Potto is the World’s First International Lottery for your Smartphone

TrafficGem is the company behind Potto, an app that in the last couple of weeks has been gaining attention not just in Korea but worldwide. While we have covered several “reward” type apps in the past, Potto is slightly different in that you can actually win money…big money. The service is an international lottery, but instead of paying for tickets with money like you would in real life, all the user has to do is watch five videos to be in the draw.

The videos are actually advertisements for mobile games, and thus act as a marketing tool for game developers. Users need to keep their eye on the videos too, as they will need to watch for which area of the screen a sneaky penguin appears in order to receive one point. Once a user collects five points (or gems), they can select their lottery numbers directly or get a random selection. Potto is drawn every Monday at 8pm(PST), that’s 12pm on Tuesday in Korea. The draw is broadcast live, online in a studio with world clocks and a live international news broadcast playing so that users know everything is fair.

live broadcast

Funds for the lottery come from game developers in return for advertising and like other lotteries, if nobody wins one week then the amount accumulates and is added to the next round. The company puts 50% of its revenues back into the lottery and 60% of the rest goes to charity after paying for operational costs. Winnings are paid out via Paypal, although other methods can be made available if users are not familiar or comfortable with the platform.

CEO of TrafficGem Manchul Ko founded the company in January this year and previously worked as a global marketing manager for three years at a utility app developing company. Thinking that mobile games needed a new approach to getting organic users, he decided to start his own business. Ko actually managed to convince his father to invest $87,800 USD in the company, funds that Manchul had previously earned by investing in Com2us stock for his father.

“We dreamed of a global reward app. There were already lots of reward apps all over the world like AppTrailer(US), CyberAgent’s apps(Japan), also ADLatte and AppPang in Korea. However they are just local or domestic, but we wanted something global. Then a lottery came to mind and I thought that it would be a great tool for a global reward app. That is because lotteries have a global standard which people all over the world can easily understand.
In addition, lottery businesses are also domestic — Powerball & Mega Million in the US, Europe’s Euro Million, Japan’s LOTO6, Korea’s NanumLotto, and so on. So I thought if there was a global lotto app for free, that it could possibly draw the attention of many people.”

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Ko says that the platform works out well for game developers as downloads are organic, and the decision to download any apps is made by the user alone as there are no rewards for downloads themselves. It also gives companies a chance to finally use those marketing materials which often don’t get seen.

“Before launching the app, we had a demo meeting with marketers from Com2us. Their reaction was ‘Why not?’ They said that they had made trailers, but didn’t really have a chance to use them.”

Even though 80% of current traffic is from Korea, Ko believes that this is temporary and also expects many users from China and Japan. The company has staff in charge of English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean languages, and intends to hire more people for aggressive international marketing once business and traffic increases. Ko says that more languages will be added, as well as other features and content.

“When Potto gets popular and has a certain amount of users, we are planning to diversify our video categories. Now it’s just ads for mobile games, but in the future we would have music, movies and educational videos in order to meet the needs of various kinds of users. ”

Potto’s app was first released on June 10 for iOS, with an Android version to be released later this month. Since it hasn’t been around for long and while the company gains more users, it has even added a fourth place prize for a limited time. You can watch Potto’s draw from last week below.


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