Online lottery option launches in Ohio as Jackpot.com goes live
CLEVELAND — If you like to play the Ohio Lottery, Powerball or Mega Millions but hate the lines at your local gas station or convenience store, you now have another option in Ohio, online.
"Ohioans all over the state are going to be able to buy their lottery tickets on their phone, on their desktop, on their iPad, on whatever digital device they may have," said Akshay Khanna, cofounder and CEO of Jackpot.com. "So no more driving to the gas station, no more walking to your corner store, no more having to deal with pieces of paper and perhaps most importantly, no more having to worry about checking whether you won or not. Our product will do all of that for you."
"We store all of your tickets, we upload a scan so that you can see the digital upload of your ticket, and it gives you peace of mind that your ticket has been purchased," Khanna said. "We store them in fireproof safes. We make sure that you never have to worry about losing them. I cannot tell you how many stories I have now heard since being in this industry about tickets being lost, tickets being crumpled up and rolled into pants pockets, and those pants being put in the washer and those tickets are gone, and there's literally nothing you can do about them."
Another thing that prompted them to launch the site was the number of people who said they bought tickets but never checked them. "People forget to check their results, they forget which drawing they bought the ticket for, they leave the ticket in their car, and when you don't remember to check your results if you check them against the wrong drawing, you don't realize that you won. We do that for you. Automatically we notify you if you won."
Jackpot counts among its Ohio investors the Haslam Sports Group, owner of the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Venture Partners, one of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert's companies. "They believed in us as a team, they believed in the business model that we're building, and they believed just in the huge scale of the opportunity."
They've also struck a marketing partnership with the Cleveland Guardians.
"That's more of a traditional marketing partnership. You will see the Jackpot.com logo and Jackpot.com assets all over the stadium, on radio, emails, and that's more of a traditional partnership in the same way that you would see with a number of different companies in and around your favorite baseball stadium," Khanna said.
The Ohio Lottery has an app, but they don't sell products through it. In a statement, they tell News 5 in part, "There's nothing in the revised code that prevents courier companies from operating in Ohio; however, the Ohio Lottery does not support, endorse, condone, encourage, recommend, or approve of the use of couriers or their applications."
Jackpot charges users a 15% fee for convenience, so if you deposit $100, you'll have $85 to bet.
The launch of sports betting in January, with 98% of all bets placed online, shows the potential for mobile applications for sure, he said. "You don't have to leave your couch to purchase a ticket, and you don't have to leave your couch to get your winnings."
Still, some people prefer to play the way they've always played. At the Shell gas station at Smith and Snow roads in Brook Park, there's always a steady stream of lottery players drawn by the number of people who have won purchasing tickets at this store. Online or not, many, like Anthony Pesce of Brook Park, told us they'll continue to be a brick-and-mortar customer.
"I'm an old-school kind of guy," said Pesce. "I want to see the numbers, feel the tickets, touch 'em."