Lottery tickets are not gifts for kids

Please don't give lottery tickets as gifts to children under 18.

That's the message of the Kansas Lottery and other organizations as the gift-giving season approaches.

"We're just asking parents to think twice before they do it," Kansas Lottery spokeswoman Sally Lunsford said Wednesday. "We always advocate responsible play."

While giving lottery tickets to children has become increasingly popular, there is a national concern about problem gambling by adolescents, according to the lottery.

"Although we make it clear to players in Kansas that no one under the age of 18 can buy our tickets, it's important to reiterate that parents shouldn't give lottery tickets to kids as parents," said Kansas Lottery executive director Ed Van Petten in a written statement.

"Holiday-themed scratch-offs are a popular gift this time of year, but they should only be gifted to people who are old enough to play legally," Van Petten said.

According to a national study, 19 percent of high school students received at least one lottery ticket or scratch card as a gift. The tickets came overwhelmingly from relatives.