Walmart Supercenter in Hutchinson sprinted from not selling any Kansas Lottery products to offering the first — and currently only — Kansas Lottery vending machine in Reno County.
That machine, found near the self-checkout area near the groceries in Walmart, 1905 E. 17th Ave., was installed Aug. 27.
This is the store’s first venture into the lottery, according to store manager Brandon Williams, saying other Walmart locations in the area with machines include Goddard, Maize, Augusta and El Dorado.
Walmart chose 56-inch tall machines. They have a smaller profile than the 72-inch tall machines that are slated for some other retail sites.
The Dillons at 206 W. 5th Ave. is expected to get a 72-inch vending machine during a new phase of the rollout of vending machines that will start later this month. The exact location within the store where the machine will be placed is not known, but it will be near the entrance, store staff said.
Currently, there are 48 active vending machines at 39 locations in Kansas — some sites have more than one machine — and 33 of the 39 locations are Walmarts. Michael Todd, director of retail operations for the Kansas Lottery, said the machines are being located in Walmart Supercenters and Walmart Neighborhood Markets.
All 272 vending machines in Kansas are expected to be installed by early 2020, according to the Kansas Lottery.
The vending machines take cash and credit or debit cards. The 72-inch machines offer 24 instant scratch ticket games, plus all the draw games. The shorter machines offer 16 instant scratch ticket games and all the draw games.
A third vending machine option is available for social environments, according to the Kansas Lottery’s director of public affairs, Courtney Ryan.
A clerk in the Hutchinson Walmart near the vending machine displayed a clicker — similar to a device that remotely unlocks a car door — that allows her to disable the machine if she sees someone who appears to be younger than 18, the minimum age to play the lottery, attempting to use the machine.
The addition of Walmarts to the Kansas Lottery’s retailers is “big,” Ryan said. “We’re really excited abut this partnership,” she said.
It offers new locations for Kansas Lottery customers — and could attract new lottery players — while also generating more revenue for the state, Ryan said. The legislation that authorized the use of vending machines also stipulated that a portion of the net profits be distributed to mental health programs.