Lotteries depended on the retailer in the early days. In the UK they were localised with retail outlets the main way that a council, charity or sports club could market their tickets. It was no different when the National Lottery came along in the early 90s. Terminals were placed into retail outlets and there were regular queues of people wanting to buy at the last minute for the Saturday lottery before the televised draw. Plenty of people still regularly go out to buy their tickets and retailers benefit from customers buying other things when they have a go on the lottery. Times have been changing, however, and the Internet is the main reason for that change.
The Internet has become the first place that many consumers go if they want information. After a slow start when people were uncertain about the security of their private financial information it is taking an increasing share of consumer spend. There is no doubt that e-commerce is threatening the High Street which found trading difficult through the years of recession. Retailers are finding it difficult to reverse the trend and it is something that is happening in the lottery field as well.
It is just so convenient to go online and set up an account with someone like elite lotto UK. It means there is no need to go out on a cold winter’s day to buy a ticket. Gamblers simply set up an account and provide financial details that are perfectly secure. They are automatically entered and even their winnings will come into their account without having to check the numbers and make a claim.
Obviously retailers are concerned about the loss of traffic through their stores in general. Online accounts may eat away further at that traffic. This is now a global industry and people can go online and enter lotteries all over the world if they so wish; there are no geographical boundaries on the Internet.
Increased participation has inevitably meant an increase in prizes. The largest individual win to date in the UK has been a couple from Ayrshire who won £161m in 2011. That is a truly enormous win and has rocketed the couple on to the UK’s Rich List. Most people would be delighted with a fraction of that amount. Indeed, the guaranteed million pound winners each week all find that it is a life changing event when their numbers come up.
Anyone can win the big prizes; no one has a better chance than anyone else. The Internet has allowed people to play without the need to do anything once an account is set up. They do that and merely wait for the good news to come.