What’s next for the lottery

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KIMT News 3 - It keeps people coming back for more week after week. The lottery is a game of chance, but they say you can’t win if you don’t play. Now there are more ways to play than ever.

“I spend between $10 and $15 a month and that’s about it,” says Alan Pierce.

He is one of many folks who enjoy the chase of the lottery. However, he says sometimes it can be a hassle to get his hands on a ticket.

“When it gets real high, sometimes you have to wait in line and superstitiously I think my chances might be better online,” says Pierce.

He is talking about purchasing a ticket from the comfort of his home. Iowa Lottery representatives say it isn’t too far off.

“We think, that eventually the future leads to some sort of online presence,” says Vice President of External Relations with the Iowa Lottery, Mary Neubauer.

She says whether it’s a mobile app or strictly through their website, folks could be able to purchase tickets electronically in the next couple years. She adds that there are still some concerns with this new way to play.

“When it comes to issues of gaming though, we have concerns about social acceptability, and then the folks who might have a potential to gamble beyond their means,” says Neubauer.

The Minnesota Lottery seems to have answered these questions as they are now implanting this way of playing. Their executive director tells us they are beginning to reap the benefits.

“It makes purchases easier. The number of people taking advantage of our subscription and internet sales has increased almost by 5000,” says Executive Director with the Minnesota Lottery, Ed Van Petten.

To avoid problem gamblers, he says there is a weekly $50 limit. As of now, online sales account for only 15 percent of their sales but, their retailers are seeing an even bigger increase of 20 percent.

“It’s just an educational tool that creates more brand awareness for our product,” says Van Petten.

So will Iowa be next? Mary says they are looking to see if this is what Iowans really want.

“I probably would give it a shot,” says Pierce.

The only states doing instant electronic purchases now are Minnesota, Illinois, and Georgia. As for Iowa, the decision is in the hands of legislators and Mary says it will most likely come about when casinos are able to do the same.

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