There’s always a little bit of excitement as the silvery covering flakes away from a new scratch-off lottery ticket.
There’s just no telling what lies underneath the pile of shavings. Maybe it’s a prize or maybe thousands in cash.
And for those who like to try their luck by playing the lottery, it just got a little easier.

Earlier this month, Ottawa became one of 20 locations across Kansas where new lottery vending machines were installed, Kansas Lottery spokesperson Courtney Ryan said.

In June, the Kansas Lottery launched the first phase of the vending machine rollout by installing pilot program sites around Topeka and Junction City. After a successful trial period, lottery officials proceeded with plans to fully implement the new machines. By the end of the year, lottery officials anticipate having all 272 vending machines installed at select locations across the state.

“Our vending machine roll-out has been methodical as we try to look for the best retailers to maximize the effectiveness of the machines,” said Kansas Lottery executive director Stephen Durrell. “We look forward to the opportunity for increasing our sales and transfer to the state through vending machine sales. Vending machines offer easier access for our players to find their favorite games and takes the burden off our retailers during times of high retail sales.”

Ottawa is also one of 37 Walmart locations that will start selling Kansas Lottery products through vending machine sales.

“The Kansas Lottery is thrilled to be working with Walmart, this partnership has taken years to develop,” said Stephen Ortiz, Kansas Lottery sales and marketing director. “By installing vending machines within the Walmart brand, it also provides the lottery with the opportunity to present our products to new customers, and allows our loyal customers another retail location to buy their favorite products.”

The vending machine, which was installed locally, has 16 different instant-scratch games that players can choose from as well as other lottery games. The machines are also capable of accepting cash, debit and credit cards.

Ryan said the machines are placed in locations where retail clerks can monitor them, adding that retailers are taught to disable the vending machines if anyone under 18 attempts to use them. 

Lottery officials said up to $8 million from the net profits will support Kansas mental health programs, including Valeo Crisis Center in Topeka, COMCARE Crisis Center in Wichita, Pawnee Crisis Center in Manhattan, and Central Kansas Mental Health Center in Salina and Breakthrough House in Topeka.

Retailers also receive a 5% commission on vending machine sales.