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Va. Lottery's Lady Luck hangs up her wand

Virginia LotteryVirginia Lottery: Va. Lottery's Lady Luck hangs up her wand

RICHMOND, Va. — The personification of the Virginia Lottery for more than two decades, Lady Luck, is retiring.

Addressing a group of retailers Friday, lottery Executive Director Paula I. Otto said the Lady Luck character, played by Melanie MacQueen, is hanging up her wand.

The new face of the lottery is Game Guy, actor Jason Kypros, the central character in the lottery's "We're Game" ad campaign.

The Lady Luck image of a disheveled, wry fairy princess has been associated with the lottery since 1990, when MacQueen first appeared in a commercial pushing a grocery cart along a road. She was delivering luck to Virginia for its first Lotto game — long before Virginia joined other states in the Powerball and Mega Millions games.

"It was never intended that she would be a continuing character," Otto said.

But the advertising agency that cast her for the commercial at the time liked the character. "They decided to use her in the next campaign, and the next — and on it went."

So long that the Virginia Historical Society and the Library of Virginia have plans to include memorabilia of the character in their collections, Otto told those attending the Retail Merchants Association's monthly meeting at the Westin Richmond hotel. She talked about the lottery's 25 years.

She said the lottery staff is working on a proper send-off for Lady Luck, probably this summer.

Though Lady Luck's commercials haven't been aired for some time, Otto said, she still has a Facebook page, so she hasn't disappeared completely for her many fans.

"I attribute Lady Luck's longevity in large part to Melanie MacQueen's talent as an actress," Otto said. "She gave the character a personality that went far beyond what the brilliant writers came up with."

Otto said MacQueen's appearance at a Los Angeles casting call in 1989 immediately influenced the way the character was to be portrayed. In MacQueen's hands, Lady Luck became immensely popular.

Otto recalled a shopping-center appearance in the early 1990s. Lady Luck was mobbed and stayed hours beyond the appointed time, signing autographs, talking to fans, waving her wand to bestow luck on a wide array of items.

"We finally had to have a police escort to get her out of there," Otto said.

Game Guy, Otto said, doesn't replace Lady Luck. Rather, he personifies a different message for the lottery.

The campaign, crafted by Richmond's Big River Advertising, emphasizes fun, observing that Virginians will make a game of anything.

Kypros has been touring the state as Game Guy since last summer. A Norfolk native, he lives in Virginia Beach and is a Virginia Tech graduate.

The Game Guy character even has his own Web site, at VAGameGuy.com.

He spent time in Los Angeles and trained there at the Groundlings School of improvisation. He has a string of movie, television and stage credits.

Back in Virginia, he worked with an improv group, Plan B, and has been a standup comic.

Answering a casting call that first went out in 2011, Kypros started the lottery job in mid-2012. Since he took on the role, he has taken part in a sand-castle competition, a mud run, a surfing extravaganza, a New Year's Day polar plunge and a whole range of other games.

The commercials are filmed live, reflecting the makeshift nature of many of the games.

Terry Taylor, Big River's executive creative director and the principal architect of the "We're Game" campaign, said Kypros is a perfect fit for the Game Guy character.

"He really appreciates the idea of Virginians making a game out of anything," Taylor said. "He loves to get out there and be part of it. He'll have fun just showing up in a neighborhood and being part of the games they play."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Richmond Times-Dispatch, Lottery Post Staff

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15 comments. Last comment 4 years ago by jamella724.
Page 1 of 2

United States
Member #111442
May 25, 2011
6323 Posts
Posted: March 2, 2013, 8:22 pm - IP Logged


    rdgrnr's avatar - walt
    Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
    United States
    Member #73904
    April 28, 2009
    14903 Posts
    Posted: March 2, 2013, 9:05 pm - IP Logged

    I'd rather see 'em use that money to catch crooked clerks and throw their asses in jail.

    What the hell do they need a dancin' boy for?







    "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                --Edmund Burke



      RedStang's avatar - tallman zps6gf4inoc.jpg
      United States
      Member #121961
      January 21, 2012
      3159 Posts
      Posted: March 2, 2013, 9:57 pm - IP Logged

      I'd rather see 'em use that money to catch crooked clerks and throw their asses in jail.

      What the hell do they need a dancin' boy for?

      Yea, all that $$ and they come up with a will ferrell chippendale.

        IPlayWeekly's avatar - avatarmoney
        Columbus, Ohio
        United States
        Member #128906
        June 5, 2012
        599 Posts
        Posted: March 2, 2013, 11:45 pm - IP Logged

        I remember seeing lady luck on LCML

          tnlotto1's avatar - logo
          United States
          Member #49896
          February 18, 2007
          1181 Posts
          Posted: March 2, 2013, 11:55 pm - IP Logged

          I remember seeing lady luck on LCML

          She seemed like a really nice woman on that episode.

            dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
            United States
            Member #82391
            November 12, 2009
            6305 Posts
            Posted: March 3, 2013, 12:42 am - IP Logged

            She seemed like a really nice woman on that episode.

            I Agree!

            I Love Pink & Green 1908

              helpmewin's avatar - dandy
              United States
              Member #106665
              February 22, 2011
              19964 Posts
              Posted: March 3, 2013, 2:05 am - IP Logged

              oh my No Nod

              Let it Snow Snowman

                sully16's avatar - sharan
                United States
                Member #81740
                October 28, 2009
                42114 Posts
                Posted: March 3, 2013, 9:22 am - IP Logged

                Kinda sad, wish her the best

                 HyperBe Happy.

                  Artist77's avatar - batman14

                  United States
                  Member #121745
                  January 16, 2012
                  4979 Posts
                  Posted: March 3, 2013, 9:32 am - IP Logged

                  wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!  Sniff sniff.....  She has a great FB site and will even compose birthday poems for people. She loved her fans.  Dancing boy is a poor choice. Poor decision VA!!!  DC or Maryland....do you need a lottery fairy???

                  J'aime La France.

                    United States
                    Member #132455
                    September 4, 2012
                    483 Posts
                    Posted: March 3, 2013, 9:59 am - IP Logged

                    maybe this is not the right time, this is quite sad :-(

                      United States
                      Member #116268
                      September 7, 2011
                      20244 Posts
                      Posted: March 3, 2013, 10:08 am - IP Logged

                      Best wishes Lady Luck.

                        fwlawrence's avatar - Yavill
                        United States
                        Member #9378
                        December 6, 2004
                        210 Posts
                        Posted: March 3, 2013, 5:25 pm - IP Logged

                        I have never known Lady Luck. I wish I did.

                          HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                          United States
                          Member #72448
                          March 18, 2009
                          1236 Posts
                          Posted: March 4, 2013, 6:26 pm - IP Logged

                          ditto! Shocked

                          Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!


                            casper wyoming
                            United States
                            Member #136345
                            December 9, 2012
                            40 Posts
                            Posted: March 4, 2013, 8:21 pm - IP Logged

                            if it is not broken do not fix it.