.