North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries Where the Money Goes
Matt Strawn
Matt Strawn
President & CEO

Iowa Lottery Authority

  • $370,956,887
  • $87,096,200
    Transfers to Beneficiaries
  • $227,491,072
    Prizes Paid to Players
  • 2,346
* Information displayed reflects data collected for fiscal year 2018

Lottery Impact on the Economy

  • In Iowa, 2,346 retailers generated $370,956,887 in gross sales.
  • This economic activity generated $87,096,200 in transfers to beneficiaries.
  • $227,491,072 was awarded to players in prizes.

History of Iowa Lottery Authority

Legislation creating Iowa’s lottery was signed into law in April 1985. The Lottery began ticket sales just four months later with a kickoff celebration at the Iowa State Fair on August 22. More than 6.4 million Scratch, Match and Win instant tickets were sold during the first week of sales.

The Iowa Lottery’s first draw game was Iowa LOTTO, which debuted on April 30, 1986. Two years later, the multistate Lotto*America launched in Iowa and six other states; the game was the precursor to Powerball, which was co-designed by founding Iowa Lottery commissioner Ed Stanek.

There are several industry firsts in the Iowa Lottery’s history. It was the first American lottery to offer pulltabs in 1987. Iowa also debuted the CD-ROM based Treasure Tower in 2000, the first time any U.S. lottery offered a scratch game playable on a personal computer. Additionally, Iowa was the first to introduce Touch Play, electronic instant pulltab vending machines, which were in use from 2003 to 2006.

Lottery proceeds originally were earmarked for the Iowa Plan, a long-term economic development program. In 1991, they were designated for environmental and cultural programs, but just one year later proceeds were directed to the state’s General Fund, where they can be used as needed.

Today, the Iowa Lottery also helps support both the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund and Vision Iowa.

The Veterans Trust Fund was created to provide assistance to qualified veterans and their families for expenses such as job training or college tuition assistance; dental, vision and hearing assistance; and individual or family counseling programs.The Iowa Lottery currently provides $2.5 million annually in proceeds to the program.

Vision Iowa, implemented in 2000, is a program established to create tourism destinations in the state, assist with community attractions, and build and repair schools. It is primarily funded by revenues from casino gaming in the state; however, up to $20 million of lottery revenues may be used annually to supplement the program – $15 million for community attractions in Iowa and another $5 million for programs that build and repair schools.

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