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Business Research Methods Thesis


Business Research Methods, 14e/Schindler




Used with permission

of Pamela S. Schindler.

© 2006.

Ohio Lottery: Innovative Research Design Drives Winning

The Ohio Lottery was originally developed as an additional source of public

school funding. Today proceeds from lottery games annually provide approximately 7%

of the public education budget. This research was originally undertaken

because the lottery director wanted a deeper understanding of lottery

players and insight into nonplayers. The research design described in this case is

multistage and incorporates the use of both qualitative and quantitative research.

This case reveals the research that guides the current Ohio Lottery promotional

program that encourages the play of its various games.

>The Research When the Ohio Lottery was first conceived, it was presented to the voters of

Ohio as a way to provide supplemental funding for Ohio schools.

1 Ohio

Lottery sold its first ticket in 1974. Currently, all profits go to the Ohio Lottery

Education fund, which supplies about 7 % of the current education budget.

Although Ohioans annually spend about $200 per capita on lottery tickets, in

recent years the Ohio Lottery has suffered stagnant sales. The Ohio Lottery is

interested in stimulating more play of lottery games.2


The process started in early January 2005 when the Ohio Lottery approached

Marcus Thomas, LLC3 an agency that had worked with them before on media

and research projects.


“Rod Ingram (lottery director) basically wanted a deeper understanding of the lottery

players and insight into nonplayers” explained Jennifer Hirt-Marchand, vice

president of research for Marcus Thomas.4 “Rod had extensive demographic data

on players, but it was obvious that what he needed was behavioral and psycho-

graphic information on both players and nonplayers.”


“I had read extensively about the metaphor elicitation technique (MET) developed

by Gerald Zaltman (professor, Harvard University),” said Hirt-Marchand. Be-

cause most human communication is nonverbal and metaphors are a key bridge

between direct verbal communication and more impressionistic thoughts and

feelings, the metaphor elicitation technique showed promise to unlock true motivations.

5 “We didn’t have experience at that time with MET, but MRSI6 did. I asked

them to provide a video of a MET interview and, after seeing it, I was convinced

of its potential.” Thus, Marcus Thomas partnered with MRSI to determine “why

players purchase tickets and other emotional factors that motivate consumers to

purchase games.”7



Business Research Methods, 14e/Schindler