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Illinois Kicks Off Online Lotto Sales to Draw Younger Players

Twenty-one other states considering new purchase model

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On the heels of last week’s Mega Millions fever, Illinois became the first state to allow players to buy lottery tickets online. The state is using this new opportunity to lure a larger number of younger players to invest smaller amounts, rather than rely on its base of older, habitual enthusiasts. An additional 21 states, including New York, are considering this pilot and are watching the level of interest.

Omnicom’s OMD unit is handling the search and social media campaign which will target 21-to-34-year-old early tech adopters. It’s a change in the retail environment for a generation of potential players who conduct their lives online.

“Even if they see a TV spot or outdoor ad, the lottery hasn’t been in an environment where it is top-of-mind,” said Justin Southern, OMD’s associate director of strategy.

OMD will use social media to geolocate and engage friends of early adopters. As the campaign scales, it will expand into display and video.

Currently, only Mega Millions and Lotto are being sold on the Illinois lottery site.

Illinois lottery chief Michael Jones predicted online sales could attract 1 million new players when Mega Millions jackpots exceed $100 million.