Alchemy3’s Ultimate Online Shopping Spree and Spending Spree solutions are gaining traction with lotteries preparing to launch these exciting A3 programs beginning spring, 2021.

“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted online retail,” said Alchemy3 President Jeff Schweig. “And lotteries asked us for a solution that provides players with desirable prizes without putting them at risk.”

According to a global study sponsored by SalesForce, there is no going back to 2019 or even early 2020 (pre-pandemic). Consumer behavior shifted and continues to evolve during the pandemic—“68% of consumers surveyed say COVID-19 elevated their expectations of companies’ digital capabilities” (source:

If a state lottery cannot sell its products online, an instant ticket offering online shopping sprees is a creative alternative to satisfy consumers’ needs. “Online purchases are up 76% year over year,” said Schweig. “And it promotes a safe social distancing message as well.”

The SalesForce study found 88% of customers expect companies to accelerate digital initiatives due to the pandemic. Customers also expect retailers to provide flexible shipping and fulfillment options, such as buy-online-pick-up-in-store. “By creating a universally appealing value proposition that offers cash coupled with desirable non-cash prizes, we have the ability to attract consumers that aren’t playing and eliminating the risk of alienating the core lottery player,” added Schweig.

In addition, the study reported that 58% of consumers expect to do more online shopping after the pandemic. “Ultimate Online Shopping Spree works not only for today’s socially distanced world, but for the entire lifetime of the game,” said Ben Nicolls, Director of Marketing & Sales, Alchemy3.

Program Architecture

Alchemy3 built the Ultimate Online Shopping Spree program around a solid, money-themed scratch game for core lottery player appeal. Lotteries can launch the game at one price point or as a family of instant games ($1, $2, $5 and $10). The higher the price point, the greater the value of the shopping sprees.

Shopping Spree prizes are awarded as electronic credits via Tango Card®, and players use these credits to purchase electronic gift cards for over 180 national retailers via a custom website built to the exact specifications of each lottery client.

Alchemy3 and the New York Lottery have been using Tango Card® for monthly prizing in its Collect ‘N Win program.

“Approximately 80% of all gift card prizes awarded have been redeemed in NY’s loyalty program,” reported Schweig. “The top gift cards selected by winners include Wal-Mart, Macy’s, The Home Depot, T J Maxx and Applebee’s.”

The redemption journey with Shopping Spree programs is extremely consumer friendly. Once a player wins a prize, they receive a link that navigates them directly to their lottery’s redemption page. After a winner shops for and selects their prize, they receive an custom email with a clickable link to their electronic gift card, ready for immediate use either online or at retail.

Program Flexibility

Ultimate Online Shopping Spree programs are extremely flexible for lotteries. “Shopping Spree prizes can be awarded via 2nd chance promotions as instant wins or drawing prizes. And they can be combined with other prizing elements, such as a large cash grand prize, but they are particularly powerful as instant wins to reward loyalty and drive incremental spend,” said Nicolls.

“The online instant wins set precedent for future online tactics that we will soon be sharing with our customers,” noted Schweig.

Nicolls added, “As past programs have demonstrated, shopping spree prizes don’t have to be big to be meaningful to players. So these programs offer the unique opportunity to offer more meaningful wins to more players than ever before.”