Pete Sullivan, Founder and CEO of Jackpocket, sat down with Lottery Daily about the Mega Millions jackpot, beating TikTok in the app charts, sports team partnerships and the app’s ambitious expansion plans.
The US lottery industry was propelled into the proverbial stratosphere last week as the Mega Millions jackpot soared to a near-record $1.3bn.
With such a large jackpot creating untamed excitement amongst retailers and consumers alike, Lottery Daily discussed what the impact of the Mega Millions run was for the digital lottery app Jackpocket.
The app has enjoyed success in the last year, following a Series D funding round worth $120m, featuring celebrity investors including Mark Cuban and Kevin Hart.
Jackpocket bested TikTok as Mega Millions run intensfied
Retailers were expected to win big during the Mega Millions run, however, Pete Sullivan exclusively told Lottery Daily that the app enjoyed record-breaking figures in the run, with the app reaching number one in the charts – even beating the global sensation TikTok.
Delving into the figures behind the Mega Millions run, Sullivan remarked: “We began to see the uptick in play and app installs at $313m for the June 24th drawing, and by July 29th ended up smashing our previous daily, weekly, and monthly sales records.
“During the week Mega Millions surpassed $1bn, Jackpocket processed more Mega Millions tickets and signed up more new players in a 4-day period (7/26 – 7/29) than in all of Jackpocket’s second quarter. On the day of the Mega Millions draw, Jackpocket skyrocketed to number one free app in the App Store.”
Chipping away at market share in its live states, Jackpocket accounted for more than 7% of all Mega Millions tickets sold in its 12 operational jurisdictions since the Mega Millions run began in April. However, in half of those states, this figure was even higher (Arkansas: 10% New York: 9% Colorado: 8.6% New Jersey: 8.5% Washington DC: 8.27% Texas: 7.9%).
Following the record-breaking draw, a Jackpocket player in Colorado netted $1.3m whilst a player in New York won $3m and received automatic email alerts on their winnings. Such convenience is drawing new players to the app, Sullivan claims, as it is ‘an important factor in people’s lives’.
Another convenient feature of Jackpocket is that it automatically receipts any prizes for winnings under $600, creating ‘a seamless experience’ for its players.
Sullivan added: “Jackpocket is bringing people an easy, fun, and safe way to play the lottery. The digitization of the lottery helps Jackpocket work alongside traditional ticket retailers as another distribution channel for games lottery players already know and love.”
Sports team partnerships offer ‘credibility’
Naturally, when favourable market conditions like high jackpots arise, marketing is a key tool to grab the attention of new customers and, for Jackpocket, its strategy is clear.
At the end of July, the New York Islanders teamed up with Jackpocket to order $50,000 in Mega Millions lottery tickets on behalf of all Full Season Ticket Members which, in turn, spread awareness of the app amongst its fan base.
While digital lottery apps are few and far between, Jackpocket is still competing with other digital gaming platforms for users’ attention, which is becoming a saturated market.
Sullivan noted that partnering with sports team offers brings ‘credibility to our organisation’ as well as resulting in “media interest and social media engagement that helped drive downloads of the Jackpocket app and, in turn, ticket sales”.
But it isn’t just in peak trading periods that the company is turning to sports franchises for its marketing practices. The brand has sponsorship activations across all professional sports in its live states including NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college athletics.
Jackpocket’s chief explained how sports activations can help to spread awareness of its products on a statewide level, cutting out excess spending as the app isn’t live nationwide yet.
“There is overlap between lottery fans and sports fans. State lotteries have historically been sponsors of professional sports, and Jackpocket can work alongside the state lotteries accordingly.Sullivan explains the strategy to partner with sports teams.
“As Jackpocket isn’t available nationally, we wanted to explore partnership options with location-specific fans. Our partnerships are dynamic, interactive and offer new opportunities for fans to win.
“People can enter to win experiences, like trips to on-the-road games, free tickets, and more, so even if they don’t win the lottery, they may win another exciting experience.”
Digital gaming competition and sneak peak into expansion plans
Despite the aforementioned competition Jackpocket faces from the online sports betting and online casino industries, Sullivan remained calm about the challenges that his company faces, welcoming the ‘exciting expansion’ of US gaming.
The app, Sullivan asserted, fits ‘seamlessly into the landscape’, with further expansions of its offering beyond just lottery products.
Pertinently, he described Jackpocket’s aim to be the ‘mall’ of mobile gaming, creating a one-stop shop for online gamers.
“We think of our lottery product as the “anchor tenant” with mass appeal,” Sullivan posited.
“From there, players will be able to visit our other “stores” – sweeps, slots, bingo, social games, sports lottery and other experiences – that will create new and exciting ways for them to engage with us.
“In December of last year, we secured online market access in New Jersey for our forthcoming online casino product through Caesars Interactive Entertainment New Jersey, LLC and are preparing for a 2023 launch.”
With product diversification on the horizon and 12 live jurisdictions, it appears to be a period of high growth for the company.
But it doesn’t stop there. Sullivan disclosed that the company is in talks with several state lottery commissions in new markets and will ‘plan to announce those launches soon’.