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These days, nearly everywhere you go in the US, there’s a state lottery. Few states, however, have yet embraced the idea of an internet lottery. For about two-thirds of the country, the status quo is that lottery tickets are legally available for purchase, but only in paper form and only in person.
Several services have sprung up over the years to address this situation and allow remote ticket purchases. Most of these are illegal or, at best, operate in a legal gray area. Depending on where you live, however, there is one fully legal and regulated option: Jackpocket.com.
Jackpocket currently operates in nine states plus Washington D.C., and is looking to add more. It works almost like purchasing tickets at your local gas station or supermarket, except that you do it on your phone, from the comfort of your own home or wherever you may be. The company physically purchases the tickets you request and holds them safely for you until the draw.
For each state in which it operates, Jackpocket has partner retailers from which it buys tickets. Jackpocket users deposit funds to their account and make ticket purchases, with all the same options they’d have buying tickets in person.
Jackpocket then purchases the requested tickets on the user’s behalf and stores the physical tickets safely. Careful records are kept, and the user receives a scan of their actual ticket, front and back, plus its serial number.
Once the draw happens, Jackpocket lets the user know if they’ve won. Tickets winning up to $600 are redeemed by the company itself and the prize money deposited directly to the user’s Jackpocket account. From there, it can be withdrawn to their bank, or used to buy more tickets.
Prizes over $600 can only be redeemed by the ticket’s lawful owner. In these cases, Jackpocket arranges for the ticket’s secure delivery to the user so that they can redeem it themselves.
Jackpocket offers $3 off your first purchase. It’s not the most impressive bonus we’ve come across, but it still provides the opportunity to try out the app at a discount. No bonus code is required to activate the offer, simply follow our links and sign up for your account.
The Jackpocket app is fairly self-explanatory. If you’ve done any other sort of online shopping, you probably already know how to use it to buy tickets. Some features, like setting up a private lottery pool, are a little more involved, but still easy to figure out. There’s also ample help documentation, and the company’s customer service agents are available to answer questions if you get confused.
Jackpocket is mobile-only at the moment. There’s no browser-based app available, so you’ll need a smartphone or tablet to use it.
Signing up for Jackpocket is a little more complicated than just walking into a store to buy a ticket. Once you’re set up, however, buying tickets takes only a few clicks. There are even automatic purchase options so you can play every draw with no additional effort at all.
These are the steps required to use Jackpocket:
If you decide to stop using Jackpocket or want to cash out part of your winnings, withdrawing is easy, using the same methods available for deposits.
Jackpocket makes its profit by charging a small deposit fee, usually just a few dollars. The exact fee depends on how much you deposit at a time and is subject to change. However, the amount you’ll be charged is always clearly indicated on the deposit screen before you confirm your deposit.
That’s the only point at which Jackpocket will take a cut. The tickets themselves will cost you exactly as much as you’d pay in the store. If you win, you receive 100% of your winnings and Jackpocket will not take a penny. There is also no fee from Jackpocket for withdrawing your money, though some third-party payment processors might charge one depending on which method you’re using.
Overall, it’s well worth it for the convenience, and if you’re in the habit of driving to buy your tickets, will probably pay for itself in gas money before long.
At this time, Jackpocket is legal in the following places:
The company has received explicit approval from each of these jurisdictions to offer its services. It expects to add more states to the list in 2021.
For the most part, any draw-based lottery that you could purchase at your local retailer will be available through your phone once you sign up with Jackpocket. Instant lotteries are excluded, so you’ll still have to buy your scratch-offs and pull tabs in person.
Unfortunately, any sort of interstate gambling is a thorny legal issue in the US. Therefore, Jackpocket can’t currently buy out-of-state tickets for you. That’s the case even if both states have approved Jackpocket. For instance, a Jackpocket user in Colorado can’t use it to buy Minnesota tickets or vice versa.
In order to assure legal compliance, Jackpot uses geolocation technology. It won’t allow you to use the app if you’re physically outside of one of the permitted states.
On the other hand, a number of US states have their own iLotteries, and more are joining the trend each year. Depending on where you live, you might already have online access directly through the lottery’s own website.
