If one lawmaker's idea becomes law, the next big lottery jackpot could be won completely in the privacy of home.
Charleston Republican Chip Limehouse suggested this week that the state of South Carolina should allow online lottery ticket sales. As jackpots have grown, ticket sales have followed. Last year, the South Carolina Education Lottery took in $1.1 billion in ticket sales.
Republican state lawmaker Gary Simrill believes the idea is far-fetched at this point.
"I think the talk of a lottery that would be online is premature," Simrill said.
He expressed several concerns, including possibly bad timing. The state is trying to close a loophole that affects internet cafes that promote online gambling. Lawmakers are working to define internet gambling and attempting to ban it.
"I think this would just muddy the waters, instead of helping to clarify things," Simrill said.
Selling lottery tickets online raises other issues, as well. First, potential loss for the state's roughly 4,000 retailers that sell lottery tickets. Many are small convenience stores.
"It will definitely impact sales," said Becky Zackaroff, manager of the Times Turn Around on Highway 21 in Fort Mill.
The lottery itself is not a big moneymaker for most stores, as they receive only 7 cents on the dollar for every ticket they sell.
Instead, they count on high traffic during big lottery jackpots to drive other sales inside the store.
"Usually when the lines are really long for tickets, people will grab a drink or a snack, and they'll stand there in line with their snack, waiting for their tickets," Zackaroff said.
Another concern is age restrictions on ticket buyers. One must be 18 to play the lottery, and some feel that would be difficult to enforce online.
The state of Georgia started selling tickets online in late November but only for Megamillions, Powerball, and one local game. To purchase tickets, a player must be a member of a "player's club." The membership requires a password, date of birth and other personal information, including address and phone number.
Supporters believe a similar system could work in South Carolina and help boost state revenue for education.
However, some lottery players told Channel 9 the idea of buying tickets on the Internet isn't appealing.
"There are just too many people out there who can get your personal information. They do it all the time," said Karrol Kramer.
Robin Yarborough had the same thought.
"You don't know who's out there than can get your information online, so that would be my biggest concern," she said.
So far, a bill to legalize online lottery ticket sales has not been introduced.