The premise of lotteries hasn’t changed since its inception in 200 BC. Everyone comes along and picks a set of numbers. If their selection matches the numbers drawn from the lotto draw, the lucky chap wins the jackpot. It’s governed by the law of randomness and hasn’t lost its appeal since. However, as online gambling industry sits on the cusp of digitization and all that, we wonder how the lotteries would evolve. In this post, we'll explore what we envision lottery to become like in the coming decade — jump in!
Playing Lotteries All Around The World… Via The Internet!
For decades, lottery tickets were sold at grocery stores, newsagents and gas stations. As such, lottery sales are usually restricted to certain geographies, such as state boundaries. Today, lottery sales channels are moving online and making it even more convenient for players to buy tickets each week. That’s not the only implication though.
More significantly, the Internet creates an international lottery market. A Spanish player can, through his Internet browser, play US-based lottery draws; a British player can get hold of Canadian lottery tickets and so on. It becomes a marketplace where players can shop for lotteries with the highest payouts or best odds.
Even if the organizers restrict sales to a certain geography, there are online messenger services like Lottosend that makes purchases on the player’s behalf. These online retailers also offer creative combos, by combining jackpots in a single game, changing the odds, giving volume discounts and unique promotions.
No More Lost Tickets And Zero Fraud
Paper tickets are becoming digitized, which automatically will eliminate fraudulent tickets. Gone are the days when seven-figure jackpots go uncollected because the winners were unaware of their fortune, or worse, lost their ticket!
It won’t be too long before lotteries can send you push notifications when you win. There are other innovations too, such as scanning the QR code on your lottery ticket or visiting a self-service ticket checker booth, so players can check the win status of their own tickets.
Do Prizes Get Bigger?
In January 2015, the U.S. Powerball lottery drew a winner for a 1.5 billion dollar jackpot. Unless It’s becomes less and less likely for prizes to roll-over once they hit a certain threshold. However, boosting the size of prizes may be one tactic in the playbook to keep attracting players.
Generating Money For More Good Causes
Another tactic that lotteries are employing is shouting about how the money goes to a good cause. The National Lottery’s sponsors tens of charities, American lotteries’ fund the country’s children’s education. (Fun fact: It is said that the Great Wall of China was funded using gambling proceeds!) Smaller organizations may also start turning to lotteries as a unique way of raising funds.
Responsible Prize Money Management
According to the American National Endowment for Financial Education, about 70 percent of people who suddenly receive a windfall of cash will lose it in five years or less. They’d buy properties and cars (the average National Lottery winner buys 4.5 new cars!), get scammed by friends and plenty of other horror story worthy stuff. It’s a billion dollar problem, albeit one that plagues the luckiest fools.
Today, there are only casual articles on the Internet and informal counselors today that work with lottery winners. Some of them have been there and done that, and can warn new winners against spending too soon or going public.
You’d need a whole squad of advisors around you – estate planning attorneys, accountants, insurance agents, financial advisors to figure out how to spend the money. Heck, if I win, I’d need help deciding whether to collect their winnings in a lump sum versus annuity over thirty years. Proper resources need to be accessible to all new lottery winners, stat.
Or, Could Lotteries Become Obsolete?
Here are two harsh facts: the percentage of lottery players as a share of population has declined consistently over the past 10 years. Secondly, young people aged between 25 and 34 buy much less lottery tickets than their moms and dads. Lotteries must compete against other forms of online gambling as well as social games to capture Generation Y’s attention and wallets.
To put this into perspective, Zynga’s 250 million active monthly user base is twice the size of North America’s lottery-playing population. To weather such a landscape, lottery organizations must get even more creative with their instant win games and marketing tactics.