Season Of Ideas

A Fool In NH Column Heading

Now that the New Hampshire Lottery Commission has extended their olive branch to me in the form of a lottery ticket that is supposed to smell like bacon, I have thought long and hard for close to an hour and I have decided that in good faith I will once again submit to them some of my fantastic ideas for lottery tickets.
It has been a long time since I began my boycott realizing that they weren’t going to use any of my ideas and in that span I have come up with a few doozies (whatever that means) that I have just been dying to reveal.
This time of year is perfect for new scratch tickets since not only are the natives anxious for new ways to waste their money, but more and more warm season visitors will be flocking to the area with some disposable income to throw away.
It is well know that the sales of lottery tickets benefit education in New Hampshire. (The incredible odds of actually winning on the things are never taught in math class….coincidence?) It is a lesser known fact that the sales of lottery tickets are also essential to the strength of the convenience store industry in the state and is also key in keeping many in waste management employed with the continuing need to carry the tons of losing tickets away to the recycling centers.
So, as you can see, keeping lottery tickets fresh and their sales vibrant plays an important part in the New Hampshire economy. That is why I am happy to submit, free of charge, some new ideas for lottery tickets.
With the ongoing controversy of naming things the state something or other, this would be a great time to take advantage of that theme in lottery tickets. There could be different tickets for different things to be named. There would be nine concealed squares with three of each possibility on each ticket. You can only scratch off three. If those three match exactly the same “thing” you can bring back it to your local convenience store for a ten dollar prize (or ten more scratch tickets, which is their hope). The winning tickets will then be sent to the State House to be counted and the ones with the “thing” with the most winners will be designated the state something or other.
In all fairness, this ticket should be allowed to be sold to elementary school children so they can participate as well. It will not only make them part of the process but will also show them how difficult it is to actually win on scratch tickets saving them from continuing with this fruitless endeavor as they get older. It’s a win-win (as opposed to a win-lose or a lose-lose or a lose-win) and makes the sale of the ticket helping educate kids in two different ways.
Seeing that the Lottery Commission is all giddy over their “I Heart Bacon” scratch ticket which, when scratched, smells like something, though I’m not sure what, they should definitely take advantage of that during the warmer months with the influx of tourists.
Working in tandem with the NH Department of Travel and Tourism (DTT), they can collect not only the obnoxious nine percent room and meals tax that keeps the DTT funded but also increase sales of lottery tickets with the “Live Free and Scratch and Sniff” campaign.
After a customer sits down to eat at a local restaurant, they will have the opportunity to buy a scratch ticket that, when scratched, smells like the item on the menu they are thinking of ordering so they can make a better choice. Not only will they experience the smell but, if they scratch three matching symbols of that item, they will win a free dessert (the cost of which will be deducted from restaurant’s tax payment to the state).
The thinking here is that it will get more people going out to eat who will buy more than just one “scratch and sniff” ticket in the relentless and fruitless pursuit of trying to win a free dessert. Of course, after failing at getting three matching symbols, they will then be so obsessed with the dessert they will just buy one, increasing their bill giving more money to the restaurant and in turn the DTT as well as the Lottery Commission.
It’s a win-win-win deal.
Of course this process will be complicated to organize and cost tons of money for the Lottery Commission to implement and will eventually cause big problems in their budget, but, hey, they are a state agency so those things are left to be worried about only after it reaches a critical mass.
So there are my ideas for now. I have a few more but my head is starting to hurt.
I’ll get back to you soon.