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Mobile phones are now an option to play Powerball and Mega Millions lottery games in Ohio

August 28, 2018

Mobile phones are now an option to play Powerball and Mega Millions lottery games in Ohio

CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Ohio Lottery is going mobile with the Powerball and Mega Millions games, allowing players to activate tickets and collect winnings using their personal phones.

Technically speaking, tickets cannot be purchased using a phone.

Instead, under the new system rolled out this month at selected retailers, gift cards must first be purchased in person.

The cards can then be activated with a mobile device, at a date for a drawing of the player’s choosing. Winners are notified by text messages, and most winnings are paid automatically via PayPal.

The cards are being sold at Target, Buehler’s, Giant Eagle and Kroger, lottery spokeswoman Danielle Frizzi-Babb said.

The Lottery Card, as the gift card is called, was created and is being distributed by a partnership of two technology companies, Linq3 and Blackhawk Network.

The cost is $10 for five plays or $20 for 10 plays, plus 89 cents for a setup fee. Players can purchase the cards at the checkout line, instead of having to go to special service desks at the stores.

While most winnings are distributed electronically, through PayPal, winnings of $600 or more must be collected through the lottery, the same as with standard tickets.

Mega Millions drawings are held at 11 p.m. each Tuesday and Friday.

The largest jackpot in the history of the Mega Millions game was $656 million on March 30, 2012. There is a 1-in-303 million chance of winning the jackpot. But there are other payouts for as little as $2.

Powerball drawings are each Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. This week’s jackpot is estimated at $80 million. Tickets have a 1-in-292 million chance of winning the jackpot. The smallest prize is $4.

Ohio joined the multi-state Mega Millions game in 2002, and began selling Powerball tickets in 2010.

Follow casino and gambling coverage at cleveland.com/casino.

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