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Lottery employees hit bonus jackpot

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Iowa Lottery Board has approved employee bonuses of $385,709 after lottery games reached record sales and profits for the state.

The 5.9 percent bonuses were approved for 116 employees on Thursday and covered fiscal year 2006, which ended in June.

The board chose not to include profits earned from the controversial TouchPlay game, which was discontinued by the Legislature in May.

Even without the profits based on $123.8 million in TouchPlay sales, lottery revenue soared.

Powerball sales were $71.1 million, compared to $54.2 million the year before and instant scratch tickets sales totaled $106.6 million, compared to $103.3 million in fiscal 2005.

The lottery has had a performance-based incentive program since 1985, when the Legislature created the agency.

With TouchPlay profits removed from the equation, the bonus program allowed employees to get an additional 3 percent of their base pay if the lottery paid to the state at least $51.1 million for the year. An addition 4 percent was to be paid workers if profits exceeded $54.6 million. Anything in between the benchmarks would be prorated.

Lottery employees did not receive bonuses in fiscal year 2005 because profits were about $26.3 million, which was below the threshold set for bonuses during that year.



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