Iowa Lottery sales dip 4.8% due to COVID-19, lack of huge jackpots

    The Iowa Lottery saw a dip in sales as the coronavirus pandemic spread. (Logo courtesy of Iowa Lottery)

    Iowa Lottery sales fell 4.8% in the budget year that ended June 30, despite a new record in sales of scratch-off tickets. 

    The drop to $372 million from $390.9 million meant the lottery sent $81.5 million to help the state pay for services. Despite the 12.3% decrease, according to unaudited results, the lottery reported that it met its budget targets for the year. Lottery players also had to make do with $236.3 million in prizes, a 2.3% decrease from the previous year. 

    A lack of huge jackpots softened sales of national lotto games such Mega Millions and Powerball, as did the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said. However, sales of scratch-off tickets hit a record $262.4 million, and some outlets had trouble keeping a full supply on hand.

    Lottery sales commissions to the retail locations that sell its tickets totaled $24.3 million.

    Perry Beeman
    Senior reporter Perry Beeman has nearly 40 years of experience in Iowa journalism and has won national awards for environmental and business writing. He has written for The Des Moines Register and the Business Record, where he also served as managing editor. He also is former editorial director of Grinnell College. He co-authored the recently published book, "The $80 Billion Gamble," which details the lottery-rigging case of Eddie Tipton.