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NAB Playing the Lottery in Maryland

Maryland lottery hopefuls are getting more than a series of potential winning numbers on their tickets—they're also getting a reminder to make sure their televisions are digitally equipped as the analog shutdown approaches.

The NAB's DTV Transition Coalition worked with the Maryland lottery board to have DTV reminders and help-line phone numbers printed on tickets, and have those same messages plastered on the ticket machines and scrolling across their electronic text boards.

The NAB team estimates that 9%-10% of the country is unaware of the transition coming in February. It's a hard-to-reach audience, the team acknowledged, but one that seems to match the demographics of lottery players. "We figured it was a great way to reach them," says Coalition member Jordan Wertlieb, who's the general manager at Hearst-Argyle's WBAL Baltimore.

The messages began appearing on Maryland's printed lottery tickets (such as Pick 3, as opposed to scratch-off tickets) this week.

Wertlieb says the Coalition is talking to other state lottery boards about carrying the DTV instructions. "We want to make sure every person in the country gets the message and takes action if they haven't already," he says. "It's just another way to ensure the message gets out." [For more on the DTV transition, see cover story, p. 10.]