The government shutdown in Minnesota is leading to boost in sales of lottery tickets in Iowa. State government offices in Minnesota closed last Friday after the legislature and governor failed to reach a budget agreement. The shutdown closed all lottery terminals in the state.
Iowa Lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer says stores near the Minnesota border are seeing a lot of lottery players cross the state line.
The Jo Stop convenience store, located along Interstate 35 near Northwood, has reported lottery sales running at two to three times the normal volume before the Minnesota government shutdown.
Officials with a Casey’s General Store in Esterville have reported a 30% increase in lottery sales, while a Kum & Go in Spirit Lake has seen a 25% increase. “I think for the bottom line of the lottery and for the bottom line of the State of Iowa, we’re seeing a boost in income and a boost in revenue to the state because of the government shutdown in Minnesota,” Neubauer said.
“It’s too early for me to be able to say overall what the impact is, but looking at the impact we’re seeing at these individual locations, I know there’s going to be an overall sales increase here in Iowa.”
The individual stores in Iowa are also raking in extra cash. “When people go into convenience stores to buy lottery tickets, they’re also buying gas, pop, magazines and snacks, so…I’m sure they’re seeing an increase in business for all sorts of items,” Neubauer said.