Local News

State Launches Lottery Vending Machines

Posted April 10, 2007 7:14 p.m. EDT
Updated April 10, 2007 7:49 p.m. EDT

— They look like vending machines, but they pop out scratch-off lottery tickets instead of candy.

Lottery officials just launched the new machines in an effort to curb long lines to buy tickets. Officials said they might eventually install 500 such machines, primarily in high-volume grocery stores across the state.

Some say the machines could help change the lottery's luck. In its first fiscal year, overall lottery sales are expected to fall as much as $300 million short of expectations.

The machines offer tickets for 24 instant-winner games that range from $1 to $10 a turn.

At one Lowe’s Foods Store where a new machine has been installed, the manager is already getting positive feedback.

“[It’s] very popular. I had a lot of good comments about it already,” said Cliff Wilson. “A lot of times, there would be a lot of people lined up just to buy their lottery tickets. And now, they can just walk right over to the machine and just put in their money and get it.”

Instant scratch-off tickets generate up to $11 million a week in North Carolina, and the vending machines could drive that number even higher.

Players must be at least 18 to play, which is why the vending machines come with a remote control. Clerks can press a button and shut them down if they see someone underage trying to play.