What would you do if you won the lottery? That’s always a fun fantasy to think about when we see the Mega Millions® and Powerball® Jackpots reach crazy high prize amounts climbing towards a billion. People rush out to buy their lucky tickets and then daydream about how they’d spend their winnings! With the prospect of a big payout, many people immediately flock to buy a lottery ticket, hoping it’s a winner. If you’re serious, you might even buy a ticket every time you make a trip to the grocery store, just to up your chances.
But the logistics of purchasing your ticket can sometimes prove to be cumbersome, especially if you’re doing so on a regular basis. In the past, you’d likely take care of your grocery shopping first and then head over to the business center or lottery kiosk to purchase your lottery ticket separately. On particularly busy days, you might find yourself waiting in lines twice and leaving the store having made two separate transactions.
If you’re familiar with this process, you know how inconvenient it can feel at times. At H-E-B, it’s our goal to make the lives of Texans better, and we’re always looking for ways to simplify the experience of shopping with us — whether that’s in store or online.
A winning partnership
That’s when the start of a partnership with the International Game Technology PLC (IGT) came into play. In mid-2017, IGT reached out to our Services team and proposed an intriguing partnership to launch lottery through the front end of the store. The Services team worked to develop the plan, and in 2018 approached our Point of Sale (POS) team with a unique proposal – partnering with IGT and the Texas Lottery Commission (TLC) to create the first ever Lottery In-Lane offering in the United States right in our very own H-E-B stores!
Since this was a new offering for H-E-B, our approach was to divide the product launch into different categories and develop plans and processes for each section of the business. After working closely with IGT, TLC, Loss Prevention, Store Accounting, Customer Service, and others for many months to ensure a solid product offering, we received approval from both IGT and TLC to move forward with a pilot. To demonstrate our capability for both lottery sales and redemptions, we sold the very first quick pick lottery tickets on one Front End lane on October 15, 2019! Today H-E-B now offers in-lane Lottery Sales in every store, in every checkout lane. We are the first and only retailer in Texas with this capability!
Helping make customers lives a “lotto” easier
Since the launch of in-lane lottery sales, we’ve been pleased with the seamless transition of lottery transactions. So far, the new process has been a breeze to learn, and H-E-B cashiers can quickly and easily print the Mega Millions and Powerball numbers directly on the receipt paper, helping to ease congestion at our Business Centers and saving time and adding convenience for customers and Partners. Additionally, our customers are delighted by the simplicity of the new process as it gives them the option of a single transaction — purchasing their lottery tickets and groceries at the same POS system. So far, it’s been a beautiful partnership to provide our customers with a simple way to play the lottery.
We are #TexasProud to be the first retailer in the United States to offer this to our customers!