On Sunday at noon, residents of Illinois will be some of the first people in the United States who will be able to buy lottery tickets online. Is the Illinois Lottery Internet Pilot Program the potentially terrifying future of praying to lady luck?
When the internet pilot program launches you'll only be able to buy Lotto and Mega Millions tickets, but there is a plan in the works to add Powerball to the options as well. The Illinois Lottery predicts a huge increase in play from people 18-34 years old who currently make up only 17 percent of lottery players. They expect the program to reach as many as one million new players and increase sales by up to $100 million.
The Illinois Lottery says it has taken measures to ensure that the lottery is played legally and responsibly. There's an elaborate registration program to verify age, and your IP address will be used to make sure you're within state lines when you play. Furthermore, the lottery says the internet actually allows them to do more to prevent and treat gambling addictions thanks to "sophisticated customer relationship management programs."
To a certain extent this was probably inevitable no matter how uneasy online gambling makes some people, and there are already predictions that other states will quickly follow Illinois' lead.The pilot program is authorized for 36-48 monts after which officials will presumably count their stacks of money to figure out whether or not it's worth it. See the embedded PDF below for more of the lottery's facts and figures about how online lottery tickets are going to save the world. [Illinois Lottery]
Some helpful readers pointed out that Minnesota was the first state to sell lottery tickets online—not Illinois