This article contains artwork for 13 lotteries’ various holiday marketing. Scroll down to see all of them.

With holiday tickets representing a huge portion of annual scratcher sales, U.S. lotteries zero in on consumer-pleasing tactics, including HD printing, die-cut design, pet-themed games and scented tickets.

The Massachusetts Lottery will offer Merry Money Blowout as its latest limited edition $10 game that offers exclusively $50, $100 and $500 prizes. “Our first two Blowout games have been extremely successful and we expect demand for Merry Money Blowout to be high as it is our first Blowout ticket since last year’s holiday launch,” said Lauren Luttrell, Instant Tickets Product Manager, Massachusetts Lottery. “We anticipate that Frosty the Doughman will do well at the $2 price point. This has been a popular holiday game for us in the past, but it’s been a number of years since we’ve offered it.”

Pennsylvania Lottery will feature HD printing for all six tickets for the second holiday season in a row. “In addition to HD printing, two Scratch-Off games will feature a little something extra special this year. The [$20] $1 Million Merry & Bright includes a Sparkle™ print feature that really makes those snowflakes and lightbulbs glisten and [$5] Holiday Cash Blowout pops with the holographic paper,” said Stephanie Weyant, Deputy Executive Director, Marketing & Product Development, Pennsylvania Lottery.

The Texas Lottery designed its $10 Winner Winnings as an 8-inch round ticket shaped like wreath. “The $10 price point is on track to be our best-selling scratch ticket price point for FY 2020 so we believe the strength of the $10 price point coupled with the ticket design should make this game a stand-out during the upcoming holiday season,” said Robert Tirloni, Products Manager, Texas Lottery.

OLG is launching Festive Fortune, its $20 Big Ticket, in this year’s holiday lineup. It features five games to play, a multiplier feature, five top prizes of $250,000 and a fun winter theme. The lottery has big expectations for its success. “Our 8-inch x 12-inch Big Tickets are merchandised in specialty vertical showcases so it will be hard to miss $20 Festive Fortune at point-of-purchase this holiday season,” said E. J. Harden, OLG’s Instants Products Manager.

The Connecticut Lottery Corp. (CLC) will run a Holiday Pet Photo campaign. “Consumers will be encouraged to submit their favorite picture of their cat or dog dressed in their holiday best. This ties in nicely with the TV and social media and should generate consumer engagement. It will also serve as a barometer for future pet submission contests with the potential to include winning photos on future scratch tickets,” said Pete Donahue, Senior Director, Marketing, CLC. He noted the $2 Holiday Cheer scratchers features “loveable cats and dogs.”

New Hampshire Lottery will also tug at the heartstrings with its pet-focused holiday scratcher. “We have a great Santa Paws ticket (12 scenes),” said Maura McCann, Marketing Director, New Hampshire Lottery. To encourage multiple ticket sales, McCann noted “how the ribbon runs through all 12 scenes bringing it together nicely.”

Maryland Lottery will sell a scented ticket: $3 Peppermint Payout Multiplier. “Two previous launches of the Peppermint Payout ticket surpassed sales expectations, and this year’s ticket adds two new elements that we think our players will enjoy—a multiplier feature and a peppermint scent that brings out the spirit of the season,” said Leo Mamorsky, Chief Marketing Officer, Maryland Lottery & Gaming Authority.

FY20 Holiday Concepts

The Michigan Lottery’s $1 Naughty or Nice ticket was a big hit at focus group research with participants. “This game will be loaded with 500 top prizes of $500 which of course will all be redeemable at retail. We see this as a winning strategy for those non-lottery players who may receive this game as a gift and get that awesome opportunity to win something ‘big.’ The game also has optimized parity and chatter prize odds as well ensuring we create as many as possible winning experiences for current and new players alike,” said Travis Priest, Printed Products Manager, Michigan Lottery. “We also expect big things for our $10 game, Holiday Sparkle, as this game was also well received by participants during focus group research.”

