May 31, 2013 – In an effort to encourage lottery ticket sales, the Missouri Lottery Commission will be installing new gas pumps that offer motorists Powerball and Mega Millions tickets.
The Lottery will start small, only installing about 150 of the pumps at 15 gas stations across the state. Players can choose to buy electronic tickets or have lottery numbers printed on a receipt from the gas pumps.
In addition to the gas pump initiative, the Missouri Lottery also plans to sell tickets through about 100 ATMs in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the new electronic sales efforts are part of a response to the state’s increased dependence on Lottery revenues for education funding.
The Post-Dispatch reported that Missouri’s new state budget, which goes into effect July 1, plans for a record profit return of $298.5 million from Lottery revenues.
The Missouri Lottery chief financial officer Judy Gehrke said the Lottery would likely return $288.5 million this year, a record high.
Lawmakers are gambling on a $10 million increase next year, but have given no clear plan as to how they’ll meet that goal, according to the Post-Dispatch.
Next year’s budget has increased funding for Lottery advertising by $4 million. “It seems like the advertising we’ve done so far has been very effective,” Gehrke said.
She added that new initiatives, like the gas pump and ATM lottery sales, will help the Lottery reach next year’s goals.
Lottery sales through gas pumps and ATMs have only been seen in one other state, Minnesota, where it has been effective, according to Minnesota Lottery executive director Ed Van Petten.
“It’s not a ton of sales,” he said, “but everything’s working appropriately.”
Van Petten added that while retailers initially resisted the idea, expecting it to decrease foot traffic through stores, the program has actually increased in-store sales and sales of scratch-off or in-state games.