North American lottery marketers were surveyed on what instant ticket concept had the biggest impact on their lottery’s instant sales in fiscal 2019. They were also asked to predict what will be the big scratcher idea to push their lottery organization’s instant sales in fiscal 2020. Results follow below:
“There were several drivers to our success last year. Our first-ever $50 product, called Classic Celebration, pushed our holiday sales to new records. It was also the first full year where our recent payout increase took effect. That increase was focused on lower price points, including staple games like $2 and $3 Crossword. After many years of decline, sales of these games either increased or their declines were arrested and this had a significant impact on our sales AND our bottom line. In addition, we had strong $5 games, including $5 Casino which combined a scratch and pull-tab mechanic.
We will be launching large format tickets later this year, starting with a holiday advent calendar game. These games will be featured in stand-alone vertical displays across our retailer network, so we are expecting these tickets to have a big impact. In recent months, we have also introduced more higher priced Extended Play games and these have performed really well, so we are going to continue doing that. In all of these cases, we will continue to introduce ways to incent cross-play at retail and on alc.ca.”—Merrill Fullerton, Atlantic Lottery Corp.
“We saw our fifth consecutive record-breaking year for Scratch & Win, driven by the continued strong performance of our $5+ portfolio. Our players are gravitating towards the higher price points, translating into growth in our regional $5 and $10 price points and National portfolio of $10+ tickets. Some standouts include $5 Ice and $20 $2,000,000 Supreme. Of particular mention was our omni-channel ticket, $5 The Voice, which gave players the ability to win additional casino slot play credits or free play on PlayNow, our online gambling website. This ticket sold-out and delivered on Casino and PlayNow objectives. Omni-channel products are important, as players who play in all three channels are more valuable. We are excited to launch a digital game extension to our core game, $3 Super Crossword in fiscal 2020. In addition to the paper ticket that our players love, they will have the ability to play an online digital Crossword game for more chances to win. Players can enter the access code found on the ticket on the dedicated Crossword app or website to win cash prizes, or to play for fun. The goal is to rejuvenate this core product, and if it proves to be successful, could be added to other core games in the future.”—Gladys Primeau, Category Manager, Instant Games, B.C. Lottery Corp.
“In mid-February 2019 we launched a new family of the ever-popular MONOPOLY series with games at the $2, $5, $10 and $20 level. It had been six years since California had a Monopoly game in market and players were excited to see it return. The game was supported with an engaging and effective advertising and marketing campaign that helped to drive sales across all price points. Three weeks after MONOPOLY launched, our Scratchers sales hit the second highest week in our history. The $5 and $2 MONOPOLY game performance shone, with their individual sales results the highest at their price points in seven and three years respectively.
California is always working on new innovative product ideas, including new design concepts, original art work, and incorporating California-specific game themes and design elements into our Scratchers games. Our product strategy for 2020 will continue to offer perennial favorites to our loyal players while expanding product offerings and game appeal to casual and new players in order to meet sales goals, expand playership and continue our record level of contributions to education.”—Whitney Alderson, Assistant Deputy Director, Marketing, California Lottery
“The Colorado Lottery actually had two big success stories in FY19. The first was the reintroduction of the $10 Willy Wonka Golden Ticket license property. Similar to the first game, the second version sold out in 10 weeks and had an index of 156. The other big success was the introduction of a Multiplier Family of Games. The Family included games at $1, $2, $3, $5 and $10. Each of these games out performed other games within the price point by selling out at least twice as fast. Both the Wonka game and Multiplier Family were supported by full marketing campaigns.
We feel our best growth opportunities come from the higher price point categories. Colorado is conducting research on $20 and $50 games in an effort to determine the best way to grow sales at those price points. While our current $20 and $50 offerings perform quite well, we believe there is room for additional growth—similar to what the industry has seen within the $10 category. We will use our findings when developing the next generation of $20 and $50 games scheduled to launch in FY20.”—Todd Greco, Scratch Product Manager, Colorado Lottery
“The biggest impact on our instant sales in fiscal 2019 has been the launch of our first $30 scratcher, $10 Million Cash Extravaganza. This has helped boost our sales month over month and has given us a new way to engage with our core, more established player. The marketing campaign to promote the ticket was fun, fresh, and exciting. It helped keep players engaged and boosted the appeal of the DC Lottery brand.
