Iowa Lottery

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The Iowa Lottery is run by the government of Iowa. It is a charter member of, and home to, the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), which administers its games on behalf of the member lotteries. The Iowa Lottery portfolio includes Hot Lotto, Mega Millions, Powerball, Lucky for Life, All or Nothing, Pick 3, Pick 4, plus numerous instant scratch ticket, InstaPlay and pull-tab games.

The largest prize won on an Iowa Lottery ticket was approximately $241 million; it was the only jackpot-winning ticket sold for the June 13, 2012 drawing of Powerball. A group of 20 cereal factory workers held claim to the ticket, choosing the $160 million (before withholdings) cash option.

Iowa Lottery history[edit]

Legislation creating Iowa's lottery was signed into law in April 1985; the Lottery began sales on August 22, 1985, with a kickoff celebration at the Iowa State Fair.

The first product sold by the Iowa Lottery was an instant-scratch game called Scratch, Match and Win; players bought more than 6.4 million tickets during its first week.

The Iowa Lottery has raised more than $1.7 billion for programs (reaching $1 billion in March 2006) while awarding more than $3.8 billion in prizes.

The Lottery sells tickets in four general categories: instant-scratch, InstaPlay, pull-tab and online games. Lottery products are sold at more than 2,400 retail locations.

The Iowa Lottery has over 100 employees who work at its headquarters in Clive and its regional offices in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Mason City and Storm Lake.

In 1994, Iowa became the first state in the US that required lottery players to be at least 21 years of age. (Louisiana became the second in 1998, followed by Arizona in 2003.)

In September 2007, the Iowa Lottery (along with the Kansas Lottery) began the first US multi-jurisdictional scratch game, Midwest Millions.

Iowa's Pick 3 and Pick 4 numbers were drawn by the Illinois Lottery at the WGN-TV studios in Chicago using their Pick 3 and Pick 4 results until April 16, 2014, when the Iowa Lottery began drawing their own numbers two months after WGN America, which previously televised all Illinois Lottery drawings, discontinued airing their 9pm newscasts, along with the diverging winning options for each game between each lottery over the years.[1]

Current draw games[edit]

In-house draw games[edit]

Pick 3[edit]

Pick 3 is drawn 13 times weekly (twice daily except Sundays.) Options and prizes vary. The afternoon drawing takes place at 12:40 p.m., with the nighttime draw at 9:20 p.m.

Players choose three digits, each from 0 through 9, or let the lottery terminal select them (Easy Pick).

Play types:

  • Straight – match all digits in the exact order drawn.
  • Box – match all digits in any order.
  • Straight/Box – match in exact order to win both wagers; in any order for box payout.
  • Front pair – match the first two digits in the exact order drawn.
  • Back pair – match the last two digits in the exact order as drawn.

Pick 3 players may wager up to 14 consecutive drawings.

Drawings are held Mondays through Saturdays at 12:40 p.m. plus every evening at about 9:20 p.m.

Pick 3 prizes must be claimed within 90 days of the drawing.

Pick 4[edit]

Pick 4 also is drawn 13 times weekly.[2]

Play is similar to Pick 3.

Play types:

  • Straight – match all four digits in the exact order as drawn.
  • Box – match all four digits in any order.
  • Straight/Box – same as Pick 3 except all four digits must match in any order.
  • Front pair; back pair – same as in Pick 3.

Pick 4 players may wager up to 14 consecutive drawings. Drawings are held at the same time as Pick 3.

Pick 4 prizes must be claimed within 90 days of the drawing.

Multi-jurisdictional games[edit]

All or Nothing[edit]

Iowa, along with Minnesota, offer the MUSL version of the All or Nothing lottery game.

Hot Lotto[edit]

Hot Lotto is available through 15 lotteries, including Iowa's and the District of Columbia's; it is drawn Wednesdays and Saturdays. Hot Lotto draws five "white balls" numbered from 1 through 47, and one orange "Hot Ball", numbered 1 through 19. The starting jackpot is $1,000,000 (all-cash, and "taxes paid"), increasing by at least $50,000 if there is no top prize winner. Hot Lotto, normally $1 per play has a $2 option, called Sizzler (similar to Powerball's Power Play); it triples non-jackpot prizes.

On May 12, 2013, the Hot Lotto game dropped its annuity option; eight "white balls" were added to the original 39.

The game acquired some notoriety in 2015, when it was revealed that Eddie Tipton, an employee of the Multi-State Lottery Association whose offices reside in the same facility as the Iowa Lottery, attempted to rig a 2010 drawing to claim a $16.5 million prize.

Lucky for Life[edit]

Iowa, along with 24 other states and the District of Columbia, offer the Lucky for Life lottery game.

Mega Millions[edit]

On October 13, 2009 the Mega Millions consortium and MUSL reached an agreement in principle to cross-sell Mega Millions and Powerball in U.S. lottery jurisdictions. On November 16, 2009, the Iowa Lottery Board approved the introduction of Mega Millions to Iowa. Mega Millions sales in Iowa began on January 31, 2010; the first drawing including Iowa was on February 2, 2010.


Since 1988, the Iowa Lottery has been a member of MUSL. Powerball began in 1992. Its jackpots began at $40 million. Powerball is drawn Wednesday and Saturday nights.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Iowa Will Have Its Own Pick 3 & Pick 4 Drawings". IA Lottery Blog. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  2. ^