Mega Millions changed to a new price point ($2), new matrix (5/70 + 1/25) and new prize structure effective with the October 31 drawing.
Speaking at La Fleur’s 2017 LotTECH Connect in Austin, Debbie Alford, President & CEO of Georgia Lottery Corp., provided an overview of the new game objectives:
“Our multi-state Marketing and Product team set out to create a refreshed game. The change had to achieve several objectives:
ο Higher average jackpots with faster rolls, from current average $138 million to a new average of around $371 million; creating more player excitement and engagement . . . and higher starting jackpots
ο A significant 2nd tier prize amount ($1 million) that offers improved odds of winning and can be multiplied up to $5 million with Megaplier
ο Maintain simple game mechanics, not to overcomplicate the game nor the playslip experience
ο Maintain overall odds as low as possible to encourage multiplier purchase and provide a more frequent winning experience
ο The price point should remain on the lower end of the price point spectrum
ο Incorporate a new optional wager type (Just the Jackpot) based on empirical data from existing game
ο Continue to offer Megaplier at $1 price.
ο Maintain prize payout at 50% to protect overall lottery profit margin.”
GLC also created the umbrella campaign that features “Aunt Edith” as the hip hop spokeswoman for the new and improved game. “The approach here was to juxtapose character types to appeal to broad audiences…blending demographics. It’s like The Golden Girls meets MTV,” said Alford.
The creative objectives for the Aunt Edith campaign included tapping into a younger demographic and non-players, positioning Mega Millions as cool and relevant, developing shareable social media content and creating sticky iconic imagery with a broad appeal.
For the week of October 30, 2017 when Mega Millions was relaunched, the campaign made a global impression.
Aunt Edith ranked among the Top 5 Best Ads Worldwide, according to Ad Forum’s Best Ads and Advertising Campaigns of the Week Worldwide.
“This campaign has been unbelievable,” declared Alford. “This Aunt Edith campaign was selected by the Ad Forum… the second best ad in the world a couple of weeks ago. Ad Forum is an advertising service based in France that identifies the best work advertising and campaigns worldwide each week. Of course, as you can imagine, we were very honored… especially to be in the company of Nike…ranked #1, Samsung, who was ranked #3, Geico…ranked #4, and Samsung Milan, Italy…ranked #5.”
Since being revamped, Mega Millions’ sales have increased. “Through the first five draws, Mega Millions is selling almost 20% more than our last five comparable jackpots,” said Virginia Lottery Executive Director Paula Otto.
Rolling to bigger jackpots is a key game objective. “We project that the jackpot should hit $500 million once a year,” said Otto.
This was a key consideration in offering a $3 Just the Jackpot wager for jackpot chasers. Currently, 15 jurisdictions out of 46 are selling JTP. Its success cannot be quantified until a big jackpot rolls up.
“So far, players have not adopted the new feature in significant numbers, but we believed when we were designing the game that this feature would likely appeal to occasional players when high jackpots have attracted them into the game,” said Otto. “In Virginia, the play slip features the new wager type prominently, so we hope occasional players find it when they play. Of course, occasional players may simply ask the clerk for some number of quick picks without using a play slip, so the jury is still out on how much play it will receive.”