How Are Lottery Games Designed and Created?

Coming up with the next big (lottery) hit.
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  • Author:
    William Monroe
  • Published:

You might think that lotteries are simply thought up on the spot by some gaming operators or regulators, quickly put together and then ready for play. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Like slot machines, there is a huge amount of research, discussion, and design that go into creating a lottery.

The first thing that gets batted around the table, comprising every department you can think of from marketing to math geniuses, is what type of lottery to create, just like what type of slot machine to create.

There Are Lots of Things to Consider

Do you want to make a slot machine, or lottery game, that appeals to most of the gaming public or do you want to target a certain demographic? What type of logo, font, and text design do you want or need your game to have? Also, what type of graphic design and colours are most appealing to the players you are targeting? How much should the game cost? How much should the jackpot pay? What smaller prizes do you want there to be? Can the slot machine or lottery game be put into play at or below budget or is there a possibility it might go over budget? Should the slot machine feature a physical reel or a video screen? Should the lottery game use balls or a random number generator? All of these questions and more must be considered when designing and developing a new game.

Once a general idea comes to fruition, intensive market research then takes place. The demographics the lottery makers want to reach are deeply researched. What are players looking for in a lottery game? High jackpots? More smaller prizes? Better odds on certain prizes? What colours and designs would they be more likely attracted to therefore more likely to buy a ticket? What other lotteries does it need to compete with? Which of those lotteries are successful with the target demographic and why?

So, let’s say the team has come up with something like Loto 766, a seven-by-sixty-six number lottery that has Gothic script and a purple colour scheme to target an identified large number of players who are looking for something geared a little more to their taste.

Along with the marketing team, who now has to research the targeted demographic, the graphic designers begin on creating the actual graphics for the game. The compliance team has to research every aspect of current and future features and operations to make sure they comply with the regulator’s rules. The technical and mathematics teams work on creating the actual elements of the lottery draw, such as how the numbers will be drawn and if they’re being drawn by balls, the need to get the balls designed and made, and creating the odds and probabilities for each prize.

It Doesn't Stop There...

When the game fundamentals have been put together and the game looks good on paper, the physical aspects of the game start being created. The game has to be put into the lottery selection system to be accessible to retailers, and the blowers, balls, and set design are ordered, advertising is created, and the numbers for all the winning combinations get created in the system.

As soon asthe game is ready to be announced to the public, the entire game elements are submitted to the regulator for approval. Once approved, the game can go live, advertising can be released, and tickets can be sold.

But it doesn’t stop there. Sales and purchase data are collected to see if the game is successful and is targeting the correct demographic. Profits are scrutinized. The game may undergo tweaks such as adding new prizes or changing the prize structure, changing advertising tactics, or changing graphics to increase participation and sales. And if all that doesn’t provide results within the target range of success, the game may be cancelled.

So, a lot of effort from a lot of people goes into the creation of one single lottery game to not only ensure it is a success and profitable, but that a large number of players are dedicated to regularly purchasing tickets, too.

The next time you play your favourite lottery, think of all that went into making something that you enjoy playing. That little piece of paper you get is the result of hard work, perseverance, and intense dedication.

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