Would you be more likely to buy a lottery ticket if it bore the picture of your pet or the pet of someone you knew? Now under way, Vermont Lottery’s “It’s a Dog’s Life and It’s a Cat’s World” photo contest seeks to designate local cover cats and cover dogs for a promotional run of scratchers. Whatever your opinions on gambling, it’s hard to argue that furry friends aren’t a heck of a lot cuter than the generic flashy gemstones, suits and stacks of cash that usually appear emblazoned on game cards.
On April 18, two cats and two dogs will be officially crowned in Scratcher Court. The lucky critters will show up on a limited run of 500,000 tickets, priced at $2 apiece and available beginning August 4. That’s just in time for Essex’s Dog Days of Summer, noted lottery representative Kelsey Hall. The ticket jackpots are still being decided on, she said.
In late February, the state-run lottery, which benefits Vermont’s Education Fund, put out a call on social media for pet photos — and received 273 entries. Members of the public voted on their favorites using Facebook likes. Twenty semifinalists were selected. (Disclosure: They include Seven Days production manager John James’ white-haired terrier, Rufus.)