The Florida Lottery expects a blizzard of sales for its holiday white ticket. “The special-edition white pulse of our $20 game $5,000,000 Luck will bring a second wave of sales following its September launch, when it’s repositioned as a holiday game. Including a $20 ticket in our holiday mix is not something we’ve done often, though we had success last year with a limited holiday pulse of our $20 Gold Rush game. The large top prize and white ticket art make this game a standout among our other holiday games and offerings at that price point. However, we believe our Holiday Luck family, designed in-house by our Graphics team, will also do very well,” said Shelly Gerteisen, Director of Product, Florida Lottery.

The Colorado Lottery is taking a nostalgic approach for its holiday marketing. Its $1 Reindeer Game celebrates its 10th year as part of its holiday lineup. “To honor this accomplishment, we have incorporated a ‘best-of’ theme where we have taken one scene from past Reindeer games and will have all eight reindeer plus Rudolph represented. In addition, we are adding a $10 holiday-themed Crossword game to the mix which we think will be very popular,” said Todd Greco, Scratch Product Manager, Colorado Lottery.

The Missouri Lottery is introducing a $20 holiday-themed ticket this year with a “Scratch My Back” feature. It is called Holiday Cash Bonus. “Although tickets with this feature have been offered in the past, those tickets were always at a $5 price point and this will be the first time we’ve introduced the feature on a holiday-themed ticket,” said Rhonda Fehr, Advertising Manager, Missouri Lottery.

The Hoosier Lottery is adding a $5 holiday game called Peppermint Payout. “This will be the first time since 2016 we have done a traditional $5 holiday game. We have heard a great deal of excitement from the sales team, and they believe players will be as equally excited. Additionally, we are confident that the play experience, which includes three bonus spots, will be well received by players,” said Robert Tharp, Senior Director, Products & Analytics, Hoosier Lottery.

The Virginia Lottery will market a $10 Holiday Bonus Cash ticket. “This game is loaded with meaningful prizes just in time for the holiday season. With all prizes available to be claimed at retail, our players will have the chance to play and claim their winnings to continue their shopping list,” said Terri Rose, Director of Marketing, Virginia Lottery.

The Arizona Lottery will offer a $20 Advent Calendar-styled game, called 25 Day of Winning, that will be sold at all lottery retailers, including Costco stores located in Arizona. “Our Holiday 7 ($5) tickets are real showstoppers,” admitted John Gilliland, Chief Information Officer, Arizona Lottery. “All three scenes are sparkly and chock full of presents and holiday treats. Our highest price point ticket in the campaign is Merry Multiplier ($20).”

The Wisconsin Lottery will offer five different price point for its holiday scratchers: $1 Winter Cash, $3 Peng-Win Crossword, $5 Best Holiday Ever!, $10 Holiday Magic, and $15 Celebrate.
“Our $15 Celebrate game is printing using ScratchFX®. This is the first time the Wisconsin Lottery has used this feature on an oversized ticket,” said Kailey Bender, Marketing Communications Supervisor at Wisconsin Lottery. “ScratchFXtra™, which makes the art look 3D and holographic, appears on our $10 Holiday Magic ticket.”

Holiday Contests

The Maryland Lottery is once again offering players the opportunity to enter its Holiday Cash-and-Dash promotion. “This second-chance contest, which features cash and warehouse dash prizes, continues to be extremely popular with players. In fact, last year’s contest had more than 6.9 million entries from more than 56,000 unique participants. Those are among the highest numbers we’ve had for our holiday-themed promotion,” said Mamorsky.

The DC Lottery will relaunch its Holiday Bucks 2nd Chance Promotion. “This encourages players to collect each Holiday game ($1 Holiday Luck, $2 Peppermint Payout, and $5 Holiday Cash) for a chance to win weekly cash prizes all holiday long. This was a smash for hit for us last year, so we hope to replicate this success this year for the 2019 Holiday Season,” said Stephen Cooke, Instant Product Manager, DC Lottery.

OLG will offer a holiday INSTANT ticket contest through the OLG Lottery App. “During the contest period players can scan the validation barcode on select holiday-themed instant tickets using the app to receive entries for a chance to win a weekly cash prize as well as a grand prize draw. The main objective of the contest is to increase play frequency and give the ‘gift of giving’ back to our instant players who are buying and/or playing our holiday-themed tickets,” said Harnden.

