The Iowa Lottery is seeing sales continue to exceed expectations as the organization looks for a new place to operate its headquarters. “Lottery sales continue to be really strong for these first two months of this fiscal year,” CEO Terry Rich says. He says scratch tickets are strong, but it’s the continued large jackpots in the Powerball game that have driven sales.
Rich says it will be tough to match the Powerball big jackpot runs of last November, March and May, but he expects them have another good year.
The Iowa Lottery had record sales of $339-million last year with nearly $85-million dollars in profit. With business doing well, Rich says they want to keep it that way and are looking at avoiding some potential problems with their headquarters building in Des Moines.
“We’ve done a lot of evaluation on what we need to do to budget to keep our current building up, our current building,” Rich explains. “We had a couple of engineers come in and realized that the current HVAC system is quite old and actually is a system that is no longer supportable with equipment. So, what we’re doing is looking at what it would take to completely renovate the current building, or sell this building and move to another location.”
He says the heating and cooling system is vital to keeping the lottery sales going. “If we were to stay in this facility and for some reason that system would go down, we’d loose a lot of money operationally. We sell about a million dollars a day,” according to Rich. “So we believe that it is important the we have some urgency in either moving or trying to get this fixed up — so that we don’t lose those additional dollars.”
The current Iowa Lottery headquarters is near the Terrace Hill governor’s mansion east of downtown Des Moines. The headquarters moved there about 10 years ago from a building up the street. “The number one thing in looking for a building when you are a state entity is what is the most cost-effective, what’s the best deal for use and the taxpayers of the state of Iowa,” Rich says.
He says they may be able to downsize in looking at a different building and be a lot more cost effective and save money over the years by moving to a different location. The Lottery is working with the Department of Administrative Services to seek out suggestions on a possible new building. You can find out more at the DAS website.
Rich says they have set Friday as the deadline for input. They will then move forward and look at their options.