Fans of the Delaware Lottery can finally get a lottery ticket with their Wawa coffee or hoagie. And they can spend the time it takes to fill their gas tank by scuffing up a scratch-off.
The state has been installing machines at Wawa sites throughout the First State and has finished about half of the more than 40 Delaware stores. By June 10, Wawa thinks every Delaware store will be outfitted with the new self-service kiosks.
It will be the first time Wawa customers in Delaware can purchase lottery products since the convenience stores tested over-the-counter lottery products close to 20 years ago.
"It’s a tremendous advantage to get them back in the network," said Delaware Lottery director Vernon Kirk. "That’s 43 stores selling lottery products that weren’t selling it before."
Kirk said he thinks the Wawa machines will contribute an additional $6 million in revenue based on "rough numbers."
The self-service kiosks, which allow for payment with a card, will offer pretty much everything typically afforded to Delaware Lottery customers, including keno. There will be no sports betting options available.
And it's not just Wawa stores adding the new machines. Kirk said the state has 100 of these new kiosks from vendor Scientific Games. Take 43 off of that and there are still 57 machines to be distributed. The others will go to retailers like Royal Farms, which Kirk said already has some machines it is testing.
"We're trying to gauge how they fare in other settings," he said.
Wawa on Thursday held a grand opening ceremony at its 800th store, located across from Concord Mall on Rocky Run Parkway. The Pennsylvania company plans to open 50 new stores and remodel 75 in 2018.
Adding lottery services in Delaware means Wawa customers across the company's entire footprint, including Florida, Virginia and Washington, D.C., will have the machines.
Wawa first tested over-the-counter lottery products at its stores, including some in Delaware, around the turn of the century.
"It just didn’t set us up for speed of service at the core area," Wawa spokeswoman Lori Bruce said.
Modern technology has solved that issue.
Wawa's lottery project lead Bob Hornberger said the addition further allows the Pennsylvania-based, privately-owned convenience store chain to become even more of a one-stop shop.
"We’re pretty confident that the customer reception is going to be phenomenal," Hornberger said. "This is something we’re very excited to embark."
"We know that customers enjoy the added convenience," Bruce said. "We hear that from them."
Wawa will get the same rate as other Delaware Lottery retailers: a selling commission of 5 percent and a 1 percent cashing bonus.
Hornberger said Wawa lottery machines across the company in the calendar year of 2017 contributed about $120 million to state benefactors.
Delaware Lottery profits go to the State General Fund, which benefits public and higher education, health services, public safety and more. In fiscal year 2017, the lottery's contribution was $205 million, making it the state's fourth-largest revenue generator.
With 100 new machines being rolled out, that number should be even larger in 2018.