Lottery Profits Rise but Some Still Question Games

Scratch-off lottery tickets. (file photo)

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By KCRG Intern

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Lottery offers plenty of options, and judging by the operation's last record-breaking year, state residents are definitely taking their chances.

But the lottery began in Iowa with some trepidation, and opposition to the games remains even as profits rise.

Lottery officials announced last week that during the fiscal year ending June 30, the Iowa Lottery sold $339 million in tickets, gave out about $201 million in prizes and yielded almost $85 million for the state, most of which now goes into the general fund.

But critics such as former legislator David Osterberg say the lottery profits off the poor.

Osterberg, a University of Iowa professor, says gambling "preys upon people who don't have much money and can't do math. You can do almost anything better than gamble."

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