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Holiday 2023 Review: Part 3

Featuring Ohio - Wisconsin

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.





Ohio Lottery

Ohio’s holiday lineup included six games: one each at $1, $2, $5, $10, $20 and $30.


Most successful game(s):

It’s difficult to pick one game that was responsible for our record-breaking holiday sales. Our $5 Holiday Lucky Times 10 was successful based on the percentage increase in sales compared to last year’s $5 Holiday Lucky Times 10. In the 12-week period, the game had a 25% increase in sales over last year. When we consider success based on total sales for the 12-week period, our $20 Holiday Gold ticket led the way with sales of over $39 million. We also successfully released our first $30 holiday game, Merry and Bright, which brought in over $30 million.


Launch and end dates:

We launched our holiday games on Tuesday, October 10. We continue to sell the games after the holidays and will remove them once their weekly sales reach a certain sales level. We also remove them if all top prizes are claimed.


General holiday strategies:

We increased our payouts on the $1 and $2 holiday games and used these games and their prizes to drive more sales during the holiday. Payouts for our $5 and higher games are similar to games we release throughout the year. We continue to offer our $1 Holiday Cash and $5 Holiday Lucky Times 10 games, which both have been around for decades. Their familiarity has been beneficial to our overall holiday strategy over the years. We decided to discontinue selling the $3 holiday game, as we continued to see declining sales at this price point; we replaced it with our first $30 holiday game. On the $20 game, we added Scratch My Back to provide added value, knowing that the new $30 holiday game would draw some sales away from the $20. On our higher price points, we use holographic material, platinum foil and sparkle to help draw attention to these games. We had a coordinated campaign that highlighted the whole suite of holiday scratch-off tickets. The theme, “Play Like You Used To,” featured various situations showing our adult players getting overly excited about these great games.


We offered a second-chance promotion with three drawings during the holiday season. Players entered their non-winning holiday scratch-offs in our rewards club for chances to win $100 and $500 prizes or a grand prize of their choice, which included an adventure package, a gamer package or a lottery fan package. This sense of control allowed our grand prize winners to pick the prize that got them most excited. It tied in nicely to the overall holiday theme. We also produced a one-night-only 20-minute Facebook Live event built around our Wonderful Time ticket. This event allowed us to promote and describe all of our holiday scratch-offs to a captive audience while awarding $5,000 in prizes along the way.


Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

We promoted our holiday EZPLAY games through our website, at retail via player advertising display networks on point-of-sale materials, and on our social media channels.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

There were no surprises. We’ve learned that if you keep the tickets readily available in retail and through self-serve, highlight key game features, offer popular games across multiple price points as stated above, and find ways to give players extra chances to win, they will continue to purchase our products. We were able to achieve a year-over-year sales increase again, which was great in the current environment.

 



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Oklahoma Lottery

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


Most successful game(s):

This was the first time that we ever had a $5 holiday game and it went well. Our $1 performed great too, as usual!


Launch and end dates:

We launched our games on October 27. We usually will let them run through New Year’s Eve before we start pulling them. Fortunately, this year they were pretty much sold out by then anyway.


General holiday strategies:

On both price points, we tend to load them up with low tier wins, more than normal, just to give a lot of winning experiences. We did not run a lot of promotional efforts because they really sell themselves. It’s worth mentioning that both of these tickets are featuring AI art. We have been utilizing a lot of AI in all aspects of our business, and have found it very helpful to get some great imagery.



Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

One of the promotions is a “let us cover Christmas” promo. Players can use their Players Club points for entries to win $15,000 in cash. We have run it for two years now and it has been our best promotion each year.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

We’ll do our promotion again but we are still evaluating the ticket data.


 

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Ontario Lottery & Gaming

OLG’s holiday lineup included seven games: two each at $3 and $5, plus one each at $2, $10 (national game) and $20.


Most successful game(s):

The $20 Instant Gift Pack was the top performer this year, achieving the highest sales volume of this year’s holiday products at $25.37 million. This product is designed for gift-giving, and we saw great demand for these packs at retail during the holidays.


