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When Draw Games Go Digital, Lotteries Win

Michigan lottery online draw games score resounding success

Scope of Success

  • Rapid Market Penetration and Revenue Growth: Tens of thousands of players on the average now buy tickets for draw-based games (DBGs) online each month and the numbers are increasing. Sales spike sharply upward when the jackpot size grows. Online draw game sales net the Lottery millions of dollars in annual revenues.
  • Crossover Mojo Expands iLottery User Base: Nearly 40% of formerly retail-only players who bought DBG tickets online become active instant game players. 
  • Online/Retail Synergy: The omni-channel environment prevents retail sales cannibalization, boosts sales at all touch points.
  • Enfranchising Anonymous Players: Players who bought tickets only at retail outlets, once unknown and unreachable, now purchase tickets online and reside in the Lottery database for promotions, migration to instant games, etc.

Success Drivers

  • User Friendliness: Quick-click intuitive interface streamlines sales.
  • Purchase Convenience: Players need not travel to a sales point; they can buy tickets anywhere on any connected device – especially important when the weather is inclement or high-jackpot lines are long.
  • Familiarity and Comfort: Online versions of popular draw games with the look and feel of their retail counterparts increase user trust and comfort.
  • Mega-Jackpots: When jackpots reach into the hundreds of millions and even exceed a billion dollars, sales skyrocket – both online and retail.

Fast on the Draw: Among the First to Offer Draw Games Online

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide buy lottery tickets. In the US alone, lotto sales exceeded $70 billion in 2014 and show no sign of waning.

Draw games, offering jackpots that can reach as high as tens of millions of dollars, account for as much as half of all lottery sales. Jackpots reaching hundreds of millions of dollars spark buying frenzies that cause sales to skyrocket. When the Powerball jackpot reached $1.5 billion in the US in early 2016, for instance, more than 371 million tickets were purchased.

The Michigan Lottery was one of the first US states to an online sales option for draw games. It
expanded its online offering by adding interactive draw games to its portfolio in February 2016 — securing itself a place as a groundbreaker in the industry.

The result: a resounding success.

Product Highlights: Draw Games Online in Michigan

Players in the Great Lakes State can now purchase Lotto 47, Fantasy 5, Mega Millions, and Powerball tickets over the Internet using any connected device: PC, tablet, and smartphone. (Fantasy 5 and Lotto 47 are statewide draw games; Powerball and Mega Millions are sold nationwide.)

The online versions of the popular draw games are designed to look as similar as possible to the appearance and branding of their retail counterparts:

Draw games banner on the Michigan Lottery home page

The user experience is as streamlined and intuitive as possible; clicks are kept to a minimum. A player who selects one of the four draw-based games is immediately given one-click price options and number-selection options (automatic, favorites, or hand-picked).

Initial screen gives player key options

The follow-up (second and final) screen — unless one hand-picks numbers — is the confirmation/checkout page.

Fast, intuitive checkout

Additional online player options include the Powerplay option to multiply winnings and the ability to buy tickets in advance for future lottery dates.

Online Draw Games: Drawing Conclusions

Giving players in Michigan the ability to purchase tickets for draw games in a user-friendly PC/ mobile environment has proved popular, paving the way to new revenue growth. Tens of thousands of players on the average now buy tickets for draw-based games online each month, with jackpot-driven spikes in activity. This nets the state millions in annual revenue to be applied to worthwhile causes.

Most of the retail DBG players who ventured online to buy tickets explored Instant game options. 61 percent continued to play mostly draw-based games, but fully 39% of these players became active Instant game players, in addition to their DBG activity. This is a dramatically high percentage that underscores the untapped value of retail DBG players.

With draw games accounting for about half of all sales at retail points, interactive draw games have proven to be an important part of a well-rounded omni-channel portfolio that enables a lottery to best meet the needs and expectations of its customers, leverage the inherent potential of all player interactions and maximize growth and revenues at all touch points.

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