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Forum News Service, Published April 14 2013

Lottery ATMs being tried in Minnesota

DULUTH, Minn. – If you’re into the Minnesota State Lottery – and your debit card – this is for you.

ATMs that allow users to purchase Minnesota State Lottery tickets with their bank debit cards are popping up around Duluth and Cloquet.

“We’re the guinea pigs for the (Minnesota State) Lottery,” said Jeffrey Vollman, owner of Tunetown Alternative Vending of Duluth, the authorized provider of the new technology in the Duluth area.

To buy Mega Millions and Powerball chances, the debit card is used as with any ATM, except it will also ask for the buyer’s driver’s license. Purchases come out of the debit card account, and prizes can be deposited into the same account. Winnings under $600 are automatically deposited into the account.

The new lottery ATMs have another advantage over the old cash-over-the-counter approach, Vollman said: The purchaser can be contacted about any winnings by setting up a text number.

“You don’t even have to watch it on TV,” Vollman said. “They’ll text and tell you that you won.”

Some are new ATMs with greater capabilities; some are existing machines that have been adapted.

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