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Holiday Games

Six Best of the Season Games to Inspire 2024 Planning

April 23, 2024

By Scientific Games

NASPL Insights Online

Spring. It’s a season of new beginnings and growth. And the time of year when lottery product managers put their skills to work planning games for holiday scratch game portfolios.


Every price point, playstyle, color and product enhancement in a holiday instant game portfolio is strategically planned to deliver maximum sales performance. Those behind the scenes will tell you it comes down to a unique approach based on science – carefully analyzing data to determine the products players purchased the year prior – and a fresh perspective on innovation.



In 2023, Scientific Games’ products represented 75% of holiday instant game sales in the U.S. The company produced 162 different holiday games for state lotteries, including 39 (or 78%) of the top 50 performers and 18 of the top 20 games (CY2023 based on weekly per capita sales). 


Here are six blockbuster holiday games that landed them tops in the nation for performance.

1: Massachusetts Lottery

Cold Cash Blowout


Featuring premium metallic ink on holographic with a 3D snowflake pattern, Cold Cash Blowout swept the season, winning the No. 1 spot for holiday game weekly per capita sales in the U.S.


Keeping with tradition, the Massachusetts Lottery collaborated with Scientific Games to develop holiday game concepts. The game was tested in March 2023 and was the highest testing concept in the $10 category.


The Lottery has launched this successful blowout-style game in its holiday lineup for the past five seasons, and it’s continued to deliver great performance every year. Massachusetts was the first lottery to incorporate the $500 prize level in the blowout prize structure, and this game is packed with prizes and all prizes can be redeemed at retail.


Tom Aiello, Instant Ticket Product Manager for the Massachusetts Lottery: “Our first blowout ticket launched in February 2018, and it was a smashing success. Later that year, we introduced our first holiday season blowout ticket and since then we have continued to include a blowout game in our holiday launch. The prize structure has remained the same – loaded exclusively with $50, $100 and $500 prizes. At $10 and with a unique win proposition, blowout games are appealing to both core players and gift givers. This season’s Cold Cash Blowout provided an attractive winter sparkle featuring snowflakes and dollar signs. Blowout games are proven winners and have become a staple of our instant ticket portfolio.”

2: Florida Lottery

$5,000,000 Triple Match


At No. 2, $5,000,000 Triple Match is an annuity game with two pulses, one for the holiday season and a non-holiday version. Both games feature full gloss enhancements that make colors rich and vivid.


In a pre-season planning session with Scientific Games, the Florida Lottery wanted to incorporate a high-indexing playstyle into its holiday family of games to boost sales.


With high price point players in mind, the centerpieces in the cash-themed game’s product design were top prizes, number of prizes, play features (prize multipliers and bonuses) and odds of winning.


The Florida Lottery promoted the game with TV, radio and retail point-of-sale advertising as well as a second-chance opportunity to win.


Diane Recoy, Senior Product Manager for the Florida Lottery:$5,000,000 Triple Match launched in September and featured a limited quantity pulse of holiday ticket art that allowed it to be promoted alongside our other holiday games. The October launch included four additional holiday-themed Triple Match games at the $1, $2, $5 and $10 price points. The holiday family included 20 prizes of $1,000,000 or more and over 28 million instant winners. The $5,000,000 Holiday Bonus Play included more than $4,000,000 in instant-win spending spree e-gift cards and over 50,000 Florida Lottery coupons, plus three drawings for cash prizes up to $20,000. This ‘something for everyone’ product lineup served to attract new and existing consumer segments and incentivize early, multi-price point and higher price point sales throughout the holiday period.”

3 and 5: Georgia Lottery

Holiday 100X the Money and Holiday 50X the Money

Ringing in holiday sales that placed them at No. 3 and No. 5 in the U.S. were two of the Georgia Lottery’s Holiday X the Money family of games.


The Lottery’s team collaborated with Scientific Games to create an extension of the extremely popular X the Money family. The prize structures were inspired by the base games but were refined to better serve the shorter time frame the holiday games would be on sale.


The goal was to make sure the games looked familiar enough to core players but with a rich holiday vibe that appealed to players unfamiliar with the product.


