The next time Minnesota drivers pay at the pump, the pump might pay them back. The Minnesota State Lottery has launched a pilot program to allow customers to purchase lottery tickets while they fill up their cars. The winning tickets for the November 28 record-setting Powerball jackpot were purchased at convenience stores, but Ed Van Petten, director of the Minnesota State Lottery, said sales of lottery tickets at gas pumps have been brisk.
It works like this: Customers who use debit cards to fill up can enter their mobile phone numbers when they buy a lottery ticket at the pump. Their lottery numbers are then sent to their phone via text message, and the pump prints out a receipt. After the drawing, drivers get a text message telling them whether they won. Drivers can track their playing history and choose to have winnings of $599 or less paid directly to their bank accounts. Credit cards are not permitted.
The program was developed by Linq3, a New York-based software developer. The same lottery software is also available at various ATMs in Minnesota sports bars and is part of the same pilot program.
(Source: Todd Sperry, CNN.com)