Ioewa Lottery CEO Terry Rich (file photo)

Preliminary figures released today by the Iowa lottery show a record year in sales and profits. Lottery CEO Terry Rich says the core products of lottery raised almost $68-million for the state.

Those profits came on just over $271-million in sales for the fiscal year which ended June 30, and it was the most sales for their core products since the lottery started in 1985. The $68-million turned over to the state was up 17% from last year.

Rich says he believes the lottery does well in a bad economy because it is a local product and he says it’s inexpensive, as “you’re able for a couple of bucks to dream about what might be.” Rich says setting records puts the pressure on to keep getting better.

He says the historic amount they are turning over to the general fund and giving back $10-million more than expected is “a pretty good feeling to know that you’ve done that.” But he says with the tough economic times they need to keep giving players rewards and entertainment, because if they don’t win, they don’t play, and he says that is a delicate balance.

Rich says they also hit a new record for money raised through the sale of the veterans tickets. He says they raised over three million dollars so the tickets have raised over eight million for the Veterans Trust Fund since they began selling them. Rich says people like to give for special causes.

Rich says lottery players took home $159-million in prizes, an increase of 5.6% over last year.