8. Poutine for Life
For those of you who have not yet accepted the one true way to eat fries, I understand your hesitancy for why a Pountine-themed instant ticket should make it on this list at all. It’s gravy and cheese curds on french fries. But then … think about it. It’s gravy and cheese curds on french fries! This mouthwatering scratch-off celebrated the famous Canadian dish of cheesy fries, winning the hearts of younger Canadians and food enthusiasts alike. ALC strategically chose the $2 price point to appeal to casual and non-players, offering simple and easy-to-understand play mechanics. The ticket premiered in the summer of 2019, just in time for the festival season. ALC captivated the under-35 demographic by promoting Poutine For Life at various events. The lucky winner received a restaurant gift card worth $10,000 or cash.
7. I Heart Bacon
The New Hampshire Lottery wasn’t the first to sell a bacon-flavored ticket. (Probably wasn’t the first. Very little research went into this). It may not even be the best-looking bacon ticket ever created. (Again, I don’t know what other ones there are!) But it cemented itself into the annals of lottery history when the director of the lottery, Charlie McIntyre, ate part of a ticket for the commercial. Legendary. This savory sensation, “I Heart Bacon,” was a $1 scratch-and-sniff ticket. In 2015, the ticket flew off the shelves in merely three months. To promote the ticket, the Lottery also had a “bacon truck,” which handed out free, applewood-smoked bacon samples and tickets at stores in Keene and Durham, the state welcome centers in Hooksett, and the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester. The best part? No little piggies were harmed in the creation of this ticket. (The same cannot be said about the applewood-smoked bacon.)
6. In The House
In 2011, the Georgia Lottery Corp. (GLC) tried the unthinkable—a no-lose ticket. Together with the Atlanta Falcons and Waffle House, GLC proudly presented the thrilling “Atlanta Falcons In The House” instant game. Priced at $5, the game offered a top prize of $250,000. Non-winning tickets could be exchanged for a complimentary waffle at any of the 400 Waffle House restaurants located in Georgia. Players also had a shot at a $200,000 dream home makeover through an exciting, second-chance drawing. “It gave us the opportunity to do something we have never done before: an ‘every ticket is a winning ticket’ concept. Players were able to take their ticket into the store that they could redeem for a waffle,” said James Hutchinson, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Product, Georgia Lottery Corp., said in 2012.
5. Shake It Up
The Louisiana Lottery negotiated multiple strategic alliances with other in-state companies, but they seem to have a special space reserved for seasoning-related products. In 2012, they worked with Baumer Foods to sell a $2 Crystal Hot Sauce ticket and Tony Chachere’s Creole Foods to sell “Spice It Up” in 2015. Since cooking in Louisiana is a fun, social event, these brands were perfect partners for the Lottery. The ticket did so well in its initial offering that the Louisiana Lottery had to order an additional 480,000 tickets to supplement the 960,000 originally printed. In 2022, in honor of Tony Chachere’s Creole Foods’ 50th anniversary, the lottery partnered once again with this beloved Cajun seasoning brand to introduce the “Shake It Up!” $3 scratch-off. The ticket was designed to look just like the iconic green can. The Lottery also had an animated “Little Tony” character in their social media and advertising campaigns.
4. Old Bay Bucks
In 2018, the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency partnered with McCormick to launch a scented OLD BAY® Bucks Scratcher. It was a great opportunity for the lottery to leverage the broad appeal and popularity of the OLD BAY brand while introducing scratch-offs to a segment of the population that may not have otherwise played a lottery game.
The Lottery created a fun and whimsical commercial that opens with a woman sitting on a large buoy floating in the Chesapeake Bay surrounded by mermen. For digital/social promotions, the Lottery had to ensure the public recognized the ads were for the OLD BAY scratch-off and not the well-known OLD BAY seasoning. The Lottery created an OLD BAY Bucks game where players match up cards on a board that replicated the OLD BAY Bucks scratch-off. Now you may be asking, why was Tony Chachere’s 5th and OLD BAY 4th? Well, lots of reasons I don’t have space to explain, but I assure you, this Maryland-based writer did not let his own bias affect these vital rankings at all.
3. Grillin’ & Chillin’
It turns out FY23 was a good year for food-related lottery products. The Kentucky Lottery was one of three to find success with food-themed games. In collaboration with Alchemy3 and Omaha Steaks, the Lottery discovered the winning recipe with Grillin’ & Chillin’. With meat prices at an all-time high, it is no wonder the ticket sold out by the 7th week, despite minimal advertising. The Lottery also featured a microsite, offering discounts for Omaha Steaks. Players could save 40% or more on select meat packages with lottery-themed names like “Quick Pick Party Pack” and “Mouthwatering Millions” Even after the promotion was over, the Lottery decided to keep the microsite up and honor the discounts to attract steak-loving non-players to come visit their website. This promotion performed better than their VIP Platinum Promotion, with a total entry count of 48,744.
2. The Jersey Debate
The “pork roll” debate refers to a New Jersey disagreement over the name of a processed meat product. Depending on where you are in New Jersey, you might hear it called “pork roll” or “Taylor ham.” It is taken very seriously and is a point of local pride and identity. The New Jersey Lottery capitalized on this energy with a $5 scratch-off game in May 2023. “While we have had previous scratch-offs about Jersey landmarks, we wanted Jersey game players would have fun talking about and playing,” Foster Krupa, Northstar New Jersey, said. The Lottery even changed their logo in May. They partnered with food trucks for creative marketing and toured summer festivals. The game generated a lot of buzz, and LSRs heard positive comments from retailers and players. So, the Lottery is already working on a Jersey Special 2.0.
1. Dream Bars
In the summer of 2022, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), Creamery X, and top food scientists, created the limited-edition, artisanal $5 LOTTO MAX Dream Bars. These ice cream treats had millionaire-inspired flavors like Rare Oil Painting, Private Island, Designer Handbag, and Grail Sneaker. Each flavor embodied the essence of its “dream item.” Dream Bar purchases included a scannable LOTTO MAX free play code. “With the return of festivals and concerts this summer, it’s the perfect time to give people a taste of winning big. We are especially proud to provide 100% of the proceeds made from LOTTO MAX Dream Bars’ sales to a worthy charity (Friends of Ruby), reflecting our commitment to giving back to Ontario,” said Kim Clark, VP Lottery & Customer Success, OLG.