Gary Grief, Executive Director, Texas Lottery, asked the hypothetical question to the audience—“What Now? The $1.5 Billion Question.” He discussed the Powerball matrix changes launched in October 2015 and the impact of the record jackpot.
“During the jackpot roll, the national requests began to morph into worldwide requests. During the roll, we could make ourselves available for interviews by doing group interviews. We also answered questions through our social media channels which helped to answer repetitive questions and also give updates on sales numbers,” Grief said. “We saw an unprecedented engagement across all of our social media channels during the roll.”
Over $1.3 billion was generated for good causes during the jackpot run. Overall, 200,000 retailers across the country earned $200 million. “The reason the sales were so great were in part due to millennials purchasing tickets, which we’ve been struggling to reach for a while. My kids’ friends were snapchatting pictures of their tickets,” Grief added.
After such a large Powerball run, it’s important that the lottery officials go back to their policy makers and manage expectations as well as leverage the revenue records in each state. “We need to ask them for more advertising money and how about removing any prize payout limits. Please, let us use the same technology that our competitors use,” Grief ended.
He stressed that lotteries and vendors must maintain focus on retailer expansion and product innovation.