Arts & Entertainment Government

Happy Holidays, Rita!: PA Lotto Begins Airing Seasonal Ads


No one was playing a trick on you – the Pennsylvania Lottery rolled out their slate of holiday-themed TV commercials Wednesday.

The ads, which were released the day after Halloween, include the classic “Snowfall” 30 second spot and one featuring Gus, the second most famous groundhog in the state.

The beloved “Snowfall” ad that began airing Wednesday is a shot-for-shot remake filmed in Philadelphia five years ago. The new Rita, Joe and the carolers replaced the non-HD version of the ad that ran from 1992 and 2011, according to Pennsylvania Lottery officials. The original commercial was filmed in Pittsburgh.

The 30 second ad is a take off on the “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and is filled with plenty of fake snow.

“The remake is such a faithful reproduction that many viewers couldn’t tell the difference,” Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko said last year. “The biggest hint is that the newer version is produced in wide-screen format. Plus, if you look carefully, you may notice some LED lights.”


Lancaster TV station WGAL reported in 2012 that the snow in the newer version of the commercial is a blend of three types of synthetic snow, while potato flakes were used in the original ad.

“We meticulously examined each frame to match the outfits, props, location and other small details. We really wanted to get it right,” Connie Bloss, an advertising manager who worked on both ads, told the Associated Press.

And now you can expect to see the ad on TV many, many times leading up to Christmas.


About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for five years for both newspaper and online publications. In 2012, Tom was honored at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation's Keystone Press Awards for his coverage of President Obama's visit to Falls Township in 2011. When he's not covering news in the area, Tom enjoys checking out the newest restaurants and bars, exploring forgotten places of industry in the area, going to local parks and spending time with his friends and family. If there's one thing you should know about Tom, he is a local news junkie through and through. Email: Phone: 215-431-1001