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PHILADELPHIA -- The Pennsylvania Lottery network is expanding its reach now that the state has forged a partnership with Wawa. The union is expected to boost ticket sales by as much as $37 million a year. If sales hit that number, it could potentially bring in up to $11 million more a year to Lottery-funded programs that protect older Pennsylvanians’ independence, preserve their health and improve their quality of life.
"When I became governor, one of my first priorities was to direct the Lottery to grow its retail network to maximize sales and profits," Gov. Edward Rendell said in a release. "We wanted the Pennsylvania Lottery to operate more like a business, and it is."
In June, Wawa launched a pilot program in 20 sites to test customers’ receptiveness to self-service Lottery sales in its stores. In October, after seeing positive results, the convenience store chain approved expanding Lottery sales to all 210 Pennsylvania Wawa stores by spring 2011. "Wawa has always embraced change and innovation as a way of continually simplifying our customers’ lives," explained Howard Stoeckel, Wawa president and chief executive officer. "I’m excited to introduce our latest innovation, self-serve Play Central Terminals from the Pennsylvania Lottery, which will give our customers the added convenience of purchasing lottery games and tickets at Pennsylvania Wawa stores."
To date, Lottery tickets are available at 68 Wawa stores. By the end of the month, 89 Wawa stores in Greater Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, Poconos and Northeast Pennsylvania will sell the tickets for instant and terminal-based Lottery games.
Since Rendell took office in 2003, the Lottery has grown its retail network by 24 percent, according to the release. Last year, the Lottery generated more than $915 million in profits.
"The Pennsylvania Lottery has grown -- despite challenging economic times -- to become the fifth most profitable lottery in the nation," Rendell said. "And that growth translates into real, everyday benefits for the hundreds of thousands of older Pennsylvanians who rely on the free rides, hot meals, senior centers, reduced-cost prescriptions, property tax relief and long-term living services the Lottery funds."