Jay Finks, Oklahoma Lottery Director – La Fleur’s Lottery World

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La Fleur’s Magazine’s new series—Quote of the Week—features interviews with lottery directors about what’s ahead for their organizations in fiscal 2022. We will feature a different director each week. This week we are spotlighting Jay Finks, Executive Director, Oklahoma Lottery.

What’s ahead for your lottery in FY22?

“We are still running 100 mph on so many projects trying to maximize our market share within this volatile consumer market. We just launched a $50 ticket (our first) to continue to try and capitalize on our recent market growth. We are experiencing massive corporate expansion of stores and of our Lottery products. Self-service and SciQ are being adopted at a frantic pace. Our Walmart Super Center test is entering its third month and we are hopeful to expand that opportunity statewide beginning in April. From a marketing standpoint we are launching a new website, app and Players Club this Spring that will include a mobile play slip offering. The twist to this is that we plan on eliminating ALL paper play slips with this launch—still working out the details but we are trying to push our player into the digital age and this is a big step in that direction.

Legislatively, we are still working the opportunity for iLottery but parallel to that we are exploring third party courier opportunities in case the iLottery opportunity gets pushed back. One exciting bill that we are working on is a modernization of our beneficiary appropriation. Right now, the Oklahoma Lottery contributions get placed in the general education fund. We are running a bill that will cap the amount to the general fund and push dollars to a new teacher excellence program that can help increase teacher pay significantly.

On an executive director level, I am really challenging our staff to embrace change. We have almost tripled sales in five years and that means we have to do business smarter, more efficient and be able to challenge ourselves to embrace that concept. We have to evolve our organization to maximize the talent we have on staff and use that talent to make us better. So we are refining roles, realigning departments and trying to create a heightened sense of focus across the agency.”

What book are you currently reading?

“I hope the definition of an intelligent individual is not measured by the book they are reading because my definition of opening a book is turning on my XBOX or playing disc golf. I am an avid gamer and in the past 18 months just taken up disc golf and I have fallen in love with the sport.”

Where do you plan to vacation in the next six months?

“We are in the discovery phase of ‘where should we go’ but Disney / Star Wars is the current leading candidate. Secretly I just want to go play some disc golf courses that are on the current pro tour so we’ll see if those two ideas can come together as one.”