Iowa Lottery scratch and pull tab tickets introduced in July to raise money for the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund have proved to be a hit.
Lottery vice president Mary Neubauer says that popularity is paying off today.
Neubauer says the Iowa Lottery will send nearly one million dollars to the trust fund today in the first payment from the sale of those tickets. Neubauer says the interest in these games is unprecedented.
“We have never gotten so much thanks, that I can remember, from releasing games to help a particular cause,” Neubauer says, “the public is very supportive of veterans, they know right where the money is going from these games, and they have been buying them because they want to support veterans.”
The Lottery projected the annual proceeds from the games would be two to three millions dollars. While the early sales have been brisk, Neubauer says the projections hold for the expected yearly proceeds. Neubauer says they are right on schedule to raise between two and three million dollars per year. Neubauer says the early sales might make some people think the proceeds will be higher, but she says new games always start out strongest in their first weeks.
The Veterans Trust Fund began in 2003 with the goal of building the fund to 50-million dollars, Neubauer says the veterans tickets provide a source of funding to help build the fund. Neubauer says Legislators weren’t always able to find money for the trust fund each year, and that’s why they came up with the idea of the lottery tickets. Neubauer says the tickets are accomplishing exactly what the legislators intended.
The scratch ticket is called “Stars and Stripes,” and features a red, white and blue theme. The pull-tab features several patriotic symbols, including the Liberty Bell and Statue of Liberty. The Iowa Veterans Trust Fund provides funding to qualified veterans for a variety of things, from unemployment assistance to vision and dental benefits.
The executive director of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs said at the unveiling of the veterans tickets in July that the fund had five million dollars in it.