The lottery industry is moving towards the Internet, with tickets to large draws increasingly available for purchase through online retailers.
"The Internet is giving players a convenient platform from which to play the lottery," says a spokesperson for WinTrillions, an online retailer that operates a global network of offices and local messengers. "Consumers who may have otherwise missed a draw can now buy tickets through their PC or mobile device, and that flexibility results in growth for the whole industry."
Since 2005, over 260,000 individuals have won lottery prizes through WinTrillions and related websites such as Congalotto.com.
Nearly half of Americans play the lottery, with sales increasing despite a sluggish economy. According to Statista, U.S. sales consistently increased year-over-year from 2009 to 2012, going from $58.25 billion to $68.78 billion within that four-year span.
Lotto Messenger Services
In the United Kingdom, the size of the country's National Lottery grew by 50 percent in the span of a decade, mostly driven by a growing popularity of spin-offs and scratch tickets. Like their U.S. counterparts, about half the British population play the lottery at least once a month, according to Camelot.
"Online messenger services typically scan copies of purchased tickets," according to a spokesperson for WinTrillions. "An electronic copy reduces instances of lost or stolen tickets; an important feature since in many jurisdictions, winning tickets can be a transferable asset where prizes can be awarded to the holder, and not necessarily the buyer."
According to a study by Vision Critical, men are more likely to play the lottery (55 percent versus 42 percent for women). The Vancouver, Canada-based research firm also found that men are more receptive to lottery gaming through the Internet.
Buying Lottery Online
Players are increasingly open to making Web-based purchases. Interestingly, the vast majority of state lotteries still sell their gaming products through traditional outlets such as supermarkets, convenience stores, mall outlets, and gas stations.
Vision Critical's survey involved 958 adult players in the U.S., and 18 percent of respondents said they are likely to purchase lottery tickets online, whereas only 12 percent of women are likely to do so.
Online retailers, such as WinTrillions, are making it convenient for consumers to play the lottery. Here are four benefits of buying lotto tickets on the Internet:
1. Convenience and Efficiency
Players no longer have to drive to a retail store and fall in line to purchase a ticket. When a jackpot becomes huge, there can be significant waiting times. Additionally, many Internet retailers provide players with a subscription option to automate recurring purchases.
Digitization can reduce instances of fraud. For example, scanned copies provide more assurance to an office pool so that members of the pool have access to their collective purchase. This prevents any single member from cashing a winning ticket without sharing the prize with the rest of the group.
Many online retailers notify players if they have won a prize.
Each year, tens of millions of dollars worth of jackpot and secondary prizes are returned to lottery organizations because of unclaimed tickets. Most lotteries impose 90- and 180-day deadlines to redeem prizes, a constricted timeline unfavorable to loyal players.