All of us play the lottery from time to time. Frantically scratching lottery tickets does not make us maniacs, however. Mostly, we are people who would like to hit it big, worn out by long hours at the office or working on weekends. We get tired of waiting for that precious one-week vacation as if it were heaven on earth. In other words, early retirement is the main goal on the ever elusive horizon, a tantalizing but futile dream.
Dream on, even if you’ve been scratching for years. Do not give up! Or rather — better still — become a lottery ticket retailer. This will conveniently service your habit and earn you some money while selling to other people.
Here are the basics, along with some useful information about a lottery bond and why should you acquire it. It is necessary to point out that, even though all states have similar requirements, the specifics may vary. You will have to contact your regional lottery office, which is a part of the state government structure.
Where do I start?
There’s this general perception that it would be so much easier to become a lottery retailer if you already have been operating some kind of retail business for at least six months. Then you can apply at the state’s lottery district office and use your existing business location and name. This works in your favor because when people come in to buy lottery tickets, chances are they will spend some money in your store.
Will it cost me anything?
Yes. Such is life. Often, you need to give first before you receive. Some states will want you to pay minimal upfront fees. There might be a $25 licensing fee. Once you start selling lottery products, a weekly communication charge may occur, but usually it’s not more than $12-$15.
Lottery Surety Bond?
Again, not all states require it and, if they do, the amount varies. The Lottery issues tickets on consignment, and the bond is a financial guarantee meant to protect the state from potential fraudulent practices by retailers and vendors. Basically, the state wants to make sure that it receives what it is due from sales of lottery tickets. A bond may cost $10-$15 per thousand dollars of coverage. Retailers may be required to carry a $15,000 bond, but it could be higher if past lottery sales amounts are taken into consideration. Fill out an application to get a quote if your state requires a lottery surety bond.
What is my commission and are there any bonuses?
Isn’t this the best part? In most states, the commission on a sold ticket is 5 percent, and you get 1-1.5 percent on every ticket cashed at your location. Not to get your head spinning, but an average lottery retailer sells $250,000 in tickets a year, which amounts roughly to $15,000 in commission. Other bonuses apply in accordance with the lottery products you decide to sell. Check with your local lottery office for details.
A criminal background check for you and your employees, if you have any. You will also need a bank letter providing information on your checking account. In that account you will receive the financial statement of your weekly invoice. The Lottery will have access and be authorized to make withdrawals and deposits each week. In addition, it is essential that you provide your Federal ID number for tax payment.
Don’t be surprised if you are required to take a training class to get familiarized with Lottery policies and procedures. The training is performed at the local office.
What is the sequence of events?
First, prepare your application and submit it to the regional office. Then get on with that criminal background check. Meanwhile, your application will be forwarded for approval to the central lottery office. Once your background check is received, you will either get approved or be denied. If everything looks fine, next you will probably receive a letter from the office with the lottery bond requirements. As soon as you take care of the lottery bond, the office will help you install all the necessary equipment and train you how to use it. Now you may begin selling.