Launch and end dates:

A staggered launch approach is used for the holiday games to ensure that demand is satisfied during the gifting season. The national game Holiday Riches ($10) launched October 9, two games launched on October 23, one on October 30, and the final three (including the $20 Instant Gift pack) on November 6. This launch strategy follows previous learnings that all holiday products must be in market by the second week of November in order to maximize sales and sell through. The holiday tickets were removed from market in January, since demand for holiday products declines after the holiday period. Four games were removed by January 12; the remaining three by January 19.


General holiday strategies:

For design, the products had a traditional holiday look and feel. While the $3 Winter Tripler and $5 Arctic Blast (both launched October 23) were more winter-themed, the rest of the tickets leaned more heavily into holiday festive designs with use of traditional reds, greens and blues, and festive symbols and imagery. The Instant Gift Pack introduced a new guaranteed win (minimum of $5) in every pack, so this gift will always deliver a winning experience. This replaces a $3 free-play voucher that was introduced with the 2021 $20 Instant Gift Pack.


Unlike in 2022, there was no second chance contest on any of the 2023 holiday tickets. The 2023 Holiday Gifting Campaign was called “Stuffed With Possibilities,” and featured new creative across radio, connected TV, OLV & display, OOH, social, POS, CDU, and powerwalls, and was in market from November 27 to December 25. The creative showcased the family of OLG holiday offerings that go inside a holiday stocking. A string of magical sparkles swirls around the stocking and transitions to reveal that the stocking has taken shape of a car. The magical swirl happens again to reveal that the stocking is now in the shape of a boat. With OLG’s Instant Gift Pack, lottery tickets and gift cards, this holiday season could be Stuffed With Possibilities. The creative ends with the family shot of the OLG holiday offerings with the call to action to “Gift One Today.” This campaign had a net recall of 33%.



Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

In the media campaign, OLG gift cards, Lotto Max and Lotto 6/49 were included in the holiday campaign. In this time frame, OLG also launched Merry Millions, the first in a new series of retail-only lottery games with guaranteed winners every draw. Merry Millions had its own media campaign in market. Merry Millions offers players the chance to win one of three $1 million top prizes, three $50,000 Early Bird prizes, plus many other prizes. Tickets cost $20 and all prizes are guaranteed to be won.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

Key learnings this season were:

Players are enjoying the guaranteed winner in the Instant Gift Pack; however, they want wins higher than $5. Players are feeling frustration when the play is over after the first ticket.


As a result, strategic changes that will be made for next season are:

Continuing with the guaranteed winners in the Instant Gift Pack, although revising the prize structure to include more smaller wins > $5 so players feel bigger wins. That includes building more multiple wins across the tickets in the Gift Pack so players can continue the play and see value across the pouch.




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Oregon Lottery

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


Most successful game(s):

The $20 Under the Mistletoe game had the highest percentage of holiday game sales revenue at 26.3%. The game’s imagery, simplicity of design, and easy play style contributed to its success.


Launch and end dates:

The games launched October 3 and ended January 31, which is our normal process.


General holiday strategies:

This year’s holiday game lineup had everything from whimsical to elegant in order to provide variety for our customers. We continued with our strategy of adjusting prize structures to focus on the low-tier or mid-tier prizes to create more winning experiences. And as usual, during a two-week window in late December, we offered a double entry second-chance promotion after the holidays. From an organizational perspective, the holiday season is historically our most engaged time of year (app/website traffic, sales, registrations, etc.) and a rich opportunity to connect digitally with new and returning customers. We place a premium on customer experience and value proposition (added value for the customers’ dollar) during that time of the year, seeking to create a positive experience, grow our database and strengthen our connection with our customers. We’ve been creating and advertising added-value opportunities like these to our players for the past three seasons, which contribute significantly to the growth and usage of our digital channels and our owned-channel communications.





Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

Our account managers did “surprise and delight” promotions at various retail locations throughout the state. The promotion centered on handing out our $1 and $2 holiday games to spread cheer during the season. It allows new players to learn about our games, delights existing players, and increases retailer goodwill. Our field staff focused on 18 of our highest volume, multi-register retailers across the state (e.g., Fred Meyer, Safeway, etc.).


As an engagement feature of our holiday advertising campaign, we added a drawing on our website to win a pack of holiday Scratch-its. Three Oregonians won out of more than 30,000 entries collected digitally. These drawings generally ask the player to learn more about our games and deeply engage on our digital channels. For an Oregon population to engage like that, 30,000 is a significant measure.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

We will continue offering games that have more winning experiences at the low to mid-tier prize levels.


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Pennsylvania Lottery

Pennsylvania’s holiday lineup included seven games: one each at $1, $2, $3, $5, $10, $20 and $30.


Most successful game(s):

We were thrilled with how this year’s lineup of designs and themes came together for our seven holiday scratch-off games. As in the past several years, all seven games featured HD printing and various other special treatments. When we compare this year’s holiday games to last year, our $10 and $30 games came out on top. After 10 weeks of sales, the $10 $500,000 Merry-mint did 2% better than Ho Ho Holly $50 or $100 the previous year, and the $30 Ho Ho Holiday 100X did 3% better than $3 Million Snow Bank. These two games alone accounted for nearly 50% of our holiday scratch-off game sales this year.


Launch and end dates:

We launched our holiday games on October 24, similar to past years. We generally look at the period of holiday sales as a 10-week timeframe that ends just around the New Year. In terms of closing games, we follow the same process for our holiday games that we do for all of our scratch-offs. We closely monitor the lifecycle of each game and make a determination as to when to close each game based on several criteria, including sales performance, upcoming game launches, number of games available at each price point, and percentage of active stock at retail, to name a few. Typically, holiday games sell very well in Pennsylvania but as can be expected, sales do drop a little after the season passes.


General holiday strategies:

There are a few strategic approaches we take when designing the prize structures for our holiday scratch-off games. Since these games are typically given as gifts and are purchased by more casual players, there is more emphasis on the churn prizes than in a typical core game. This helps us give players more winning experiences, even if they are small. We generally only follow this approach on the lower price point games ($1, $2 and $3 games).

Prize structures for our other price points, the $20 and $30 games particularly, are treated like any other launch and payouts are similar to other core games at each of those price points. If we focus the play style around a certain tier, then we make sure that win is attainable. Players have come to expect certain prizing at these higher price points, even when they are wrapped in whimsical and festive themes that are typically used around the holiday season.

The macro-level advertising strategy for the holiday launch was to maintain awareness to a broad audience with placements in contextually relevant holiday content wherever possible. A wide array of POS showcased various scratch-off games, with our mascot Gus telling players to “Make the Season BRIGHT,” and vending pieces made sure players “Celebrate Like You Mean It.”


Paid media channels included TV, OTT/streaming, online video, display with rich media units, paid social, and out of home. A portion of our paid social strategy included utilizing paid influencers for the month of December; the format of influencer ads seamlessly aligns our brand with content that users find most appealing within the Instagram platform. New partnerships were created this year with influencers that focus on different lifestyle categories (e.g. fashion, food, etc.). This allowed us to reach new potential holiday scratch-off players. Results: A 2MM reach, a cost-efficient CPM, and an engagement rate of 3.59% (above industry benchmarks).


There was also retail-specific promo support that varied according to the retailer, as well as the Ugly Sweater Second-Chance Drawing in which non-winning holiday scratch-offs and Fast Play games, along with qualifying draw games, were eligible.




Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

Scratch-offs were strictly the focus for the paid marketing portion of the campaign. However, any support for the second-chance drawing included all eligible games. In addition to the seven scratch-off games, we introduced four holiday Fast Play games, to offer something for every player. The $10 Naughty or Nice, $5 Let it Snow, $2 Gnome for the Holidays, and $1 Candy Cane Lane all launched on Tuesday, November 7.


