ALBUQUERQUE — If you've ever played the lottery, you know how important that little piece of paper can be. It's why the New Mexico Lottery is putting a little something extra on their lottery tickets: Advertisements.
Representatives with the New Mexico Lottery say they launched a pilot program to see how they fare when it comes to offering ad space on game tickets.
"We want to understand how our systems perform, how our employees perform and then how successful those advertisements might be for the companies that are actually placing messages on our tickets," says New Mexico Lottery Representative Linda Hamlin.
Hamlin says lotto ticket advertising seems like an obvious option because those who play the lottery look at their tickets over and over again. For advertisers, she says that means more eyeballs on their product, or service, multiple times over.
Lottery reps say they've already signed up one advertiser and plan to work with two or three more as part of the pilot. They say if the pilot's deemed a success, the program could mean more money for lottery scholarships.
Our goal is to maximize revenues for education so if we can take that little extra white space on a lottery ticket and place an advertiser's message for a fee then we'll be able to return that revenue to the scholarship program and help more students go to college," explains Hamlin.
Lottery reps say they've already signed up one advertiser and plan to work with two or three more as part of the pilot. The first group that's using space on those lotto tickets is offering a discount to an upcoming event that gets national attention. It's the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, New Mexico's only college bowl game.
Through Dec. 12, the bowl will plug a $10 discount on the purchase of one seat for the game, set for Dec. 20 at University Stadium.
The Gildan Bowl has tried for years to capture a large audience. Last year, numbers were up from 2012, but organizers were still 1,000 fans shy of their target. They hope this new ad will bring that number up.
You can find the discount code on lottery tickets. From there, players can use the code on purchases made over the phone or online.
The Gildan Bowl ad will be printed on Powerball, Mega Millions, Hot Lotto, Roadrunner Cash and Pick Three Tickets.
Reps with the Gildan Bowl say they're excited to be part of the pilot. They say lots of football fans also play the lottery, so it's a logical move to advertise the game on lotto tickets.
The New Mexico Lottery agrees.
"We think a lottery ticket is a great place to do some sort of advertising whether it's just wishing people happy graduation at the college graduation session or offering them a discount coupon for purchase in a store," Hamlin says.
At last check, they had sold more than 900,000 tickets.
You only have a few more days to get your hands on a lotto ticket with the Gildan Bowl discount. They will be discontinued Dec. 12.