top of page
Insights_Online_Banner_Subs.png
Insights_Online_Logo_nocopy.png

Holiday 2023 Review: Part 2

Featuring Kansas - North Carolina

April 23, 2024

NASPL Insights Online



Details for each lottery’s holiday instant games may be found in the November/December 2023 edition of Insights magazine.




Kansas Lottery

Kansas’ holiday lineup included five games: one each at $1, $2, $5, $10 and $20.


Most successful game(s):

The $20 Sparkling Cash Riches game stood out with its unique features, including a key number match and three bonus spots offering the chance to win $100 instantly. To give it ample time to gain traction in the market, we launched this game a month earlier than the rest of our holiday offerings. This decision was strategic, especially considering it had been some time since we had introduced a $20 price point for holiday tickets. Additionally, the Sparkling Cash Riches game was part of our second-chance drawing, with a top prize of $20,000 in the second-chance opportunity, further enhancing its appeal to players.




Launch and end dates:

We launched the $20 ticket in September and the rest of the holiday family, as we usually do, in October. We try to select more of a winter theme than a holiday theme so the tickets can remain in market longer. Generally, we try to remove our holiday tickets from the market in March.


General holiday strategies:

For the past couple of years, we have launched a family of games for the holidays. We feel we can get more for our advertising dollars when we launch a family and include a second-chance drawing for that family of tickets. As noted, for 2023 we added the $20 price point to our mix and launched it a month earlier than the rest of the family. The $20 price point did extremely well and indexed at 114 for five weeks and 104 for 10 weeks. This is a tough category, so we were happy with the performance. The other strategy we have implemented for the last two years is having a whimsical $1 Stocking Stuffer ticket in addition to the four-game family – loaded with $100 prizes, this was our second highest indexing holiday game of the season.


Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

Each year we launch our Holiday Millionaire Raffle draw game; last season we launched September 1. We also had an “ugly sweater” Keno skin.





Major lessons learned in 2023:

The good: We launched the $20 ticket early and saw a lot of success. The bad: The holiday season seemed to be delayed this past season.

 



ADVERTISEMENT




Kentucky Lottery

Kentucky’s holiday lineup included seven games: two at $5 and one each at $1, $2, $3, $10 and $20.


Most successful game(s):

Our overall holiday scratch sales were up about 30% this year over the previous year. Most of the growth came from our $20 game, The Perfect Gift. We had not launched a $20 holiday game since 2003, so we’re very pleased with the performance. This game alone made up about 20% of overall holiday game revenue, with no obvious cannibalization from the $10 holiday game.


Launch and end dates:

Our holiday portfolio launched on October 19, which is when we generally launch the games, but we don’t start holiday advertising until Thanksgiving Day. We have followed this strategy for the past several years but we’ll be changing that for the upcoming holiday season. We have decided to delay the launch of our holiday games until after the election is over so instead of launching in October, we will launch on Thursday, November 7, and will build advertising as the holiday season progresses. We usually end the lower price point games by January 31 and the higher price points at the end of February.


General holiday strategies:

Our holiday scratch games included: $1 Gift Tag Cash (61.91% payout and $600 top prize); $2 Betty Boop (63.42% and $10,000); $3 Naughty or Nice Cashword (65.40% and $24,000); $5 Nutcracker Cash (69.92% and $50,000; it was die-cut); $5 $500 Holiday Frenzy/$500 Frosty Frenzy – (69.92% and $500; pulsed); $10 25 Days of Winning (71.42% and $125,000; pulsed symbol find this year vs the usual key number match play style); and $20 The Perfect Gift (73.41% and $250,000; foil ticket).


We did conduct a traditional second chance promotion with all holiday games plus the newest $50 game (that launched in September), and we saw a significant sales growth increase for the holiday tickets in comparison to FY23. It was the first time we’ve offered a holiday second chance promotion in a few years, so players were happy to see it return.



Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

On the end tag in our Nutcracker TV spot, we captured Fast Play holiday tickets (Silver & Gold family; only two price points were shown) and eInstant games. Additionally, there was a separate holiday digital campaign running for our Fast Play Silver & Gold family as well as something similar for the holiday eInstants digital campaign.