We also had a new Keno skin created to continue the festive theme at monitor game retail locations. The Santa’s Keno Drop skin paired perfectly with the $5 Santa’s Cash Drop Doubler scratch-off game and the snow and ice came in at the end of December. We plan to pull assets from other traditional games for Keno skins in the future as this approach has been working well for us now over the last year.


Insights on eInstants: 

This past holiday season, we maintained every-other-week online launches with a twist. The first eInstant holiday game, Wrapped Up Riche$, launched the same day as the Fast Play games on November 7. We then launched $crooge to conveniently cross-promote with our Bah, Humbuck$ scratch-off game on November 8. Freshly Baked Fortune was the last new game to launch the first week on November 9. This launch pattern allowed us to start cross-promoting traditional games with new holiday eInstant games immediately, while also allowing time for the Halloween eInstant games to have their spotlight. The winter-themed game, Yeti Mania, was launched on December 5. These winter and holiday games were produced by a mix of IWG and Scientific Games, and while the various promotions have ended, the games are all still active on our site today. In fact, we currently have 25 winter and holiday games active on our site under the “Seasonal” tab.


We also made seasonal updates to IWG’s Mine Blowing Jackpot progressive game via their InstantPulse technology. The background received various updates between snow, string lights and fireworks, and the miner swapped outfits a few times during the season to feature a Santa-inspired suit, a tuxedo for the New Year, and finally a winter vest and boots as we approached the middle of January. This allowed us to continually promote the game with each outfit change throughout the season without having to create entirely new games.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

Beginning next fiscal year, we will be moving our scratch-off game launches from every four-to-five weeks to a set six-week launch interval. As a result, we have decided to adjust the launch pattern of $30 games and have made the decision to remove the $30 holiday game from the mix. While the $30 holiday games did do well, especially this year’s game, moving it out of this launch period next year will have a bigger impact on overall fiscal year sales.

 



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Rhode Island Lottery

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


Most successful game(s):

Our $10 game Holiday Winfall was the most successful; it was loaded with mid-tier prizes, which can make for a great gift.


Launch and end dates:

We launched the $1, $2 and $5 games on September 30, and the $10 game on November 3. We don’t remove our holiday games from the market until all top prizes are claimed.


General holiday strategies:

Our strategy was the same as last year, keeping the same price points and raising the payout on the $1, $2 and $5 games while keeping a substantial amount of money in the lower and mid-tier prizes. Our advertising campaign this year used Blitzen, “the 8th most famous reindeer,” so our 2nd Chance giveaway was called Reindeer Bucks. The first seven winners won $1,000 and the eighth winner won $5,000. We ended this promotion in early January, rather than the end of the month, so we could kick off our 50th anniversary year and 2nd Chance right at the start of January. That resulted in not quite as many non-winning tickets entered in the 2nd chance, but we still had a similar number of players participate.


Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

We held our annual Black Friday promotion at our headquarters again and it broke another sales record. We also set up at a retailer we have in the mall for another December promotion.


Insights on eInstants: 

We launched a Christmas-themed eInstant and did a giveaway for iLottery Bonus Money. We also ran an iLottery promotion from December 24-28 – get $10 in bonus money for any $5 or higher wager made on eInstants or online Keno (limit of one bonus per player per day).


Major lessons learned in 2023:

Short print runs and games with a lot of low- and mid-tier prizes seem to work well. 


    


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South Carolina Education Lottery

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


Most successful game(s):

The $1 and $2 price points do well during the holidays. They have holiday-specific themes and the lower price point is a more comfortable point of entry for non-players who are purchasing during the holidays.


Launch and end dates:

The holiday games launched October 3, and they typically sell out by the end of the holiday season. We will end strictly holiday-themed games shortly after the holiday season because they will not sell well after that. However, if the game has a broader theme like winter or precious metals, they could last one or two months after the holidays.


