Michigan Lottery's New Instant Scratch Family is a Hit

WINNIPEG, May 9, 2016 /CNW/ - Pollard Banknote Limited (TSX: PBL) ("Pollard Banknote"), a leading lottery partner that provides instant tickets, interactive solutions, and marketing support, congratulates the Michigan Lottery on the early success of its newest family of  instant scratch-off games, Hit. Over the past few years, the Michigan Lottery has fielded a number of strong performing families of instant games and, based on initial sales, Hit extends that trend. With sales for the first two weeks hitting $18.9 million, Hit is outselling comparable families of instant games launched in the last two years, with the $5 and $10 price points performing exceptionally well.

Outstanding sales are not the only noteworthy story about this family of games. Hit marks the first time the Michigan Lottery has launched a retail instant game and a corresponding online instant game at the same time.

With the goal of increasing engagement and sales of Hit in both sales channels, the Michigan Lottery developed a cross-platform promotion that invites instant players to try online instant games via a promotional code printed on the instant ticket.

The promotion works as follows: a player purchases an instant Hit ticket at retail, available at the $1, $2, $5, and $10 price points. The player then registers online and enters the promotional code from the ticket for free online play. The code earns the player 10 free plays of the online instant Hit game (a $5 value). After registering, a player who also makes a deposit of $10 or more to play online games receives via email a coupon to be redeemed at retail for $10 worth of instant tickets.

While the games vary slightly, the online version was inspired by the instant game. Both versions feature a money theme, with $100 bills 'flying' in the background and stacks of cash in the play areas. Similar to the $5 and $10 instant games, the online Hit game is a key number match game with instant win opportunities. Players of the online instant game also have a chance to reach a bonus round with guaranteed prizes.

As with the instant games, the online version of Hit is achieving strong sales. For the amount of time it has been on the market, it is the highest performing online instant game to date for the Michigan Lottery. The Lottery launched its online game platform in 2014.

"For the Michigan Lottery, the Hit family of games represents an opportunity to introduce our retail instant ticket players to our online instant games while supporting our valuable retail network. Our goal with the cross-promotion is to drive traffic to both sales channels and support our strategy of creating omni-channel players," said Jeff Holyfield, Director of Public Relations for the Michigan Lottery. "Since the retail and online versions of Hit are similar, players who are new to the online channel will see similar graphics and continue to enjoy a familiar play style. We expect that familiarity will provide those players with a welcoming introduction to a new channel."

"Pollard Banknote is excited to be a partner in the cross-promotional strategy of Hit," explained Jennifer Westbury, Executive Vice President, Sales & Customer Development, Pollard Banknote. "This promotion follows a purchase model similar to that of Pollard Banknote's Space Between™ interactive games and apps, which the Michigan Lottery offers with several of its instant games. Like our Space Between™ products, the Hit games cross promote in-store purchases and online play, while ultimately driving players back to retail."

Pollard Banknote and its predecessor companies have been the primary instant ticket supplier to the Michigan Lottery since 1986.

About Pollard Banknote

Pollard Banknote is a leading lottery partner to more than 50 lotteries worldwide, providing high quality instant ticket products, licensed games, and strategic marketing and management services for both traditional instant games and the emerging iLottery space of web, mobile, and social channels. The company is a proven innovator and has decades of experience helping lotteries to maximize player engagement, sales, and proceeds for good causes.  Pollard Banknote also plays a major role in the charitable pull-tab and bingo markets in North America. Established in 1907, Pollard Banknote is owned approximately 73.5% by the Pollard family and 26.5% by public shareholders and is publicly traded on the TSX (PBL). For more information, please visit our website at www.pollardbanknote.com.

About the Michigan Lottery

About 97 cents of every dollar spent on Michigan Lottery tickets is returned to the state in the form of contributions to the state School Aid Fund, prizes to players, and commissions to retailers. In the 2015 fiscal year, the Lottery's contribution to Michigan's public schools was a record $795.5 million. Since it began in 1972, the Lottery has contributed more than $19.6 billion to education in Michigan. For additional information, follow the Michigan Lottery on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and online at www.michiganlottery.com.

Forward-looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking" statements and information, which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. When used in this document, such statements include such words as "may," "will," "expect," "believe," "plan," and other similar terminology. These statements reflect management's current expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date of this document. There should not be an expectation that such information will in all circumstances be updated, supplemented, or revised whether as a result of new information, changing circumstances, future events, or otherwise.

SOURCE Pollard Banknote Limited

Image with caption: "Pollard Banknote Limited (CNW Group/Pollard Banknote Limited)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160509_C7100_PHOTO_EN_685478.jpg

For further information: Doug Pollard, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Telephone: (204) 474-2323, E-mail: dpollard@pbl.ca; John Pollard, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Telephone: (204) 474-2323, E-mail: jpollard@pbl.ca; Rob Rose, Chief Financial Officer, Telephone: (204) 474-2323, E-mail: rrose@pbl.ca


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