Ed Van Petten
Legislation reeling in the Minnesota Lottery’s spread into sales of tickets through gas pumps, ATMs and its Internet site is again on the move.
Armed with sales statistics tailored for each legislative district, the Minnesota Lottery chief is paying visits to lawmakers as he attempts to repair strained relationships and head off another showdown over tickets sold on the Internet, through automated cash-machines and at gas station pumps.
>Instant-play lottery games won’t be available on the Internet or Minnesota gas pumps as of November if legislation ready for final votes prevails.
A month after instant “scratch-off” Minnesota Lottery ticket sales went live on the Internet, the pioneering venture faces a high-powered threat at the Capitol. The Senate leaders of both parties and tax committee heads in both chambers are seeking a one-sentence change in state law to permanently turn off the new portal for gambling. Among other issues, lawmakers are upset that lottery officials introduced the games without seeking their approval through explicit legislation allowing it.
Caroline Kennedy was sworn in as the ambassador to Japan on Tuesday. So, that had Wendy from Eagan wondering: What does being an ambassador entail? According to the U.S. State Department, a U.S. ambassador is the president’s highest-ranking representative to another country. That person’s main role is to coordinate the Foreign Service office and the staff that serves under him or her. An ambassador is nominated by the president, but must be approved by the Senate. Some ambassadors are long-time diplomats, and others have been political friends or allies. In this case, Caroline Kennedy is a well-known person from prominent political family who will fill a high-profile ambassadorship.
State lawmakers expressed concern Wednesday with the Minnesota Lottery’s gradual push into Internet and other electronic ticket sales, saying they were worried about how far the virtual gambling could go.
The Minnesota Lottery will set a new sales record for the sixth consecutive year. According to the Lottery’s Executive Director Ed Van Petten, last year’s record amount of $520 million will easily be passed. “Sales for the current fiscal year were already ahead of last years by the end of May,” Van Petten said. “When we close out the fiscal year on June 30, we will be well ahead of last year’s total sales.”
The Minnesota State Lottery is looking beyond simple scratch off tickets to help fund a Vikings stadium.
The record $640 million Mega Millions jackpot helped drive March’s record-breaking lottery sales, the Minnesota State Lottery said.
The record Mega Millions jackpot generated $5.2 million for funds that will benefit Minnesota’s schools, states services, game and natural resources, the Minnesota State Lottery says.
Everybody knows it’s the longest of long shots, but that doesn’t stop lottery ticket holders from dreaming of what they would do with a $640 million jackpot. Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing is the richest jackpot in world history.