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For the 2018 holidays, U.S. lotteries are relying on glossy, elegant and sparkly tickets to catch the eye of the fickle holiday shopper.
As its Scratcher’s name implies, Holiday Sparkle will put the shimmer into the holidays. It is the California Lottery’s highest holiday price point.
Liz Furtado, Chief of Scratchers Products, Sales & Marketing at the California Lottery, said “its unique design includes a horizontal layout and is the same size as our other $10 tickets, allowing retailers to dispense the game in their ITVMs and in-counter displays, without the need for a special on-counter stackable unit.”
While its holiday Scratch-Offs always perform well, the Pennsylvania Lottery has high hopes for this year’s game lineup.
“All six of our games—including [$20] Merry Millionaire, [$10] Money Tree, [$5] Cash Kringle, [$3] Sleigh Bell$, [$2] Frosty the Doughman, and [$1] Reindeer Games—feature enhanced play and prize symbol imaging through HD printing,” said Kara Sparks, Director of Products, Pennsylvania Lottery. “In addition to HD printing, Merry Millionaire also features Sparkle™ ink. Given that play in Pennsylvania has continued to gravitate towards the higher price points over the past few fiscal years, we expect [$20] Merry Millionaire to be our biggest hit this holiday season.”
The Arizona Lottery has produced a real showstopper with its $5 Holiday 7’s scratcher. “All three scenes are sparkly and elegant, with reflective foil and vibrant holiday colors. Our big ticket in the campaign is our Holiday Countdown, Advent Calendar-styled game. This $20 ticket is so physically large that it can only vend through special dispensers, so not all retailers will carry it. We hope it will be popular enough to boost big ticket sales, prompting more retailers to add these dispensers to carry this product and also reverse the trend of fewer retailers deploying the larger dispensers for future big tickets. This is a good campaign and we think it will perform well,” said Ivy Gilio, Instant Ticket Product Manager, Arizona Lottery.
The Michigan Lottery’s entire four game holiday lineup was well researched and optimized to resonate with both core and casual players alike. “Our $10 holiday game, Holiday Dazzle, is positioned to perform exceptionally well at retail, designed using a very rich and polished treatment,” said Travis Priest, Printed Products Manager, Michigan Lottery. “The game offers players the opportunity to win up to 20 times per ticket and features top prizes of $500,000.”
The Florida Lottery is putting a holiday spin on a customer classic. “Our player favorite, $20 GOLD RUSH, will make a holiday appearance this year and we expect big things as it will be our first $20 Scratch-Off game tailored for the holidays,” said Justin Rock, Director, Product Development & Research, Florida Lottery. “The $5,000,000 GOLD RUSH CLASSIC is positioned as a bridge-game, designed with an initial print run themed with holiday art that will run out of inventory around the second week in January. After selling through holiday-themed orderable inventory, the product will transition into a non-seasonal design to carry it through the remaining year and a half of its projected life cycle.”
The Kentucky Lottery Corp. (KLC) will be marketing all its holiday games as the Holiday Gold family. There are four different price points.
Edie Frakes, VP, Marketing, KLC said the lottery has a cute/clever TV campaign lined up to promote the games—“a followup on our Newhart/Papa Elf Focus Group spot that was successful . . . this one may not have the star power we had last year, but it is sure to be a Hit (and a Run). We tested our Holiday Family–Holiday Gold in focus groups this past summer. This family was far and away the fan favorite.”
Missouri Lottery Instant Product Manager Bill Burton said its Money Tree game “is a unique POP n’ PLAY designed ticket like last year, and ranked highest among our $20 holiday game ticket testing. Our $5 game, ‘NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION™,’ depicting the world-wide Christmas movie classic, also ranked highest among our $5 holiday game ticket testing and has generated a lot of excitement with lottery employees and retailers prior to game launch.”
The Colorado Lottery is expecting brisk sales as all of its holiday games in the past have sold in excess of 90% of available inventory. “Last year’s games averaged 95.87% sellout, and we don’t see why this years line-up of $1 Reindeer Riche$, $2 Silver Bill$, $4 Glowing Gift$ and $5 Holiday Riche$ won’t match or surpass the sales from last year. All four offer unique qualities including our popular Match 8 play style on our $1 game, foil paper on $2 Silver Bill$, neon ink on $3 Glowing Gift$ and Scientific Games’ Sparkle® Ink on $5 Holiday Riche$,” said Todd Greco, Scratch Product Manager, Colorado Lottery.
Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency has strong expectations for its $5 Holiday Cash ticket. “Printed with Scratch FX®, it is a visually appealing red and white ticket paired with a key number match playstyle that is a favorite among our players,” said Leo Mamorsky, Managing Director, CMO, Maryland Lottery. “We are also confident about the second iteration of the $3 Peppermint Payout, which is the best-selling $3 ticket in Maryland Lottery’s history.”
Normally, the DC Lottery’s highest holiday price point is a $2 game, but this year the lottery will launch a $5 ticket. “We anticipate our [$5] $25,000 Holiday Bonus game to be the big hit for us this season,” said Stephen Cooke, Instant Product Manager, DC Lottery.
Multiple lotteries will offer holiday versions for their instant terminal games.
“This year, we are adding seasonal tickets to our Fast Play product category: $1 Frosty $50s and $2 Blizzard Bingo to leverage peak interest during the holidays,” said Brittany D’Haenens, Senior Brand Manager, Hoosier Lottery. “This allows us to broaden the player base, encourage cross-play and provides those players a seasonal offering, which has worked within the Scratch-off category.”
The DC Lottery will be cross-promoting its holiday instant games and its Fast Play Candy Cane Cash ticket for a special 2nd chance opportunity.
This year, the Arizona Lottery is disrupting the market with its QVC-styled commercial campaign “QWC.” It features the lottery’s spokesperson, Windfall Willie, and his sidekick, Derek.
“In this parody, Willie and Derek dramatically interrupt a mock QVC segment where two hosts are comically hocking fictitious ‘buttterballers’ to a studio audience that is also in on the gag,” said Rogers. “We expect these 30-second and 60-second ads, along with our 2-minute social media versions, to be very effective as they are both funny and entertaining with high production values.”
Due to the success of the California Lottery’s holiday campaigns in past years, “we will continue to leverage a positive gift giving sentiment and position Scratchers as the perfect gift to spread some holiday joy this season,” said Furtado.
The Colorado Lottery has made it a point to incorporated a robust marketing campaign to support its holiday line-up. “This year, the lottery will continue that program with new TV/radio spots and a revamped POS campaign,” said Greco.
The Florida Lottery is running specialty foil paper with its POS. Rock said it “really stands out at retail and will allow our products to penetrate through the mass of holiday offerings during the seasonal period.”
Unique to this year, Rock said the lottery “is using our social media platforms to engage players with holiday-themed livestream promotions in real time with popular prizes such as electronics and gift cards.”
KLC’s holiday POS was purposefully designed to break through the reds and greens that seem to dominate retail during this time of year. “The background is a starry/snowy night which is a wink/nod to the comprehensive TV and radio campaign we have planned that will launch Thanksgiving Day,” said Frakes.
The Missouri Lottery hopes to make players’ gourmet dreams come true. “Players will have the chance to satisfy their craving for food-filled journeys throughout the world with the Missouri Lottery’s ‘Second Chance of a Lifetime: Gourmet Getaway,’ holiday promotion,” said Burton. “Players and foodies alike will be dreaming about the world’s most flavorable feasts with winners enjoying all-expense/taxes paid trips to France, Italy or California.” Bon appetite!