Insights on eInstants: 

Our approach with holiday eInstant games for the upcoming fiscal year will be to reintroduce them to players early enough to capture the momentum of the season (around Thanksgiving) and keep them around until the beginning of March. We will then bring the top four performing titles from the prior season back for the month of July under a “Christmas in July” theme. We do not currently have plans for a specific omnichannel holiday release, but could take advantage of that concept in future years.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

Overall, this past holiday season was successful in driving sales and engagement for our players and retailers so we will continue to build upon that success for next year’s offerings as we are already into FY25 holiday planning.




  ADVERTISEMENT




Loto-Québec

Loto-Québec’s holiday lineup included seven games: two at $3 and one each at $1, $5, $10 (national game), $15 and $20.


Most successful game(s):

Two of our products had better sales than the prior year: the $3 Cadeau Surprise and $1 7 chanceux ticket. On the other hand, we changed the selling price of one of these products – Cadeau Surprise went from $2 to $3. In terms of tickets sold, we nearly matched the quantity of Cadeau Surprise from the previous year, so we can consider this price change a success.



Launch and end dates:

We had a four-week launch period again this year. First, Cadeau Surprise was launched October 9, then three more on October 16 (including our national game), two others on October 30 and finally we launched our Advent Calendar in November. Once again it was a request from our distribution team to have less tickets to distribute at the same time. Tickets are removed in January, one or two per week.


General holiday strategies:

As mentioned earlier, we increased the price of Cadeau Surprise and also the Mots cachés ticket. The prize structure for these products was enhanced accordingly. Once again this year, we have changed the visual theme of our products. This year, they depict happy scenes of a holiday get-together designed to make our Québec players feel like they’re there. While the Bingo édition des fêtes ticket illustrates a table full of traditional desserts, the Cadeau Surprise ticket showcases wrapped presents under the Christmas tree. Meanwhile, the six pages of games of the Calendrier de l’avent ticket portray scenes such as decorations on a Christmas tree, gift giving and a holiday feast to tell the story of this get-together. Some tickets even show a turkey with a Santa hat as a humorous nod to our players.


We also introduced a second-chance promotion specifically for these tickets for the first time this year. Every day in December, we made one winner of a gift offered in the Cadeau Surprise ticket. Week by week, the value of this gift increased. On December 24, 25 and 31, we conducted a draw for all the gifts, totaling 12 prizes with a combined value of $10,275.


For advertising, the whole holiday collection was supported by TV advertising, POS and social media promotions. We also aired a specific advertisement to encourage our buyers to enter their tickets into the second-chance promotion.


Insights on eInstants: 

We typically launch our Christmas theme online scratch game the first week of November and add a new eInstant game every two weeks until Christmas. This year we launched for the first time our online Bingo scratch ticket. We have promoted our printed holiday tickets with our online scratch on our website.

 



 ADVERTISEMENT




Louisiana Lottery

Louisiana’s holiday lineup included three games: one each at $1, $2 and $5.


Most successful game(s):

Our 2023 holiday games were a family of games, so we consider the entire launch a success. Individually, the games performed as follows: $1 Snow Much Fun (loaded with $500 prizes, indexed at 117); $2 Snow Much Cash (loaded with gifts of $50, indexed at 126); and $5 Snow Me the Money (loaded with gifts of $100, indexed at 91). This year’s scratch-offs all included a convenient TO/FROM area for gift-giving, which has been proven popular in the past.


Launch and end dates:

Our holiday family of games launched October 30. We launch the holiday games during this time every year and remove games from the market when they sell out or when all top prizes are claimed. For holiday games, this typically falls the first week of January. Our $5 game claimed out early, on December 9, but sales of the rest of the games continued until sold out because this family involved a winter theme allowing them to remain relevant.



