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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missourians who enjoy playing the state's Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries will soon have another way to do so. Consumers will be able to electronically purchase lottery tickets for both games at 15 gas stations on 150 individual pumps this fall.
According to a report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the effort is designed to sell more lottery tickets as the state budget has grown more reliant on the Missouri Lottery to fund public education.
In the new budget, which takes effect July 1, the Missouri Legislature is hoping the lottery will generate record sales and hence transfer a record $298.5 million back to the state for education.
When motorists visit any of the 15 gas stations that offer the play-at-the-pump option, they will automatically be able to purchase electronic or receipt-printed tickets when they insert their debit cards to pay for fuel. Payouts less than $600 will go directly to the winner's debit card, the news outlet reported.
The Show-Me State has not yet determined which 15 gas stations will be involved in the pilot program.
In an effort to further increase lottery sales, 100 ATMs will also be equipped to sell electronic lottery tickets. These ATMs will be in the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas, according to the news source.
The Missouri Lottery Commission's goal is to attract players who have never played the lottery. Judy Gerke, chief financial officer for the Commission, noted that it has already received a lot of interest from consumers planning to play the lottery at the gas pumps and ATMs.
Minnesota is the only state currently offering electronic lottery ticket sales. Minnesota Lottery Executive Director Ed Van Petten told the Post-Dispatch the program is performing well thus far.
"The technology seems to be working very well," he said. "It's not a ton of sales, but everything's working properly."