Feeling lucky? Then the New Hampshire Lottery has just the ticket for you: A free slice of bacon and a chance to win a grand playing the new ‘I [Heart] Bacon’ scratch-and-sniff lottery game.

This item certainly qualifies as good news for the industry: The New Hampshire state lottery is now offering a new lottery game with tickets that smell like bacon.


The new tickets, which are scratch-and-sniff and read “I Heart Bacon,” were first released last Monday Jan. 5. Winners can take home as much as $1,000, with the odds of scoring at least a dollar to break even only one in 4.12, according to the New Hampshire Lottery Commission’s website.

Plus, you know, it just smells delicious.

To promote the new ticket, bacon trucks will visit various locations in the state, handing out free samples of applewood smoked bacon as well as offering lottery tickets.

Since the Jan. 5 launch, more than 700,000 tickets have been sold as of last week, according to a report by MarketWatch, which makes the bacon lottery the nation’s best-selling $1 ticket.

As the commission phrased it in a news release, “When players scratch the ticket, the ticket’s scented ink releases a generous whiff of bacon.”

That’s almost unfair. Heck, I’d buy one just to check out the aroma.

To highlight the game’s debut, the New Hampshire Lottery folks will be visiting a half dozen sites this week in the cities of Keene, Durham, Hooksett and Manchester to hand out free strips of applewood-smoked bacon and $1 “I Heart Bacon” scratch tickets.

“The Lottery is focused on developing new and fun ways to engage customers,” Charlie McIntyre, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, said in a statement. “The I Heart Bacon scratch ticket combines two things people love: the chance to win cash and the wonderful, enticing smell of bacon.

“Every time players scratch an I Heart Bacon ticket, they will think it is time for Saturday morning breakfast, and they might just scratch and sniff their way to a thousand dollars!”

Heck — even vegetarians can play, since no animals were injured in the making of the lottery.

Taking a new approach

The genius behind this brilliant concept is Kelley-Jaye Rosberg, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission’s Games Director and a former marketing director in the meat industry, by the way. Rosberg parlayed her knowledge of the business with the need to bring in a younger clientele to come up with what is arguably the best idea in gambling since complimentary cocktails.

“We knew we needed to attract younger players to the lottery, and the $1 price point was important,” Rosberg told CattleNetwork.com. “Beyond that, I researched what other states had done with bacon-themed promotions, and we decided that if we could come up with a bacon-scented scratch-and-sniff ticket, that might be a great way to bring in new players.”

During the promotion, the free bacon slices are being distributed by The Bacon Truck (www.bostonbacontruck.com/about.html), a mobile meat wagon (in the good sense of the term) serving bacon lovers across the Greater Boston area. As the company states on its website, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all foods are not created equal, that bacon is superior [and] that the people are endowed with certain inalienable Rights: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Bacon.”

Amen, brother.

Rosberg noted that the new lottery game was launched in time for Valentine’s Day (because who doesn’t [Heart] bacon?) and admitted that she keeps on her desk a vial of the concentrated bacon scent used to “enhance” the tickets.

“Some of the women around here have joked that maybe that bacon scent might work even better than perfume as far as guys are concerned,” she said.

That’s debatable, but as a lure to attract people to fork over a buck or two on a lottery game that is literally scratch-and-sniff?

Smells like a winner.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Dan Murphy, a veteran food-industry journalist and commentator.