Illinois lottery goes online - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Illinois lottery goes online

CARTERVILLE, IL (KFVS) - The Land of Lincoln is leading the nation in online lottery ticket sales.

In fact, the State of Illinois is the only state to sale lottery tickets on the Internet. Online sales were given the green light after federal approval in December. That's when the U.S. Department of Justice reversed its decision on allowing Internet gambling.

The online sales kicked off on Sunday morning at 7 a.m., and as of Monday afternoon the Internet sales were in the double digits of thousands of dollars.

"So far we've sold $16,000 on Sunday," said Mike Lang spokesperson for the Illinois Lottery. " And as of 4 p.m. on Monday we've sold $18,000 in Mega-millions and Illinois Lottery sales."

Currently those are the only two games that players can buy tickets for online.

But, not everyone is buying.

"I can see where there might be some different problems for people," said Lee O'Keefe of Carterville. "I'm thinking about it may cause more addiction if it's a lot easier for people to get it. And a lot of people don't have the money to spend on that, but they'll do it because it's easy to do it."

"Wow this is the first I've heard of it. I think that could be a little dangerous for people that have addictions," said KImberly Baltzell of Murphysboro.

There are some advantages though to buying tickets online then in the stores for some players.

"I play about twice a week," said Dewayne Kelley of Carterville. " I think it's a great idea. It's going to make it a lot more convenient for people. And you won't have to worry so much about getting here on time."

The online sales can only be made by someone who is 18 years of age and who lives in the State of Illinois.

A spokesperson for the Illinois Lottery says they're not expecting Internet sales to ever surpass their in-store sales. But they will bring in some extra revenue for the state.

"More than 50-percent of our total sales comes from scratch-off tickets. And our number one seller overall is the Pick 3 game," said Lang. "This past Friday were averaging more than $5,600 a minute on the Mega-million game alone."

The Illinois Lottery is currently working on a legislative measure that would add the Powerball game tickets to their Internet sales.

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