D.C. scratch-off ticket contract set to expire

      WASHINGTON (AP) - The District of Columbia Lottery is becoming a rarity - a state-level lottery system without a scratch-off ticket vendor.

      The district's contract with longtime vendor Scientific Games International expires Saturday. Scientific Games submitted the only viable bid to continue providing instant tickets to the city. But the D.C. Council rejected the bid because it fell far short of a requirement that local businesses receive at least 35 percent of major contracts.

      The district's Office of the Chief Financial Officer is rebidding the contract, a process that could take around six months. In the meantime, the lottery will sell its remaining stock of instant tickets. But lottery officials say they are likely to run out.

      Only three large firms have facilities that print instant tickets in the United States.