Iowa Lottery - Guide to IA Lotto Games & Laws

Learn everything you need to know about Iowa's lottery and scratch-offs

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The lottery in Iowa was officially legalized in 1985, creating an exciting gaming frontier in the state. Governed by the Iowa Lottery Authority, lottery games have become an integral part of the local entertainment economy. An estimated $4.5 billion has been paid out in prizes over the years, demonstrating the scale of the operation. Taxes and revenue from the lottery support various state projects, including veterans’ support, environmental causes, and public education.

The emergence of scratch-off online gambling sites has further broadened the lottery landscape. In this Iowa lottery guide, the focus will also include insights into Iowa’s lottery, covering legal aspects, playing options, and responsible gaming practices. Readers can expect to gain a comprehensive understanding of the legal framework, game variety, and the positive impact of the lottery on the state of Iowa.

Iowa Online Lottery

The Iowa online lottery is an innovative platform that allows residents to play lottery games from the convenience of their mobile devices or computers. Launched under the governance of the Iowa Lottery Authority, it offers popular games like Powerball, Mega Millions, and a variety of instant scratch games. 

The online lottery is designed to provide a secure and transparent gaming environment, meeting all regulatory standards. Players can access real-time draw results, utilize e-tickets, and take advantage of various promotional offers. If you are not a resident, note that the gambling age for each state might differ, so confirm this before you play the lotto.

Step-by-Step Guide to Get the App

  • Visit the Iowa Lottery Official Website: Open your preferred browser and navigate to the official Iowa Lottery website.
  • Locate the App Download Section: Look for a section or link labeled “Mobile App” or something similar, usually found in the menu or footer.
  • Select Your Device Platform: Choose the download link that corresponds to your operating system, either iOS or Android.
  • Initiate Download: Click on the download button to begin the installation process.
  • Allow Permissions and Install: Follow the on-screen instructions, granting any necessary permissions for the app to function properly.
  • Create an Account or Log In: If you’re a new user, register an account; otherwise, use your existing credentials to log in and start playing.

Detailed Description of What It Offers

The Iowa online lottery app is a comprehensive gateway to various lottery games and features tailored to enhance the player’s experience. Users can purchase lottery tickets for major draws, participate in instant-win games, and access a broad selection of scratch-off online gambling sites. The app enables players to check results effortlessly, manage their tickets, participate in exclusive promotions, and receive important game notifications. 

Additionally, the Iowa Lottery app emphasizes responsible gaming by offering features that allow players to set personal limits and monitor their spending. It combines traditional lottery gaming with modern technological convenience, ensuring an engaging and secure gaming experience for Iowans.

Iowa Multi-State Draw Games

Iowa’s Multi-state Draw Games offer an exciting array of opportunities for lottery players in the state. With substantial jackpots and varying play styles, these lottery games have become a significant part of Iowa’s lottery culture. Let’s explore each of the multi-state lotteries available in Iowa, highlighting how to participate, the cost of tickets, prizes on offer, and real-life examples of winners.


Powerball tickets can be bought at authorized Iowa retailers or online through the official Iowa Lottery website. Players pick five numbers from 1 to 69 and a Powerball number from 1 to 26. Lottery tickets for powerball costs $2, and the Power Play option is available for an extra $1.

Powerball ticket

Powerball’s jackpot starts at $20 million and grows with each drawing. There are nine ways to win, with prizes ranging from $4 to the jackpot. In 2018, an Iowa grandmother won a $343.9 million Powerball jackpot, one of the largest prizes ever claimed in the state.

  • Drawings take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
  • The Power Play option can multiply non-jackpot prizes.
  • Sales cut-off times vary by location, typically ending an hour before the drawing.
Matching numbers Prize amountOdds
Matching 5 + Powerball$194,000,0001 in 292,201,338
Matching 5 + $1,000,0001 in 11,688,054
Matching 4 + Powerball$50,0001 in 913,130
Matching 4$1001 in 36,525
Matching 3 + Powerball$5001 in 14,495
Matching 3$201 in 580
Matching 2 + Powerball$201 in 702
Matching 1 + Powerball$101 in 92
Matching Powerball only$71 in 38

Mega Millions

Mega Millions tickets are available at licensed retailers and online. Players select five numbers from 1 to 70 and a Mega Ball number from 1 to 25. A single play costs $2, with the Megaplier option available for $1 more. 

