California State Lottery Launch and Awareness Campaign


When the state of California announced its decision to launch a lottery, public outcry was rampant. The idea of gambling was controversial and in many people’s minds should not be allowed. The state responded favorably by designating a percentage of lottery proceeds to support the education of California children. Nuffer, Smith, Tucker was approached to coordinate local launch festivities in San Diego and Imperial Counties to be timed in perfect accord with the events and activities in other major cities throughout the state.

NST conducted a media blitz and orchestrated a major kick-off event, both of which played heavily on the lottery’s educational tie-in. Yellow school busses transported local dignitaries, VIPs and media to an inaugural event at Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego; a California Brown Bear (the state’s official mascot) was trained to pull patches off giant lottery ticket, revealing that 33 percent of lottery proceeds would go to education; and 50,000 balloons – the largest balloon release in the history of San Diego – took to the sky.


Every major local media outlet in San Diego and Imperial counties reported on the kick-off event.

California set an all-time international record for lottery ticket sales on opening day.