General holiday strategies:

To engage with players and promote conversations around our holiday family of games, the Lottery held a statewide radio listener call-in promotion as well as a Flurry of Fun website promotion. Players were invited to enter their favorite Louisiana winter photo and story for a chance to win one of 12 prize packages and be featured on the Lottery’s social media pages leading up to Christmas. In Louisiana, we have so many fun holiday traditions. We wanted to find a way to incorporate nostalgic stories about our players’ favorite wintertime activities into the theme of our holiday games; our annual holiday promotion seemed perfect for that purpose.


In addition, a hearty holiday marketing campaign accompanied the launch including TV, radio, digital gas pump displays, digital outdoor and internet ads, including Facebook and Instagram, Pandora, Spotify and YouTube pre-roll video. Point-of-sale advertising includes a front counter mat and a Player Advertising Display (PAD) spot.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

Year after year, our holiday games always perform very well, boosted by social media engagement promotions and radio call-in promotions. These tactics have become staples for us to give our holiday lineup extra attention.




 ADVERTISEMENT


 


Maryland Lottery

Maryland’s holiday lineup included six games: one each at $1, $2, $3, $5, $10 and $20.


Most successful game(s):

The $5 Holiday Cash was our most successful holiday ticket in 2023. This game had two different designs and double-sided inserts. With this strategy, retailers were able to double-face the game to help increase sales.


Launch and end dates:

Our holiday tickets launched on October 23, which was one week later than our holiday ticket launch in 2022. We changed the date to standardize our launches and keep them close to the last full week of October. We always allow weekly sales performance and product mix to dictate when we remove holiday games from the market. Our $10 game is pulsed, with two holiday-specific designs and two winter designs, which allows it to remain in the market beyond the holiday season.


General holiday strategies:

In the $1 OH, SNAP, we reduced the top prize from $1,000 to $500 and increased number of top prizes from 32 to 80. In the $2 Unwrap The Cash, we reduced value of top prize from $10,000 to $5,000 and increased number of top prizes from seven to 20. At $3, we launched our seventh Peppermint Payout ticket; it included bonus areas, a multiplier and was peppermint scented. For the $5 Holiday Cash, books featuring both of the ticket’s designs were packaged and shipped in the same box (in a single box, books of tickets alternated between the green and tan designs). Insert cards were double-sided so retailers could double-face the game by selecting the scene that matched the book they were displaying. Retailers received both designs at the same time. At $10, we had two pulses of our $10 Snow Globe 7s ticket, one with a holiday-specific theme and another with a winter theme. There were two different scenes in each pulse, featuring 7s snow globe designs. There were also two pulses of the $20 Win $100, $200 or $500, one with a holiday theme and the other with a cash theme. We used a print quantity that would allow us to keep the game in the market for more than a year.


The biggest change in strategy this past season was adding holiday Fast Play games to the second-chance promotion for the first time. In the Holiday Cash 2023 Second-Chance Promotion, players were able to enter their non-winning holiday scratch-offs and both winning and non-winning holiday Fast Play tickets into My Lottery Rewards for chances to win cash prizes. The number of second-chance entries was based on the price of the ticket. The promotion consisted of 12 weekly drawings to select 62 winners. Each drawing awarded five $5,000 prizes. The final drawing also awarded two $100,000 prizes. The promotion had 15.6 million entries, which was double the number of entries in the 2022 holiday promotion. Standard My Lottery Rewards email and push communications were used to inform members of the promotion and its draw dates and deadlines.





Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

As noted above, our holiday Fast Play games were eligible for entry in 2023. While those games were included in the second-chance promotion, they were not included in the paid advertising for the promotion. The scratch-offs were the focal point. However, the website landing page, social media and in-store displays were used to promote the Fast Play holiday games and holiday scratch-offs separately, as well as together, tied to the second-chance promotion. 