We are anticipating success with another $30 ticket launch this fall, as well as some new DC-centric tickets in calendar year 2020.”—Stephen Cooke, Instant Product Manager, DC Lottery
“Capitalizing on the brand equity built from early iteration’s of GOLD RUSH, ticket art for the new $20 game was nearly identical to the 2004 version, though its holiday pulse marked the first time Florida introduced a $20 game tailored to the holiday season. Our players often reminisce about their incredible chances to win $500 on the original $20 GOLD RUSH and we improved upon those odds, plus added a life-changing $5,000,000 prize. Advertising was held until January, when the GOLD RUSH CLASSIC family was introduced and a refreshed ad ran when the $30 game launched, featuring all six games.
We’re changing the top prize strategy for our next $30 game and replacing our typical $15,000,000 top prize with $1,000,000 top prizes. When focus group testing $30 concepts, we found the prize structure resonated well with players who were very excited about the great odds of winning $1 million! Our strategy for many years has focused on games with huge top prizes, meaning less top prizes overall. Given the recent success of our $10 BLOWOUT game, we feel like it’s the right opportunity to inject something new into our $30 portfolio that players have shown their appetite for.”—Shelly Gerteisen, Director of Product, Florida Lottery
“There was no single concept that drove instant sales. Our growth in fiscal 2019 was driven by strong diversification within price points, as committed to in our annual business plan. We continue to ensure diversification of prize structures, themes and play styles within price points. Some specific growth contributors were a full fiscal year of $50 Scratch-off sales, a strong $3 Holiday Crossword offering, and strong performance from select games across particularly across the $5 and $10 price points.
We don’t believe that there is one single product that will drive growth in 2020. We will take learnings from our premium price points and proliferate those concepts to additional price points to continue to evolve the diversification within price points. We will continue to leverage the family strategy using a strong theme, 7s, during a strong sales period.”— Jackie Cuthbert, Product Manager, Scratch-offs, Hoosier Lottery
“Both the re-introduction of an oversize ticket at the end of FY18 and a shift in marketing strategy were big wins in FY19, but the biggest impact on the fiscal year was the introduction of our $25 Jumbo Crossword. The game has proven highly incremental to both our $10 Crossword (#1 ranked game), as well as the $20 and $30 price points.
The overhaul of the holiday portfolio and increasing our second-chance offerings will likely provide the biggest product-related boost in FY20.”—Evan Laya, Senior Marketing Manager, Instant Tickets, Camelot Illinois.
“Our first $30 ticket (Break Fort Knox) had a significant impact on our sales for 2019, even though we didn’t launch in until March. The other major impact was differentiating payouts of our higher priced games, specifically our $20 game which previously had payouts similar to our $10 games. Putting $1M top prize on our $20 games created separation and translated into over +50% year to year increases as players noticed and responded.
We’ve been working hard on process because ideas can’t translate into sales if you have excessive out of stocks for example. Starting with ensuring 95% of new games are activated in three days was a start, followed by making sure OOS are reduced to between 6% and 8%. This year sales will focus on increasing facings at retail (where traffic/sales warrants). Increasing product awareness will lead to increased sales. From a product standpoint, we will launch a Wheel of Fortune game and bring a second $30 ticket to the marketplace.”—Tom Delacenserie, President & CEO, Kentucky Lottery Corp.
“Holiday Cash Blowout, the much-anticipated sequel to our initial Blowout ticket that was our highest performing ticket last fiscal year, was a resounding success. Starting with its second full week on the market, sales of the game exceeded the $10 million mark in weekly sales nine consecutive weeks, peaking at $13,786,470 in its ninth full week of sales. That week and the week that followed, the game lifted overall instant ticket sales to unprecedented heights, as we posted the two highest weekly sales totals ($83,356,320 and $85,006,971) in our 47-year history.
