How Social Media Won the Lottery
Many of us had our hopes of waking up a mere $588 million dollars richer smashed in seconds after the winning lottery numbers were announced two weeks ago. That’s only if you were watching them on TV. Turns out the next best place to get the winning numbers was online, and by online, I don’t mean the Powerball website. In fact, the Powerball website was down for the count shortly after the winning numbers had been called. Social media sites lit up with the winning numbers and digital groans of non-winners. However, long before the numbers were even called, the lottery had become a social media star.
On Facebook and Twitter, people shared their dreams of what they’d do if they won the jackpot, and then confided in each other when no one had the winning ticket. Leading up to the drawing, tweets using the hashtag #powerball were being sent at more than 600 every hour. If you could win the lottery by taking the best Instagram photo, over 5,000 ticket holders could have been in the running.
Radio and TV stations truly took advantage of the lottery in order to engage an overwhelming number of fans. By offering to share a portion of their winnings, media outlets were able to engage over half a million fans in one day’s time. Unfortunately for the fans, that would make them the big winners of just $758 each.
Over 131,000 tickets were being purchased per minute in the days leading up to the drawing. Could it be that photos, posts and conversations online about the record lottery only encouraged more ticket sales? I think so.
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