Iowa Lottery sales reached record high in 2016, report says

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DES MOINES (AP) — A new report says sales of Iowa Lottery tickets spiked in the budget year that ended June 30 and generated the most revenue in the program’s 31-year history.

Backed by surging sales of instant-scratch and Powerball tickets, the Lottery brought in $366.9 million in total revenue, a $42 million increase from the prior year.

A state audit released Tuesday says $88 million of that money went to the state’s general fund and to help veteran’s programs, the highest amount for the Lottery since its start in 1985. More than $221 million went toward prize expenses.

Sales of instant-scratch tickets increased by 10.2 percent to a record $233.7 million. Powerball ticket sales surged by 43 percent to nearly $75 million as players were enticed by a new formula that made for larger jackpots.