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Do Lottery retailers get paid for selling winning tickets?
There's a reason over 5,000 stores in Virginia sell Lottery tickets. Virginia's authorized Lottery retailers are eligible for various commissions and bonuses for selling Lottery tickets.
But what about stores that sell winning Lottery tickets? They see even more money through the Lottery’s Selling Bonus Program. The higher the player's winnings, the higher the bonus.
How much money do Lottery retailers make from the Selling Bonus Program? In this post, we'll discuss what the Virginia Lottery's retailer incentives are and how your store can start selling tickets today.
Do stores make money selling Lottery tickets?
Yes, stores that sell Lottery tickets earn a commission from all game sales.
Authorized Lottery retailers in Virginia currently earn a 5% commission for all Lottery games sold in-store. Those sales record as a "credit" on the weekly settlement report. Commissions do not come out of any winner's prize.
In addition to ticket sales, there are other ways Lottery retailers get paid.
- Claims earnings: Winning tickets that are cashed at your store qualify you for additional bonuses. Actual bonus amounts vary by game and year.
- Retailer bonus: Retail locations that sell draw tickets with prizes of $20,000 or more qualify for further bonus payments. Bonus amounts are tiered according to the winner's prize. The higher the prize, the higher the bonus.
- Performance incentives: The Lottery tracks each retailer’s sales and prizes. Stores with higher ticket sales may be eligible for additional retailer bonuses.
- Retailer promotions: The Virginia Lottery offers periodic promotions on specific draw games or Scratchers. Higher sales commissions can exist for the game being promoted.
The 5% commission combined with bonuses, incentives and promotions add up. In Fiscal Year 2019, the Virginia Lottery's total gross sales reached a record high of $2.293 billion. Over half of those gross sales went to funding Lottery prizes: The Lottery paid over $1.4 billion in prizes in FY19.
Retailers received $128.7 million in compensation from ticket sales, incentives and winning-ticket bonuses in FY19.
What about bonuses for selling winning Lottery tickets?
Stores that sell winning Lottery tickets earn additional bonuses. Those bonuses fall into two categories.
1. In-store claims bonuses: Scratcher and draw-game winnings cashed at your store entitle you to a 1% commission. All in-store claims bonuses will appear as a "credit" on the weekly settlement report.
2. Big-win bonuses: Big-win bonuses come from selling tickets with a prize of $20,000 or more. Big-win bonuses are particularly exciting for players and retailers. Currently, the Virginia Lottery gives tiered bonuses for big wins:
- $20,000-$49,999 ticket prize: Retailers receive a $250 bonus.
- $50,000-$99,999 ticket prize: Retailers receive a $500 bonus.
- $100,000-$499,999 ticket prize: Retailers receive a $750 bonus.
- $500,000-$4,999,999 ticket prize: Retailers receive a $10,000 bonus.
- $5,000,000 prize or higher: Retailers receive a $50,000 bonus.
These bonuses for selling winning tickets apply to draw games and Scratchers.
- For draw games: Draw-game tickets must be verified by the Virginia Lottery's scanning system and claimed at a Lottery Customer Service Center or Prize Zone. Any prize totaling over $600 must be claimed at these designated centers following Virginia Lottery rules.
- For Scratchers: Winning tickets must be claimed by the ticketholder and then validated by a Virginia Lottery official, either at a Lottery Customer Service Center or a Prize Zone.
How Lottery retailers use winning-ticket bonuses
Lottery retailers have a deep history of supporting their communities with their bonuses and commissions. Consider this example below.
- The Midway Street Kroger in Bristol donated its entire $10,000 big-win bonus to two regional charities (the Jericho Shriners Temple and the Second Harvest Food Bank) after selling a $1 million-winning Powerball ticket.
The Lottery benefits multiple groups
All Virginia Lottery proceeds go directly toward funding K-12 public education in Virginia. Here are some of the ways the Lottery benefits Virginians.
Lottery winnings can be life-changing for the lucky winner.
Lottery tickets offer retailers a revenue stream with few expenses or operational costs. The combination of routine ticket sales plus retailer commissions and bonuses makes selling Lottery games an attractive option for stores across Virginia. Plus, players stopping into your store to buy tickets are more likely to buy other merchandise.
3. Public education
In Fiscal Year 2019, the Lottery turned over almost $650 million in proceeds to fund K-12 public education in Virginia. That number represented 10% of Virginia’s education budget. It now remains a permanent clause in the Virginia Constitution that all Lottery proceeds go exclusively to supporting K-12 public education in Virginia.
Become a Virginia Lottery retailerBecoming a Virginia Lottery retailer is a proven way to expand your store's revenue and build a loyal customer base. First, review Virginia’s current Program Overview and Accessibility Guidelines. Then, begin your application online or via the printed version. Virginia Lottery representatives are available to answer any questions you have.
Last modified 6/26/20