A lottery is a draw, where players purchase a ticket with a set of numbers and hope to win a prize. In some countries, winnings are paid out in lump sums, while in others, the amount is divided among the winners as an annuity. The most popular lotteries have offered billions of payouts since their inception.
Today, a number of state lotteries are exploring online sales. Seven US states have introduced full iLottery programs. Players can play online, using mobile and tablet apps to choose their lucky numbers and wager. However, while iLottery offers a more convenient and accessible option, traditional brick-and-mortar retail is still the primary channel for purchase. Ultimately, the future of the lottery lies in providing a more personalized, immersive digital experience across all channels.
Lotteries need to develop digital strategies that can reach new generations of players and revive their interest in the product. They also need to place players at the heart of the brand experience. This means making them the focus of all decision-making and creating products that meet their needs.
The first known European lotteries were organized during the Roman Empire. These were amusements held at dinner parties and were mainly for rich noblemen. Some towns held public lotteries to raise money for town fortifications, libraries, schools and roads. Others raised money for colleges and universities.
Many private lotteries were held to raise money for organizations such as the Virginia Company of London, which supported the settlement in America at Jamestown and other colonies. George Washington managed a “Slave Lottery” in 1769 that advertised slaves as prizes.
During the 18th century, several colonies used a lottery to finance their local militias and fortifications. The Continental Congress also used a lottery to raise money for the Colonial Army. Another example is the “Expedition against Canada,” a lottery that raised funds for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
While lotteries have traditionally relied on retailers to sell tickets, many are moving toward non-wagering programs to establish a foundation for online sales. In addition, many have begun building player loyalty programs to support their digital presence.
Using data to understand player behaviour allows lotteries to create products that suit their customers’ preferences. By developing machine learning models, lotteries can better predict what will motivate different segments of consumers. Additionally, they can use this information to increase incremental growth.
Convenience is an ever-present expectation of today’s consumers. With more options for play than ever before, the lottery needs to provide a seamless experience that enables customers to pick and choose when they want to play.
Digital wallets help to make this happen. Mobile cashing and ticket scanning allow players to easily digitally collect their winnings. This eliminates the need for physical tickets and reduces friction at the point of purchase. Digital wallets are also helpful for building a personalised engagement strategy.
Digital expansion and innovation are making the lottery more accessible, more convenient, and more relevant. By leveraging available data, lotteries can more deeply understand their consumer segments, and can drive incremental growth.