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N.C. Lottery rolls out online ticket sales

North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: N.C. Lottery rolls out online ticket sales
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Some retailers worried

RALEIGH, N.C. — As he stood in line for lottery tickets Wednesday at C-Mini Mart #3 on Poole Road, David Auther said store patrons and workers know him by his lucky Pick 3 number.

"Hey Warren, what's my number?" he asked store owner Warren Liles, who stood behind the counter.

"315," Liles replied.

Auther, who plays the lottery every day, said he won't be logging onto a computer to buy tickets as the N.C. Education Lottery launches an online subscription service Thursday. He enjoys the "personal attention" he gets at the convenience store and the camaraderie with others there.

"Online, it's boring," he said. "There's nothing to it."

But other hopeful gamblers are sure to oblige as the state lottery on Thursday expands its reach to the Internet, where players can buy tickets only for three jackpot games — Powerball, Mega Millions and Carolina Cash 5.

State lottery officials say the online service is geared toward attracting new players, not taking business from retailers, who get 7 percent of each ticket sold. Nonetheless, some retailers, including Liles, are concerned about potential effects on in-store sales.

Limits to help retailers

The state lottery is joining at least 11 other lotteries, including Virginia and Georgia, that provide some type of subscription service to players.

A subscription to at least two weeks of drawings for one of the three games is required for any online purchase, so players won't be able to use the service to buy a single draw ticket or scratch-off tickets.

Alice Garland, lottery executive director, said she recently met with lottery retailers across the state to try to allay fears that online sales would cut into business and that most came away feeling OK about the change. She said a weekly $70 limit on online purchases and the requirement to subscribe to at least two weeks of drawings would limit the online service.

But Andy Ellen, president and general counsel of the N.C. Retail Merchants Association, said concerns persist about online sales competing with stores, which are prohibited from selling tickets online. Ellen also said the people who buy tickets online are the merchants' potential customers.

"So those people aren't coming in and buying a Coke or a soft drink or chips or whatever it may be," he said.

Targeting new players

Zack Carlton, chairman of the lottery's Retail Advisory Board and owner of Carlton's Styers Ferry Grocery in Lewisville, said he doesn't think the hit will be enough for retailers to notice. He said he believes the lottery is targeting younger players in their 20s to 40s for the online purchases, while older players — who are more likely to play the three jackpot games available online — won't want to play online. He added that younger players are more interested in scratch-offs and will still have to come into stores to buy those.

Van Denton, a lottery spokesman, said the lottery isn't focusing on any particular age group but rather trying to reach people who have never tried their luck with the lottery.

"We believe that this will bring in new lottery players, and it will be people who are comfortable buying things online, but that could be a 25-year-old, or it could be a 65-year-old person," he said.

At C-Mini Mart, Liles, the store owner, said he views the online sales as competition and fears that the number of games sold online would increase over time. Garland said there wouldn't be any immediate changes to the lottery's online offerings.

Lottery officials said they expect the subscription service will increase revenue from the three games by 1-2 percent, or roughly $3 million to $6 million a year.

Revenue up

The new way of playing comes as the lottery already is experiencing increased revenue from its games. Numbers disclosed at the Lottery Commission's meeting Tuesday showed that sales for the first four months of the 2014 fiscal year totaled $596 million, up about 17 percent, or $86 million, from the same months a year earlier. Purchases of instant tickets were up 21 percent over that time, while Powerball sales were up more than 17 percent.

Garland said she believed sales increased because of a two-year effort to sell more instant tickets, including the introduction of many new games, as well as some sizable Powerball jackpots, among other factors.

To play online, players must go to a section of the lottery's player's club website, Lucke-Zone, to set up an account. They will receive email alerts if their numbers are drawn.

Players won't immediately be able to play their numbers on Thursday because they first will have to move money into their online "wallet" through an electronic funds transfer that can take a few days depending on the bank.

"I'm told sometimes it can be the next day, but sometimes it can be five days," Garland said.

Players won't be able to use debit cards from the onset, but lottery officials said they would be accepted in the future. Credit cards won't be allowed.

Garland said the service includes safeguards to ensure no tickets are sold to anyone not physically in North Carolina or anyone under 18, the legal age for playing the lottery.

News & Observer

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10 comments. Last comment 5 months ago by MsNumberDreamer.
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mypiemaster's avatar - peace
He who dies with the most toys WINS!!!.

United States
Member #141039
April 2, 2013
520 Posts
Offline
Posted: December 5, 2013, 10:16 am - IP Logged

Time for more gambling addictions.