General holiday strategies:

For low price points, we were more holiday-specific with artwork and ran average quantities and standard prize structures. We found that they will not sell past the holiday season, so we plan for them to be out of market by the end of December. For higher price points, we ran standard prize structures and lower than average quantities. The artwork matched holiday colors and themes (Winter Green, Silver & Gold) but was generic enough that it would continue selling past the holidays if there was still quantity left.


We support all holiday games with traditional advertising: in-store point of purchase materials, billboards and online banner/web ads. Because the lifespan of these games is short, we do not run holiday ads for broadcast.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

Our holiday games sell well until the holidays but not past that, and our December launch is typically strong, so launching holiday games in October with low to average quantity and generic artwork has set us up well for moving them out of market in December and making room for stronger upcoming launches. We are moving from 17 launches a year to 12 launches a year in FY25, so we will have more room to advertise our holiday games. We will monitor and hope to see a difference in the interest of holiday games this next season, and maybe in the future we will spend more advertising dollars on these games. South Carolinians really do look forward to spring and summer!

 


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Texas Lottery

Texas’ holiday lineup included four games: one each at $1, $3, $5 and $10.


Most successful game(s):

Holiday 777 was the $5 holiday game which returned the highest 12-week sales index of 109. The ticket design was bright and reflective, featuring Pollard’s Scratch FX holographic application. Our players really enjoyed this classic 7s-themed key number match game with three bonus play areas.


Launch and end dates:

All four holiday games launched on October 30, which was a week earlier than in previous years. The launch was earlier due to other factors in our schedule. The games are removed from market when they qualify based on our game closing processes, which apply to all Texas Lottery scratch ticket games. The game closing process begins when all top prizes have been claimed, when a game is at least 85% sold, or when a game is deemed underperforming.


General holiday strategies:

Our holiday games included: $1 Ju$t 1 Buck ($500 top prize and a 12-week index of 79); $3 Holiday Loteria ($50,000 and 95); $5, Holiday 777 ($100,000 and 91); and $10 The Perfect Gift ($250,000 and 91). Ju$t 1 Buck featured a whimsical reindeer character; we always strive for a whimsical theme for our $1 holiday ticket. Holiday Loteria appealed to many of our base players with its Loteria theme and festive holographic pattern. Holiday 777 was a classic 7s-themed ticket except with a holiday twist. The Perfect Gift featured a large bow hologram and additional holographic applications throughout the rest of the ticket. The game name and bow stood out to players.


The advertising support for the holiday campaign included out of home, POS, radio and paid social. All creative was done in-house.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

We learned that it’s important to choose tickets that will enhance our holiday advertising campaign. The Perfect Gift was an outstanding ticket for this due to its game name and general design. 

 


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Virginia Lottery

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


Most successful game(s):

The most successful holiday Scratcher at retail was $5 Holiday Cash 20X. That ticket was part of a three-game Holiday Cash family, which had games at $1, $2 and $5. Holiday Cash 20X was the most successful based on year-over-year sales performance from last year’s $5 holiday Scratcher; it had the most significant sales increase of all the holiday games offered this year.


Launch and end dates:

We launched our holiday Scratchers on the first Tuesday of December and removed any holiday-specific games that did not change pulses in January 2024. That schedule marked a meaningful change in launch strategy from previous years, as we have traditionally launched holiday games on the first Tuesday of November. When we looked at holiday game sales from previous years, we didn’t see strong sales until December. We saw that as an opportunity to launch stronger-performing games in November that would result in an immediate sales impact. The November games continued to perform past the initial launch month, and the holiday games launched in December saw four weeks of high-volume sales. There were other factors that contributed to the shift in launch timing too: the desire to create player demand by launching closer to the holidays and the desire to better coordinate advertising plans with the launch of the holiday Scratchers.





