In the heart of Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, Cruisin’ the Coast is an annual celebration of antique, classic, and hot rod vehicles, accompanied by nostalgic music. It’s America’s largest block party, attracting car enthusiasts from the U.S., Canada, Germany, and Puerto Rico to the picturesque Mississippi coastline. Beyond the thousands of classic cars, it’s a symphony of automotive passion against a stunning 30-mile beach-side backdrop. “We scouted the event long before we made the decision to come up with the ticket,” Angie DiGrazia, Sr. Manager of Products, Mississippi Lottery Corporation, said.
With what they saw, they decided to sign on as one of the sponsors and started designing the ticket nine to ten months before the event. The event is also a unique opportunity to have a Mississippi-branded product celebrating a homegrown event.
In their first year as a sponsor, the event drew more than 9,500 people who registered vehicles and tens of thousands of spectators. “We felt like we had a ready-made audience. With that much interest in classic cars, the idea of pairing the event with a scratch-off ticket celebrating it seemed like a natural fit.”
To promote the ticket effectively, the Mississippi Lottery ensured the design mirrored the classic cars on display at the event. The ticket features iconic vehicles, from the car designs to the wording on the license plates, where players scratch to reveal their winning numbers. “One of the vehicles displayed on the ticket is a replica of a vehicle which will be given away at the event by the event organizers. We went through multiple designs and drafts, and there was input from many sources. The work is in the details,” DiGrazia commented on the ticket art.
“The 2022 edition of the game was initially a $2 ticket and sold out within just three months. Even weeks after the game was off the market, players were still inquiring about where they could purchase them,” said DiGrazia. Armed with this, the Mississippi Lottery decided not only to sign on for the 2023 event but also to evolve the ticket into a $5 price point.
For the 2023 event, the Mississippi Lottery is running a Cruisin’ for Cash player promotion from September 1, 2023, to October 10, 2023, with four cash prizes up for grabs, including a grand prize of $50,000. Advertising for the ticket includes a billboard campaign targeting coastal counties, posters at play centers, and radio remotes. The radio remote truck was even wrapped with the ticket designs, creating a buzz during the event from October 1 to October 8.
Additionally, the artwork on the 2023 Cruisin’ the Coast ticket is a testament to the dedication of Victoria Jackson, one of the Mississippi Lottery’s graphic designers. In both the 2022 and 2023 versions of the ticket, she received input from multiple sources and designed four scenes, each featuring a different vehicle. “In response, we found a lot of players bought the tickets in a series of four, so they could have one of each vehicle. In some cases, players purchased enough tickets to get the specific one they wanted.” For the 2023 version, the Mississippi Lottery increased the ticket price from $2 to $5 and changed the design to landscape format to showcase the vehicles more prominently.
Despite only being a few weeks since its launch, the Cruisin’ the Coast ticket has climbed to the number four spot among the Mississippi Lottery’s best-selling games, holding its own alongside $20 games. “Due to its unique design, this game is a fan favorite and easily stands out from what we currently have in the market,” DiGrazia adds.
The Cruisin’ the Coast ticket is a shining example of how lotteries can continue to engage players and create exciting new experiences. As the ticket continues to cruise toward success, it’s clear that the Lottery has found a winning formula that celebrates both classic cars and the vibrant culture of Mississippi.