NFL Targeting September 2025 For New National Lottery Draw Game

Move over Mega Millions and Powerball, a new game looks to be coming to town.

During Tuesday’s La Fleur’s 2024 Raleigh Conference, plans for a new national lottery draw game were detailed.

The game will be a partnership between the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) and the National Football League.

Jay Finks, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Lottery, detailed the game during the conference and identified it as a joint venture between two of the country’s biggest brands:

“We’re creating a national draw-based game to mimic the strengths of Powerball and Mega Millions while leveraging endemic NFL IP (intellectual property) to reach new audiences.”

What will the NFL-themed national lottery game be?

It’s unclear just what the game will look like at this point, but Finks confirmed there will be at least a national draw game:

“I think you’ll see a draw game. It’ll leverage some of the assets that the lottery can bring into game development. It can leverage some of those assets that the NFL can bring with some of their marks.”

In order to differentiate itself from games like Powerball and Mega Millions, this NFL-based option is being considered for a Sunday draw to correlate with the NFL schedule.

The price point could also differ. While not confirmed, Finks did say that $7 tickets are being considered in connection with scoring a touchdown.

What was laid out were five key principles the game, or games, needed to have:

  1. Money is a lottery table stakes: There must be a money prize
  2. To differentiate the game(s), the prize must be an experience that money can’t buy
  3. To appeal beyond avid fans, experiences must extend to fans’ lifestyle interests
  4. The game(s) need to be simple to play, simple to understand, and simple to win
  5. The game(s) should leverage the NFL’s unique assets and experiences

While the jackpots may not be as large as the other draw games, the plan is for a lot of second-chance opportunities to win.

Prizes like Super Bowl tickets, playoff tickets, game tickets, merchandise, NFL Draft experiences, and more were discussed to be included.

A purchased ticket could also provide a discount to one of the other NFL-based sponsors.

MUSL-NFL lottery game been in the works for years

The planned national lottery game between the MUSL and the NFL has been in progress for years already.

The goal of the game, or games, is to leverage the partnerships for a year-round offering. The connection between the two brands provides a large national reach that both would hope to capitalize on and bring in a new audience.

As sports betting has grown in the country, the MUSL feels it opens a door for the lottery to get in on the act in some capacity. With a partnership with the NFL, Finks believes the lottery can tap into the sports betting audience, especially in states that don’t offer legalized sports betting, but have a lottery:

“(Sports betting) It’s coming. It’s coming fast. And it is growing at an amazing clip. You can’t watch an NFL game without being inundated with sports betting. So, it does give us an opportunity to put ourselves into that environment and put ourselves into that landscape with an offering that’s just as strong that also can deliver.”

The NFL and MUSL labeled the casual NFL fan who is a light lotto player as their main target acquisition for this partnership. It’s a way to help deepen fan engagement and create more lottery game players.

NFL partnership taps into younger audience for lottery

It would be hard for the MUSL to partner with a brand featuring a bigger audience than the NFL.

According to information from Chanel Muriff, Senior Manager of Emerging Product & Consumer Products Strategy for the NFL, the league has 205 million fans ages 8+. That’s up eight million year over year.

Of those 205 million, 74 million are considered avid fans, while 131 million are casual fans.

When considering major events broadcast throughout the year, the NFL has five of the top six TV average audiences for those 18-49. Led by the Super Bowl, each round of the playoffs makes up the rest of the top four. The NFL regular season (6.1 million average viewers) is only behind New Year’s Rockin’ Eve for the fifth spot.

The presentation supplied research from the MUSL about what different age groups thought would make a great partner for the lottery. Overall, the NFL scored overwhelmingly high for 18-34-year-olds.

That’s an audience that Finks says the lottery is desperately trying to connect with on a higher level right now:

“What this research is saying is we should be talking to the NFL, because it can get us a younger player. How many conferences have we sat here and said, ‘18-34, 18-34?’ We have this amazing piece of research that says (18-34-year-olds think) you should talk to the NFL. Well, guess what, we have been, and we’re already well down that path. I think it sets us up very nicely for success as we’re looking at this opportunity.”

‘Aggressive’ September 2025 target for launch

Finks concluded the presentation by laying out a timeline for the game’s release. They are eying the 2025-26 NFL kickoff for launch.

“Our goal is to go live in September 2025, with a national game with every single state. Will we get every single state, I don’t know. But that’s the goal.”

Currently, the game is in testing phases with focus groups for ages 25-40. The focus groups are split with male and female players of all races. They also mix in avid and casual NFL fans.

Thus far, the focus groups felt strongly that they supported a partnership between the NFL and MUSL.

Game concept development continues into the fall. The timeline calls for a MUSL board vote to approve the game concept during that time.

From there, the NFL and lottery would work to get the game out in time for the September 2025 target.


Photo by Rick Osentoski / AP

About the Author

Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis

Lead Writer
A member of Catena Media since 2020, Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer at PlayiLottery, where he handles coverage of the online and retail lottery industry in the US. He previously spearheaded news content at PlayMichigan, where he covered one of the most prominent online lottery industries in the US — among the many other aspects of Michigan's sprawling iGaming market. You can email him at [email protected].
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