General holiday strategies:

Our retail strategy this year focused on a family of holiday games that would appeal to both new and casual players as well as core players. A holiday family of games is impactful by clearly identifying the games at retail with a unified look. The Holiday Cash family of Scratchers featured multipliers that increased with each price point. We offer a successful core family of games year-round called X The Money; each game is named by the highest possible multiplier. We felt it was important to differentiate between the Holiday Cash and X The Money families and assign a higher multiplier factor by price point. That helped alleviate any confusion from players and retailers and added value to the holiday games. Our prizing strategy also shifted from the previous year’s loaded games; this year, we moved the top prize to the higher end of the prize range for each price point. We found that offering higher top prizes created more excitement and interest from players while still creating meaningful wins in the low-tier and mid-tier ranges. We continued to offer a $10 non-holiday-specific game with a holiday-colored first pulse and a ticket themed around the new year.


Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

Our New Year’s Millionaire Raffle launched on October 31 and was on sale until all tickets were sold. We also offered holiday-themed X The Money Print ‘n Play games and a holiday-themed monitor show for Keno. There also was the Bonus Holiday Cash Promotion in which players could enter winning and nonwinning Holiday Cash Scratchers for a chance to win $50 in Lottery coupons. The holiday TV and POS featured Scratchers, Print ‘n Play and eInstants this year. The website had a landing page that featured all of the holiday products.


Insights on eInstants: 

We launched two holiday eInstants; $crooge on November 28 and Winter Wilds on December 12. We removed $crooge from the online portfolio due to seasonality on February 28; Winter Wilds game is still in the online portfolio as we continue to monitor sales/jackpot runs. We will remove the game in the spring. $crooge was our most successful eInstant; it was designed based on the public-domain property to build sales on a known property without a licensed-property agreement. Both $crooge and Winter Wilds were linked to different, existing progressive jackpots. The prize structures and price points were similar to other eInstants, and we included lower price points for acquisition of new players and promotional consideration. The games were featured on the end card in the television spots and in regular holiday POS, and we also had email promotion campaigns for both games.

Other promotions included an Online Cash promotion (a 20% match on all Online Cash vouchers purchased at retail during December) and the 12 Days of Deals promotion. One new type of promotion we did this year is often referred to as a surprise-and-delight promotion. The Lottery sent out a surprise-game email. If the player clicked on the button in the email/body of the email, the player received five free games of $crooge.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

The shift we made to the holiday launch schedule, as well as the offering of a family of holiday games with standard top prizes, resulted in success as measured by a 2.8% increase in December Scratcher claims-based sales year-over-year. We will continue both practices for holiday 2024. We also gained valuable insight into the print runs with the shift in launch schedule and will use that data to optimize the print runs moving forward.


Based on the holiday 2023 eInstants performance, we will continue to build upon the current strategy. Looking at the sales for the games, we know that we will continue to include the games in the Scratcher holiday TV/POS, add holiday eInstants with progressive jackpots, keep the Scratcher messaging, and keep the 12 Days of Deals promotion. In the future, we will look at new promotions and social media advertising to support the games.

 


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Washington’s Lottery

Washington’s holiday lineup included five games: two at $1 and one each at $5, $10 and $20.


Most successful game(s):

The $5 Candy Cane Lane was very successful but we are most excited about the success of our first $20 holiday game, Gifts of Green.


Launch and end dates:

We launched on October 16.


General holiday strategies:

In 2023 we added a $20 game to the market, and our $5 game was peppermint scented. The $10 game, Holiday Countdown, showcased the Dimension printing and HD Fonts from Scientific Games.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

In 2024 we will offer a $20 game – based on market acceptance – and we are considering another scented ticket for the uniqueness.  

 



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West Virginia Lottery

West Virginia’s holiday lineup included five games: one each at $1, $2, $3, $5 and $10. These games are pulsed with Halloween themes.


Most successful game(s):

$2 Gnome 7s was most successful because it sold out of the warehouse and almost sold out in the field. It added seasonality to the base Sevens game that players really enjoy.


Launch and end dates:

The holiday pulses of games began November 1 and ran through the end of December. We have the field switch back to regular market games starting January 1.


