The Iowa Lottery created a “Winner Wonderland” for its 2020 holiday campaign.

But who knows what holiday instant game winners like best. It’s a race to see which holiday scratch-off will be the most popular. “Iowa Lottery scratch-ticket players have always loved our holiday Bingo and Crossword games and that’s ringing true again this year, with our $3 and $5 Crossword games and $2 Bingo game leading the pack in terms of entries during the first weeks of our holiday promotion. And, this year we have released Iowa’s first ever $20 holiday ticket with our spotlight game ‘Holiday Wishes.’ It’s our first round ticket, shaped like a holiday wreath,” said Teri Wood, VP Sales & Marketing, Iowa Lottery.

There have been changes in the lottery’s advertising. “This holiday season we made more changes in our media buying strategy due to the proliferation of political ads than we did to the actual way we market our holiday products to players,” said Wood.

Players also benefit from upgrades to the players club. “Earlier this year we launched our Prize Zone as a monthly Play It Again promotion portal through our players club to provide a new, continuous benefit for VIP Club members 24/7. The Prize Zone was established to provide ongoing engagement opportunities for members to win fun prizes and cash,” said Wood. “And at about the same time that we introduced the Prize Zone, we also expanded our prize-claim options in the VIP Club to include a hands-free prize claim option via DocuSign. These two options paired together have allowed us to continuously engage our players even during the pandemic in a hands-free manner. We’re seeing about 75% of winners in our VIP Club promotions claim their prizes using the hands-free DocuSign option.”

To increase its virtual engagement with players, the lottery also provided promotional contest winners with a “celebration prize package.” It includes lottery tickets, a “You’re Looking At A Winner” T-shirt and special merchandise with an instructional card about how to have a virtual celebration.

“We ask them to capture a photo or video of themselves wearing their T-shirt and showcasing their other winnings and merchandise. We also ask them to tag us using our hash tags so can see that on social media,” said Wood.

She also mentioned that lottery sales at retail are holding their own in 2020. Citing a recent article in Convenience Store News Daily, Wood said while foot traffic may have decreased slightly in the retail environment, dollar sales have actually increased—“According to the latest biweekly report from PDI and NACS on how COVID-19 is impacting consumer behavior, morning rush and basket spend are holding relatively stable at about 85% of prior year’s trips and up 20% in basket spend compared with the same time period last year. Convenience stores saw a boost in dollar sales, up 4.8% year over year, during the two-week period ended Sept. 27, slightly below levels seen at the end of July and the end of August. The market findings also show dollar sales continue to be above 2019, despite c-store trips remaining ‘well below’ the prior year, NACS Daily reported.”