The Iowa Lottery encompasses many different games that allow Iowans a chance to win big by drawing random numbers and scaling prizes based on how many matching numbers players have on their tickets. Iowa participates in the Multi-State Lottery Association (MSLA) to offer higher jackpot games like Powerball and Mega Millions while also offering smaller state-level contests.
In this piece, we’ll explain how the Iowa Lottery works, where the money goes, how to claim your winnings, and much more!
The Iowa Lottery explained
The “Iowa Lottery” refers to all state-run and multi-state scratch-offs, pull-tabs, InstaPlay, and draw games. Lottery players must be at least 21 years of age to participate as established by state law in 1994.
Draw games require players to match the numbers on their tickets to those which are selected during a drawing (the drawings may be televised but results can be found online or in certain newspapers). Scratch games involve using a coin, key, or other object to scratch a selected area of the ticket to reveal whether the ticket is a winner and what the prize amount will be (sometimes, the same ticket can win different amounts depending on which areas are scratched).
InstaPlay games are effectively “scratchless scratch-offs,” with players able to scan their ticket instantly to see if they’ve won anything. Pull-tabs are similar to scratch-offs and instead require the player to pull perforated windows while trying to reveal a winning combination.
However, you should ensure that you keep your Lottery gambling in check, and always check out our guide to responsible gambling in Iowa if you feel you might have a problem.
Can you play the Iowa Lottery online?
No, you cannot play the Iowa Lottery online. Tickets must be purchased in person, though you can use the Iowa Lottery app to create a ticket in advance which can be purchased at an authorized retailer.
History of the Iowa Lottery
Iowa launched its state lottery program in 1985 as part of the Iowa State Fair. The first game, Scratch, Match & Win, sold nearly 6.5 million tickets in the first week. Since then, players have won more than $4.5 billion in prizes, and lottery games have raised more than $2 billion in funds for state programs including the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund, the Iowa Public Safety Survivor Benefits Fund, the Vision Iowa program, and the state’s General Fund.
In 1998, Iowa became the first state to require players to be 21+ to participate in lottery games. Continuing to pave trails, Iowa partnered with the Kansas Lottery in 2007 to offer a multi-state scratch game, Midwest Millions.
How do you claim Iowa Lottery winnings?
The process for claiming lottery winnings depends on the amount you win. Prizes under $600 can be claimed at the retailer where you purchased the ticket while prizes above that amount must be claimed at a lottery office. If you’ve won more than $600, here is what the claim process looks like.