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Iowa Lotteries

Iowa's lottery was established in 1985 after legislation enacted a state lottery. Later that year, at the Iowa State Fair, the lottery sold the first tickets for its instant-scratch game, "Scratch, Match and Win." In 1992, the lottery began selling multi-denominational tickets and Powerball. Lottery proceeds benefit Iowa veterans; the state general fund; and the Vision Iowa program, added in 2000 to create tourism destinations in the state, assist with community attractions, and build and repair schools. The Lottery sells three types of tickets: instant-scratch, pull-tab and lotto games. There are more than 2,500 retail locations in Iowa where lottery tickets are sold.

There is an Iowa Lottery Board comprising five Iowa citizens appointed by the Governor and the State Treasurer. The board oversees the lottery and its operations. In 2003, the legislature established the Iowa Lottery Authority, a public agency, to help the Lottery run more efficiently. As a result, Lottery sales have grown even stronger.

In January 2006, Gov. Tom Vilsack placed a moratorium on the Iowa Lottery's new "TouchPlay" video gaming machines. More than 4,500 games were installed in convenience and grocery stores, bars, restaurants and retailers around the state. Lawmakers argued that they were too easy for minors to play. In March 2006, legislation to ban the machines was signed into law, prohibiting their operation starting in May 2006.

In January 2009, legislators announced possible plans to lease the state lottery. The plan never materialized due to lack of interest from investors.

On 3 July 2011, the Iowa Lottery implemented a new statewide computerized gaming system, which updated the look of lotto tickets, as well as the terminals that print and cash lottery tickets. New, smaller terminals replaced the familiar red lottery terminals. The new system included self-checkers for players to check their own tickets, lighted signs that show the latest jackpots for Powerball and Mega Millions, and flat-screen monitors that display game information. The lottery system also included cellular and satellite communications, creating a statewide network linked to a centralized datacenter.

In January 2013, Scientific Games signed a two-year contract with the Iowa Lottery Authority to supply instant-ticket games and related services.
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