The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

July 29, 2013

Lottery profits rise but some still question games

DES MOINES — Whether your pleasure is scraping off scratch tickets, playing the Pick 3 game or hoping for a giant Powerball payout, the Iowa Lottery is ready to make the sale. And judging by a record year for the nearly 30-year-old operation, state residents are definitely lining up to take their chances.

But the lottery began in Iowa with some trepidation, and opposition to the games remains even as profits rise.

Lottery officials announced last week that during the fiscal year which ended June 30, the Iowa lottery sold $339 million in tickets, gave out about $201 million in prizes and yielded almost $85 million for the state, most of which now goes into the general fund. Those are the biggest numbers in the 28 years the lottery has been in business.

“I think it was because the products we had met an entertainment value,” said Lottery CEO Terry Rich, who noted that lottery tickets are an optional purchase. “I think our mix was exceptional.”

The agency’s sales have ballooned since then it was established in 1985 by the Legislature and the governor. During the lottery’s first year, just one game was offered and $85 million in tickets were sold, $39 million given out in prices and nearly $28 million in proceeds went to the state.

Even as sales have grown, some question the lottery’s value.

David Osterberg, a former state lawmaker from Mt. Vernon and a University of Iowa professor, said he thought lottery tickets were a negative for the state.

“I’m an opponent of gambling because it preys upon people who don’t have much money and can’t do math. You can do almost anything better than gamble,” said Osterberg who said he voted against the lottery in 1985, though he approved a lottery plan in a previous year. “If I were to put it on a scale, I would say casinos were much worse than the lottery. But none of them are good.”

Text Only
AP story section
  • Iraq violence threatens OPEC's precarious balance NEW YORK (AP) -- The oil market has balanced out quite nicely for OPEC in recent years. Now, upheaval in Iraq shows that balance may be more precarious than it has seemed. Dramatic changes in oil production around the globe have offset each other ins

    June 13, 2014

  • Board of Trade Grain mixed, livestock mostly higher CHICAGO (AP) -- Grain futures were mixed Thursday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for July delivery was 1 cent higher at $5.9025 a bushel; July corn was 1.25 cents lower at $4.4075 a bushel; July oats were unchanged at $3.4625 a

    June 13, 2014

  • Health campaign among nation's costliest CHICAGO -- President Barack Obama's home state agreed to spend $33 million in federal money promoting his health care law, hiring a high-priced public relations firm for work that initially was mocked and spending far more per enrollee on television

    June 13, 2014

  • Some states roll back teacher tenure protections WASHINGTON (AP) -- Even before a judge's scathing ruling against California's teacher tenure policies, the once-sacred protections that make it harder to fire teachers already had been weakened in many states -- and even removed altogether in some pl

    June 13, 2014

  • Tigers' Scherzer outduels Sale CHICAGO -- Max Scherzer already has a Cy Young Award. Now he has a complete game. Scherzer tossed a three-hitter in his 179th career start for his first complete game and Victor Martinez hit his 16th homer to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 4-0 win over

    June 13, 2014

  • $40M casino for rural Iowa approved BURLINGTON (AP) -- The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has voted 3-2 to grant a license for a $40 million casino development that would be located in rural central Iowa. Supporters of the Jefferson casino burst into applause during a meeting in Bur

    June 13, 2014

  • Principal case leads to two hearings RED OAK -- Two hearings are planned related to a southwest Iowa school district's plan to fire a high school principal. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reported the effort to fire Red Oak High School Principal Jedd Sherman will be the subject of a

    June 13, 2014

  • U.S. split outgrows voting booth WASHINGTON (AP) -- Political polarization in America has broken out of the voting booth. A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds Americans are divided by ideology and partisanship not only when they cast ballots, but also in choosing where to

    June 13, 2014

  • Cubs' offense no help for Samardzija PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Samardzija has some advice his pitching brethren when it comes to facing streaking Andrew McCutchen. Don't. The way the Chicago Cubs' ace looks at it, trying to get the Pittsburgh Pirates' star out at the moment only opens yourself

    June 13, 2014

  • State to reopen Juvenile Home DES MOINES -- A district court judge on Wednesday ordered the state to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home, telling Gov. Terry Branstad he cannot unilaterally change a law approved by the state Legislature. Judge Scott Rosenberg said the home in Toledo was

    February 6, 2014

AP Video
Facebook
National News