A survey: what do people do when they LOSE the lottery?

My office is right next to Book of Mormon, so every day and twice on Saturdays, I see a 100+ folks crossing their fingers hoping that they’ll win the lottery and get to see the show that night.

30 or so people get lucky.

My question . . . what happens to the others?  These people are “in the mood” to see a show.  They’ve set aside the time to see a show.  They are in the location where lots and lots of shows happen.

Surely, they see another show, right?

Well as my mom always said, “Surely” is nothing but the name of our crazy neighbor with the 10 cats.

So, we decided to find out.

Last weekend, my staff and I hit the streets and asked lottery losers at Mormon, Wicked, and a few other shows in town just what they planned to do after their hopes and dreams were crushed by fate.

First of all, we wanted to know where they were from.  Do tourists know about the lottery?  Is this a NY secret?  Here are the numbers:

  • 46% of Lottery Players were from the tristate
  • 54% were from outside the tristate

It’s not the secret many of us thought it was.

When they lost the lottery, here’s what our responders said they’d do instead:

  • 31% see another show
  • 24% go home
  • 22% do something else (movies, shopping, lunch, etc)
  • 16% don’t know
  • 7% try to get tickets to that show (cancellation line, SRO, box office)
So what does that tell us?
Good news and bad news.
The good news is that 47% of the losers (“see another show” plus “don’t know”) could be ripe to buy tickets to something else (maybe your show).
Your challenge is making sure they find their way to your show.

The bad news is that 53% are not inclined to go to another show if they lose, even though they have the time, some cash, and are steps away from TKTS, other lotteries, theaters, etc.

And that’s the challenge for all of us.


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.