Fascinating Marketing

Logo Floridalotto
Service Untitled is not really a marketing blog by definition; it is almost entirely a customer service and customer service experience blog. However, the commercial I saw for the Florida Lottery was too good not to write about. The actual commercial wasn’t spectacular, but the marketing idea behind what they were promoting was really interesting.

The Florida Lottery now gives players the option to pay a certain amount to raise the jackpot. So, if the normal jackpot for a $10 ticket is $5 million, you can pay another $1 (total for ticket: $11) to raise it to $7 million, or you can pay another $3 (total: $13) to raise the jackpot to $30 million. The ticket prices are hypothetical, but the general idea of paying a small amount (under $5) to vastly increase the jackpot is the same. The lottery’s web site says this is the breakdown:

  • $1 players will win the base jackpot.
  • $2 players will win the base jackpot plus $10 million in the $2 jackpot prize pool.
  • $3 players will win the base jackpot plus $10 million in the $2 jackpot prize pool plus $15 million in the $3 prize pool (a total of $25 million more).

Needless to say, this is a very interesting marketing move. I would think (though I don’t have the statistics) that almost everyone will pay the extra money for the possibility of the increased jackpot. The odds are winning are so small, why not spend the extra $3? Imagine if you actually did win and you didn’t spend the extra couple of bucks – it would be maddeningly frustrating. That basic thought process will probably run through every buyer’s head as they are asked if they want to pay the extra money to increase the jackpot by a huge amount. Spend $3.00 at the chance to win $25 million? It is a no brainer.

Whoever came up with the original idea to do this was obviously quite smart. Human psychology, particularly (optimistic) greed, makes it difficult to pass up an opportunity to win so much money. This is a perfect example of smart marketing. (I am sure this is done in other states, but this is the first I have heard about it in Florida.)

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5 Responses to “Fascinating Marketing”

  1. John Engates said:

    Mar 15, 08 at 11:39 am

    This is very similar to how slot machines work in vegas. You can play a quarter, or two, or three per pull of the one-armed bandit. The jackpot payoff for a 3 quarter pull is many times higher than the payoff for playing only one quarter. I’m sure someone came up with this many years ago and it was probably in Vegas!

  2. Service Untitled said:

    Mar 15, 08 at 4:01 pm


    Thanks for your comment. That makes a lot of sense. Vegas is definitely a logical starting place for most smart marketing having anything to do with gambling.

  3. Philippe Mesritz said:

    Mar 16, 08 at 6:41 pm

    That’s funny. I just read my feedblitz of this particular thread and hit View Comments to make that exact same comparison. Slots have the same concept, just as John said!

  4. Bill Gammell said:

    Mar 17, 08 at 12:42 pm

    “Do you want to Biggie Size your Lotto card?”

    This should be fun.


  5. Service Untitled said:

    Mar 17, 08 at 5:08 pm

    Bill, that would be fun!