Mega Millions

Jackpots begin at $20 million, with other prizes from $2 to $1 million. The Megaplier can increase non-jackpot prizes by up to five times. In 2019, an Iowa player won a $1 million Mega Millions prize, opting to remain anonymous.

  • Drawings are conducted on Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • Megaplier can substantially boost non-jackpot winnings.
  • Online purchase adds convenience and secure play options.
Matching numbers Prize amountOdds
Matching 5 + Mega BallJackpot 1 in 302,575,350
Matching 5 $1,000,0001 in 12,607,306
Matching 4 + Mega Ball$10,0001 in 931,001
Matching 4$5001 in 36,792
Matching 3 + Mega Ball$2001 in 14,547
Matching 3$101 in 606
Matching 2 + Mega Ball$101 in 693
Matching 1 + Mega Ball$41 in 89
Mega Ball only$21 in 37

Lucky for Life

Lucky for Life tickets can be bought at authorized retailers in Iowa or online. Players choose five numbers from 1 to 48 and a Lucky Ball number from 1 to 18. Each play is $2, with no additional feature to increase prizes.

Lucky for Life

The top prize offers $1,000 a day for life, with a second prize of $25,000 a year for life, and other prizes ranging from $2 to $5,000.

In 2017, an Iowa man won the second prize of $25,000 a year for life and chose the lump sum payment option.

  • Drawings are held on Mondays and Thursdays.
  • Lottery tickets must be bought before the drawing cut-off time.
  • Prize claims must be made within 365 days of the drawing date.
Matching numbers Prize amountOdds
Matching 5 + Lucky Ball$1,000/Day for Life1 in 30,821,472
Matching 5 $25,000/Year for Life1 in 1,813,028
Matching 4 + Lucky Ball$2001 in 8,433
Matching 4$1501 in 3,413
Matching 3 + Lucky Ball$201 in 201
Matching 3$251 in 250
Matching 2 + Lucky Ball$31 in 15
Matching 1 + Lucky Ball$61 in 50

Lotto America

Lotto America lottery tickets can be obtained at authorized retailers or online in Iowa. Players select five numbers from 1 to 52 and a Star Ball number from 1 to 10. A single play costs $1, with the All Star Bonus option available for an additional $1.

Jackpots start at $2 million, and other prizes range from $2 to $20,000. The All Star Bonus can multiply non-jackpot winnings. In 2020, an Iowa couple claimed a $4.38 million Lotto America jackpot, opting for a lump sum payment.

Lotto America
  • Drawings occur on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
  • The All Star Bonus multiplies non-jackpot winnings by 2 to 5 times.
  • Prizes must be claimed within 365 days of the winning drawing.
Matching numbers Prize amountOdds
Matching 5 numbers + Star BallStarts at $2 million (can grow with each drawing)1 in 25,989,600
Matching 5 $20,0001 in 2,887,733
Matching 4 + Star Ball$1,0001 in 110,594
Matching 4$1001 in 12,288
Matching 3 + Star Ball$201 in 2,404
Matching 3$51 in 267
Matching 2 + Star Ball$51 in 160
Matching 1 + Star Ball$21 in 29
Star Ball$21 in 17

Iowa Draw Games

Iowa’s local Draw Games have a rich tradition, offering residents a variety of options to test their luck and win impressive prizes. These games, operated by the Iowa Lottery, provide exciting opportunities for entertainment and potential financial gain. Let’s explore some of the prominent local draw games in Iowa, including their rules, ticket prices, prize structures, and inspirational stories of winners.

Pick 3

Pick 3 tickets can be bought at authorized Iowa Lottery retailers. Players select three digits from 0 to 9 and choose their play style (straight, box, or straight/box). Play options range from 50 cents to $5 per play.

Prizes vary based on the play type and amount wagered, with a top prize of $3,000 for a $1 straight play. A consistent Pick 3 player from Des Moines won multiple prizes over the years, including several top prizes.

