Lottery machines to sell, cash tix at Wawas

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The Wawa lottery machine, at right, dishes out vouchers instead of cash when a ticket is redeemed or the player wants change. The vouchers can be spent on items or redeemed at the register. (Peter Mucha / Staff)

The gambling guv is in town to announce "a new partnership between two longtime Pennsylvania institutions."

Those institutions: Wawa and the state lottery.

The official announcement with Gov. Rendell, who championed casinos around the state, takes place at 3:30 p.m. at the Wawa at 11th and Arch Streets.

But the plan - to roll out lottery vending machines at Wawas across the state - has been in the works since spring.

Under a pilot program, 40 Wawas have been testing new machines, which dispense tickets for both instant and numbers games, including both Powerball and Mega Millions.

A player puts in cash - $1 to $20 bills, no credit cards - and selects games, any numbers and dollar amounts, then gets any change in the form of a voucher that can be used as cash at the register.

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The machine can also scan tickets, and turn smaller winners into vouchers as well.

It's the voucher part - as well as Wawa being a source for tickets - that's new, not the idea of lottery machines.

Players can also fill out cards with their numbers to play jackpot games.

Other new wrinkles - as well as more details - might emerge from the afternoon news conference.

"We were actually the first state in the country to introduce the self-service terminals, back in 2004," said Pennsylvania Lottery spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell.

The kiosk program is expected to expand to at least 80 Wawas, and possibly Rite-Aid stores as well, said state lottery spokeswoman Kirstin Alvanitakis.

"We began to test and pilot the program back in May," said Wawa spokeswoman Lori Bruce.

New Jersey has self-service machines as well, but only for instant tickets. Wawas in the Garden State don't sell lottery tickets yet, said state lottery spokeswoman Mary Ann Rivell.


Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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