Seekand ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

    rdgrnr's avatar - walt
    -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
    Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
    United States
    Member #73904
    April 28, 2009
    14742 Posts
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    Posted: December 5, 2013, 10:35 am - IP Logged

    Cutting the crooked clerks out of the equation.

    I like that part of it a lot.

      RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
      mid-Ohio
      United States
      Member #9
      March 24, 2001
      17452 Posts
      Online
      Posted: December 5, 2013, 3:25 pm - IP Logged

      The goal of the lottery is to make more money any way it can and if allowing customers to buy a bunch of tickets for one drawing is a way to do that then they will eventually change that rule.  Retailers could lose a lot when there is a buying frenzy of MM and PB tickets not to mention the commission if there is a local winner.

      * Thoses who can, do * 
      * thoses who can't, just talk *
      Roll Eyes 

        Avatar
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        manchester
        United States
        Member #3465
        January 23, 2004
        3 Posts
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        Posted: December 5, 2013, 4:00 pm - IP Logged

        Wish all states would do this, or have a system like in the Uk and other countries where we could buy all our games online, have winnings deposted to our bank account and anything of certain amount collected in person can be done annonymously... There are easy ways to solve the problem of retailers and also solve the fear that ppl will max out credit cards and end in debt or underage gamblers.. have some sort of one time prepaid lotto card that are only sold at the retailer, you load it up with whatever denomination, say increments of $5-$100. The retailer will still get his 7% of the total placed on the card, The only thing they will be giving up is the amount given when there is a jackpot winner but this will only be from online players, plus not many retailers get a cut in jackpot money anyway. If they have a system like this everyone can leave feeling happy, those who like going into the store like Mr Liles for "camaraderie" and to quiz retailers on what numbers he always plays can continue to do so, ppl like myself can stop get some petrol, grab tickets for current draws and prepaid card for future draws when its snowing heavily and I dont feel like going out to play my favourite numbers.

          Jon D's avatar - calotterylogo
          Los Angeles, California
          United States
          Member #103816
          January 5, 2011
          1461 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: December 5, 2013, 8:06 pm - IP Logged

          David Auther said store patrons and workers know him by his lucky Pick 3 number.
          "Hey Warren, what's my number?" he asked store owner Warren Liles, who stood behind the counter.
          "315," Liles replied.

          Thinking of...

          Hmmm...Deja Vu.

          Let's hope that the clerk doesn't ever fat finger his number, and David goes chasing after the clerk with a box cutter when his number hits, and he loses:

          http://www.lotterypost.com/news/267642

          If he did it online and advance play, that situation wouldn't come up.

            sully16's avatar - sharan
            Listens to the wind

            United States
            Member #81740
            October 28, 2009
            17946 Posts
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            Posted: December 5, 2013, 9:59 pm - IP Logged

            Cutting the crooked clerks out of the equation.

            I like that part of it a lot.

            Yep I Agree!

            There's only one US Flag

              Quinto's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
              Washington County
              United States
              Member #131381
              August 9, 2012
              262 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: December 5, 2013, 11:39 pm - IP Logged

              Do we have to live in NC to play online?

                MsNumberDreamer's avatar - lottery balls-cash.jpg
                North Carolina
                United States
                Member #145695
                August 11, 2013
                206 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: December 5, 2013, 11:46 pm - IP Logged

                You have to be in NC physically.

                I pulled this statement from the article:

                “The subscription service comes with safeguards to ensure it meets requirements that no tickets are sold to anyone who is not physically in North Carolina or to anyone who is under 18, the legal age for playing the lottery.”

                When you start to believe, you start to win, but sometimes it's just luck that's got your back!

                 

                  Quinto's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
                  Washington County
                  United States
                  Member #131381
                  August 9, 2012
                  262 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: December 5, 2013, 11:49 pm - IP Logged

                  Thanks. I found more info as well. That's crazy to me. If I am in NC then I'd just play at a terminal! 

                  Q: I do not live in North Carolina; can I use the Subscription Service?A: Yes, but you must be physically located in the North Carolina at the time that you make a purchase.
                  (Note: All purchases must be made within North Carolina borders and will be checked with GEO location technologies.)

                    MsNumberDreamer's avatar - lottery balls-cash.jpg
                    North Carolina
                    United States
                    Member #145695
                    August 11, 2013
                    206 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: December 5, 2013, 11:57 pm - IP Logged

                    It still works for me because sometimes I forget to get a ticket for a draw I wanted to play.  This will give me the option to purchase at home.  That could be bad for me because it may push me to play more often than I normally would.

                    Why is pick 3 and pick4 not included?  Those are the games I would really want to play online.

                    When you start to believe, you start to win, but sometimes it's just luck that's got your back!