The New York State Lottery released an app, reported the Oneida Daily Dispatch, to serve as a “virtual alternative” to the lotto slips purchased every day at gas stations and bodegas.
The app, called Jackpocket, is free to download on smartphones and allows lotto players to buy, play, and even receive lottery winnings instantly from NYS lottery tickets. It’s currently only available for NYS lottery games, but games based in California and New Jersey are expected to follow shortly.
Jackpocket acts as a courier between customers and lottery ticket sellers; it takes orders and then purchases the tickets, rather than selling the tickets directly.
The company behind Jackpocket have stated that the app provides a variety of benefits, especially for those who regularly play the lotto: there’s no waiting around in line; no risk of the clerk accidentally hitting the wrong numbers; it’s impossible to lose the ticket; upon purchasing a ticket, users receive an email confirmation and a push notification on their smartphones, complete with a photo of the ticket; the app provides a subscription service so that players never forget to buy their tickets; and upon winning, notifications are sent automatically.
The app also provides extra incentives, including social features for playing “with” friends, and the app also has resources available for those struggling with a gambling addiction.
The New York Post stated that the Soho company behind Jackpot believes the app will increase lotto players, especially among younger crowds and especially with the Powerball.
Although the Powerball was more than $300 million when the app was released, it seems that overall interest in Powerball games have dropped steadily over the years; CNBC reported that ticket sales for the Powerball in New York dropped by 44% in 2014.
Right now, Jackpot is available for Apple iOS devices and Android devices. App users can play the Powerball, Mega Millions, NYS Lotto, and three other games. There are about 10,000 registered users, who have played over 200,000 games and acquired more than $50,000 in lotto game winnings.