Monday, March 26, 2012

Illinois Lottery Online Review

For the first time, Illinois residents can buy lottery tickets online from the official Illinois Lottery website.  This is the first state to have this option.  Until now, if you wanted to play the lottery, you had to go to a gas station or a grocery store and buy a ticket.  Now you can order them from your own home.  There has been some debate on whether or not this is a good thing.  Personally, I think it is.

I don't play the lottery much, but every once in a while, I buy a ticket just for fun.  Years ago, I first tried to buy a ticket online only to figure out you couldn't do that, so I instead had to stop at a gas station to get one.  This is inconvenient, especially if you want to pick out your own numbers.  So when I heard that you can now buy tickets online, I was excited.

I tried it out yesterday, the first day it was available.  Overall, the process was not as easy as you might expect.  People are making this argument that it is going to be too easy for people to spend their money on lottery tickets now that it is available online.  The truth is, it is actually easier to just buy them in the store.

To buy tickets online, first you have to register.  During this process you have to give a lot of personal information such as your address, phone number, and even your social security number.  The forms to sign up on were not the most user friendly.  It was a little tricky to navigate.  Also, when I was signing up, it timed out even though I didn't take that long.

Once it goes through they send you an email.  This email didn't show up until about 6 or 7 minutes later.  Usually these conformation emails show up within seconds, so I thought it didn't work and I actually called up the lottery help desk to ask why my conformation email didn't show up.  While on the phone with them, it finally showed up in my inbox.

So now that I was officially registered, I could log in.  Once in, you need to give them your credit card or bank information so you can buy the tickets.  I used the credit card option.  After you have set up your payment option, you can then select numbers and buy tickets.

Again, this was not exactly an easy process.  After a few tries I was able to get some quick pick tickets and pay for them.  I had them send a conformation email with the numbers, which again took longer than expected.

Overall the process was ok, but it still has some bugs to be worked out in order to be more efficient.  Considering this is the first day it is available, this type of thing is to be expected.  If you would like to try buying lottery tickets online and you live in Illinois, I would say give it a try, but if this process sounds like too much, then you are better off buying them in the store.

1 comment:

  1. This has been the worst online experience I have ever encountered. I had all the same issues and then some as detailed in the article above. Might posiibly be the worst implementation on a site I have ever seen...and I have seen thousands. Nothing works, I repeat, nothing works right. I am trying to cancel out of frustration and as difficult as it is to get the rest of it working, the cancelling is 100 times worse. Absolutely horrible experience. Just horrible.