  • Drawings take place twice daily, midday and evening.
  • Multiple play styles offer different winning opportunities.
  • Players can select their numbers or choose a Quick Pick.

Pick 4

Similar to Pick 3, Pick 4 players select four digits and choose a play style. Tickets are available at Iowa Lottery retailers. Wager amounts range from 50 cents to $5 per play. The top prize for a $1 straight play is $6,000, with other prize amounts varying based on the play type and wager.

An Iowa woman won a $6,000 top prize in Pick 4 after playing her favorite numbers. 

  • Drawings occur twice daily, offering more chances to win.
  • Players can mix and match play styles for more variety.
  • Quick Pick is an option for automatic number selection.

Iowa’s Pick 5

Players choose five numbers from 1 to 30 or use Quick Pick. Tickets are sold at authorized retailers. Each play costs $1 per ticket, with the jackpot starting at $25,000 and growing until it’s won. Other prizes range from $1 to $300.

A lucky player from Cedar Rapids claimed a $276,296 Iowa’s Pick 5 jackpot, marking the largest in the game’s history.

  • Drawings are held daily, seven days a week.
  • Jackpots are pari-mutuel and split if there’s more than one winner.
  • The game offers a unique, localized jackpot experience.


InstaPlay games are instant-scratch games that are printed on demand at retailers. Various games are available with different play styles. Ticket prices range from $1 to $10, depending on the game.

Prizes vary by game, with some offering progressive jackpots that grow over time. A Fort Dodge man won a $173,725 progressive jackpot from an InstaPlay game, marking one of the largest in the game’s history.

  • Multiple games are available, each with unique play rules.
  • Progressive jackpots offer growing prize opportunities.
  • Tickets are printed on the spot at authorized retailers.

Iowa Lottery Number Drawing Schedule

The Iowa Lottery provides a variety of draw games with different drawing schedules to cater to players’ interests and preferences. The schedule includes daily and weekly draws, ensuring continuous excitement and opportunities for participants to win prizes.

Powerball10:59 PM10:59 PM
Mega Millions11:00 PM11:00 PM
Pick 3 Midday13:20 PM13:20 PM13:20 PM13:20 PM13:20 PM13:20 PM13:20 PM
Pick 4 Midday13:20 PM13:20 PM13:20 PM13:20 PM13:20 PM13:20 PM13:20 PM
Time Zone: GMT 5:00

Iowa Scratch Tickets

Iowa Scratch Tickets, popularly referred to as scratch-offs, offer lottery players an instantaneous thrill with immediate results. These tickets come in an array of designs, themes, and price levels, satisfying various tastes and budgets. By simply scratching off the covering layer, players can reveal the potential prizes beneath, ranging from smaller wins to life-changing jackpots. With their widespread availability and instant gratification, scratch tickets have become a favorite option among Iowa Lottery participants.

Scratch off nameTicket PriceMaximum Win
$250,000 Riches     $20$250,000
Extreme Green$10$100,000
Lucky No. 7             $5$77,777 
Cherry Twist $2$20,000 
Win Big$10$100,000
Gold Rush $5$50,000
Super Crossword$5$50,000
Diamond Mine  $1$4,000

Iowa Lottery Laws

Iowa Lottery Laws regulate the administration, playing, and distribution of lottery games within the state of Iowa. Established to ensure fairness, integrity, and responsible play, these laws encompass a broad range of guidelines that govern the lottery’s operation. Aspects such as the legal age for participation, tax obligations on winnings, anonymity rights for winners, time limits to claim prizes, and the availability of online lottery are key components of these regulations. The Iowa Lottery Authority is responsible for enforcing these laws and maintaining the transparent functioning of lottery games in the state.

AspectIowa Lottery Law
Legal age for lottery game21 years
Tax on winningsFederal tax rate, with a state withholding rate of 5%
Anonymity for winnersNo
Limit to claim win365 days from the drawing for most games
Online lotteryNo

Overview of the Iowa Lottery

The Iowa Lottery, a renowned state-operated institution, has been offering a variety of lottery games since its inception in 1985. From scratch tickets to multi-state draw games, the lottery provides numerous opportunities for players to win big while contributing to essential state programs. Headquartered in Clive, Iowa, the lottery organization operates transparently and has awarded numerous hefty prizes throughout its history. A significant milestone was the enormous Powerball win that put Iowa on the lottery map.

