Jackpot is an online lottery startup eager to tap into the billion-dollar lottery industry. It has its fortunes set on Texas and the handful of states that allow online lottery sales. High-profile investors are betting Jackpot hits in Texas and beyond.
With betting options limited in Texas, playing the lottery is popular with gamblers in The Lone Star State. The Texas Lottery does not sell tickets online, but at least one third-party vendor does. Jackpot aims to be another.
Jackpot attracts big-name investors
The startup recently completed a Series A round of funding worth $35 million. Several high-profile members of the sports, entertainment and business communities jumped on board.
Longtime Houston Rocket and current Philadelphia 76er James Harden is among them. So are Joel Embiid and Grammy-winning rap artist Lil Baby.
Some of the other major donors to Jackpot include:
- The Kraft Group (including Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots)
- Theo Epstein, Chicago Cubs GM
- Mike Gordon, Fenway Sports Group President
- Jason Robins, DraftKings Co-founder and CEO
- Martin Brodeur, NHL HOF Goalie
- Sam Kennedy, Boston Red Sox President and CEO
Jackpot CEO: Ease of buying tickets key to success
The lottery is a $100 billion-a-year industry. More than half of all Americans play. Only 5% currently play online. In an increasingly-cashless society, that ratio will likely change.
Jackpot aims to precipitate that change by making mobile purchases of lottery tickets as easy as possible. Jackpot CEO Akshay Khanna sees ease of buying as a way to bring lottery to a “younger and more diverse demographic.”
Khanna was previously GM of Stubhub North America He also served as the 76ers’ Vice President of Strategy, hence the Harden and Embiid connection.
Player buys online, Jackpot buys physical ticket
Khanna said Jackpot operates like “the Uber Eats of the lottery.” It aggregates available state lotteries and major national lotteries like PowerBall and Mega Millions in an app. Players buy tickets through their smartphone or home computer. Jackpot charges a service fee from 12% to 18% depending on state regulations.
To be clear, physical tickets are still purchased. Jackpot employees buy tickets then scan them into the app. So, Jackpot does not eradicate lottery machines. Jackpot has not said whether it will place limits on ticket purchases.
Jackpot is banking that the convenience of playing from home will attract players. The app promises to make tracking tickets and recording play history simple. Scans of all tickets purchased get stored in the app, securing them against theft and fraud.
Jackpot expects to go live this year
Khanna told Fox Business the app should go live around the “end of 2022.” It will likely launch in the states where online lottery play is allowed. Here are the states that currently allow online lottery ticket sales and the vendors that sell them:
|State/Territory with Online Lottery||Site Providing Lottery Tickets|
|Georgia||Georgia Lottery Website|
|Illinois||Illinois Lottery Website|
|Kentucky||Kentucky Lottery Website|
|Michigan||Michigan Lottery Website|
|North Carolina||North Carolina Lottery Website|
|North Dakota||North Dakota Lottery Website|
|Pennsylvania||Pennsylvania Lottery Website|
|Virginia||Virginia Lottery Website|
Jackpocket beat Jackpot to the punch
Thinking of another company in this space? Jackpot is a little late to the online lottery game. Jackpocket sells lottery tickets in several states. It functions much like Jackpot’s proposed app.
Both are third-party vendors that “facilitate the purchasing of official lottery tickets.” For Texans who can’t wait for Jackpot’s app to launch, Jackpocket is currently live.
Problem gambling a concern
The ease of purchasing tickets from one’s home naturally fuels concerns over compulsive gambling. Most current online lottery services address that in their terms of service.
The language sounds much the same as other online gambling platforms. Limits can be established before an account takes payment. Self-exclusion lists are built into account creation in apps like Jackpocket. Consumers should expect similar safety measures from Jackpot when it goes live.
Is Jackpot something new or just another option?
This will be the question most Texans ask when Jackpot goes live. It will have to make a concerted effort to separate itself from Jackpocket. The similar names will create a level of ambiguity after Jackpot launches.
Both services seem to offer an interim solution. They save users the legwork involved in purchasing lottery tickets, but they don’t do away with paper machines. In the age of blockchain technology, purchasing lottery tickets online without the need for cumbersome ticket machines and little slips of paper seems highly attainable.