Bryan Larson of Waukee was the latest big instant-scratch game winner in Dallas County during calendar year 2016, winning $100,000 in the $100,000 Mega Crossword game with a ticket purchased at Kum & Go in Waukee.


Charles Blackmar Jr. of Alexandria was the county’s latest and biggest lotto winner during the same period, winning $50,000 in the Powerball game with a ticket purchased at Casey’s in West Des Moines.


Iowa Lottery players won a total of $221.8 million in prizes in fiscal year 2016, the latest complete year for which the lottery has records. However, there are a significant number of prizes that expire each year without being claimed. The lottery reminds its players to double-check their tickets. In fiscal year 2016, more than $1.2 million in lotto prizes expired in Iowa without being claimed.


Prize money left unclaimed after redemption deadlines goes into the lottery’s prize pools for future games and promotions, so it will be used to pay prizes, just not those particular prizes that have expired. On the lottery’s website at www.ialottery.com, there is a current list of unclaimed lotto prizes of $10,000 or more.


Claiming Prizes


Players in Iowa have up to 365 days from the date of the drawing to claim prizes in Powerball, Mega Millions, Hot Lotto, Lucky for Life and All or Nothing. Players have up to 90 days from the date of the drawing to claim prizes in Iowa’s Pick 3, Pick 4 and InstaPlay games. If the expiration date for a particular prize falls on a weekend or holiday when the lottery’s offices are closed, the winner has until the close of business on the next business day to claim the prize.


Prizes in instant-scratch and pull-tab games must be claimed within 90 days of the end of the game. Scratch-game prizes can be claimed at any Iowa Lottery retailer where the games are sold, while prizes in pull-tab games must be claimed at the location where the tickets were purchased.


Players also may visit an Iowa Lottery retailer or go to one of the lottery’s offices in Cedar Rapids, Clive, Council Bluffs, Mason City or Storm Lake to claim prizes.


Winning lotto numbers may be checked by visiting the lottery website or calling the winning numbers hotline at (515) 323-4633. They may also be checked by visiting a lottery retail outlet or calling the lottery at (515) 725-7900 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Frequently Asked Question


Q: What types of payment are allowed for the purchase of lottery products in Iowa?


A: Lottery players can use cash of course, but they can also use debit cards to purchase lottery products in Iowa. However Iowa state law prohibits the use of a credit card to make a lottery purchase. A debit transaction is always tied to available funds, so as long as the card says DEBIT on the front, it’s OK to use it for a lottery transaction. If it’s a CREDIT card, it’s illegal to use it for the purchase of lottery tickets here in our state.


As for gift cards, from a legal perspective, a gift card is the same as cash, so under Iowa law, it can be used to purchase lottery tickets.


Some retail locations may have policies that don’t allow the use of debit or gift cards for lottery purchases. That’s similar to store policies that may, for example, not allow personal checks for any type of purchase. Stores can and do develop their own policies about what they’ll allow in their business locations, so check with your local retailer if you have questions.