Lottery to stop selling "Kwikies"

6:19 PM, Mar 18, 2013   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NECN) -- The Maine lottery is killing a marketing concept that would have had store clerks selling "Kwikies" to customers.

Lottery officials said they were hoping to increase sales of instant scratch tickets, but some store clerks said it felt more like harrassment.

Gary's "Quick Stop" in Richmond, Maine sells hundreds of instant scratch tickets every day, but the state's Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations believed they might sell even more tickets by branding them under a catchy new name.
"The thought simply was to describe the benefit of the instant games. They're quick and easy to play and they're fun," said Bureau Director Gerry Reid.

The name that rose to the top of a pool of more than fifty options was "kwikie"--spelled with a "k".

Customers thought the name was a strange choice -- and store clerks said they did not look forward to managing "kwikie" transactions all day long.

"I'll ask if they want an instant or a scratch ticket, but i'm not asking if they want a quickie. it's not appropriate, said Kelli Beckim, store clerk.

"It's ridiculous. No one's comfortable. the customers or us," added Lori Harrington.

The Director of the Maine Women's Lobby says its hard to grasp what the panel of six was thinking when they chose the new brand name.

"I would hope in the year 2013, the state is not trying to make money using sex. That's appalling," said Eliza Townsend."

Lottery officials say they did test market the quickie concept informally, running it by the owners of the two biggest lottery retailers in the state, and later by another 30 lottery agents.
Reid said they thought the idea was a bit controversial but for the most part funny.

He said it wasn't until they took idea to all 1300 retailers around the state that they fully grasped the resistance.

"We had considered the risk. We were overly optomistic. Now we'll move on," said Reid.

To which, The Maine Women's lobby's Townsend said "Phew!. You wouldn't think it could get this far."

The state did succeed in drumming up a little excitement around a new concept.

Just not in the way they'd hoped.


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