The internet is awash with 'social' these days, so much so it's even stopped being a buzz word anymore, and is now just a basic requirement.
It's something lottery players do enjoy online too, just not in quite the same way. Yes, they love to read and share stories about winners (and those who lose it all, of course), but they also love to play together too. And by that I mean, lottery syndicates. There are a lot of choices online now for players looking for a syndicate to join. Even the courier ticket buying services have started to notice and got in on the act too.
One of the most popular games with players has to be the pan-European game, EuroMillions. Some feel it has turned into a surprise success. Despite the complications of 9 countries being involved, the players love it, and don't see any of that complication. They just see an exciting game with crazy big jackpots. Which translates into ticket sales of course. If you haven't come across the game before then this FAQ for EuroMillions will fill in all the blanks (by Mark Haigh). Don't underestimate how popular this game is with players, particularly in the 9 European countries that run it where it is obviously best known (UK to Portgual). In the UK alone there are already plenty of online syndicate choices for EuroMillions players as these reviews by lotterysyndicatereviews.co.uk demonstrate. Not so much choice in France, Spain or Portugal where English is not the first language, yet the marketplace of EuroMillions players is huge. There remain some significant gaps for local companies to grab a piece of that market.
What About That Social Angle?
Nobody has yet managed to crack the true social possibilities of an online syndicate. One company did start down this road, by introducing a way to see photos of the other players in their group - and players did react and upload their photos. It was a poor technical implementation though with huge raw photos being uploaded without any resizing applied. So the page showing the players group would take an age to load 50 thumbnails that weren't thumbnails at all but tiny full resolution images. They didn't understand why people didn't like it that much and never bothered to improve it.
Why not make the online syndicate just like the office pool? Why can't players see and interact with the other people in their group. Wouldn't that make them feel more of a part of something - and therefore be more likely to stay? Every syndicate has to manage the problem of 'churn', people leave, and every time they do there is a hole created in that syndicate group. How do you fill it? Fund it yourself while you wait for a new customer, restructure groups regularly... or try and prevent it in the first place.
What if you introduced a Facebook style timeline for each group. What if you got some playful rivalry going between syndicate groups. You could create some pretty seriously loyal customers and achieve great retention rates. You know, those kind of customers that go out and get you more customers for free by proudly sharing with their social networks!
Don't underestimate the true power of real social interaction.