Monday, September 10, 2012

"New" Game in Illinois

It's been almost a quarter century since the Illinois Lottery has introduced a new game. Granted, Lotto has been changed a few times since then. Little Lotto's gameplay has not only changed, but so has it's name (beginning as Cash 5, and now called Lucky Day Lotto). But it hasn't been since 1988, when the afforementioned Cash 5/et al game was launched, that Illinois has introduced an entirely new game.

That changed Sunday with the introduction of My3. To play, one must select a three-digit number between 000 and 999. If that sounds familiar, that's because they didn't actually introduce a actual new game, they just added another Pick 3! Granted, it's a sort of "beginner's" version of Pick 3, but why did they have to create a whole new product? They could have just as easily made "beginner's" play slips for Pick 3, and added a new play option to provide multiple prize levels. By the way, I completely forgot about the multiple prize levels in My3.

Apparently they can call this a "new" game because there are multiple prize levels: matching all 3 in exact order wins $200 on a $1 play, matching any 2 in order wins $4. If you match all 3 in a jumbled order, you win $40; unless your number has repeating digits, then you win $100. But that begs the question: what happens if one picks all of one digit (i.e. 000, 777)? Does the player win both the exact and repeating prize, or just the exact order prize?

If you're confused, that just goes to show what a failure of marketing this is. If this was added as a new "ez-win" option to Pick 3, I'd give it a solid B+. But a whole new product? I guess Northstar (the private firm running the lottery) had that idea of adding this to Pick 3, and then they realized "Hey, we haven't introduced a new game since 1988; let's just make this it's own game." There was a lot of speculation on Lottery Post that the new game would be 5-digit game like PA's Quinto. And as bad as that game would have been, it still would have made more sense to add than this: what essentially amounts to another Pick 3. Pointless.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, IL added Powerball as part of the cross-selling expansion (with Mega Millions) in 2010. As for My3, perhaps "Decades of Dollars" would have been a better choice; it's offered by four lotteries, including neighboring Kentucky. D-o-D's non-progressive top prize would not have made Illinois Lotto (jackpot game) redundant.