Lottery Tickets Sold at ATMs, Gas Pumps

Photo (cc) by Insulinde

Lottery sales have been booming around the country, and states are looking for ways to rake in even more cash.

How? By making tickets available in even more places, Time says.

Tickets will be sold at select Missouri ATMs and gas pumps this fall. Customers will be asked if they want to add a ticket to their transactions. (Who ever expected upsell from an ATM?)

The state sold nearly $1.1 billion in tickets last year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says, and expects to do better this year.

Minnesota began selling tickets through ATMs and gas pumps last year, Time says. There’s a $1 fee (per ticket) on top of the ticket price, and a minimum of three Powerball tickets or five Mega Millions tickets per transaction.

The company providing the technology for these new lottery locations says it targets a new demographic — people who usually don’t play because they’re in too much of a rush, Time says.

Another target is younger people comfortable with digital transactions.

Illinois and Georgia sell lottery tickets online, and Michigan is expected to next year, Time says. For those living elsewhere, a company called LottoGopher offers a subscription service where consumers from any state can pick their numbers online, and the company sends someone to a local store to purchase the tickets. It also offers the option to pool tickets with others and split any winnings. The cost? It’s $12 a month or $99 a year, plus the ticket prices.

If lottery tickets are getting easier to buy and sales are reaching record highs, that means your odds of winning are dropping even further. Combine that with the convenience fees at these locations, and it’s hard to hear “You can’t win unless you play” without laughing.

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