It wasn’t long ago that the lotteries across the USA went into panic mode due to the lack of millennial participants in its games. Between 2003 and 2007, 39 per cent of 18-to-29-year-old Americans had played the lottery in the year surveyed, but that percentage had dropped to around 33 per cent last year. This is compared to the 61 per cent of 50 to 64-year-old Americans playing the lottery.
In 2018, however, lotteries in the USA have seen a sudden uptick in millennial participants, but what has caused the hardest generation to reach to get into the lottery again?
Following the UK and Canada
One of the problems facing the lotteries in the USA was that they weren’t making themselves fully available to millennials. Their built-in player base of people over-40-year-olds will be used to walking down to the shop to fill in their numbers and then waiting before seeing if they’re a winner a couple of days later. Millennials live their lives differently, preferring to binge content for instant gratification while also opting to use the internet over traditional stores.
US lotteries were very slow to create an online offering that appeals to millennials. In the UK and Canada, lotteries have been selling their tickets through their websites for close to a decade, with the UK seeing a quarter of its lottery players being between aged 16 to 24. Instant win games are also being added to the online lottery service to further appeal to the need for instant gratification.
American lotteries move online
The ability to appeal to this generation, as well as everyone else with an internet connection, will, more often than not, have positive results for an industry – especially one as well-known as the lottery. This is why online lottery is increasingly available across the USA, even for the biggest lotteries like the US MegaMillions. Now, anyone who may have a passing fancy in playing the lottery can do so with ease through the digital offering or the new-age apps that are being released.
For the time being, however, the in-store crowd still dominates the lottery-playing audience. A massive 87 per cent of American lottery players still go in-store to purchase lottery tickets. As 48 per cent of Americans actively play the lottery, this is a huge number of people who still opt to go in-store. That said, the number of people who have played online or online and in-store now stands at 13 per cent, which will undoubtedly grow over time. As more millennials are reached through digital lottery offerings, the percentage of people who play online will grow.
Millennials are being reached
At the start of 2018, the Mega Millions found itself a millennial winner in the form of a 20-year-old. Having won on a scratch-off lottery ticket, the Floridian went for five lottery tickets which resulted in him solely claiming the $450 million jackpot. It may not have been won via an online ticket, but it’s a stark example that millennials are starting to come around to the lottery, as well as winning big prizes when doing so.
As the online presence of lotteries in the USA increases and the digital offering continues to strengthen, more millennials will play lottery games and win.