Maine Drops 'Kwikie' Lottery Ticket Name Following Controversy
FAIRFIELD, Maine – The Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations is dropping the name "Kwikies" for its scratch-off lottery tickets after convenience store operators in the state grew concerned that the name would offend customers, reported the Bangor Daily News. The Lottery had recently mailed a pamphlet to 1,300 retailers informing them that it planned to call the formerly nameless scratch tickets Kwikies – a soundalike for a slang term for a brief sexual encounter.
"I thought that's going to be real uncomfortable for my girls behind the register to have guys come in and say 'Hey, give me a Kwikie,'" Davi Welch, owner of Fairfield's Village Market, told the news outlet. "[My cashiers] are very upset about it," said Welch. "A couple of customers hanging around were really upset."
Gerry Reid, director of the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations, previously stated that the bureau went through 50 to 60 names for the past three or four months before settling on Kwikies. It is not meant to be provocative, but rather to show that buying the scratch tickets is quick, easy and fun, he said.
"I fully understand that when someone saw this word in isolation, they thought, 'Oh, these guys are getting a bit racy,'" Reid added. "We're actually doing everything we can possibly do to not lead you to that place in your mind."
Television commercials for the tickets were produced but not aired. Despite what Reid called an encouraging initial response to the name, the larger negative reaction from retailers and consumers convinced the Bureau to scrap the name.
"Kwikies was never officially implemented by the Maine State Lottery, and its assessment could have been handled better and faster," Reid said. "On behalf of the Lottery, I regret any inconvenience or confusion this may have created."