The governor’s choice to head the Iowa Lottery has cleared his first hurdle toward winning confirmation to the job from the Iowa Senate. The Senate State Government Committee endorsed Terry Rich’s nomination to be chief executive officer of the Iowa Lottery this afternoon.
In an interview with Radio Iowa and The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Rich called the Lottery a "mature" institution. "The Lottery is much more exciting than I originally anticipated," Rich said. Rather than introduce new products, Rich’s goal is to enhance the "socially acceptable" lottery products, like Powerball and scratch tickets.
"People are playing those, enjoying those. It’s great entertainment," Rich said. "If we can find a way to increase that and help the state of Iowa, then we’ll have a real success." Rich envisions having lottery games promote Iowa tourism designations, for example.
"Finding ways to promote the Honey Creek Resort and the Storm Lake Water Park and all of these facilities around the state that are so great," Rich says. "Of we can merge those two (ideas) together, then I think it adds a more and a better social responsibility (to the Lottery) that’ll benefit the state in many ways."
Rich replaces Ed Stanek who led the Lottery for over two decades — from its start in 1985 until his retirement in October, 2007. More than a year later, Governor Culver chose Rich to head the Lottery and Rich admits
"Dr. Stanek is definitely a hard act to follow in that he was a genius in setting up the operations and I think my job and my experience will be of creating the next step in what the Lottery can be," Rich said. Rich was C-E-O of the Blank Park Zoo from 2003 until a few weeks ago.
Rich was also involved in Heritage Communications, a cable TV company that started in Iowa, and has a history in radio, too, both behind the microphone and in the executive suite. Rich must win the "yes" votes of two-thirds of state senators to win confirmation to the job at the Lottery, for which he’ll earn an annual salary of 170-thousand dollars.