January sales for the Iowa Lottery were the highest thus far for the fiscal year that began in July. Lottery C.E.O. Terry Rich says overall sales have remained well ahead of last year.
Rich says the year-to-date sales just topped $152-million and proceeds topped $39-million. Sales are up 7% and net proceeds are up 22%. Rich says one factor involved in the increased net proceeds is the timing of scratch ticket winners.
He says they have a couple of tickets where they print two or three years worth, and they don’t know when the winners will be cashed in. Two years ago they did not have any big scratch game winners, while last year they had a couple, and that impacts the bottom line. Rich says higher gas prices are the one thing he sees that could slow tickets sales.
Rich says lottery tickets are a discretionary expense, so if you have to pay more money for gas, you might not have an extra dollar or two to spend on the lottery. January sales were just over $21.4 million, with net proceeds to the state of nearly $6.4 million.