January 28th, 2016
Microsoft's up-and-coming search engine, Bing, has begun featuring the most recent lottery draw results in their 'quick answer box'. As it's known around the industry, players sometimes struggle to remember to check their lottery ticket results so this new trend is welcomed with praise among lottery players and operators alike with hopes this practice spreads to the top search engine, Google.
Bing's new changes mean players can search a key lottery term like "Powerball" and Bing will immediately produce the latest draw results in a small box beneath the search bar followed by the remaining search results. Bing's newly featured lottery results could be in response to backlash from users who struggled to find lottery results after the announcement of the record-setting $1.6 billion Powerball draw.
Search Engine Land (SEL), a premier source for all things SEO, recently published an article discussing the frustration most users experienced trying to find the most up-to-date lottery draw results. The pinnacle of this struggle was earlier this month (January 2016), when the unbelievable $1.6 billion Powerball draw was announced and search engine users struggled to quickly find the results even hours after the announcement.
SEL's article featured the author's own use of the most elite search engines to find lottery results with little to no success. Google's algorithm brought back useful "Powerball" sites but failed to produce a quick solution to finding the winning numbers. Bing seemed to struggle equally while the presumed-extinct Ask.com produced the most useful results (which were still a bit off in terms of accuracy).
Within a week or two of SEL's publication, Bing began featuring the winning numbers of major lottery draws in a quick answer box to assist users in quickly finding the results.
Most people can relate to forgetfulness; whether it's forgetting where you placed your keys or that your spouse demanded you take out the trash, forgetting is simply a part of human life. Well gamblers, more specifically lottery players, aren't excluded from this trend as exemplified by the amount of unclaimed lottery prizes solely based on the winning player's inability to remember to check the results of his lottery ticket draw.
Some of you might assume this forgetful trend only applied to those who forgot to check if they won a measly $5 scratch card prize but numerous lottery jackpots have gone (or almost gone) completely unclaimed. In January 2016, an Irishman almost missed out on a $1 million Irish Lotto jackpot because he failed to check the results. Fortunately for this guy, his cab driver saw an ad looking for the unclaimed winning ticket and mentioned it to the player who immediately remembered he had a ticket and should check if he won. But, most players aren't comfortable relying on random strangers to remind them they need to check their lottery results.
Search engines aren't the first companies to realize the value in quickly providing accurate lottery results. Numerous lottery operators and services began producing mobile applications and messaging services in hopes to eliminating the need to even check results. Players can now receive texts, emails, and notifications when they have secured a winning ticket of an size.
This need for quick results actually created an entirely new form of lottery mobile app, the 'buy and scan' app. 'Buy and scan' apps, like Lotto Monkey, are third party applications used to upload your lottery ticket info (some use images of tickets while others have you physically type in the ticket info) so when the results are announced and, in the case player secured a any kind of prize, your ticket won, players are immediately notified.
With major search engines jumping on board now (and Google sure to follow), it's safe to assume the problem with unclaimed tickets with dissipate as the lottery industry continues to embrace the internet and the benefits it brings.