Dept. Of What A Great Gift: PA Lottery Makes Shot-For-Shot Remake Of Commercial They’ve Been Airing For 20 Years

There’s been a lot of talk here on the site and around Philebs HQ as of late about what constitutes the official start of the Christmas season. Is it Black Friday? Is it when our esteemed editor plugs in his USB Christmas tree on his desk? Is it when the radio becomes fully overrun with the Kenny Rodgers/Wynonna Judd classic “Mary Did You Know?” The true answer is totally up in the air, but the closest thing we can really find to an official start of it all is when the PA Lottery starts airing the 12 Days of Christmas ad.

The ad, which has been airing since 1992, is etched onto the brain of many a Philadelphian. For most of us, the commercial’s entire script could be recited alongside its airing, and it became a fun little game to see what new scratch-off games they shoehorned into the song to replace every game except the ever-present Cash Five. But NO LONGER, faithful Philadelphians. The whole commercial was re-made in Fairmount Park this October, nearly shot for shot, so it can be updated for widescreen and HD televisions.

It is no longer the same Joe and Rita, and in fact, the Joe/Rita exchange in the remake seems … well … kinda creepy. Plus, mustachioed newsstand man is no longer mustachioed. We understand that you gotta come up to the standards of technology for most things, but couldn’t this have just been left alone? Just this one thing? IS NOTHING SACRED?

  • imspinningaround

    I say this completely without sarcasm: Thank you for sharing this story. I thought I was going crazy that the ad looked the same, but different.

    (For me, it’s not Christmas until I see the Hershey’s Kisses handbell ad and OG Peter’s Homecoming.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/zack.wagner Zack Wagner

    GREAT post. I too feel like it is truly Christmas when I see this commericial. Shame they had to remake it, but to show the original they have leave the bars or crop it. I get why they did it.

  • NateFried

    I loved this commercial as a kid. But yeah… the exchange seems a little forced. Not like the chill exchange of the original. Wait.. are we really critiquing a lottery commercial and saying, “yeah, but the original was better. psht.”

  • mtieff

    Also, what kind of degenerate gives scratch-off tickets as Christmas presents? It’s like saying “Hey, I decided to throw away a dollar for you!”

  • philebrity

    Yes. Yes we are.

  • thegreengrass

    I liked the lottery’s older stuff better.