In January and February, the lotteries in Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia became the latest to offer players the excitement of IGT’s proprietary draw-based game Cash Pop™. Missouri is slated to launch the game in late May.
It’s rare for a new draw game to carve out a distinctive place in the market, but Cash Pop’s easy-to-understand, “strategic play” experience has shown staying power. The 2019 debut in New Jersey was followed by launches in Georgia (which introduced the iLottery version of the game along with the retail version), Trinidad and Tobago, and Kentucky, which also added an iLottery version on January 30 this year.
“A game launch often starts out with high uptake during the trial period then typically drops, but this game continues to attract sales,” said Brad Heathcote, IGT Senior Manager Game Development & Portfolio Management and a member of IGT’s Future Game Team, which developed Cash Pop. “That’s important to us because it indicates that consumers are finding a rich gameplay experience. And people who know games stay entertained by Cash Pop because there are different ways they can wager versus a traditional cash or lotto game.”
Initial weekly per capita sales numbers from Florida and South Carolina were as high as $0.12 and $0.35 respectively, indicating that players in these new markets are excited about the game. Early results for the new iLottery version in Kentucky are strong, selling at 46% of retail in the launch week and at 30-33% in week two.
With nine versions of Cash Pop set to be in the market by mid-2022, some learnings follow:
Players Enjoy Picking Their Own Numbers
Analysis by IGT’s Future Game team reveals that Cash Pop players have an extremely high tendency to select numbers manually. “With the multijurisdictional draw games and lotto games, players use Quick Picks as much as 85% of the time, if not more,” said Sarah Walker, IGT Senior Director Draw-Based Game Portfolio Optimization. “With Cash Pop, we’ve seen around 90% of people selecting their own numbers. With a field of only 15 numbers, the percentage of people selecting their numbers indicates that players are close to this game and the numbers they’re playing, similar to a Pick 3 and Pick 4. This would also seem to support the sustainability of sales.”
Issue Separate Tickets for Different Drawings
Lotteries have flexibility in many aspects of how they launch Cash Pop. By issuing separate tickets for multiple draw selections, rather than a single ticket good for all drawings, lotteries enable players to receive a different prize determination for each drawing, which improves the player experience.
Offer a Multi-Playslip
New Jersey originally used two different playslips when it launched the game – one for a single ticket and another allowing players to buy four different tickets on the same playslip. The team found that the multi-playslip was better in terms of sales and players’ ease of understanding. Many of the jurisdictions launching now are using four- or five-board playslips to allow for more player choice in wagering.
Invite Players to Experience More Features
Players win a prize in Cash Pop by matching one number, but as Heathcote notes, “We learned early on that the experience with Cash Pop is richer when you’re playing multiple numbers [i.e., Pops] at a time. This is especially true of the ‘sweet spot’ of five numbers played, which improves the odds of winning to one in three and also guarantees a minimum prize of your total wager, since the lowest prize available in Cash Pop is 5X your wager amount.” It is helpful for lotteries to communicate this aspect of the play experience to consumers, along with the fact that players’ chances increase when they buy more than one number. For more information on Cash Pop, please contact your IGT account representative.