If your state hasn’t approved Jackpocket and doesn’t have an iLottery, then you’re out of luck for the time being. That said, Jackpocket is working on getting approval in additional states. You can sign up for their mailing list so you’ll be the first to know if they do become available. In that case, you may even receive an offer to participate in early-access trials before it becomes available to the general public.
There are several deposit and withdrawal options regardless of where you live, but the options vary a little bit from state to state. Here are your choices:
You will be able to withdraw money using the same method you used to deposit. Note that some of these may incur additional fees on top of Jackpocket’s deposit fee.
Under the terms of Jackpocket’s agreement with the states it serves, it can redeem winning tickets under $600 on your behalf. This is done instantly and automatically. By the time you know that you have a winning ticket, the money will already be in your account.
Prizes over $600 have to be redeemed by you and in person. If you’re lucky enough to have won a big prize, Jackpocket will get in touch to arrange a safe and convenient way of delivering your winning ticket to you so that you can redeem it.
Absolutely. Whereas unauthorized lottery resellers can be risky, Jackpocket has been fully vetted and approved by the states in which it operates. Any tickets you purchase through Jackpocket belong to you and are guaranteed safe. You’ll also be given their unique serial numbers and high-resolution scans of both their front and back to put your mind at ease.
If you want to participate in a lottery pool, you and the other participants are entering a legally binding contract, witnessed by Jackpocket. Thus, these arrangements offer a layer of security above and beyond your informal office lottery pool.
In terms of payment processing, Jackpocket adheres to the same protocols as other legal online gambling sites. All the sensitive portions of your banking or credit card information are encrypted and stored with trusted banking partners, never on Jackpocket’s own servers.
Beyond just acting as an online store for lottery tickets, Jackpocket has a few special features for your convenience.
You can always choose your own numbers when buying a ticket, but if you’d rather randomize, Jackpocket can do that for you. Just choose the Quick Pick option. This works much the same as it does when you’re buying a ticket in person, but Jackpocket gives you a bit more flexibility.
For one thing, you can see the numbers before confirming your purchase, and generate a new set if you don’t like them. You can also choose some specific numbers and randomly generate the rest. If there are specific numbers you don’t like, you can even tell Jackpocket to give you some random numbers that don’t include your unlucky ones!
If there’s a lottery you want to play every week, Jackpocket lets you set that up easily. As long as you have the necessary funds in your account, the type and number of tickets you specify will be purchased for you before each draw. You can set it up to play the same numbers every draw, or use any of the Quick Pick options mentioned above. You can also cancel your Autoplays any time.
You can set a minimum balance for your Jackpocket account and a top-up amount. Any time your balance drops below the minimum, the app will automatically make the specified top-up using whatever deposit method you’ve chosen. This feature is mostly useful in combination with Autoplay, to ensure you don’t miss a draw due to insufficient funds. Jackpocket will recommend a minimum balance and top-up amount to make sure you always have enough on hand for your Autoplays.
As with Autoplay, you can cancel Autodeposit any time. Keep in mind that Jackpocket charges a fee on each deposit, however. You may be better off making larger but less frequent deposits than many small ones.
Lottery pools are a popular way to increase your chances of winning the jackpot. People often organize these on their own, with friends or coworkers. Jackpocket makes it easy to do the same thing online.
Entering a Jackpocket lottery pool is a legally binding contract for you and everyone else participating, so it’s completely safe. Jackpocket holds all the tickets for the pool, just as it would hold ones you purchased individually.
Your share in a pool is determined by the number of tickets you contribute, and you’ll receive a portion of any winnings based on that share. For instance, if you have contributed $25 worth of tickets to a pool worth $100, you will get 25% of the prizes from any winning tickets in the pool.
You can set up your own private pools and invite your friends, or accept invites sent by them. You can also create pools that are open to the general public, or browse other users’ public pools to find one you want to join. The bigger the pool, the greater your chances of winning, but the more people you’ll be sharing any prizes with.
If you have any questions that weren’t answered here, the first place to check is the FAQ on Jackpocket’s site. There is also in-app help and a tutorial available.
If you still can’t find the answer you’re looking for, then there are two easy ways to get in touch with a Jackpocket representative.