On the left is an old New Zealand Lotto ticket. On the right is a new one.
I’m all for conservation and creating an uglier ticket as a result. I do remember that when the ﬁxed-size ticket appeared a few years ago, it seemed wasteful.
The game has changed once in format (then reverted), and the tickets have risen in price once, but really, New Zealanders get no more and no less value from the game today compared to 19 years ago, when it ﬁrst débuted.
Yet the New Zealand Lotteries’ Commission, as I understand it (i.e. this is hearsay), is three times larger today than when my friend Hilary began hosting the weekly draws on live TV around 13 years ago. And no, she wasn’t the one who told me.
While I like the compact tickets, my ﬁrst thought at the counter was, ‘They’re paying the chief executive too much.’ For when these changes happen suddenly and we aren’t given a reason, we shan’t know what to think.
Immediately I wondered why the Commission had trebled in size and why New Zealanders were paying for it, then I was reminded that I once planned a novel where the Lotto draws were used to pay out a slush fund for covert activities, where winning tickets could be printed off the computer at will.
I can understand a doubling in size, since there is a mid-week draw now, too, but even then it would still be largesse.
I guess I could stop buying the tickets, but it has become a family tradition with my father and me. So the Commission knows it has a die-hard audience, including a lot of people with gambling problems. And those people don’t really care if any of the money from the Commission is going to worthy causes.
In fact, the draw has been slimmed down: no longer do Hils and the other presenters talk about the good the Commission does in redistributing funds. That’s also understandable, since they used to send a crew to ﬁlm the various places getting the money. However, a mention would still be nice, otherwise we’ll think the Commission is keeping the dough. Especially as the prizes are no bigger, and we just don’t know if it is giving out as much.
Research shows that it is giving out more between 2004 and 2005, not that the public knows without downloading the annual reports. In that case, who is supporting the extra staff? I think it’s us, through our taxes.
But what I would like to see is this: if the tickets are getting slimmed down, and if the economy is so rotten right now, then the Commission should be downsized, if it is not doing that much more work than before. Trimming it to half its size, or even two-thirds, seems logical to me as an ofﬁcious bystander. And, with the money saved from this and from the new tickets—which, believe me, would be a huge saving given my knowledge of printing—increase the grants. Or use it more wisely during the recession that this government is engineering.
Otherwise, there’s going to be a rift between the brand at the corporate level and one at the consumer level. And as we all know, that’s the ﬁrst sign of an unstable business.
Del.icio.us tags: branding | Lotto | New Zealand | government spending | tax Posted by Jack Yan, 07:12
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