Iowa Lottery Sees Record Year, Tops $100 Million In Proceeds For FY21

Posted By Russ Mitchell on July 30, 2021 - Last Updated on July 29, 2021

Those big lottery jackpots from January continue to pay off for the state of Iowa.

Iowa Lottery officials released the preliminary fiscal year 2021 figures Wednesday. For the first time, the IA Lottery passed $100 million in proceeds to state causes. The Iowa Lottery Board cited two main factors in its record budget year, which came to a close June 30:

  • A spike in scratch tickets: Sales went from $262.4 million in FY20 to $316.9 million in FY21 for a $54.5 million increase.
  • The Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots: Both games simultaneously topped the $700 million mark for the first time in January, according to the lottery. The Mega Millions prize passed $1 billion, which was the second-largest prize in the game’s history.

According to the IA Lottery report, scratch ticket sales set a new record for the sixth year in a row. Iowa Lottery CEO Matt Strawn released a statement with the annual numbers:

“Iowans found lottery tickets (to be) a safe, local entertainment option as they spent more time at home.”

Lottery has big side-by-side jackpots again

Growing Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots could get FY22 off to a fast start.

No one won Mega Millions on Tuesday, so that jackpot is up to $166 million for Friday’s drawing. Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing didn’t produce a winner, so Saturday’s jackpot is $199 million.

Iowa customers will soon have more chances to win, by the way.

Right now, players can buy Powerball tickets for drawings Wednesday and Saturday nights. Starting Aug. 23, Powerball will add a third drawing on Mondays.

Lucky for Life is more frequent, too. Drawings were Mondays and Thursdays. That game moved to daily drawings on July 19.

In April, Mary Neubauer, the Iowa Lottery vice president for external relations, told PlayIA to watch for more frequent changes:

“Long-term, there just remain challenges for the lotto category. And it’s something that not only the Iowa Lottery is talking about and working on, but other lotteries around the country also are working together, just to try to figure out what the long-term strategy is going to be for games like Powerball and Mega Millions.”

Nearly all Iowa Lottery products saw FY21 gains

Iowa outlets sold $43.4 million in Powerball plays over the past 12 months. That’s a $7 million increase from FY20. Mega Millions had a 12-month total of $29 million in sales. That’s an increase of $8.6 million when compared with $20.4 million in FY20 sales.

Lottery officials saw sales increases in eight of nine game categories overall:

ProductFY21 SalesFY20 SalesChange
Scratch games$316.9 million$262.4 million+$54.5 million
Mega Millions$29 million$20.4 million+$8.6 million
InstaPlay games$23.5 million$16.3 million+$7.2 million
Powerball$43.4 million$36.4 million+$7 million
Pick 3$9.5 million$8.5 million+$1 million
Pull-tab games$12.8 million$10.8 million+$2 million
Pick 4$5.5 million$5 million+$500,000
Lucky for Life$5.5 million$5.3 million+$200,000
Lotto America$6.4 million$6.8 million-$400,000

Other notes:

  • At $452.6 million, Iowa Lottery sales across the nine categories increased by almost 22%. It was $372 million the previous year.
  • The $101.7 million in proceeds to state causes was nearly a 25% increase from the previous year.
  • Prizes to players set a record at $288.9 million, which reflects a 22% increase.

In Wednesday’s Iowa Lottery update, Strawn said the lottery’s robust sales “were likely an outlier” because consumer behavior changed during the public health emergency.

“As consumer behavior continues to normalize, Iowa Lottery sales in the coming years will return to more modest growth patterns.”

Retail lotto locations also enjoyed the windfall

Lottery sales commissions to the retail locations totaled $29.7 million. That also was a record for traditional lottery products. The top 10 sales locations came from six Iowa cities:

LocationCityFY21 Lottery Sales
Jiffy Convenience Store (S. Third Avenue)Marshalltown$1,309,725.50
Jiffy Convenience Store (S.W. Ninth Street)Des Moines$1,088,180.50
Hy-Vee Drugstore (Sixth Street S.W.)Cedar Rapids$951,330.50
Hy-Vee (Wilson Avenue)Cedar Rapids$917,596.50
Hy-Vee (Johnson Avenue)Cedar Rapids$1,116,374
Quik Shop (Madison Avenue)Ottumwa$803,870.50
Hy-Vee (Euclid Avenue)Des Moines$873,377
Porter's Convenient 66 Store (Lincoln Way)Clinton$869,701
Midtown LiquorStorm Lake$783,134
Albia Road BP Convenience StoreOttumwa$781,818

Five Iowa Lottery players won prizes of at least $500,000 in the past 12 months:

  • $500,000 Powerball wins: Tu Kha Maung of Waterloo (July 10, 2020), Gayle Fracker of Clinton (July 20, 2020) and Eugene Dice of Sergeant Bluff (Feb. 24, 2021)
  • $1 million Mega Millions win: Karen Kramer of Urbana (June 10, 2021)
  • $2 million Powerball win: Anton Garrett of Waterloo (May 10, 2021)
Photo by Rogelio V. Solis / AP
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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