Online lottery has grown rapidly, with most states now offering the option to buy tickets from home. These sites have a number of advantages over traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, including convenience and ease of use. Many of these sites also offer subscription services that allow players to enter a single drawing for weeks at a time. Some even have a feature called ePlaySlip, which allows users to scan their mobile devices at retail locations without needing to print out a paper ticket. Prices vary between states, but generally they’re the same as what you would pay in person.
The lottery industry is a huge business, with $100 billion in annual sales. But the majority of that money is still spent in cash, with most buyers getting their tickets at bodegas and convenience stores. New startup Jackpot wants to change that by allowing users to buy lottery tickets online. The company is currently working with state regulators for clearance to launch the service. The move could threaten traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, but the founders of Jackpot say they’re trying to transform an old business model rather than replace it.
Buying lotto tickets at a local store is a hassle: you need to drive, remember your payment method, and choose your numbers. Using a lottery website cuts all those steps out and brings the games to your computer or smartphone. It’s a convenient way to play a wide range of games, from instant win scratch cards to keno and video poker. Most of the games start at $0.05 and have top prizes up to $20, though most are capped at less than that.
Aside from avoiding long lines at lottery points of sale, online lotteries have other benefits as well. For one, they’re easier to regulate than retailers. Lottery retailers need to undergo a criminal background check and post a large bond before they’re allowed to sell tickets. It’s much harder to do the same for a website that can be shut down at a moment’s notice.