Why states like S. Carolina, New Jersey and Iowa ban lottery ticket purchases with credit cards
Between the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots, there’s a combined $2.2 billion up for grabs. If you win, here’s some things you must have! Reviewed.com
epa07103113 A woman holds Mega Millions lottery tickets she just bought from a machine in Washington, DC, USA, 18 October 2018. Mega Millions, a 44-state lottery, has a record jackpot of nearly one billion US dollars. Friday’s Mega Millions drawing will be the second largest lottery jackpot in US history. EPA-EFE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS ORG XMIT: MRX04 (Photo: MICHAEL REYNOLDS, EPA-EFE)
Many Americans who hoped to fund their dream of winning the $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot by buying a 6-number lottery ticket with their credit card had to pay with cash instead.
And that includes the unidentified newly minted mega-millionaire from South Carolina who held the single winning ticket in this week’s drawing.
The reason: buying lottery tickets using plastic – the go-to form of payment for most Americans – is banned by roughly two dozen U.S. states, according to an analysis from CreditCards.com.
The rules and laws pertaining to lotteries are determined at the state level. And 23 states plus Washington, D.C., forbid the use of credit cards, says Ted Rossman, industry analyst at CreditCards.com.
Adding to the confusion, he says, is that 10 states – including Indiana, Maine and New York – leave the decision up to the retail outlets or stores that sell lottery tickets to millionaire hopefuls.
The main reason some states prohibit lottery players from using their credit cards is they fear some people could get themselves into financial trouble by gambling on the lottery with money they may not have, Rossman explains.
Lawmakers in these states are trying to minimize the risk of Americans running up credit card debt and paying exorbitant interest rates if they carry a balance at the end of the month. The bans are also a way to minimize the number of people that develop gambling addictions.
“States don’t want consumers to rack up credit card debt buying lottery tickets, especially when the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot is slim to none,” says Kimberly Palmer, credit card expert at NerdWallet, a personal finance site. “In California, lotto tickets have a disclaimer at the top that says, ‘Remember, keep it fun. Play responsibly,’ which is something that all consumers should keep top of mind.”
Playing the lottery is a vice for many Americans, with the most frequent players and biggest spenders coming from U.S. households in the lowest income brackets, a Bankrate.com survey found. Twenty-eight percent of U.S. households with annual incomes below $30,000 play the lottery at least once a week, versus just 18 percent of American households that earn $75,000 or more.
Financially strapped households, the Bankrate survey found, spend $412 per year, on average, on lottery tickets – nearly four times the amount that the highest-earning households admit to spending.
An American with low income and a low credit score could pay as much as 25 percent in interest on a credit card, says Rossman. And if that person carried that $412 lottery ticket balance for a full year, he or she would pay more than $100 in interest.
“Unless you are someone that makes an occasional purchase of lottery tickets with a credit card that you pay off at the end month, it’s a bad idea to pay for your lottery tickets with plastic,” says Rossman.The winning Mega Millions ticket was purchased with cash in South Carolina, one of nearly two dozen states that ban credit card purchases of tickets.
It’s Easy to Play
Pick Your Numbers
Select 5 from 70 numbers and 1 out of 25 numbers for Mega Ball. Use a Playslip to choose your numbers or check the QP (Quick Pick) box for randomly generated numbers. Or, simply ask your retailer for a Mega Millions Quick Pick!
Buy Your Ticket
Ticket buyers must be at least 18. Mega Millions tickets cost $2 and are available at most Colorado retailers. Add the Megaplier option for an extra $1 per line of play and multiply your winnings up to five times the original amount (excluding jackpot)*. The Megaplier multiplier (2, 3, 4 or 5) is drawn before the Mega Millions winning numbers.
Lottery games may be purchased using a debit card where accepted by retailers (not all retailers accept debit cards). Lottery tickets can never be purchased with a credit card.
Play Multiple Drawings
Purchase up to 13 weeks (26 drawings) in advance with Advance Play. Just check the Advance Play box on the Playslip or ask your retailer for it. You’ll play the same numbers for all drawings.
Check Your Winnings
Have winning numbers sent to your cell phone or email address: sign up for MyLottery. Winning numbers are also available from retailers, your local newspaper, on the late news on some television stations, and right here!
*Mega Millions officials may reduce prize levels for Mega Millions and/or the MegaPlier in the event that the number of winner claims exceed the available prize fund for a given draw. In this instance, dollars allocated to each prize level impacted will be divided equally among the winners.To play Mega Millions, select 5 from 75 numbers and 1 out of 15 numbers for the Mega Ball, and check back on Tuesday and Friday nights to see if you won! ]]>