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Iowa's a Winner in Lottery Sales

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa Lottery announced Monday it had record sales of $210.7 million last fiscal year.

According to the Associated Press, that was up 1 percent from the previous year's sales of $208.5 million, and was the highest sales total for the lottery in its 20-year history.

The lottery raised $51.2 million in revenue for state programs during the fiscal year ended June 30, down about 8 percent from the previous year, according to unaudited figures.

Ed Stanek, chief executive of the Iowa Lottery Authority, said the cost of equipping 350 Casey's General Stores to sell lottery products and a decrease in Powerball sales affected the lottery's profits.

The lottery spent about $2 million for satellite communications equipment, ticket-vending equipment and point-of-sale material for the Casey's convenience stores.

Powerball sales were down more than 17 percent compared with the previous year.

Lottery officials said changes to the game next month are expected to revive sales. Those changes include a guaranteed starting jackpot of $15 million, up from $10 million. The prize for players who match the first five numbers but miss the Powerball will double to $200,000.

In May, the lottery began statewide sales of an electronic version of the instant scratch game known as the electronic game card. The battery-powered game called "Quarter Play" has dozens of plays on each card and is touted by the lottery for its pioneering approach to product development.

"We believe our continued focus on player entertainment through innovation positions the Iowa Lottery for ongoing success," Stanek said.

One game that fared well was Hot Lotto. Its revenue jumped nearly 23 percent to more than $2 million.

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