By Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Lottery officials say the record Powerball jackpot in January helped send lottery ticket sales soaring to new records.

The Powerball jackpot grew for more than two months before it reached a world-record level of nearly $1.6 billion. It was split three ways in the Jan. 13 drawing by tickets purchased in California, Florida and Tennessee.

Iowa lottery sales in January exceeded $54 million, topping the previous monthly sales record of $42 million set in February 2006.

The lottery purchasing frenzy also extended to instant-scratch tickets which set a new monthly sales record at $20.8 million in January.

Lottery officials say they also paid a record $30.2 million in prizes to players in January. That surpassed the previous record of $20.3 million set in March 2013.

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