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    First Tennessee Stores Gain Lottery Authorization

    Twenty-seven locations chosen statewide; approval for chains pending.

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- With the lottery games set to launch on February 10, 2003, Aaron Tippin's Aaron Tippin Outdoors became one of the first 27 independent retailers authorized to sell Tennessee Lottery games, according to the Nashville-based Tennessean.

    Lottery President and CEO Rebecca Paul announced the first lottery outlets yesterday as workers installed equipment by technology vendor GTECH Corp., the report stated.

    The organization is evaluating applications by large multi-store chains such as Mapco, Pilot Travel Centers, Roadrunner Markets and Kroger Co., which has said it will offer lottery tickets in all its 54 Middle Tennessee supermarkets.

    Lottery officials have said they hope to launch with 3,000 to 3,500 retailers, or one location for every 1,600 residents, according to the report. Ineligible businesses are any stores set up solely to sell lottery tickets, as well as check cashing, cash-advance or pawn operations.

    After passing criminal, credit and any other background checks the lottery deems necessary, retailers will pocket 6.5 cents for each dollar's worth of tickets sold, and will not receive bonuses for selling a winning ticket, as happens in several other lottery states, according to The Tennessean. They also will have to cash any winning ticket up to and including $599 in their stores.

    About 3,600 retailers answered the initial call for applications. It cost $95 to file one.

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