In addition to the Holiday Cash 2023 Second-Chance Promotion, the holiday scratch-off tickets were featured in two My Lottery Rewards Achievements in November and January. In November members were asked to enter $35 worth of non-winning holiday scratch-offs to earn draw points, prize points, or a coupon. January featured a one-day flash achievement category where members entered $30 worth of non-winning holiday scratch-offs to earn a coupon.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

We will apply the dual-scene book strategy again to the $5 price point. This helps retailers double-face the game and is not an expensive feature to add. We will continue to use the pulse strategy for the $10 price point to feature both holiday and winter designs to elongate the selling season for that game. We did not include a “To: and From:” tag on our $1 game this year due to space limitations, but plan to bring it back in 2024. We don’t believe reducing the top prize values positively impacted sales, so it is possible that we will return to standard top prizing for next year’s holiday suite of games.

 



ADVERTISEMENT



Massachusetts Lottery

Massachusetts’ holiday lineup included six games: two each at $2 and $10, plus one each at $1 and $5.


Most successful game(s):

Our $10 Cold Cash Blowout ticket performed the best, indexing at 157. Since the 2018 introduction of the blowout concept, with prizes of $50, $100 and $500 exclusively, demand for these tickets remains high and it is a proven winner as part of our holiday launch.


Launch and end dates:

Consistent with our usual launch schedule, all of our holiday tickets went on sale the third Tuesday in October. In most cases, tickets remain on sale until all grand prizes in the game have been claimed.


General holiday strategies:

In addition to a traditional family of tickets, Snow Much Money, at the $1, $2 and $5 price points, we offered customers three other options, including our popular seasonal $10 Blowout game and an extended play $2 Frosty Cashword game. Rounding out the collection was a unique large format, die-cut holiday tree-shaped ticket named $50,000 Winter Green.


For the seventh consecutive year, we ran a Second Chance Holiday Promotion in which anyone enrolled in our VIP Club could enter non-winning holiday tickets into a cash drawing for prizes from $500 to $10,000.


Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

We had a new holiday offering this year, the Mass Millionaire Holiday Raffle. It was our first raffle game in over 10 years. Tickets were $10 and only 550,000 tickets were available. The raffle featured over $2.9 million in prizes and one lucky player became the first $1 million prize winner of 2024 when we conducted the final drawing live on Facebook and YouTube shortly after the ball dropped on New Year’s Day. In addition to the $1 million top prize, four $250,000 prize winners and six $25,000 prize winners were drawn on New Year’s Day. To reward players who purchased a raffle ticket early in the game’s sales period, there were weekly drawings on 11 consecutive Fridays from October 20 through December 29, in which one lucky ticket was randomly drawn from the pool of tickets sold to-date to win a $20,000 prize. All 11 of these tickets remained eligible to win a prize in the New Year’s Day drawing.

Additionally, every 100th ticket sold across the state resulted in a $100 cash voucher. Tickets that won a $100 cash voucher also remained eligible for all remaining drawings.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

We continue to adjust print quantities and prize structures in an effort to not disrupt our existing ticket portfolio and to manage our holiday inventory so that the games do not remain on the market for an extended period. Due to an aggressive product plan for draw games this year, we will not be offering the Mass Millionaire Holiday Raffle in the upcoming holiday season.

 



ADVERTISEMENT




Michigan Lottery

Michigan’s holiday lineup included four games: one each at $1, $2, $5 and $10.


Most successful game(s):

$10 Holiday Wishes. It had an all-time high index of 134 and sold 6.2% ($1.6M) higher than the $10 holiday game from the previous year. During focus groups, participants credited their positive review of the game with its vibrant colors and festive feel with the graphics of Santa’s boots and belt.


Launch and end dates:

We launched our holiday games on October 31 and removed them from market January 30.


General holiday strategies:

The Michigan Lottery supports holiday games with point-of-sale promotional pieces, TV, radio and trade ads featuring all four holiday games. Our theme for FY2023 was “Gift Something Wonderful” on the four price points introduced.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

We will continue to utilize a full scene on our $1 dollar tickets which are fan folded every five tickets. We have found this strategy at the lower price point level very lucrative when offering first time players and gift-giving players the ability to buy a whole scene instead of just one.




ADVERTISEMENT




Missouri Lottery

Missouri’s holiday lineup included six games: one each at $1, $2, $3, $5, $10 and $20.


