The head of the Iowa Lottery says preliminary figures show the sale of scratch tickets hit the highest number in the lottery’s history in November. Lottery C.E.O. Terry Rich says scratch ticket sales hit 14-point-four million dollars for the month.

Rich says they hope it’s an indicator that the economy is turning around, but also think it’s part of people spending less dollars on entertainment, and when they do spend, they do it locally and buy tickets at a local store. Rich says another factor is the promotion they are running which allows people to turn in non-winning holiday tickets for a chance to win prizes of cash or electronics.

Rich says that promotion may’ve added a little to the sales, but he says in general more people seem to be buying tickets. He says it’s important that people “play with your head, not above your” head, and spend only “discretionary dollars” on lottery tickets.

Rich says lottery sales for the first quarter are running ahead of last year.

Rich says scratch tickets are leading the sales, as he says Powerball has not had the big jackpots this year that tend to drive its sales. “We call it the Powerball Gods, the run of the Powerball Gods, that means that more people are winning at a lower jackpot,” Rich says.

Scratch tickets were the first product introduced by the Iowa Lottery and made up 56-percent of the lottery’s record sales of just over $256 million in the last fiscal year that ended in June.