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Revolutionize Your Holiday Sales: Unwrap Top-Selling Holiday Inspiration

April 23, 2024

By Pollard Banknote Limited

NASPL Insights Online

The holiday season is still months away, but lotteries across North America already have visions of a new wave of holiday games dancing in their heads. And with good reason.

Holiday-themed games, released during a period when gifting is extremely common, are an effective tool for attracting new players, increasing sales, and maximizing proceeds for the worthy causes that lotteries support. They are also increasingly important as a driver of overall growth in ticket sales.

Holiday game sales in North America sold 15% better on average than non-holiday games over the last two years, proving that the gift of entertainment delivers big results. Holiday games are also important in attracting new lottery players; a recent study found that 53% of scratch players gave scratch tickets away as a gift during the holidays. Among those who gave away instant tickets as a gift, 25% gave to those who never play scratch tickets.

With a myriad of holiday games available to lotteries, it may be difficult to know where to start. Fortunately, Pollard Banknote is an industry leader in holiday-themed games.

It’s all in the name

Like the headline on a newspaper story, the name of your holiday game can sometimes determine its popularity. And one of the best names in this category is Cash Drop. With 10 launches since 2018, Cash Drop has total sales that are 21% above other games at the same price point. With such a crowd-pleasing name and whimsical design options, Cash Drop makes a great gift drop for the holidays.  

Similar sales dynamics have followed another of our really popular holiday games, Naughty or Nice. Since 2017, holiday tickets with this game name have outsold other games by 18% on average, with 19 seasonal games launched with the Naughty or Nice branding.

And then there is everyone’s favorite holiday candy, peppermint. Pollard Banknote has launched 31 games in its Peppermint Payout category since October 2017. Holiday tickets with this game name have outsold other games by 34% on average.

Add extended play fun

Imagine a game that plays like a scratcher but opens up a world of digital fun and possibilities. Pollard Banknote’s 1st Chance Reveal Digital xtraplayGAME™ brings lotteries and players the best of both worlds.

1st Chance Reveal digital games have a unique format that helps introduce players to the world of extended play digital games. After the scratch-off game has been played, a QR code is revealed that can be scanned by a mobile device. This opens up an additional interactive digital game that offers more play opportunities and prizes.

How has this popular hybrid ticket fared in the North American market? Lotteries that have used 1st Chance Reveal Digital xtraplayGAME™ have seen digital engagement rates increase 45% on eligible tickets.


The perfect pricing

A recent survey shows that lower price points are most popular for those planning to gift tickets, and a great way for players to introduce friends and family to the instant category. Among those that bought tickets as a gift, 59% gave away tickets at the $5 price point.

This popular price point is the sweet spot, especially when offered with exciting game play and enticing artwork, making it easy—and affordable—for shoppers to stock up. 

Are your players going Gnome for the holidays?

Did you know that over the past five years, Google saw an incredible 1,350% increase in searches for Christmas gnome décor? That’s hardly surprising; these loveable, tiny creatures have in recent years become synonymous with holiday celebrations and decorations. Pollard Banknote has launched seven Gnome for the Holiday games with an average 10-week index of 127! Pollard Banknote’s Deco FX™, which can be used in almost any design, is the perfect way to bring the folkloric charm of this iconic holiday character to life.

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

Many people associate the holidays with specific scents: peppermint, gingerbread, evergreen. With this insight, Pollard Banknote has been a leader in the use of scented, holiday-inspired inks. The innovation has been a huge hit with players.

Since the 2017-2018 holiday season, our lottery partners have launched 16 scented-ink games, with an average historic index of 156. 

More fun in more places

Lotteries and players love oversize tickets. But did you know that lotteries can lose much of their retail penetration because popular oversized tickets don’t fit into traditional dispensers?  It’s a problem that drove Pollard Banknote to develop a new proprietary product, EasyPack™, an 8 x 8-inch ticket that folds in half like a greeting card so that it can be delivered in 4 x 8-inch fan-folded books for easy dispensing at every retailer. The format has proven to be irresistible.


For example, The Perfect Gift, an EasyPack™ game first launched for the 2023 holiday season with the North Carolina Education Lottery, offered five exciting games, with a top prize of $250,000. In 10 weeks of sales, The Perfect Gift became the Lottery’s highest-selling $20 holiday game, surpassing the previous bestseller by 41%. 

Eye-catching innovations

Retail industry surveys show that three quarters of American shoppers agree that product packaging has a huge influence on their purchase decisions. Packaging is even more important during the holiday season; surveys show eight in ten shoppers agree that packaging helps determine their gift selection.

That is the underlying theory behind two of Pollard Banknote’s boldest design innovations.

Clear Play™ holiday tickets, printed on a transparent substrate available only from Pollard Banknote, were launched by seven different lottery partners over the past six years, reaching an impressive average 10-week index of 144.

The same holds true for Scratch FXtra™, which combines the brilliance of Scratch FX™ with the visual depth and interest of a holograph that offers endless possibilities for holiday glimmer. In total, Pollard Banknote has launched 11 Scratch FXtra™ holiday games with an average historic index of 119. 


Pollard Banknote has become the partner of choice for many lotteries looking for holiday-themed games featuring engaging play styles, innovative design, and eye-catching print capabilities.

First, there are huge opportunities for lotteries to increase sales and attract new players with holiday-themed tickets. And second, lotteries need advanced and proven design features to take full advantage of the holiday season.


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