Most successful game(s):

Once again, the $20 price point was Missouri’s highest selling holiday game. This year’s $20 ticket, Merry & Bright, featured sparkle printing technology and metallic ink to make it stand out at retail, and we received positive feedback on the game from our players. Like the previous year’s $20 holiday game, the design provided exceptional play value with the extra appeal of bonus spots and an additional scratch-my-back feature on the reverse side.


Launch and end dates:

Our $20 holiday game was launched on Sept. 25, and the remaining holiday games were made available in mid-October. Retailers were instructed to replace holiday games during the last week of December as we launched a new family of games.




General holiday strategies:

Missouri Lottery players enjoy variety, so our holiday games include an assortment of both play action and price options. My Lottery Players Club members received additional benefit from their holiday ticket purchases through the holiday-themed Anchors Away second-chance promotion. Players had the chance to win taxes-paid adventure cruises to places like Tahiti and Alaska, along with other trip options and cash and merchandise prizes. The Anchors Away promotion received a total of 2.5 million entries into the monthly drawings and 26 million entries into the weekly drawings – which translated to more than $26 million worth of holiday Scratchers and draw games tickets entered.


Our advertising budget did not provide for paid advertising specific to our holiday games and promotion. The small advertising budget was instead used for a more generalized “Lottery as Gifts” campaign that ran throughout the holiday season. The campaign highlighted both “Scratchers as Gifts” as well as “Draw Games as Gifts” coupons for holiday gift-giving. Our main communications tools included point-of-sale materials at retail and organic social media posts.


Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

In addition to holiday Scratchers, draw game tickets purchased and entered within the promotional period were also eligible for entry into the Anchors Away second-chance holiday promotion.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

The marketing surveys we conduct with our loyalty club members continue to provide valuable insights that help guide our selection of the best ticket mix possible. Added play options and specialized printing techniques will always be a consideration. We’ll also continue to tie our holiday games into second-chance promotions to extend the holiday purchase for our players.



ADVERTISEMENT



Montana Lottery

Montana’s holiday lineup included four games: two at $1 and one each at $2 and $5.


Most successful game(s):

All holiday scratch games performed almost identically to the previous year. We consider this a success.


Launch and end dates:

We launched all games on October 3. All games tend to sell out by the end of January, so we never pull them from the market. We always launch our games during the first week of October.


General holiday strategies:

In 2023, three games were designed as a family, with the same theme and appearance. They each had Bonus Play, our feature for players to enter additional drawings in our Player’s Club.


Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

We cycled in a couple of holiday- or winter-themed Fast Play games to our lineup in October ($5 Turkey Gravy) and November ($2 Merry Christmas to Me and $5 Frosty Fun).


Major lessons learned in 2023:

We did not see a decline in sales from the previous year, so we will most likely follow the same pattern for 2024.

 



ADVERTISEMENT


           

 

Nebraska Lottery

Nebraska’s holiday lineup included four games: one each at $1, $5, $10 and $20.


Most successful game(s):

Our most successful holiday ticket was $5 Holiday Classic 10X simply because of the price point. This game outperformed every other game in the $5 price point during most of its lifespan. 


Launch and end dates:

We launched our holiday games on October 16, and we typically remove them from the market in the third week of January. We made the change to set a close date for the holiday games during the 2021/22 holiday season in order to refresh ticket options, improve placement of replacement games, and prevent confusion relating to the holiday second-chance contest.


General holiday strategies:

Our general holiday strategy consisted of nostalgic ticket art featuring classic-themed Christmas paintings. The prize payouts for the holiday games lined up with typical products and had prize structures favoring “churn” prizes at break-even and 2X. The top prize was lower than standard games to minimize the print run and allow the games to close naturally. 


Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

We did not include any other lottery products in our holiday campaigns but did include lotto prizes in the winter-themed $5 scratch game Polar Payout that has a similar launch schedule as our holiday games. 


Major lessons learned in 2023:

We learned not to expand our holiday offerings to include a $20 scratch game. Although $20 Holiday Classic 50X performed well, the consensus was that we lost sales due to the transition time needed to change out the games.

