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Kentucky Lottery installing self-service machines

Oct 21, 2011, 8:32 am

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Kentucky Lottery

State prepares for upcoming Powerball changes

A one-dollar Powerball ticket will soon be a thing of the past. Changes are coming to the Kentucky Lottery.

After the first of the year a Powerball ticket will cost $2 instead of $1. "There are some changes coming to the Powerball game in January," says lottery spokesman Chip Polston, "where Powerball is going to become a $2 game that we really hope is going to spur those larger jackpots that players really like to play."

That is just one of the changes at the lottery to try to increase sales. Another change customers may have already noticed are new blue vending machines in retail stores across the state. 400 new machines are in place with perhaps 200 more to come.

The new machines are state of the art and allow players to purchase online gaming tickets as well as scratch-offs. Powerball, Mega Millions, Pick 3, Pick 4, for example, can be purchased straight from these machines," says Polston. "You don't have to wait in line at the retail counter anymore. You can come in and get your tickets and be on your way."

Charlie Bell, a regular lottery player, is a fan of the new machines. "They keep from holding you up in a long line," he says. "You can go up and play your numbers, so I think they are really convenient and I like them."

The lottery hopes the new machines will increase sales, which were down slightly last fiscal year from the previous year, but are up again the first two months of this fiscal year. "Our overall sales so far for the year are a little higher than where we were last year," says Polston, "but we are lower than our budget and where we want to be at this point in the year."

Polston says for the first time the lottery has its new vending machines in one of the so-called big box stores where more potential customers can be found. Adds Polston, "They have so much to take care of, they cannot take care of lottery sales at their stores, so we launched just a couple of weeks ago a program with K-Mart in Kentucky where its going to have 29 of these machines all across the state."

Polston says the lottery hopes to get the new machines in other big box stores like Wal-Mart. He point out the machines do not dispense winnings. Winners will still have to go the store counter to collect their prizes.

In June the lottery paid the state a dividend of more than $212 million, money that goes to college scholarships and grants.

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