Customers may be able to buy lottery tickets at Calif. gas station pumps

SACRAMENTO - The California Lottery Commission held a hearing Thursday regarding a project that would allow people to buy lottery tickets while pumping gas.

The play at the pump pilot program would take place at more than 100 gas stations in the Sacramento and Los Angeles regions. Customers would have to purchase gas before buying lottery tickets at the pump. They would have the option to purchase quick pick tickets in Mega Millions, Powerball, and Super Lotto Plus games.

The play-at-the-pump will only take debit or credit cards and players who win anything less than $600 will have that money placed directly onto the winner's debit or credit card.

The machines require players to swipe their IDs to verify age eligibility.

What about others waiting to pump gas?

"It takes like about 30 seconds to actually buy your lottery tickets," California Lottery spokesman Russ Lopez said. "So it's not going to hold up the line."

John Lozano, a gas station customer, likes the idea.

"Sometimes it's packed in there. Here it's easier to do it here instead of going inside, and you don't have to worry about going in there and waiting in line and out here would be easier," Lozano said.

Lopez said the lottery commission still has to OK the project. He said while lottery officials hope the project will boost tickets sales to close to $5 billion, they also want be able to give more than last year's $1.28 billion to California public schools.


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