Public Gaming International Magazine May June 2023

16 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • MAY/JUNE 2023 Nearly a year ago, the MultiState Lottery Association (MUSL) highlighted the leadership style that David Barden, New Mexico Lottery CEO, and Drew Svitko, Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director, planned to bring to the organization as newly elected Board President (Barden) and Powerball Product Group Chair (Svitko), respectively. The duo labeled their style as “progressive product management” and brie y summarized it as “not stopping when you’ve had a good year.” “I always like to say, ‘Foot, gas, go,’” said Svitko. Well, one year later, their nose-tothe-grindstone approach is paying off. With sales of products facilitated by MUSL, including Mega Millions® sales by MUSL members, totaling $9.6 billion through the end of April 2023, the Association is set to shatter the previous scal year sales record of $8.1 billion – a record that stood untouched for seven years. We asked both MUSL leaders what they regard as big wins that have propelled the organization into a year of progress and record growth. Here are their highpoints… For President Barden, game sales are one component of measuring success, particularly in the national games category. He underscored the continuing dialogue between MUSL and the Mega Millions Consortium (MMC), which he said bene ts all lotteries that sell Powerball® and Mega Millions®. “Signi cant effort has been made by both organizations to be more transparent while keeping the lines of communication open,” said Barden. “We want MMC Directors to know how the MUSL organization operates. All lotteries that participate in the Powerball game have been invited to attend MUSL Board and Powerball Product Group meetings, and likewise with Mega Millions Consortium meetings. Both organizations have taken each other up on the offer to have representation at one another’s meetings.” Barden also noted a major technological advancement made by MUSL in the past year – the implementation of its new game management system known as FLEX. FLEX was developed in-house by MUSL software engineers to act as a central hub for all MUSL applications, speci cally applications related to the draw process. MUSL onboarded lotteries and vendors to the new system in phases over the fall and winter, and the bene ts have been immediate. FLEX has streamlined the process for reporting sales and winner data, enhanced communication between MUSL draw of cials and lottery draw staff, and bolstered MUSL’s product development initiatives. “The FLEX system is a reminder that MUSL has the ability to be truly innovative and a preeminent leader in the lottery industry,” Barden said. “It’s signi cantly improved our speed to market and given us the platform we need to roll out new products.” MUSL’s record sales year is largely due to the performance of its agship product, Powerball®, which set a new world record jackpot of $2.04 billion on Nov. 7, 2022. Time has shown that the addition of a third weekly drawing in November 2021 has met game leaders’ expectations of delivering bigger, faster-growing jackpots. In addition, the Double Play® add-on feature has expanded to three new jurisdictions (Montana, Idaho, and Nebraska) in the last year, bringing the total number of participating lotteries to 16, with at least ve more lotteries scheduled to add the feature later this year. “If lotteries are looking for a proven way to boost sales with relatively minimal effort and without cannibalizing other products, then they should strongly consider Double Play,” said Svitko. In the background, game leaders have been working to keep the Powerball brand relevant by collaborating with national partners that can help amplify the brand. This year, Powerball became an Of cial Partner of NASCAR®, which includes Powerball being named the “Of cial Lottery Game of NASCAR.” As part of the partnership, Powerball and NASCAR have launched a seasonlong promotion called the NASCAR Powerball Playoff, which will culminate with one lottery player winning a $1 million grand prize in a special drawing televised live from the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race™ at Phoenix Raceway on November 5. “It’s pretty incredible when you look at the calendar; Powerball will have two national promotions with nales that will air on network television at the end of the year,” said Svitko. “We’ll have the NASCAR Powerball Playoff drawing on NBC, followed by our fth installment of the Powerball First Millionaire of the Year drawing on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest on ABC.” Barden and Svitko recognized that many of this year’s achievements were made possible because of the foundation left by their predecessors, and its why they continue to lay the groundwork for new initiatives to support future growth. They stressed that it’s crucial for MUSL to continue building its technological infrastructure to support drawings and the development of new products. “The accomplishments that we’ve achieved this year were all part of the MUSL Strategic Plan,” noted Barden. “We’ve been working on some of these initiatives for 3-5 years, so we’ll continue to follow the playbook that has the support and approval of the MUSL Board of Directors.” n MUSLNEWS MULTI -STATE LOTTERY ASSOCIATION Drew Svitko, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Lottery and Chair of Powerball Group David Barden, CEO, New Mexico Lottery and President of MUSL PROGRESSIVE PRODUCT MANAGEMENT PAYS OFF MUSL SETS NEW FISCAL YEAR SALES RECORD