Let’s Play the Feud! In Scratch Off Form [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Apr26

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Let’s Play the Feud! In Scratch Off Form [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe]

Survey says: It’s one of your favorite game shows, and now Family Feud has come to you in instant lottery ticket form. Players have the chance to win big bucks in the palm of their hands. But, even if you don’t scratch off a winner, this game has a second chance that could land you a game show lover’s dream vacation!

Family Feud premiered on ABC television on July 12, 1976. A spin-off of the bonus round on the popular Match Game show, host Richard Dawson would ask two families a series of questions and they would have to find the most popular answers from a survey of 100 people. Get the most points, win cash.

The show has been on the air with a rotation of hosts including Dawson, Ray Combs, Louie Anderson, Richard Karn, John O’Hurley, and Steve Harvey almost non-stop, except for a brief recess in the mid 90’s. Under current host Harvey, the Feud is drawing record numbers, although it is now syndicated to local stations.

To cash in on the popularity of the show, the New York Lottery has partnered with MDI Entertainment, LLC to create an ultimate game show fan trip to Las Vegas. The ad campaign launched with a several hilarious commercials airing in the state.

The Family Feud instant scratch off game provides the player with 12 chances to match up to 6 pre-selected numbers to win a cash prize, from $5 all the way up to a jackpot of $1,000,000 (paid in $50,000 increments for 20 years.)  Revealing a money bag symbol instantly awards the cash prize below it. Revealing a 5x or 10x symbol multiplies the winnings accordingly.

A Family Feud instant lottery game in progress.

A Family Feud instant lottery game in progress.

Tickets in New York are $5 each (while a version in Michigan costs $2 each, with lower payouts). The player simply scratches off each field, to reveal the hopefully matching numbers.

Even if no numbers are matched, the game is not over. By visiting the New York Lottery’s website and registering the special numbers on the ticket, the player gets a chance to play a round of 6 classic game shows online, for entries to win the Las Vegas trip.

The player gets to choose to play a round from Match Game, Let’s Make a Deal, Card Sharks, Press Your Luck, The Price is Right, or Family Feud.

Each game has its own set of instructions, but players are trying to score 100 points to earn 1 entry into the Las Vegas trip prize drawing.

Several of the games feature their actual themes and graphics from the shows. The player gets to choose 1 game per entry.

After several weeks pass, the New York Lottery will take all of the entries and present 3 winners with an all expense trip to Las Vegas to play for $1,000,000 on a live, but condensed stage version of the six bonus round games! All 12 grand prize players are guaranteed a shot to play.

100 second prize winners receive five $5 Family Feud instant game tickets. That’s a pretty lame second prize.

Wave 2 of the game is currently in effect in New York and the next drawing for the trip is scheduled on April 30.

The game is set to conclude on June 25, 2013.

The company behind the production, MDI Entertainment, LLC has licensed these games to other lottery states. While some have chosen, like New York, to use Family Feud themed tickets, other states such as Ohio & Pennsylvania offered Price is Right themed tickets and Maryland offered Press Your Luck. If you do not live in these states, see which of the six games are available near year. All are created by the same company and are operated similarly.

It’s a neat concept and for only $5 you get two levels of play. Plus, it’s neat to play the versions online to have a chance at winning the trip.

A player hopes to score a winning ticket at The New York Lottery instant ticket vending machine at the Herald Square subway station in New York City.

A player hopes to score a winning ticket at The New York Lottery instant ticket vending machine at the Herald Square subway station in New York City.

I first noticed these tickets in the New York Lottery’s Herald Square subway station vending machine that I recently wrote about. I love the Feud and really wanted to give these a try. The game appears quite popular in New York as their slot in the vending machine is often empty. That doesn’t stop players for lining up at that machine for their chance to gamble while riding the New York City subway or adjacent PATH trains.

However, in my experience, the New York Lottery is a little tight with their scratch off games. In that same blogumn, I had invested $26 and only made a $4 return on the variety of instant tickets I purchased.

This time, I have invested $25 and purchased 5 Family Feud scratch off tickets on several occasions. The result – $0. Not a single win. Nothing.

The game would also be more exciting if the prizes were better. It’s brilliant to invite grand prize winners to Vegas to play a version of the game, however only 12 people will have the chance to make the trip, with three winners throughout the four waves.  The 5 free ticket second prize is also weak for a lottery as large as New York’s. Let’s up the ante and at least offer the player $50 or more in tickets. In my current experience, I haven’t won squat for my $25! A nice third prize would have been a Family Feud DVD, or an autographed Steve Harvey pic, a t-shirt, or how about tickets to the show?  I think there is quite a bit of a missed opportunity here.

Tammy Wirt, a Price is Right scratch off ticket player in Indiana, won the trip to Vegas to play a version of the game last fall. Tammy was rewarded with a three night trip and she racked up $15,000 in winnings playing the stage game.  Congratulations to her!

Gambling on the subway. Now, I just need to find a coin...

Gambling on the PATH train. Now, I just need a coin…

THE 411

Name: Family Feud scratch off instant lottery tickets
Available: Michigan in $2 version, New York in $5 version
Top price: $30,000 Michigan, $1,000,000 New York


It’s a fun game and if you have an extra $5 (or $2 in Michigan) around, give it a chance. I’ve probably tapped out on this game. You don’t really get much in the form of prizes back in return. With only 3 players per round (12 total) that get the trip to Vegas, the odds of winning it don’t seem to be realistic to me. At least toss a few $5 winners (or even FREE tickets) in the stack or a few Feud prizes to make this the ultimate Family Feud experience, which is missing here.

The lottery and marketers should a look at the great job Burger King did with their Family Food promotion last year. At least there was a realistic chance of winning some free food. This lottery game seems to be a little too tight for me. Skip it.

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