 

 


New Hampshire Lottery

New Hampshire’s holiday lineup included five games: one each at $1, $2, $5, $10 and $20.


Most successful game(s):

Do we have to pick just one? We had phenomenal success with our holiday games this year. If we had to choose just one, it would be our $5 Holiday Wishes, as it was a team effort to make this one happen. We created our own lottery-centric wishes, and added a score to each of the 12 scenes so a player could fold it in half like a greeting card. The marketing and sales groups collaborated to ensure retailers and players would understand that the ticket was more than a ticket, it was a card. From POS to retail messaging to media, the messaging was on point to support this game. It was also printed with LuxVelvet and premium metallic ink, adding to the spice of the season. It also performed 10 points better in index compared to last year’s $5 game.



Launch and end dates:

We launched the end of October as we do every year. And we keep them on the market until the last top prize is claimed. Sometimes that means they are on the market for the next holiday season. However, with whatever games are still on market come July, we will likely offer a Holidays in July promotion at retail and via iLottery.


General holiday strategies:

We went hard on the red and green this year – quite traditional, as we found that is what NH players want. We offered a $1, $2, $5 and pulsed $10 ($50 or $100 Holiday that switched to non-holiday after). And we also launched a $20 200X the Cash that was all green. That launched the month before but was able to support the holidays as well as non-holiday time period.


We did offer a limited time second-chance drawing for the $1, $2 and $5 games. The Fa La La La La $500 second-chance drawing offer players the opportunity to enter their non-winning holiday tickets for a chance to win one of 50 prizes of $500.


From a holiday advertising perspective, we brought back NH Nick! He was well received in 2022, traversing the state while tossing packs of holiday scratch tickets from his sleigh (a classic ’07 Harley Davidson Street Bob motorcycle). In 2022, the spot showed the beauty of the Granite State that complemented the scratch tickets on sale. NH Nick 2.0 or Holiday 2023 brought “Saint Nick” into the retail environment to make his purchase of thousands of holiday scratch tickets and Tri-State Megabucks tickets. Once again, these were his gifts to the residents, 18+, in New Hampshire. Radio, social and point of sale materials all supported NH Nick! Will there be a NH Nick 3.0?





Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

As in years past, we offered the retail-only Jingle All the Way for players who purchase a single Tri State Megabucks ticket of $6 or greater; they have the chance to win $25 instantly.


Insights on eInstants: 

We launched IWG’s $crooge eInstant as well as NPI’s Winter Wilds eInstant. Both had strong game launches. We followed them up with an off-schedule launch to support the New Year with IWG’s Gatsby’s Expanding Gala. Throughout the month of December there were loads of strategic promotions to engage and re-engage players, as well as to bring in new players.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

This coming year we should have Retail Rewards live, so we can offer double to triple points for holiday games and offer promotions for signing up for Rewards during the holiday season, to try and bring occasional players into the Rewards program.

 


 

New Jersey Lottery

New Jersey’s holiday lineup included four games: one each at $1, $2, $5 and $10.


Most successful game(s):

Our most successful holiday ticket was $5 Peppermint Payout X20. This ticket featured peppermint scented ink that was a hit with our players and retailers alike. Peppermint Payout X20 was our best selling $5 holiday ticket in recent years and achieved a sellout the last week of December.


Launch and end dates:

Consistent with previous years, our 2023 holiday games launched during the first week of November. The $1, $2 and $5 holiday games are designed to sell out by the end of the season and are subsequently removed from the Plan-O-Grams at the end of December. Our $10 holiday game is designed with a winter theme so that it can remain in market through January or February.


General holiday strategies:

Our strategy was also consistent with previous years, and our prize payouts and prize structures are comparable to our normal games. Holiday advertising efforts included a traditional multichannel marketing campaign utilizing television, radio and out-of-home assets, featuring the “Share Wishes for Holiday Riches” messaging. Printed point of sale material included a wreath-shaped cling and “select-a-size” garland that retailers could use as holiday décor. We also produced a holiday envelope (large enough to fit all tickets) and counter stand to encourage lottery gift-giving.


