As shoppers across the country race to get tickets for the record-setting $900 million Mega Millions jackpot, Ohioans have access to a new way to play that provides an exciting, convenient and fun lottery experience. The new text-to-play Lottery Card, now available in Kroger, Buehler’s Fresh Foods and Giant Eagle stores statewide, allows Ohio consumers to enter draw games on their phones and get notified and paid electronically if they win. Ohio is among the first states to debut this digital lottery option. The Lottery Card is the result of a collaboration between Linq3 and Blackhawk Network (Blackhawk).
“The Lottery Card allows shoppers to skip the long lines to buy a ticket during high lottery jackpots. This is because the cards are available at grocers throughout the state and can be purchased at any checkout, not just the service desk,” said Tom Spiegel, Linq3 Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The astounding, record-setting $900 million Mega Millions jackpot is a great time for Ohioans to try this new way to play. The Lottery Card marries a fun, digital lottery experience with the convenience of a gift card.”
The Lottery Card provides a host of consumer benefits:
- No more lost tickets – digital tickets are sent to the player’s phone via text and picture message
- No need to check numbers – players are notified via text and picture message if they win
- No uncollected prizes or need to return to the store to collect low-tier wins (under $600) – every time players win a prize under $600, they get paid electronically via PayPal
- Buy at ANY checkout – Lottery Cards can be purchased at any checkout in a participating retailer, not just the service desk
- Lottery Cards are reusable – players can keep their cards for easy replay the next time they return to the store.
Lottery Cards are currently available for both Powerball and Mega Millions, and cost $10 for five plays and $20 for 10 plays. Consumers are charged the cost of their chosen Lottery Card plus $0.89 for Mobile Play Benefits.
To play, consumers simply purchase the Lottery Card at their favorite Kroger, Buehler’s or Giant Eagle location. When ready to enter the next lottery drawing, the player texts in the Lottery Card’s unique code to a specified number, provides their name and confirms their location to complete a one-time card enrollment. The player then receives a picture message with the quick pick numbers, draw date and other transaction information. Winners are notified via text and picture message and most winnings are paid automatically via PayPal. After enrolling, players can use their Lottery Card to play again and again by presenting it at checkout. More details regarding this new way to play, including where to buy the Lottery Card, are available at playatthecheckout.com.
The Lottery Card is the result of a partnership between Linq3 and Blackhawk Network (Blackhawk). Linq3 is an innovation and technology company that designs, builds and markets state-of-the-art solutions that make it easier and more fun to play the lottery. Blackhawk is a global financial technology company and leader in connecting brands and people through branded value solutions, including gift cards.
The Lottery Card provides Ohio shoppers with a great new way to gift the excitement of Powerball and Mega Millions in the convenient package of a gift card. Based on independently-conducted research, 44 percent of consumers surveyed are interested in receiving a gift card to play the lottery, while 43 percent would be interested in giving a lottery gift card.
According to the National Retail Federation, for the eleventh year in a row, gift cards have been the most popular items on holiday wish lists in America. The addition of the Lottery Card to checkout lanes and gift card racks will provide consumers with a new gift card option for the five gift-giving holidays―and retailers with a new way to capitalize on lottery interest during peak jackpots.
Between 2007 and 2016, the Ohio Lottery contributed more than $8.04 billion to the state’s education system, including more than $1.06 billion in 2016 alone.4