This was accomplished by elevating the $20 game with Sparkle Select (Gold + Stella pattern), Premium Metallic full and spot gloss enhancements, and adding Sparkle and the Premium Metallic full and spot gloss enhancements to the $10 game. Additionally, both games offered players more opportunities to win on the back of the ticket with Scratch My Back.


The Georgia Lottery launched the entire holiday lineup with a unique Sugar & Spice 2nd Chance promotion – the Lottery’s first for a holiday game. Non-winning players were offered a choice to enter a drawing offering one large prize (“spice”) or a smaller prize (“sugar”) that would be awarded to many players, all facilitated via Scientific Games’ second-chance platform.


Katherine Cundiff, Vice President of Product Development for the Georgia Lottery Corporation: “Our $20 Holiday 100X the Money and $10 Holiday 50X the Money were designed to complement the X the Money brand that players are familiar with and love. Both tickets were designed to look and feel like a gift and specialty paper was used so the games would sparkle at retail. Each game offered significant value with the addition of bonus plays on the ticket back and a second chance promotion. Lower top prizes were offered to differentiate these games from the other X the Money branded tickets in the market at the time.” 

4: Kentucky Lottery

When It’s Gold Outside


This was the first time the Kentucky Lottery launched a winter-themed $20 game in December, and it was a winner. Ranking No. 4 in U.S. holiday game performance, When It’s Gold Outside was well-received by players.


The product was developed in Scientific Games game planning with the Lottery’s team based on the success of a 2022 holiday game in another jurisdiction.


Featuring full gloss enhancements, When It’s Gold Outside had a whimsical winter theme which helped with its longevity through sell out. 


A bonus feature was added to the key number match playstyle to make it more appealing and special attention was given to the prize structure. 


Rhonda Zimmerman, Director of Scratch Product for the Kentucky Lottery: We are delighted with the performance of this game! This game is one of the many Scratch-off products Kentucky is producing that appeal to our players. We pride ourselves on our history of launching a variety of games featuring different play styles, features and prize structures, especially around the holidays when we have strong Scratch-off sales. When It’s Gold Outside is an excellent example. We knew this game would be perfectly timed for gifting during the holidays while also offering an extended winter appeal to players beyond the holidays. This strategy proved to be a winning formula and set a new GOLD standard for us around the winter season!” 

6: Pennsylvania Lottery

$1 Million Money Tree


Coming in at No. 6 for performance, and featuring Scientific Games’ HD Games and Micromotion enhancements, $1 Million Money Tree glows with movement and 3-D play symbols.


The Lottery had launched games with the name ‘Money Tree’ many times over the years, but this was the first time at the $20 price point. When paired with ‘Million,’ it was the perfect gift of alliteration.


Designers collaborated on the artwork to execute the Lottery’s vision, and then the bonuses and play features were incorporated – including a Tree-mendous multiplier bonus which gave players the opportunity to multiply the total prize by 5x, 10x or 20x.

The game was part of the Lottery's Ugly Sweater Second-Chance Drawing. Players entering their tickets received 20 entries into the drawing for a chance to win up to $150,000.

Kara Sparks, Director of Products for the Pennsylvania Lottery: “As with all our holiday-themed games over the last few years, HD play and prize symbols were utilized with stacks of cash behind the play symbols to further emphasize the money theme. To enhance the game even further, we used MicroMotion in a dark green/light green zigzag pattern on this game. Out of the seven holiday-themed games launched, the $20 game ended the holiday season with the highest total sales. Although there is always a sharp decline in holiday-themed sales right after the holiday season rush, $1 Million Money Tree performed 19% better than other $20 games launched in the same fiscal year even after 20 weeks of sales. The week leading up to Christmas is the biggest week for these games and the year’s $20 game performed 6% better than last year’s game during the same week.”


Micromotion™ is a trademark owned by, and used with the permission of, Serigraph, Inc.


HD Games™, Scratch My Back™, Sparkle™ and Sparkle™ Select are trademarks of Scientific Games. © 2024 Scientific Games, LLC. All Rights Reserved.



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