2008-10-01

Online Paperless Lottery Tickets: doing my part to save the environment


You invest/gamble you life savings online, why not buy online lottery tickets?

There must be a least a hundred places to buy a Lotto 6/49 ticket within a km from my Moncton home. And although I literally walk past the Atlantic Lottery Corporation's headquarters every day, I keep forgetting to check my ticket and claim my winnings.

Now, at least in Atlantic Canada, you can buy individual 6/49 tickets online. You can upload money to your account using your credit card, online bank transfers and food stamps (kidding about food stamps). More importantly, they will automatically notify you when you have won, and upon your request, wire the money to your bank.

This is the perfect solution for those of us with an unhealthy fear of oversized novelty checks.

Be forewarned that when you sign up, the weekly spending limit is firm. I managed to win some money in the instant games, but I couldn't play that money after reaching my spending limit. Fine, I thought, I'm a smart person, I'll just temporarily increase my spending limit. Unfortunately, I have to wait 7 days for that to happen! I'm pretty sure the waiting period for a gun permit isn't that long. So just like a gun permit, best to get one before you need it.

I was about to give myself a huge weekly spending limit in case I hit an other winning streak but the maximum is $99. Remember, this includes spending winnings.

As a taxpayer, I'm happy New Bruwswick has online gambling. Basically, everybody with an Internet account will now be forking over 5 grand a year to alc.ca . The reason I say this is that the entertainment value is pretty big. If you take proper hygiene precautions, taking a dump with a laptop will never have been so much fun. Nothing quite like the thrill of betting on hockey 9 days after the end of summer. Gambling helps in the caring element which is essential when following sports. And unlike an illegal booky, your credit card company isn't allowed to physically hurt you (except for stress related ailments).

Some of the instant games are pretty addictive. Spending $1 quickly turned into a $40 win at a poker type game. Of course, I got greedy, let it ride and lost it all. A dice game is also fun, but the warning that the odds aren't the same as actual dice is kind of off-putting. That is what really bugs me about lottery companies in Canada, they go out of their way to hide the odds. Buying a 6/49 ticket will give you a 1 in 13.9 million or so chance to strike it rich. Two tickets will buy you a 1 in 6.95 million chance. Is the odds difference really worth the extra $2? Put it an other way, buying a 6/49 ticket is pretty stupid; but buying two 6/49 tickets is twice as stupid. But at least online you are saving valuable line-up and ticket verification time. 

So when is Alcohol NB going to implement online beer delivery?

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