Based on its success the last two years, the Massachusetts Lottery is once again running a Second Chance Holiday Promotion. Luttrell said “anyone enrolled in our VIP Club can enter their non-winning holiday tickets into a cash drawing for prizes from $1,000 to $10,000. These promotions have driven increases in subscribers to our VIP Club and in the number of downloads of our second chance mobile application that allows members to scan their tickets for entry.”

The Kansas Lottery will offer a second-chance drawing through the lottery’s PlayOn® player loyalty program. “Players can win up to $10,000 in cash by entering non-winning Holiday Lucky Times tickets in PlayOn,” said Judy Bradley, Instant Product Development Manager, Kansas Lottery.

The West Virginia Lottery included a promotional drawing with its $5 ticket.

“The promotion spans two seasons, fall and winter and should help gain additional exposure to all holiday games this season,” said Michael Thaxton, Product Development Manager, West Virginia Lottery.

Digital & POP Advertising

In conjunction with its traditional TV/radio, print, and OOH assets, Michigan Lottery is developing a significant amount of digital assets. “In particular, Snapchat ads are something we’ve been slowly testing out to see if we can curate additional awareness and engagement amongst the very active U35 demo,” said Priest. “Our holiday campaign will be the first time we engage this particular audience with holiday snap ads and we will be excited to see what kind of engagement/ROI we glean from this channel.”

The Florida Lottery’s holiday campaign media buy includes in-store PoP Screens and Audio. “Our Holiday Scratch-Off games will be featured on these screens located at checkout next to registers and ATMs inside Circle K and 7-Eleven stores statewide and will play :12 video spots (no audio) to promote purchases. Our in-store audio will also feature the Holiday Scratch-Offs with Santa’s voice and will air over a network that runs :15 spots inside Speedway Stores 4x/hour in the Miami and West Palm Beach markets to prompt purchases,” said Gerteisen.

The Virginia Lottery will experiment with a 360 media approach which incorporates broadcast, digital, social, radio, POS, out of home and Alexa. “This comprehensive campaign features several different types of content tailored to the medium where they experience the message,” said Rose. “We’ve seen success with these types of tactics, but it’s the first time we’ve included it on our holiday efforts,” said Rose.

The Arizona Lottery will be running Gas Station TV (GSTV) ads and fun pieces in grocery stores. “There will be a long-form video showing a more ‘TV show’ style cut of the commercial that we’ll use on social. Some form of the [shopping] obstacles will be integrated into the livestream, and there will be digital, OTT, GSTV,” said Gilliland.

The Hoosier Lottery’s Digital OOH billboard campaign will feature teaser graphics during the first week of the campaign.

“The billboard will look like a wrapped package, with only the Hoosier Lottery logo revealed, and a ‘No Peeking’ gift tag. During the second week of the campaign, and beyond, the wrapping will be torn back, revealing our family of Holiday Scratchoffs,” explained Brittany D’Haenens, Senior Brand Manager, Hoosier Lottery. “We will be utilizing Indiana-based social media influencers on Instagram to drive engagement and provide gifting inspiration.”

Kentucky Lottery Corp. (KLC) will target complete store takeovers with its holiday POS. “We are also planning a retailer incentive/decorate your store type promo,” said Edie Frakes, VP, Marketing, KLC.

Digital Games

Florida Lottery’s Holiday Luck social media will include an interactive gingerbread house game. Gerteisen predicts it “will engage with our online and mobile viewers and encourage them to play to win extra entries into the Holiday Luck Second Chance Promotion. Players will use the space bar on their computers or tap on their smart phones to make the gingerbread man jump to collect as many holiday scratchoffs as possible. The gingerbread theme aligns with our Gingerbread holiday TV spot where nostalgic holiday gingerbread characters are after the new Holiday Scratch-Offs.”

The Hoosier Lottery will use awareness activation. “We are launching a digital activation with a multi-level online game giving players a chance to win a lottery prize pack while learning about our holiday Scratch-offs. This activation/engagement will also receive social media support,” said D’Haenens.

