The Iowa Lottery has experienced an uptick in the sale of scratch tickets so far this year. Lottery CEO Terry Rich talked about the sales following the Iowa Lottery Board’s meeting today in Des Moines. “Sales of scratch tickets for the Iowa Lottery have been absolutely in the historic record area for the last five months. It began in July, August, September, October and now November,” Rich says.
Rich says there are a couple of reasons for the increase in sales. “Scratch tickets are local. People during the holidays like to give them as gifts and also gas prices have been coming down and that means discretionary income when someone goes to or convenience store (they are) able to have a little extra money for bottle of pop or scratch ticket,” Rich explains.
The Iowa Lottery had sold nearly 82 million dollars worth of scratch tickets through the end of November. That’s about $6.5 million ahead of the scratch ticket sales at the same time last year. Rich says with the lack of large jackpots in the Powerball and other games, the scratch ticket sales have helped the overall bottom line.
“As we look through the first five months, the Iowa Lottery is right on target and ahead of our five-year average and right on budget — even in somewhat a soft economy for the state in general,” Rich says. “And again, I think it’s part of the convenience and the low price. For a couple of bucks you can have some fun with a lottery ticket.” The budget projection for this fiscal year is $68.7 million dollars.
One game that hasn’t lived up to expectations is the Monopoly Millionaires’ Club. Rich says there are several reasons it has lagged. “We launched the Monopoly Millionaires’ Club in the middle of an election, in the middle of a Powerball jackpot run, in the middle of a Mega Millions jackpot run, and in the middle of some really strong holiday scratch ticket sales — so they haven’t been quite what we hoped them to be. That’s okay, because it’s the consumer who gets to decide which tickets to buy and what to do,” Rich says.
The Monopoly Millionaires’ Club is a $5 ticket that began selling on October 19th. The Iowa Lottery says around $409,000 worth of the tickets were sold in October and November.