Our $1 game, Gnome For The Holidays, was a whimsical game with four different scenes that achieved a sellout at the end of December. The $2 Merry Money Multiplier had a strong holiday theme in addition to a Multiplier feature which is always popular with our players. $5 Peppermint Payout X20 was a successful second rendition of Peppermint Payout (first launched in 2022) with a new multiplier feature. $10 Winter Winnings was designed as a typical $10 game with a winter theme to attract our core players and gift givers alike.


We hosted two second-chance opportunities in November through our VIP Club player loyalty program, featuring our holiday tickets to kick off the gift-giving and holiday shopping season. Every Monday in November, players could enter their non-winning $5 Peppermint Payout X20 tickets into the Million Dollar Replay second-chance promotion and receive multiplied entry value. Later in the month, players could enter any of their non-winning holiday tickets into the Thanksgiving Bonus Zone promotion for a chance to win prizes that included New Jersey Lottery swag, scratch-offs, or local event tickets.


Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

While our holiday advertising campaign only featured scratch-offs, we also launched a $5 Holiday Prize Lines Fast Play Progressive ticket in November to coincide with the holiday season. Our Quick Draw (Keno) draw show was also re-skinned with a peppermint candy theme.


New Jersey is well known for its shopping malls. They are packed with shoppers during this festive time of the year – and many of New Jersey’s biggest and best malls sell NJ Lottery games. Throughout the month of December our full-time field promotions team sets up a booth with a prize wheel to help spread holiday cheer and remind players that scratch-offs make a great gift for any adult on your list. They set up at the NJ Lottery retailer location and invite players to spin the prize wheel for scratch-offs, t-shirts, tote bags, water bottles and holiday themed prizes.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

After two successful years launching a $5 Peppermint Payout ticket, we will likely look for further ways to refresh that theme and bring it back for the next holiday season. Similarly, we will also be investigating the merit of increasing the print run of our $5 holiday game so that is lasts into the January season.

 



ADVERTISEMENT




New Mexico Lottery

New Mexico’s holiday lineup included four games: one each at $1, $2, $3 and $5.


Most successful game(s):

Happy Pawlidays! was the cat’s meow. With so many lovable pets, a classic red truck on the ticket and HD Games symbols, this ticket received a great response from players. It also generated fun content and warm fuzzy radio promotions. This $3 game sold out of the warehouse in 11 weeks!



Launch and end dates:

We launch our holiday Scratchers in October every year. This year was no different, as the games launched October 3. All four holiday games were sold out of the warehouse by the first week in January.  We reduced the quantity of tickets ordered this year and it worked out well. 


General holiday strategies:

The $1 Oh, What Fun! had four Santa scenes and was loaded with $20 prizes. The $2 When It’s Gold Outside had two scenes printed with foil and offered $500 top prizes. Happy Pawlidays! was a $3 game featuring 28 types of pet symbols, also with $500 top prizes. Finally, the $5 What’s Under the Tree? had three bright, colorful tree scenes and $1,000 top prizes. We ordered smaller quantities than ever before, which seemed to be the perfect amount.


Full media campaigns began at launch. We introduced the games with a second-chance promotion and added a “makes great gifts for ages 18 and older” message in December. The second-chance promotion continues until all four games have ended. This helped encourage after-Christmas sales to extend the life of the games, and provided added value to players. Since many of these games are given as gifts, this also offered a great way to introduce second-chance promotions to new players.


Additionally, radio promotions were held on 26 radio stations in New Mexico. Listeners were invited to call in and share what they love about their pet for their chance to win Lottery Bucks, a stocking and a Happy Pawlidays bandana. The bandanas were inspired by the ticket and made specifically for the radio promotions.


Social media promotions promoted the holiday Scratchers with a fun Holiday Bingo post. Retailers were encouraged to activate the games at launch with a chance to win $1,000 in a retailer activation promotion.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

Quantities were just right, and we plan to use these numbers for future holiday game orders.

