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Rutgers alumnus launches lottery app in NJ

The application, called Jackpocket, features the Mega Millions, New York Lotto and Powerball lotteries and users can participate in different pools. – Photo by Kelly Carmack

Rutgers alumnus Peter Sullivan recently launched "Jackpocket,” the first state-approved, third party mobile lottery application in New Jersey. 

Three of the official state lotteries: Powerball, Mega Millions and New York Lotto, are on the app, with more in production for the upcoming years, Sullivan said. 

Lottery tickets are scanned and safely stored within the app. Users have the option of turning on their push notifications to be notified if they win. The app is compatible with PayPal, major credit cards and bank accounts, Sullivan said.

There are currently two ways to play: public and private pools, with more on the way. Public pools allow you to play with anyone through the app, while private pools can be played among friends or family by invitation, Sullivan said. The app also offers a Game of the Day that draws at the end of the day. 

If the player wins, funds will be sent directly to their bank account or can be put back into the app if they choose to play again. Sullivan said the app also has a feature called autoplay, which automatically puts money into a pot once it hits a certain jackpot amount, so players will not miss a large payout opportunity. 

The app requires you to be at least 18 years of age and will scan government-issued identification upon first use. Users can also refer the app to their friends and earn $10 each. 

Users can set limits to playing which are enforced by the app, but can be adjusted once every seven days. 

Sullivan graduated with his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University in 2007 and then received his master’s degree in finance and banking from Stockholm University. He has a variety of experience working with interaction design, user interface design and product development.

Jackpocket launched at the end of December 2019 and has raised more than $35 million so far. The company is headquartered in New York City with 70 employees as of now. 

“It was almost a three year process … and the application process took (more than) a year. That's where we had to showcase our technology, compliance with verifications and all the protections to make sure consumers were protected,” Sullivan said. 

Jackpocket has a predominantly younger audience with 70 percent of its players being less than the age of 45, Sullivan said. This app appeals to millennials who would otherwise not play the lottery, building a bigger base for the game. The app also has a heavy emphasis on user friendliness. 

“When we build something it has to be simple enough that my dad can use it,” Sullivan said when asked about the app’s layout. “We build all our technology and design in house. We really care about the user experience.”

Michelle Wong, the vice president of marketing for Jackpocket, went into detail on its approach to marketing the app. 

“We have an integrated marketing approach that encompasses traditional offline channels such as radio and TV, and mobile-first digital channels such as Snapchat,” Wong said. 

Though Jackpocket has just started, the company has plans for expansion into other states, said Carter Vance, the general counsel for the company.

“Each state is different and we’re not just looking at states with the biggest populations. My hope is that every year we look back on 12 months of incredible growth,” Vance said. 

A portion of the app’s profits goes toward charitable donations, which Sullivan also makes a note of. 

“(Approximately) 30 percent of our sales go to good causes. Veteran care, elderly care, education ... Our whole mission is to create more incremental income for those beneficiaries.” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said one of the biggest benefits of launching this app in New Jersey is becoming involved with his alma mater again.

“I am a proud Rutgers alumni and I want to inspire other Rutgers graduates to go on and pursue different business opportunities. We’re always open to recruiting from Rutgers,” Sullivan said.

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