AspectIowa Lottery Law
Company NameFlorida Lottery 
Founded Date January 12, 1988 
HeadquartersClive, Iowa  
Website Address
Biggest Win in History$241 million (Powerball, 2012)

The revenue generated by the Iowa Lottery has been used to support various state programs, including veterans’ support, agriculture, tourism, and environmental initiatives. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds goes to the state’s General Fund, benefiting all Iowans. As for the tax aspects, winners in Iowa are subjected to both federal tax rates and a 5% state withholding rate on their winnings. For detailed information on the use of lottery proceeds and tax obligations, players are encouraged to consult the official Iowa Lottery website or seek professional advice tailored to their specific situation.

Other Gambling in Iowa

Gambling laws differ between US states, and Iowa is one of the few places where a broad spectrum of legal gambling options is available for both residents and visitors. The state hosts commercial casinos, tribal casinos, and racetracks, offering games such as slots, poker, blackjack, and other table games. Sports betting was legalized in 2019, allowing licensed casinos to offer on-site and online sports wagering. 

Parimutuel betting on horse and greyhound racing is also legal and widely enjoyed. The Iowa Lottery provides a variety of draw games, scratch tickets, and participation in major multi-state lotteries like Powerball and Mega Millions. Charitable gambling, such as bingo and raffles, is permitted under specific guidelines. Overall, the state has embraced a progressive approach to gambling, with a strong regulatory framework ensuring fair and responsible gaming practices.

Iowa Lottery Winners

Iowa Lottery Winners have become a symbol of hope and dreams realized for many aspiring players within the state. Since its establishment, the Iowa Lottery has awarded numerous prizes, ranging from small winnings to jaw-dropping jackpots. The stories of winners, some of whom have won life-changing amounts, resonate with the excitement, thrill, and possibilities that lottery games offer. 

NameDateWin AmountGame
Tim and Kellie GuderianSept 2006$200 millionPowerball
The Shipping 20June 2012$241 millionPowerball
Brian and Mary LohseSept 2012  $202.1 millionPowerball  
Hugh HawkinsDec 2005$113.2 millionPowerball
Larry DawsonMay 2016$9 millionHot Lotto


What does the phrase “Second Chance” on my ticket mean?

The phrase “Second Chance” on your ticket indicates an additional opportunity to win, exclusive to non-winning tickets. You can typically enter your ticket into a separate drawing, giving you another chance to claim a prize. It’s an exciting feature that enhances your experience, and the details can often be found on the lottery’s official website or on the back of the ticket itself. 

Can I play lotteries for real money at online casinos in Iowa?

No, as of the current regulations in Iowa, you cannot play state-sponsored lotteries as a real money game at online casinos. You can purchase lottery tickets and participate in the official state lottery games through authorized retailers or the official Iowa Lottery website. While online casinos may offer various gambling opportunities, they are not authorized platforms for playing official Iowa Lottery games for real money.

Why do Iowa lotteries not offer fixed prizes?

Iowa lotteries generally do not offer fixed prizes because the prize amounts are often influenced by factors like ticket sales and the number of winners in specific prize categories. This dynamic approach to prize allocation helps create more significant jackpots and rollovers when no winners are drawn for a particular tier. For you as a player, this can lead to more thrilling opportunities and potentially larger winnings, adding excitement to the game.

Can winners of the Iowa lottery maintain their anonymity?

As a winner of the Iowa Lottery, you cannot completely maintain your anonymity. Iowa law requires the lottery to release the name, city of residence, and details of the prize won to the public. While some personal details like your street address and phone number are kept confidential, the aforementioned information must be disclosed as a matter of public record and transparency.

Is there an app for the Iowa Lottery?

Yes, the Iowa Lottery offers an official app that you can download to your smartphone or tablet. This app allows you to check winning numbers, scan tickets to see if they’re winners, find nearby retailers, and access other useful information related to the Iowa Lottery. It’s a handy resource that makes playing and keeping track of the Iowa Lottery games more convenient and accessible for you.

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