We got a great question yesterday from a lottery player on Facebook, who asked if she could use her debit card to buy lottery tickets.
I’ve blogged about this topic before, but it’s been a few years, so it’s a good time to look at it again.
The specifics involved are covered in Iowa law. Iowa Code Chapter 99G.30(5) reads as follows: “The retailer may accept payment by cash, check, money order, debit card, or electronic funds transfer. The retailer shall not extend or arrange credit for the purchase of a ticket or share. As used in this subsection, ‘cash’ means United States currency.”
In everyday terms, that means you can use cash, money orders and checks to buy Iowa Lottery tickets. And, because using a debit card is the same as writing a check, the use of those cards also is OK. But the use of credit cards is not OK.
A debit transaction is always tied to the available funds in your account. That nuance can sometimes be hard for people to understand, but as long as the card says DEBIT on the front, you’re good to go.
There is a caveat, though: While retail locations can accept a check or debit card for the payment of lottery tickets, they’re not required to do so. That’s a business decision made by the location involved. If you have questions, please check with your local retailer to see if the store has a policy about that.