 



ADVERTISEMENT


 


New York Lottery

New York’s holiday lineup included three games: one each at $2, $5 and $10.


Most successful game(s):

The $10 Holiday Treasure – players enjoy playing for the top prize of $1 million, and the game is profitable.


Launch and end dates:

We launched all three games on November 7. Typically we remove them in March if they do not sell out; all three games sold out.


General holiday strategies:

Our strategy was to launch games that would be seasonal but have staying power through the winter. We maintained the launch schedule, as it was accepted by players. There was traditional advertising around the holiday season, as well as second-chance drawings. From a communications perspective, the objective for our holiday campaign was to build awareness of New York Lottery’s holiday scratch-off games and motivate people to purchase and gift them. Our strategy centered around the fact that that the “it” gifts change every year, but holiday scratch-off games from the NYL are delightful traditions that never go out of style. They’ve been a holiday tradition for decades, they’re easy to pick out, hand out and incorporate into your holiday rituals. Our campaign “Giving is in the Air” included a film where a ballerina and toy soldier inside a classic holiday window display exchange holiday scratch-offs, as well as radio, social, ESMM, and OOH assets.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

We learned that players are accepting of seasonal games having a bit more time in market before launching new games.

 


 

North Carolina Education Lottery

North Carolina’s holiday lineup included six games: one each at $1, $2, $3, $5, $10 and $20.


Most successful game(s):

North Carolina scratch-off players made our $20 game, The Perfect Gift, the most successful of our holiday games. We executed a new strategy with the use of Easy Pack, a ticket from Pollard Banknote that can open up like a booklet but still fit into vending machines. The Perfect Gift penetration increased, on average, 10% higher than large format $20 games in the past. The increased penetration then led to a 38% increase in activations when compared to other $20 holiday games. The universal distribution, including vending machines, became a major factor in the game’s success.


Launch and end dates:

Holiday scratch-offs always launch on the first Tuesday of November. If the games don’t sell out, they are typically picked up in March and April.


General holiday strategies:

Our holiday strategy rests on launching games with a unified look every other year. In the previous year, our holiday games had a unified look. This past season, we launched games with different looks and feels, though the games still presented well together as they shared common holiday colors of red, green and gold. The six holiday games offered the same payouts as other rotational games. The $10 Holiday Cash Blowout came with three prize tiers, $50, $100 and $500, with odds of 1 in 750 to win the game’s top prize.


Our holiday games always arrive with second-chance drawings. The 2023 Holiday Second Chance drawing enhanced our holiday games by giving players the opportunity to enter two drawings to win cash prizes of up to $200,000. We added an early-bird feature to encourage more sales early in the holiday season so we could better manage the inventory of holiday games. Players who entered their holiday tickets before November were entered into two drawings, an early-bird drawing with 10 winners of $5,000 and a grand prize, final drawing with a top prize of $200,000. Players who entered on or after December 1 qualified for just the final drawing.


For a second year in a row, a fun social media campaign brought more fun to the holiday seasons. Players could play a racing reindeer game on a microsite and enter their information to win free scratch-offs. The promotion generated more than 10,000 entries. 


Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

This year we launched three holiday-themed Fast Play games. The $2 Merry Money and $5 Holiday Luck were rotated back into the lineup from the previous year, and we added a $10 holiday game, Holiday Bonus, giving players a holiday game with a chance to win the full progressive jackpot. The stocking stuffing this year for those in our Lucke-Rewards loyalty player program came in December when they could earn 3X the points on all holiday scratch-offs and Fast Play tickets entered into our loyalty platform.


Insights on eInstants: 

We did not do any holiday digital instant games this year, as they just launched in November. Starting in FY25, two new eInstant holiday games will run concurrently with traditional holiday scratch-off and Fast Play games. The digital games will be standalone games and not connected to scratch-off or Fast Play tickets.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

Players are moving away from the lower price points. While they are important, we are likely to reduce the quantities of the $1 and $2 holiday games next year. For the $20 price point, Easy Pack works really well for us so we’re going to launch it again next year.




Related Content:





Comments


bottom of page