The Iowa Lottery is seeing big benefits from a special scratch ticket it launched to commemorate the organization’s 30th anniversary. The ticket called “30 Somethings” hit $3.1 million in sales its first 5 months.
Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich, says that’s the hottest start ever for a new scratch ticket. “It’s been a great year, this 30 Somethings ticket has really gone over big time. Part that is the design — its on an eco scratch ticket — and part of that I think is because gas prices are low and people have more discretionary dollars,” Rich says.
The brisk sales of that ticket will help the Iowa Lottery finish ahead of budget projections for the amount of profits going to the state when the fiscal year ends June 30th.
“We told the legislature we’d bring in about $68 million this year, and it looks like we are going to top 70, maybe 73 million dollars or better,” Rich says. Information shared at the Iowa Lottery Board’s meeting Thursday showed overall scratch ticket sales in Iowa are up 19 percent in the calendar year compared to last year.
Rich says big Powerball or Megamillions jackpots often push revenue up, but scratch tickets have been doing that lately.”Lottery tickets are sometimes fickle, you have a big jackpot and you sell a lot of tickets. If you don’t have a big jackpot, you sell quite a few, but not as many,” Rich explains. “We try to budget over a five-year-average so we can continue to deliver to the legislature, and so far we haven’t disappointed.”
The Lottery Board gave final approval to the budget for the next fiscal year, and it projects a slight increase over last year’s projection of profits for the state. “This coming year we’re budgeting $69 millions as our projection, again to make sure to the legislature, that what we project is what we deliver,” Rich says.
The new budget includes a 2.5 percent increase in pay for non-contract employees. It also includes a 4.5 percent step increase for those who are not at the top of their pay range, which Rich says is two employees. Those employees also pay 20 percent of their health care premium.