CEO: A ‘safe, local entertainment option’ in pandemic
CLIVE — Iowa Lottery officials closed the books Wednesday on a record-breaking fiscal year that saw new highs for sales of lottery products, prizes to players and proceeds to the state.
Preliminary figures show annual lottery sales for fiscal 2021, which ended June 30, topped $452.6 million, while prizes to players totaled a record $288.9 million. The state’s gambling enterprise generated a record $101.7 million in proceeds to the treasury for the 12-month period.
“The Iowa Lottery delivered on its promise of responsibly generating revenue for important Iowa causes, even amidst an enormously challenging period,” said a statement from Iowa Lottery Chief Executive Officer Matt Strawn.
“Iowans found lottery tickets a safe, local entertainment option as they spent more time at home while navigating a global pandemic,” he added. “The efforts of the Iowa Lottery team and its retail partners were instrumental in safely keeping our operation open for business while exceeding expectations.”
The unaudited results released Wednesday show that Iowa Lottery sales during the fiscal year increased nearly 22 percent from the previous year’s total of $372 million. Also, lottery proceeds to state causes increased nearly 25 percent and prizes to players increased 22 percent.
According to lottery officials, fiscal 2021’s results were positively impacted by a spike in scratch ticket sales and two significant jackpots in national lotto games that simultaneously topped the $700 million mark for the first time in January that generated a corresponding surge in sales in both games.
Scratch-ticket sales in Iowa totaled $316.9 million — an increase of $54.5 million in year-over-year numbers that marked another record year dating to fiscal 2015.
According to Strawn, fiscal 2021’s robust lottery sales results likely were an outlier driven by the unique circumstances of changing consumer behavior in the midst of a public health emergency.
“We anticipate that as consumer behavior continues to normalize, Iowa Lottery sales in the coming years will return to more modest growth patterns,” he said.
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