The lottery is an age-old game with a rich history. The first official recorded lottery in the UK was chartered by Queen Elizabeth I, in 1566. People, from all over the world, have been playing the lottery for thousands of years, which makes the lottery one of the longest running industries in the world. So, how is this ancient industry engaging with the new, on-demand, tech-savvy generation of today?

Tradition states that to play the lottery you have to live in the country where the draw takes place. You then walk to your nearest newsagent or supermarket to buy a ticket and trek back again to collect winnings. It is a habitual routine. But this doesn’t fit with the new digital-first generation.

Unlike the generations before them, Millennials and ‘Generation Y’ grew up in a world where the world-wide-web plays a pivotal part in their daily lives. They carry smartphones as an extension of their being, it’s their wallet, social life, photo album and bank. This is the generation who, with a few simple taps on their phones, order dinner, hail a taxi and get their laundry collected. Digital is hardwired into their identity.

This digital first generation are now used to convenience, speed and simplicity. Over the past few years, with these new audiences in mind, entrepreneurs have been reimagining the way players access and participate in the lottery, offering a digital alternative to the old routine. These forward-thinkers are disrupting the gaming industry by building lottery platforms that slot in with the mobile ‘on-demand’ eco-system.

To engage younger consumers, the lottery needed to be taken out of the high street and straight to the cloud. Think about how banks have met digital demand – rather than queuing at the bank, you can now access accounts, make transactions, and even apply for a loan via apps on smartphones. Now digital, mobile-friendly gaming platforms allow you to play the lottery remotely – on the move or in the comfort of your home – with just a few taps on a device. This removes the inconvenience of having to head to local shops to participate.

Playing the lottery online also removes the need to actively look up results. Remote lotteries can send push notifications straight to your phone informing you of any prize. Winnings are transferred directly into your bank account, there’s no physical cash or cheques exchanged or and no long waiting periods to access the money. It’s simple and instant as the clever technology does all the ‘hard work’ on your behalf.

Not only does digitising lotteries make accessing them easier, it, in turn, delivers more choice. On-demand apps like Just Eat and Deliveroo are popular because they offer so much choice, you can order a curry, chow mein and pizza and pay in one go, in one app. Online gaming platforms can now offer the best portfolio of the biggest jackpots in the world, normally reserved for local residents alone.

For example, on Lottoz.co.uk, you can now participate in the US Powerball, Mega Millions, Irish Lottery, France Lotto and the Oz Lotto. It’s this diversification of jackpots and odds, as well as easy accessibility to games that are otherwise not available, that appeals to new digital players. Why take the limited localised choice when you can have the world’s jackpots at your fingertips?

Like most sectors, the traditional gaming industry has to evolve if it wants to survive and thrive, and reaching younger generations is the key to securing a successful future. That evolution is now in motion. By taking lotteries online and streamlining the user experience so it is as easy, simple and varied as possible will ensure that digital-first consumers won’t dismiss the lottery as old news and start to engage with the ancient game in new, innovative ways.