Smartphone App Now Allows Minnesotans to Play the Powerball, State Lottery
As of Tuesday, Minnesotans looking to save the trip to the gas station to buy lottery tickets now have an alternative.
The new lottery-linked app Jackpocket has officially launched statewide and will allow residents to both order lottery tickets and play lottery games on their phones.
For the app’s games, which include Powerball, Gopher 5, Mega Million and Lotto American, players can choose their own numbers or have random numbers assigned for them, as it goes with store-bought lottery tickets.
The app also allows players to view their tickets, check results, find a nearby lottery retailer, utilize an auto-play component so they won’t miss a Jackpot opportunity, and even acquire bonus credits for referring friends.
“Growing up, my dad was an avid lottery player and that’s what inspired me to create Jackpocket,” said Peter Sullivan, Jackpocket co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “I wanted to make playing the lottery easier and more secure.”
Sullivan stresses that Jackpocket – founded in New York in 2013 – contains uniquely advanced security systems to protect users and ensure players don’t lose tickets. Specifically, the app locks tickets to users, sends digital receipts of transactions, and alerts players to any winnings.
Jackpocket charges a small fee to add bank account-sourced funds to a customer’s Jackpocket account, which the person can then use to order tickets on the app. Following a customer order, Jackpocket physically purchases a ticket from an official lottery retailer, scans it into the system, and sends the receipt and ticket serial number.
Winnings of less than $600 get automatically deposited into a user’s Jackpocket account, while winnings over that amount will be delivered securely in person based on an arrangement made between Jackpocket and the user.
In keeping with legal guidelines as a Lottery Service Business entity, the app uses a GPS check to make sure a user is within state boundaries. It also aims to limit consumer abuses by imposing a daily spending limit of $100, including a feature for players to set a gaming time limit of their own choice, and providing contact information for the National Council on Problem Gaming.
Additionally, Jackpocket checks users’ age and identity before they can play – though that feature may not be needed much, as data from a pilot program in New York and beta testing in Minnesota shows the app has a decidedly different audience than law-breaking youngsters.
Jackpocket says its typical user is 36, married, college educated, with a salary of $65,000 a year.
The app is currently available for iOS, or can be accessed via Jackpocket.com on Android phones. It is operational in New York and Minnesota, but there are plans for the company to launch in other states in the future. Moving forward, Jackpocket also intends to accept debit cards as account funding and has pledged to continue ongoing work to revamp lottery regulations across different states as a means to modernize the business and boost benefits to all stakeholders.
“[Jackpocket gives] our consumers a fun and accessible digital experience,” said Sullivan. “We’re very excited to launch in Minnesota and look forward to reaching players throughout the state.”