Payment to Winners of Billions of Dollars of Prizes that Used to Be Unclaimed Has Significant Positive Impact
Scope of Success
- Billions of Dollars Rescued from Limbo: More than two billion dollars of prize monies are unclaimed annually in the US alone
- Hundreds of New Millionaires: Hundreds of people will be rescued from ignorance of the fact that they held a winning ticket
- PR Opportunities: Lotteries can benefit from a viral bandwagon effect by hitting the social media with more pictures of smiling winners
- Revenue Growth: Online channel boosts sales and wins new gamers in emerging market segments
- Strong Message: Winners, even those who are unaware of their fortune, will be able to claim and enjoy all winnings
- Social Marketing: Lotteries will have more good news to broadcast in PRs, tweets and Facebook posts
- Adapt and Thrive: The more lotteries cater to evolving user tastes and preferences, the more they will succeed
Anonymous Players Walk Away from Billions of Dollars of Prize Money
On February 21, 2017 Anthony Frabotta, a 66-year-old from Michigan, answered the phone and learned he had won $1 million playing the Mega Millions draw-based lottery game online. With his winnings, he plans to support children’s charities in his local area and retire a couple of years early. Had he bought his ticket anonymously at a retail point, he might never have known he had a major prize to claim.
In July 2016, Tammy Weadock won a $1 million prize through an online game platform in her state; she, too was notified, and the local media ran a high-profile picture of her and husband Terry smiling as they held on oversized check made out to them for $1,000,000.
Frabotta and Weadock are but two examples of many US residents whose lives have been profoundly changed as a result of buying winning lottery tickets online. Yet, tragically, for every Frabotta and Weadock, there are also countless winners who, ironically, will never experience such happiness or enjoy their good fortune. Because they bought their winning ticket anonymously at a physical point of sale and didn’t follow up, they will never know that they won a treasure and failed to claim it.
Winning a million dollars (or more) has such a profound potential beneficial impact on a person’s life that one would assume that retail ticket buyers will follow up carefully – yet many don’t. The mind-boggling truth is that $2 billion dollars in lottery go unclaimed every year in the US alone. It is heartbreaking, Hundreds of people who win substantial jackpots each year never become aware of it.
In contrast, everyone who buys a draw-based ticket online is identified and promptly notified of major winnings.
Why So Many People Never Know that They Won
It is not surprising that so many people never discover that they bought a winning ticket that would have made them rich. The reasons are many and varied: the ticket might have been misplaced, stolen, forgotten about, destroyed in the laundry, etc.
Moreover, many of the lottery tickets and prize systems are complex to read and understand – particularly for occasional players who buy only when jackpots reach mega-levels. When these relatively novice players see that they didn’t win the big prize, they neglect to check – or don’t understand how to check – that they may have won a substantial alternate prize.
Depending on the jurisdiction, winning tickets remain valid for 90 days to a year, but prizes that are not claimed promptly generally remain unclaimed forever. The billions of dollars of unclaimed prizes are completely lost to individuals and go instead to beneficiaries designated by the jurisdiction, such as education.
Online channel boosts sales and wins new gamers in emerging market segments
Online Draw-Based Ticket Purchasing: The Player and Lottery Both Emerge as Big Winners
Advantage to Gamers
The online advantages to gamers are significant. In addition to the convenience (saving money and time by not having to physically travel to a sales point and wait in line), the player will always be notified of significant wins, preventing major financial loss. Online play also protects gamers by application of all relevant responsible gaming guidelines.
Advantage to Lottery
- Greater Player Confidence: People more likely and willing to buy tickets when they know that the lottery will inform them unfailingly of major winnings and knowing that all winnings will be disbursed to gamers (and not remain unclaimed) makes.
- More Positive Publicity: Publicizing major winners creates some of the best PR a lottery can get – especially in the influential social media – giving a shot in the arm to the viral bandwagon effect that boosts sales. Unclaimed jackpots, on the other hand, deprive the lottery of prime cost-effective PR opportunities, and in fact send the wrong message to retail buyers.
- Significant Revenue Growth and Customer Acquisition: Lotteries that have launched online draw-based ticket sales attest to phenomenal sales growth in new markets (particularly among younger-aged segments) without cannibalizing traditional retail sales points. Moreover, lotteries that embrace an omni-channel approach attest to the fact that online sales actually boost sales also in the retail channel
Drawing Conclusions: Online and On the Mark
Unclaimed prizes represent unclaimed possibilities for players and lotteries. Players who buy online gain purchasing convenience and are assured of enjoying their winnings.
Lotteries that have launched an online draw-based game option report significant gains, such as new promotional benefits, new players, increased revenues and more.
Lotteries who have not yet launched an online draw-based game option are encouraged to contact us for further data and information.
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