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Convenience stores benefit from more lottery sales during pandemic

CLIVE — The Iowa Lottery’s record sales for the fiscal year that ended in June came during the pandemic and that had an impact on the top retailer.

Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer says the store with the most sales was in central Iowa. “The Jiffy location in Marshalltown — that is a convenience store — and that location alone had one-point-three million dollars in sales,” Neubauer says. The top seller of lottery tickets for many years has been a Hy-Vee store in eastern Iowa.

“The Lottery’s top ten retailers have always included a mix generally of grocery stores and convenience stores. But this year, there were a lot more convenience stores on the list — and I think that speaks to the way that all of our habits changed during COVID-19,” Neubauer says. “People more and more were going into businesses where they could go in and go out quickly. And I think that’s why more lottery sales were occurring at convenience stores.”

A Hy-Vee store in Cedar Rapids was the second highest-selling lottery retailer by about $200,000. Another Jiffy store in Des Moines was third, and four other convenience stores were in the top ten. The Iowa Lottery saw record sales of nearly 453 million dollars in the fiscal year — which led to a record $101.7 million in profits to the state, and a record of nearly $289 million paid out in prizes.

Neubauer says there were undoubtedly a lot of people who tried the lottery games for the first time as they looked for entertainment during the pandemic. “We’ve likely picked up some players who will stay us because they’ve played lottery tickets and they’ve enjoyed them over the last year,” Neubauer says. She says they don’t believe that sales will continue at the rate they did in the last year as things get back to normal.

The lottery sellers benefited from the record sales — as they were rewarded with a record of nearly $30 million in commission.

Here are the top 10 Lottery retailers in the last fiscal year.
Jiffy 111 S. Third Ave. Marshalltown $1,309,725.50
Hy-Vee 1843 Johnson Ave. NW Cedar Rapids $1,116,374
Jiffy 3718 SW Ninth St. Des Moines $1,088,180.50
Hy-Vee Drugstore 1520 Sixth St. SW Cedar Rapids $951,330.50
Hy-Vee 20 Wilson Ave. Cedar Rapids $917,596.50
Hy-Vee 2540 E. Euclid Ave. Des Moines $873,377
Porter’s Convenient 66 1512 Lincoln Way Clinton $869,701
Mad Ave. Quik Shop 405 S. Madison Ave. Ottumwa $803,870.50
Midtown 1100 E. Fifth St. Storm Lake $783,134
Albia Road BP 1340 Albia Road Ottumwa $781,818

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