The Texas Lottery challenged their vendors for ideas to fund print innovations using experiential prizing and promotions that were outside of their traditional instant ticket print budget. Pollard Banknote and Alchemy3 teamed up to offer an event promotion called the Big Cedar Lodge Cash Adventure as part of the scratcher family sold in 2019.
“We explored a number of scratch ticket family concepts as well as promotion concepts. In coordination with our vendors like Pollard and Alchemy3, we decided that the Gem 7s family was a perfect fit for the Big Cedar Lodge promotion,” said Ryan Mindell, Operations Director, Texas Lottery.
The lottery offered four different Gem 7s price points—Topaz 7s ($1), Emerald 7s ($5), Ruby 7s ($10) and Diamond 7s ($20).
Ticket sales launched on May 6, 2019. “The Big Cedar Lodge Cash Adventure was definitely a big success for the Texas Lottery. The Gem 7s family sold very well, and we were able to offer a unique and exciting experience for our players,” said Mindell.
In Concert: Rascal Flatts
The Texas Lottery Big Cedar Cash Adventure is a groundbreaking, innovative event for the lottery industry. The Texas Lottery will be taking over the entire 4,600 acres of Big Cedar Lodge including all accommodations and facilities. The highlight of the Big Cedar Cash Adventure event will be a private concert with Rascal Flatts, only for Texas Lottery winners.
“Alchemy3 booked the talent and handled all the logistical details. The Big Cedar Lodge Cash Adventure is scheduled for May 3-5, 2020, with the concerts on May 3 and May 4. Rascal Flatts will be performing on May 4,” said Mindell.
The exclusivity of this Texas Lottery event is a huge feature that the lottery can leverage for its players. This private concert is available to only the 400 Lottery winners and their guests and provides an exclusive experience that is difficult to put a price tag on. It is an example of an experiential prize that the lottery knows from research that players value very highly.
Located 10 miles from Branson, Missouri, Big Cedar Lodge is a luxury resort offering golf, fishing, shooting range and spa. The lottery prize is four days/three nights for two, airfare and ground transportation for two, $500 spending money, $10,000 additional cash prizes, VIP tournaments with cash prizes, celebrity engagement, A-list country music star and two acoustic concerts.
Family of games generates big sales for the Texas Lottery. Families accounted for approximately 14% of game launches in 2018 and 26.4% of total instant sales.
“The biggest week of sales was the second week in market (consistent with most ticket initiatives),” said Mindell. “For Gem 7s, that means the peak was the week starting 5/13/2019.”
For the Gem 7’s family, the top indexing ticket was the $5 price point at 143, followed by the $20 ticket at 127, the $1 ticket at 125 and the $10 ticket at 116 (all 18 weeks). “The Gem 7’s family performed very well, especially considering that much of its sales period was over the summer,” said Mindell.
The Big Cedar Lodge Cash Adventure was exclusively tied to the Gem 7s family of scratch tickets. The lottery offered five drawings over seven months for its Big Cedar Lodge Cash Adventure program.
“The drawing schedule was consistent with the drawing pace that we’ve found to work the best for us and our players—a regular set of drawings close to the launch of the games along with one final drawing after the game officially ends. This provides a relatively consistent amount of entries across the five drawings,” said Mindell.
The Texas Lottery awarded 80 winners per drawing. “The Big Cedar Lodge could fit about 400 winners, and we knew we wanted the exclusive ‘buyout’ experience that came with having access to the entire resort,” said Mindell. “From there, we split the number of winners equally across the five drawings.”
This was the first time the lottery had multiplied the number of entries by the price point for a second chance drawing. “We felt that this was a great opportunity to interest players in higher price points and perhaps drive sales across the entire family,” said Mindell.
In the last two years, the lottery’s advertising budget has been drastically slashed. “We ended up supporting the family with two campaigns, one more focused on the ticket and one more focused on the promotion,” said Mindell. “We utilized some great digital video spots as well as radio spots that used music from Rascal Flatts.”
The social media program included the chance to digitally play golf at the Big Cedar Lodge.
Mindell does foresee more opportunities where two vendors work together to deliver a “Big Tent” program for the Texas Lottery.
“The promotion was such a success that we have already started discussions on what the next one will look like,” said Mindell. “The model with Alchemy3 and Pollard worked well to leverage both of their strengths in delivering a great experience for our players—a great looking ticket and an amazing experience for the winners.”