Published: July 4, 2022

Lottery Sees Big Fiscal Year, With Potential Slowdown Ahead

Statewide, Iowa — Iowa Lottery CEO, Matt Strawn, says the fiscal year ended Thursday on a very good note.

Strawn told the Lottery Board this completes the most successful two years of sales in the 37-year history of the Iowa Lottery — with only two years in which total lottery sales have surpassed 430 million dollars.

Scratch tickets make up two-thirds of the Lottery’s revenue and May scratch ticket sales were down 17-point-five percent compared to the previous May. Strawn says that closely coincides with rising gas prices.

He showed the Lottery Board a chart comparing gas price increases and the drop in scratch ticket sales.

Strawn says a June survey in Convenience Store News shows 53 percent of convenience retailers surveyed expect sales to be lower this summer compared to last summer. Strawn says this is a note of caution that the Iowa Lottery will continue to face a challenging economic environment in the new fiscal year.


FY 2021 Results: Iowa Lottery Proceeds Top $100 Million for First Time

CLIVE, Iowa - The Iowa Lottery released its annual results on Wednesday, with its sales, proceeds to state causes, prizes to players, and commissions paid to Iowa retailers all setting records in fiscal year 2021.

"The Iowa Lottery delivered on its promise of responsibly generating revenue for important Iowa causes, even amidst an enormously challenging period," said Iowa Lottery CEO Matt Strawn. "Iowans found Lottery tickets a safe, local entertainment option as they spent more time at home while navigating a global pandemic. The efforts of the Iowa Lottery team and its retail partners were instrumental in safely keeping our operation open for business while exceeding expectations."

The preliminary figures released Wednesday show that the Iowa Lottery generated a record $101.7 million in proceeds to state causes for the fiscal year that ended June 30. Annual lottery sales in FY 2021 were a record $452.6 million, while prizes to players totaled a record $288.9 million. Lottery sales commissions to the retail locations that sell tickets totaled $29.7 million, also a record for traditional lottery products.

Josh Cook of Ankeny, chair of the Iowa Lottery Board, said he was pleased to see the lottery's financial results and noted other positives for the lottery during the year. Those included statewide awareness messages for National Problem Gambling Awareness Month and support for public health initiatives designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Cook, who is the chief executive of a leading Iowa credit union, also noted that the lottery received a clean audit from the State Auditor's Office, and had annual operating expenses well below budget.

"This was a year of adjustment and adaptation for the Iowa Lottery as it was for us all," Cook said. "As a citizen Board member, it has been gratifying to see the integrity, public-mindedness and Iowa work ethic actively demonstrated by the lottery and the local businesses that sell its products."

The unaudited results released Wednesday show that Iowa Lottery sales in FY 2021 increased nearly 22 percent from the previous year's total of $372 million.

Lottery proceeds to state causes in FY 2021 increased nearly 25 percent from the previous year, and prizes to players increased 22 percent from the previous year's total.

The lottery's FY 2021 results were positively impacted by two main factors: a spike in scratch ticket sales and two significant jackpots in national lotto games.

The jackpots in Mega Millions® and Powerball® simultaneously topped the $700 million mark for the first time in January, with the Mega Millions prize in particular growing to more than $1 billion, the second-largest prize in the history of that game. The twin huge prizes generated a corresponding surge in sales in both games.

Scratch-ticket sales in Iowa, which have set annual records each year since FY 2015, did so again in FY 2021, totaling $316.9 million. That is an increase of $54.5 million from the previous year's total for that product.

Strawn noted that the lottery's robust sales results in FY 2021 were likely an outlier driven by the unique circumstances of changing consumer behavior in the midst of a public health emergency.

"We anticipate that as consumer behavior continues to normalize, Iowa Lottery sales in the coming years will return to more modest growth patterns," he said.

A highlight for FY 2021 was the $2.5 million the lottery raised for the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund to benefit the state's veterans and their families. The lottery now has raised nearly $32.4 million for the Veterans Trust Fund since it began providing proceeds to that cause in 2008. In FY 2021, the lottery also provided proceeds to both the Public Safety Survivor Benefits Fund and Department of Corrections Survivor Benefits Fund, which help with insurance costs for the families of Iowa peace officers, fire fighters and corrections employees who die in the line of duty.

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

Product FY 2021 Sales FY 2020 Sales
Scratch games $316.9 million $262.4 million
InstaPlay games $23.5 million $16.3 million
Pick 3 $9.5 million $8.5 million
Powerball $43.4 million $36.4 million
Mega Millions $29 million $20.4 million
Pick 4 $5.5 million $5 million
Lucky for Life $5.5 million $5.3 million
Lotto America $6.4 million $6.8 million
Pull-tab games $12.8 million $10.8 million



The Top 10 retailers in Iowa for lottery sales in FY 2021 were in six different communities:

Retailer Address City FY 2021 Sales
Jiffy 111 S. Third Ave. Marshalltown $1,309,725.50
Hy-Vee 1843 Johnson Ave NW Cedar Rapids $1,116,374
Jiffy 3718 SW Ninth St Des Moines $1,088,180.50
Hy-Vee Drugstore 1520 Sixth St. SW Cedar Rapids $951,330.50
Hy-Vee 20 Wilson Ave Cedar Rapids $917,596.50
Hy-Vee 2540 E Euclid Ave Des Moines $873,377
Porter's Convenient 66 1512 Lincoln Way Clinton $869,701
Mad Ave Quik Shop 405 S Madison Ave Ottumwa $803,870.50
Midtown 1100 E. Fifth St Storm Lake $783,134
Albia Road BP 1340 Albia Road Ottumwa $781,818


Five Iowa Lottery players won prizes of at least $500,000 during FY 2021:

Winner City Game Prize Claim Date
Anton Garrett Waterloo Powerball $2 million May 10, 2021
Karen Kramer Urbana Mega Millions $1 million June 10, 2021
Eugene Dice Sergeant Bluff Powerball $500,000 Feb. 24, 2021
Gayle Fraker Clinton Powerball $500,000 July 20, 2020
Tu Kha Maung Waterloo Powerball $500,000 July 10, 2020 

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