This article was published on July 12, 2013

Lottery app Potto lets you win real money just by watching videos on your phone

Lottery app Potto lets you win real money just by watching videos on your phone
Andy Tebay
Story by

Andy Tebay

Andy is an editor and content translator at VentureSquare. He has lived in Korea for over seven years and has an avid interest in technology Andy is an editor and content translator at VentureSquare. He has lived in Korea for over seven years and has an avid interest in technology and startups. You can follow Andy on Twitter or email him.

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 there are plenty of other “reward” apps out there, 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 a 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.

Screen shot 2013-07-11 at 6.09.26 PM

Once a user collects five points (or gems), they can select their numbers directly or get a random selection. The lottery 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 live and fair.

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 percent of its revenue back into the lottery and 60 percent of the rest goes to charity after paying for costs. Winnings are paid out via Paypal, although other methods can be made available if users are not familiar or comfortable with the platform.

live broadcast

TrafficGem CEO Manchul Ko founded the company in January of this year having previously spent three years as as a global marketing manager for a utility app development 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 nearly $90,000 into the business, 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.

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 — since 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 percent of current traffic is from Korea, Ko expects many new users from China, Japan and elsewhere to join. The company has staff in charge of English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean languages, and it intends to hire more people for an aggressive international marketing push once business and traffic increases.

Ko says 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, and an Android version is due to follow later this month. Since it hasn’t been around for long and is aiming to 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.

➤ Potto: iOS | Android (due July 2013)

Headline image via Thinkstock

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