General holiday strategies:

We used a commercial, social media posts, POS, in-store digital advertising, and billboard advertising.




Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

This year we also ran a Merry Multiplier Collect ’N Win promotion from November 19 to December 30. Players could enter in-state draw game tickets for chances to win weekly gift card prizes and one of 24 cash prizes (from $500 to $25,000) in our grand prize drawing on January 9. Entries could be multiplied for more chances, depending on the game and the day.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

Our players may be interested in a higher price point holiday ticket next year; this is based on multiple player feedback so we are taking it into consideration.

 


 

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Western Canada Lottery Corp.

WCLC’s holiday lineup included 12 games: two each at $1, $2, $5 and $10 (one was the national game), plus one each at $3, $4, $20 and $30.


Most successful game(s):

Year over year, our $20 Player’s Choice Mega Pack continues to be a key contributor to sales over the holiday period. In addition, our $30 big ticket Advent calendar, Countdown to Christmas, performed well. It was an eye-catching ticket utilizing both pastel inks and ScratchFX. At the lower price points, $2 Cashing Through the Snow and $3 Sleigh Bells outperformed tickets at the same price point the previous year. Again, both were eye-catching tickets with fun extended-play game mechanics. They were also in blue colors, which perhaps did better for us this season than traditional reds and greens.


Launch and end dates:

Tickets were launched in a similar cadence to last year, starting with Player’s Choice Mega Pack September 25 and other holiday launches spread out weekly from October 2 to 30. $30 Countdown to Christmas was launched one week earlier, which helped overall year-over-year sales. Holiday tickets are typically removed from market early January, except for Player’s Choice, which sells into February.



General holiday strategies:

Our general strategy for holidays is to make the most of a key sales period when we know consumers are purchasing gifts. We aim to provide a variety of ticket price points, themes/colors, play styles, etc., so there’s a bit of something for everyone.


New this year, we tested a pouch of holiday gift tags, Gift Tag Winnings. The ticket pouch was priced at $5 for six tags, with prizes up to $10,000 and at least one tag per pouch guaranteed to be a winner. While we felt pouching the tags added value as well as non-ticket space to communicate better about the gift tag usage, the product underperformed versus traditional $5 tickets. We are not planning to relaunch for FY25.


We continue to offer our online second-chance holiday contest, Pick Your Present, on eligible holiday tickets, with minor modifications. Registrations and participation grew slightly this year with an additional ticket being eligible and the entry deadline being extended one week.




Major lessons learned in 2023:

A reminder that to be most successful, innovative products need to connect with a consumer need/want. In preparing our FY25 holiday lineup, we will be conducting some high level consumer research to get a better feel of concept appeal.

 

 


Wisconsin Lottery

Wisconsin’s holiday lineup included six games: one each at $1, $3, $5, $10, $15 and $20.


Most successful game(s):

Our $15 oversized ticket was one of our top sellers this holiday season. With crosswords a favorite playstyle in Wisconsin, our $3 crossword ticket was also successful, selling out in eight weeks.


Launch and end dates:

All of our holiday games launched in mid-October. A couple of our holiday games were more winter-themed, which allowed them to continue selling after the holidays. Any games that did not sell out were removed from the market at the end of December, after the holidays.


General holiday strategies:

Our price points haven’t changed, and our holiday tickets included a mix of holiday and winter-themed tickets. We utilize TV and radio advertising, POS, OOH, and social posts. For the second year in a row, however, we did launch a $2 winter game a few weeks after the other holiday launches. And for the second year in a row, that ticket sold very well, selling out in less than seven weeks.



Other holiday games, promotions or activities:

For over ten years, we have offered a $5 Holly Jolly Raffle on the lotto side that is very popular with our players.


Major lessons learned in 2023:

We evaluate our holiday order quantities yearly to determine if any changes need to be made for the upcoming year. We strive to find the perfect amount, so we have enough on hand, but also not too much.






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