We are excited about our newest family of multiplier tickets that launched in June. Multipliers are consistently among our highest performing tickets. This year’s ‘X Payout’ family at the $1, $2, $5 and $10 price points includes a new mechanic that doubles all prizes shown. We’re planning on launching a ‘007’ ticket with an attractive second chance drawing component that tested well in focus group research. Given the incredible success of our first two Blowout games, we are currently exploring options for our next one.”—Lauren Luttrell, Instant Product Manager, Massachusetts Lottery
“Our multiplier Family of Games (FOG) has by far made the biggest impact to out instant game sales in FY19, encompassing only 9% of games on sale but generating over 12% in total portfolio sales. This was a five price point FOG where we launched the $20 price point a month prior to the remaining four games, $1, $2, $5, and $10, launched in December and January respectively. The rationale behind the $20 launch strategy was employed specifically to capture additional sales during our portfolio’s most active and visible time of the year, the holidays.
We envision our The Big Spin® ticket launch to produce portfolio awareness and player visibility like few other instant games we’ve ever launched with the goal of driving incremental growth. Our first Big Spin game goes on sale in July of 2019 and have planned to bring this game back for a second iteration in FY20. We’ve modeled our Big Spin product based on the OLG experience with some slight program adjustments; incorporating a second chance entry mechanism for the Big Spin wheel events as opposed to the OLG pre-determined ‘spin’ outcomes that are revealed on an in-store monitor.”—Travis Priest, Printed Products Manager, Michigan Lottery
“For the last iteration of the $25 game, Granite State Gold we made major changes by lowering the payout from 82% to 79% and increased the ticket size from 8-inch to 10-inch. The prize structure was tweaked based on player feedback. Granite State Gold had higher sales profitability than any previous $25. With the launch of Granite State Millions this past October, we further refined the prize structure, kept the payout at 79%, and it is even more profitable and garnering higher sales. It goes to show the payout can be lowered when mindful of every change and the effect on the player.
In order to create some breathing room between traditional $20 ticket launches, we will dip our toe into a new type of $20, launching a shorter print run (to minimize risk) of a ‘$100 or $200’ ticket. The ‘$50 or $100’ has and continues to perform well at the $10 price point to so we will see if we can lift and add variety to the $20 portfolio this fall.”—Kelley-Jaye Cleland, Director, Sales & Product Development, New Hampshire Lottery
“Families have had the biggest impact on the Texas Lottery’s scratch sales in FY 2019. Our two FY19 families, Multiplier family and Gem 7s family, incorporated unique second chance promotions that have been extremely popular with Texas players. The Multiplier family introduced the $5 Million Vegas Challenge™ and the Gem 7s family launched with the Big Cedar Lodge promotion—a trip prize with a special private performance by Rascal Flatts! The Loteria family of games, including the new $20 Million Dollar Loteria, are also top performers that will help Texas reach new sales records in 2019.
We have found that strategically introducing families at specific times of the year, developing our core scratch offerings such as Loteria, Crossword and Break the Bank, and including special print features (foil, holographic, etc.) on as many of our games as possible are the keys to keeping a fresh, exciting product portfolio faced at retail. So it is not really one big idea, but many innovative initiatives combined that will continue to drive scratch sales in Texas in fiscal 2020.”—Robert Tirloni, Products and Drawings Manager, Texas Lottery
“The $5 Win A Spin was a big hit in the U.S.! The game has been indexed at 142 since the launch of the game and brought in over $1.3 million on average for the first 12 weeks in market.
The $30 Millionaire Maker will help the price point grow by adding variety to the product line featuring our best odds for our players to win $1 million dollars.”—Terri Rose, Director, Marketing, Virginia Lottery
“The $5 Zing Ticket ‘The Big Spin’ has outperformed all other Zing tickets in that price point for WCLC, with a 5-week index of 476 and a 10-week index of 502. Featuring a three-pronged process with: 1) the scratch component on the ticket, 2) watch the CDU generating spinning wheel, and 3) the Big Spin Event, this new ticket has been something that has appealed to players.”—Vicki Leuck, Manager, Quick Play Products, Western Canada Lottery Corp.
“The biggest sales driver in FY20 will be THE BIG SPIN which was introduced to market in late FY19 and which proved to be an instant hit with players. THE BIG SPIN has largely contributed to the overall category sales increase of 12% growth over last year. Given this success, we will be continuing to offer this game throughout the FY20 year and are exploring options for line extensions of the concept.”—Don Coleman, Manager, Big Play Products, Western Canada Lottery Corp.