Wisconsin and Iowa Lotteries benefit from Minnesota shutdown

Wisconsin and Iowa Lotteries benefit from Minnesota shutdownWisconsin and Iowa Lotteries benefit from Minnesota shutdown

MINNEAPOLIS – Two of Minnesota’s neighbours have benefited from the shutdown of the Minnesota State Lottery. Both Iowa and Wisconsin’s Lotteries have experienced an up-tick in sales close to their borders with Minnesota since the lottery closed down.

In Iowa, an article in the Globe Gazette shows that lottery ticket sales in Northwood have skyrocketed since the Minnesota state government shutdown stopped lottery ticket sales.

One store mentioned in the article sold four times as many tickets as usual in one day and the store owner had to call the Iowa Lottery to request more tickets as a matter of urgency. With some people have come in to purchase $200-$300 in lottery tickets at a time, the tickets run out quickly.

Mary Neubauer, a spokesperson for the Iowa Lottery said it is too early to tell if there’s an overall increase in Iowa lottery ticket sales due to the government shutdown in Minnesota, but lottery officials have checked sales at convenience stories located on or near major highways close to the Iowa-Minnesota border.

Stores checked in the Estherville and Spirit Lake areas are up 25-30 percent.

As for increased sales in parts of Wisconsin, a store right on the border beside Minneapolis in Houlson, WI has seen a surge in sales since the Minnesota Lottery closed on July 1st.  The store in question has experienced a 400 per cent increase in ticket purchases.

Andrew Bohage, spokesperson for the Wisconsin Lottery, says Qasem’s 400 percent sales hike does not appear to be uncommon. “We’ve been hearing some pretty eye popping statistics like that. And really we’re hearing them all across the board.”

Bohage says similar reports are coming in from Hudson, Prescott and Fountain City. The Wisconsin Lottery is currently surveying its retail outlets in border towns and hopes to have hard numbers on the sales increases within a couple of days.

The Minnesota Lottery is estimated to be losing $1.25m every day that the lottery remains closed. The lottery’s assistant director, Dale McDonnell, said that despite this bad news for the state coffers, his major concern right now is the fact that the lottery’s 140 employees are not getting their pay.

Published: July 12, 2011

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