After 15 years, public enthusiasm for Hot Lotto has diminished so significantly that lottery officials have decided to discontinue the game. Instead, lottery officials plan on replacing Hot Lotto with Lotto America which offers more competitive odds of winning a top prize than Powerball.
Iowa Lottery sells numerous games designed to make money and keep players coming back, such as instant and bingo games and raffles. All are designed to bring in revenue while drawing people in. Such strategies aren’t uncommon in convenience stores but rarely carried out by state government agencies.
Scratch-off games are popular across many states across the U.S. and can offer impressive jackpots; however, their chances of success drop significantly as their size does; Hot Lotto offered one in 29 million odds of hitting its jackpot; much better than Powerball at offering approximately one chance in 292 million of winning.
Though their odds of winning may be slimmer than other forms of entertainment, lottery games still serve an integral purpose in American life. Lotteries offer entertainment as a form of recreation or stress relief; states selling lotteries can even use lottery proceeds to finance services that otherwise wouldn’t exist.
These profits, however, have caused considerable debate. Many citizens question why government is making money off people gambling; others point out that many profits don’t serve any specific purpose and eventually end up in the general fund where politicians may use it however they see fit.
Some critics note the inevitability of lottery revenues being driven not by real activity but rather psychological addiction; people are drawn to lotteries by the promise of big payouts, and state governments should be permitted to capitalize on that phenomenon.
Hot Lotto allowed players to select five numbers between 1 and 52 and an extra number from 1-10 in order to win prizes, with drawings taking place every Wednesday and Saturday with sales halted during this time. It started at $2 million with jackpot growth depending on how many winners there were; unlike Mega Millions or Powerball prizes were distributed through either an annuity (25 equal annual payments) or cash.
Hot Lotto was discontinued on October 28, 2017 and replaced by Lotto America in November of that year. As of November 2018, nine states are participating: Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana North Carolina South Dakota Vermont; however New Hampshire has put off plans to join Lotto America until later. There have been no announcements as yet from other states whether they intend to join.