The Georgia Lottery Board of Directors voted Thursday to begin a plan to allow players to buy tickets for jackpot games online, according to media reports.
MegaMillions, PowerBall and Fantasy 5 will be the initial offerings, according to lottery president Margaret DeFrancisco.
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The online sales would begin later this year or in 2013.
"Our mission here is to maximize revenue for the HOPE Scholarship and Pre-K programs," DeFrancisco told WSB-TV.
The lottery reported record sales of $3.8 billion in the fiscal year ending June 30, but rising enrollments and tuition costs have reduced funds available to HOPE scholars.
Developer Dan O'Leary, who has been working on a , responded to the news about online tickets in a press release.
“We are encouraged that the Georgia Lottery is expanding revenue sources for the HOPE scholarship, but it seems to me that the people of Georgia would prefer a more secure environment rather than gaming being available in their living rooms," he said, adding that his facility would offer that security.
O'Leary has estimated that his project, which includes video lottery terminals, would create 2,500 jobs and $350 million annually for the HOPE scholarship and Pre-K. The developer in April so that they could approve its VLT use in order to start construction, but the board practically shot it down.
Commenting further on the online tickets, O'Leary said, "This initiative will not raise the amount of money our project will, nor will it create jobs or protect Georgians by providing gaming in a secure destination environment."
O'Leary most recently at its monthly board meeting to present the project and answer questions from the audience.
What do you think about buying lottery tickets online? Would you use it? Tell us in the comments.