Minnesota tests lottery-ticket purchases at the pump
updated 10:07 PM EST, Fri November 30, 2012
The Minnesota State Lottery has launched a pilot program to allow customers to purchase lottery tickets at gas pumps.
- Minnesota Lottery allows drivers to purchase tickets at the gas pump
- After purchase, lottery numbers are texted to players' cell phones
- Lottery officials impose $50-a-week limit to discourage overspending
(CNN) -- The next time Minnesota drivers looking to play the Powerball lottery pay at the pump, the pump might pay them back.
The Minnesota State Lottery has launched a pilot program to allow customers to purchase lottery tickets while they fill up their cars. This week's winning tickets for the $587.5 million Powerball jackpot were purchased at convenience stores, but Ed Van Petten, director of the Minnesota State Lottery, said sales of lottery tickets at gas pumps have been brisk.
Is the lottery a 'swindle flu'?
Conan's surefire winning lottery ticket
It works like this: Customers who use debit cards to fill up can enter their mobile phone numbers when they buy a lottery ticket at the pump. Their lottery numbers are then sent to their phone via text message, and the pump prints out a receipt. After the drawing, drivers get a text message telling them whether they won. Drivers can track their playing history and choose to have winnings of $599 or less paid directly to their accounts. Credit cards are not permitted.
The program was developed by Linq3, a New York-based software developer. Van Petten said developers approached several states before partnering with Minnesota Lottery officials. The same lottery software is also available at various ATMs in sports bars and even at a state driver's license office and is part of the same Minnesota pilot program. Van Petten said South Africa is the only other place he knew of that allows lottery purchases through ATMs.
Minnesota lottery officials have set a weekly purchase limit of $50 through gas pumps and ATM machines to encourage responsible gaming, Van Petten said.
"We're the only ones in the world who are doing this," Van Petten told CNN.
The prize for the Powerball lottery -- held in 42 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia -- swelled to the largest jackpot in Powerball history after the jackpot rolled over 16 times without a winner.
Two winning tickets matched all the numbers in Wednesday night's drawing. On Friday, a Missouri family collected its half of the prize money. Lottery officials have not yet confirmed the identity of the other winner, who bought a ticket in Arizona.
Meet the Powerball winners
He sold a winning Ticket
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.