Social insights into the mega-million lottery frenzy

This article is written by our Insights Analyst Lauren Bordelon with research done by our Social Media Insights Analyst Ed Santiago.
Oh, the Lottery: raising everyone’s hopes, wishes, and dreams for sometimes days and weeks on end until a winner is chosen. Well, a winner was born this week in Lottery Land 2018. One sole very lucky winner took home the Mega Millions $1.527 billion.
We’ve all heard our friends talk about what they’d do with their money, and even some say they’re willing to share (although this week’s lottery winner remains anonymous, we all have to wonder what they’re going to do with their winnings). So how do users take to social to express their emotions?
According to our research, most people are aware they’ll never win and resort to social to make jokes. Most of the retweeted content on Twitter are mentions from users saying they’ll share a part of the winnings with everyone who retweets – which deems an easy way to just gain a whole lot of followers.
Even though it’s a common discussion around the time of a big lottery win, interesting less than 10% of mentions are around what users would spend their money on.
A small percentage of users (10%) who take to social regarding the lottery discuss what they’d even do with their earnings. Our main takeaway is that users mostly resort to making jokes i.e. what they’d do with the money if they won.
So we know that consumers take to social to discuss the lottery, but how can brands spin off this for revenue? In our research, we saw that Villa Italian Kitchen is offering a free slice of cheese pizza in exchange for a losing ticket (with beverage purchase) and similarly 7Eleven is offering free coffee. It’s like Valentine’s Day specials for the singles – celebrate sorrow and loss with a discount and/or free goods and services.
Like all other trending topics, it’s important for brands to be on top of social chatter whether they provide a discount or not. Our advice: look into your brands voice and tone and see what would align. It seems humour is the popular way to connect, so if you’re witty, relatable, and unapologetic, tweeting a joke to align with other users might have potential to go viral. If your brand is practical, modern, and retail-focused, perhaps offer a promotion of some sort. In the world of the social sphere, it is always a safe bet to activate on trends as long as they align with your core message and values.  

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