Iowans who play Powerball could have the option of playing two other big jackpot games within the next year. Lottery directors across the country have agreed in principle to cross-sell the Powerball and Mega Millions games beginning next spring. In addition, a new national lotto game for all U.S. lotteries could be in place by late 2010.
Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich says the end result will be more winners and more money for the states. “There’s been a lot of different research showing this should increase state proceeds and profits…that exact amount, I think, will vary depending on the state,” Rich said. “We believe that it will increase our proceeds somewhat, but it’s still a little too early to tell how much that will be.”
Powerball is currently sold in Iowa and 29 other states, while Mega Millions is sold in 12 states, including Illinois. Rich believes Iowans will like having the option of playing both games. “Everybody loves to see big jackpots and Mega Millions will often have a big jackpot when Powerball’s jackpot may be a little bit less. So, people will have the choice and the opportunity to do both rather than go across state lines to do one or the other,” Rich said.
Last year, the Iowa Lottery reported just over $58 million in Powerball sales. Rich believes most Iowans will choose between playing Mega Millions and Powerball, rather than spending more money on both games. “I don’t know if it’s actually (more gaming) as much as having the opportunity to play games that people may enjoy as they’re traveling across the United States,” Rich said. Meanwhile, details of the national lotto game are still being developed.
Rich says the national game could involve a $5 ticket, increasing the potential jackpot. “It’s not been determined yet whether it’ll be a big jackpot or many, smaller million dollar jackpots,” Rich said.