As of Tuesday, Minnesotans can use their smartphones to buy tickets for Powerball and other lottery games based on the drawing of numbers.
New York-based Jackpocket will take orders for tickets and then buy them for customers from lottery retailers. Players will typically pay a 7 percent fee for that. Jackpocket CEO Peter Sullivan says his company will also keep track of tickets.
"Users don't have to worry about losing their tickets," he said. "They're automatically provided an email that attaches their identity to the serial number on the ticket. And they get to see a high-resolution image of the front and back of the ticket."
Players cannot bet more than $100 a day.
The Minnesota lottery briefly sold scratch-off tickets online but the state Legislature halted that in 2015.
The state lottery says it has no affiliation with Jackpocket or another company, Lottery.com, that plans to offer a similar service. But both companies agreed to follow some lottery guidelines, including limiting ticket sales to adults within the state's borders.
Jackpocket's business model is legal under state law, which permits so-called "lottery service businesses."
"They purchase lottery tickets on behalf of customers or subscribers for a fee," said Minnesota State Lottery spokesperson Adam Prock. "They essentially operate as a courier service."
So far, for the state's current fiscal year, which ends Saturday, Minnesotans have bet $587 million with the lottery. They've won $344 million. The state has netted $135 million, after operating and other costs.
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