Posted in: Commentary,
by Gregg Laskoski on Dec 7, 2012 06:00 AM
Is it the ultimate 'convenience' that a gas station/convenience store could offer?
In Minnesota they think so. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the state is now the first in the country to make buying tickets even faster, at gas pumps and ATMs.
With a debit card, driver's license and cellphone number, buyers can try their luck at a touch screen. The system is being piloted at nine gas stations and 19 ATMs in the Twin Cities, allowing people to buy quick-pick Powerball and Mega Millions tickets without going inside to a counter. Since October, about $5,260 worth of Powerball tickets have been sold that way.
"People are always in a hurry nowadays," said Minnesota Lottery Executive Director Ed Van Petten. "The thought is it takes 10 to 15 seconds to go through the process, and I think people would say, 'Why not. I'll give it a shot.' "
Andrew Anderson, who works at the BP station at Calhoun Beach in Minneapolis, said in the days leading up to last week's record Powerball drawing, many patrons avoided convenience store counters.
"A lot of people just want to pay at the pump now," Anderson said.
Lottery buyers insert their debit card into the slot used to pay for gasoline. They then select a prompt to buy tickets, choose how many, and after entering a cellphone number and other identification information, a ticket is dispensed with their numbers. A $1 fee is charged for each transaction, and the minimum is three Powerball or five Mega Millions tickets. A text message also is sent to a cellphone with a link to the numbers.
What do you think? Would you buy your Powerball and other lottery tickets this way if it was available to you?