By T. D. Thornton
The new $2 Kentucky Lottery game called Win Place Show surpassed first-week sales goals by a whopping 247%, bolstering chances that the quick-pick draw based on the results of daily Thoroughbred races will gain wider implementation beyond its current 90-day trial period in Lexington, Louisville, and northern Kentucky.
“Everyone is extremely happy with those numbers–the Kentucky Lottery and ourselves,” Brad Cummings, the founder and chief executive of the game's parent firm, EquiLottery, said via phone on Monday. “We have exceeded expectations by a large measure.”
Cummings said Win Place Show, which launched Mar. 31, is the first-ever daily lottery game to feature winning numbers based on the results of a live sporting event.
A lottery player who buys a ticket receives a randomly generated set of numbers corresponding to three horses for the day's selected race at one of 21 partner tracks across the country. Players win cash prizes if the race results match three in a row, three in any order, or any two exactly, with hitting the trifecta cold resulting in the biggest jackpots.
In a story last week about the launch of the game (read it here), Cummings told TDN that a successful trial period means the game could eventually go live in 3,000 stores in Kentucky alone, and that “in five years the potential is there for Win Place Show to be in 15 to 20 states” via hundreds of thousands of retail points of sale.
“We know one week is not enough to [demonstrate] a full trend, but we are certainly communicating those numbers to our future lottery partners,” said Cummings.
“We know that we are getting repeat players,” Cummings said. “And we're following exact lottery trends in that Sundays/Mondays are kind of the slowest days, and that we sort of peak on a Friday. I think the different thing here is that there's some really nice racing on Saturdays, so we get a little bit more of a [sales boost] on Saturdays than most lottery games.”
Partner racetracks are paid a broadcast rights fee if their races are chosen for the daily Win Place Show drawing.
This past Saturday, Cummings noted, the GII Blue Grass S. at Keeneland Race Course was the featured race. Even though the winning result featured the 1-2-3 pari-mutuel favorites in exact order in the 14-horse field, the game's numbers get assigned by random draw, so no one had a winning ticket, resulting in a double carryover to Sunday that was hit for $2,154.
Despite the promising early start, Cummings repeated a call for continued sales support from people in the racing industry.
“We don't want to be lulled by this early success,” Cummings said. “We want to go from 247% to 500% [above the sales goals] to make it so incredibly unavoidable that the game flies not just here in Kentucky, but that we start to spread this thing across the country quicker than we ever imagined.”