Special Merchandising

The Connecticut Lottery is bringing back a retailer POS favorite. “In addition to the TV spot and social media efforts around the ‘Spoil the ones you love’ campaign, we are bringing back our ‘Holiday Wreath’ POP,” explained Donahue. “The retailers look forward to this attractive piece each year.”

The Delaware Lottery sees an opportunity with a New Years ticket. “We are going to launch a $2 Happy New Year 2020 ticket on December 2, 2019. POS pieces will be a party hat burst to be placed on the dispenser and a dangler made out of see-through plastic,” said Anne Lewis, Marketing Specialist, Instant Games, Delaware Lottery.

The Missouri Lottery will offer a free gift envelope for players merchandised at retail for their gift-giving needs.

The Hoosier Lottery produced a holiday standee. According to D’Haenens, it “will be placed prominently in retailers to drive top-of-mind awareness of the holiday offerings and the 2nd Chance promotion available on non-winning $1 and $2 Scratch-offs. The standee includes envelopes for players to use to gift their Scratch-offs to friends and family.”

Pricing Holiday Tickets

U.S. lotteries vary widely on the ceiling for the higher price point holiday tickets. Pennsylvania Lottery will offer six tickets ranging from $1 to $20. “As was true last year, Scratch-Off play in Pennsylvania continues to gravitate towards the higher price points. We expect Holiday Cash Blowout to fly off the shelves and Secret Santa to get a boost from its time in the spotlight, but ultimately believe $1 Million Merry & Bright will be our biggest hit this holiday season,” said Weyant.

In contrast, the South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL) only markets $1 and $2 holiday instant games. “Our strategy is to give consumers an entry level price point to give and receive as holiday gifts. The quantities are less than our normal runs to try and ensure the game can end by the first of January. So it is our strategy that we think makes our games successful,” said Ammie Smith, Director, Product Development, SCEL.

Wisconsin Lottery will be increasing the print quantity for most of the five price point holiday scratchers sold in 2019 so inventory lasts well into December.

“In other years, holiday games have sometimes sold out of the warehouse before Thanksgiving,” reported Bender. “While that ensured sell through at retail, these new quantities should still provide higher net sales in the end.”


Kentucky Lottery Corp. (KLC) is finding some great efficiencies with the “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” spot it did last year entitled “Hit and Run.”

“Our tracking study told us it had high recall and it scored super high in likeability (over 70%) for those that saw or remembered it). So we are rotoscoping the TV, then really bringing the Grandma character to the store and digital and social level touting gifts that are Grandma approved.’ We had Grandma Muriel make a special appearance at this year’s sales conference and our entire team was able to get their pictures made with her for Christmas cards and such,” said Frakes.

Holiday Advertising Slogans

Below is La Fleur’s roundup of more than two dozen North American lotteries’ 2019 slogans for their holiday scratcher advertising campaigns:

  • Arizona: “Conquer Gift Giving with Ease”
  • Colorado: “Over Stuff Your Stockings, Jingle All the Way to the Bank and Let it Dough”
  • Connecticut: “Spoil the ones you love”
  • DC: “Win Cash All Holiday Long”
  • Delaware: “Happier Holidays–Instant Games”
  • Florida: “The Must-Get Gifts of the Season”
  • Hoosier: “Give Cheer, Get Cheer”
  • Kentucky: “Grandma Approved”
  • Maryland: “Make the holidays instantly better. Play, give, share holiday scratch-offs.”
  • Massachusetts: “A Wonderland of Winning”
  • Michigan: “Great Go-To Gifts!”
  • Missouri: “Winner Wonderland: Give scratchers as gifts and give the chance to win some merry this holiday season.”
  • New Mexico: “Scratcher Wonderland”
  • Pennsylvania: “Things Just Got Very Merry”
  • South Carolina: “Give A Little Jingle”
  • Texas: “Win at Gifting”
  • Virginia: “Give The Gift Of The Virginia Lottery”
  • Wisconsin: “Easy to find, easy to wrap, and easy to gift”