This is the first in a series of interviews we’re conducting with the creator of the world’s first, free lottery pool, Daniel Bader, a.k.a., Captain Dano. We recently had a Skype interview with Captain Dano who told us about the history of the his concept. Below is a transcript of our first interview.
FLB: Good Morning, Captain Dano. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us.
Captain Dano: Good Morning to you, too.
FLB: First of all, we want to congratulate you on your terrific Free Lottery Pool concept. I see it now ranks 180K in the world and just 30K in the USA in popularity. It’s the very first ever of its kind, isn’t it?
Captain Dano: Yes MyFreeLotteryPool.Com is my brainchild and the first 100% Free Lottery Pool of its kind.
FLB: Please tell our readers how you came up with the idea.
Captain Dano: Well, for several years, I had been purchasing MegaMillions and Super-Lotto tickets from time to time at my local liquor store here in Newport Beach, California. And, like most everyone, I would only win the small, teaser winners that keep most people playing. As we all know, the odds of winning are huge, and most serious lottery players know it. Nevertheless, it’s really the fun and excitement of the game that keeps us returning to our favorite corner store and plucking down a few bucks for a chance to dream of what it would be like to have your numbers come up. What a thrill it would be, huh?
FLB: Yes, that would most definitely be a thrill of a lifetime and one you would never forget. So, what ever made you think of creating a ‘free’ online lottery pool?
Captain Dano: I’ve been in high tech most of my adult life and was an early internet e-commerce pioneer back in the 90’s. I had great success with my first internet startup and was forced to sell my all natural products company when my partner and I split up. Since then, I had been trying to come up with a new internet business concept. And it’s tough as there are an estimated 1 billion websites on the net. Then, one day, back in 2006 when I was purchasing a lottery ticket in a $250M MegaMillions’ Jackpot, I thought to myself; ‘wow’, in order for a jackpot to be worth $250M, there must be millions upon millions of lottery enthusiasts just like myself. So, I did some research on the net and found that not only were there an estimated 80 million + true (play regularly) lottery players in the U.S., but hundreds of millions of us around the world. In fact, what I learned was that the ‘Lottery’ is the world’s oldest and largest game that dates back hundreds of years.
FLB: Is that when the idea of a free lottery pool struck you?
Captain Dano: Not really. But that’s when I started searching for lottery pool related domain names after a friend of mine who suggested that I organize an online lottery pool. Of course, by 2005, domains like; lotterypool.com, lottopool.com, etc. were already taken. So, I searched for Freelotterypool.com and found that the domain was taken, but there was no website and the domain was just about to expire. That’s when I snapped up MyFreeLotteryPool.com, FreeLottoPool.com and MyFreeLottoPool.com while I waited for FreeLotteryPool.com to expire. Four months later, I was able to secure the FreeLotteryPool.com domain.
FLB: Did you know what you were going to do with it then?
Captain Dano: Not really. I didn’t know how I could make money by offering a free lottery pool. So, I just kept an open mind with the hope that I would stumble upon some way to make the website generate revenue. After all, the audience was certainly there, but how to drive income was the biggest challenge for a 100% free website.
FLB: When did the advertising model finally hit you?
Captain Dano: Actually, it was when I tried to figure out how Google, which is a 100% free search engine, could afford to grow at such exponential rates? That’s when the advertising business model finally dawned on me and I went full steam into developing the MyFreeLotteryPool.com website.
FLB: So, it was Google’s advertising model that you modeled your site after?
Captain Dano: It wasn’t just Google’s advertising model that convinced me that I had something here, but a whole host of ‘free’ sites that I discovered were generating revenue from the ad revenue generated by traffic. That’s when I knew I could make the concept work. After all, there are literally hundreds of millions of lottery players around the globe, and the game is played in nearly 120 countries.
FLB: That’s amazing! But how would the rest of the world know how to play U.S.A. lottery games like Powerball and Megamillions?
Captain Dano: Most all lottery games around the world are based upon the same principle; that is, picking numbers you think will match the official results. And since we pick the numbers and purchase the tickets, it’s even easier to understand how to play Powerball, MegaMillions, Super-Lotto and any other US based lottery game. All our members have to know is how to login to our website and click to register into our open pools. That’s all there is to it. Either the pool wins on the tickets we purchase, or we don’t.
FLB: Well, that’s pretty remarkable. That means that nearly anyone in the world can play the Powerball and Megamillions.
Captain Dano: Yes, our member’s only need to be 18 years or older and have internet access.
FLB: Are there any other requirements?
Captain Dano: Yes, there are only 3 other requirements: 1. Only one registration per adult. 2. You may only register and play for yourself. 3. Your profile must exactly match that which appears on your driver’s license, passport or official I.D. for proof of identity. In the event of a winning jackpot all pool members will be required to produce proof of their identity to get their share of the winnings.
FLB: Was it easy to get the website off the ground? Did you run into any resistance?
Captain Dano: No, it wasn’t easy at all. What we found is that the concept sounded ‘too good to be true’ to most new visitors. They thought it had to be a scam because they didn’t understand how we could possibly afford to purchase the tickets and share them with the pool. It was the same, ‘how can they afford to do this?’ question that I had when I first heard of Google. So, it’s been an uphill climb, but as we grow the internet community is beginning to grasp our business model and they are feeling more and more comfortable with the concept. There are also imitators coming out now and that actually helps our credibility.
FLB: Well, we love the concept here at FreeLottoBlog.com and can’t wait for a winning jackpot. So, what’s next for MyFreeLotteryPool.com?
Captain Dano: We’re always working on making improvements to the site and we are excited to launch our new ‘My Bet’ program very soon. I won’t reveal the program right now except to say that members will be able to bet lucky reward points that their predictions on upcoming draws will be closer to the official results than Captain Dano’s predictions. Stay tuned….
FLB: We’ll be looking forward to it. Sounds like fun! Thanks, Captain Dano.
Captain Dano: You’re very welcome and Good Luck To all of US!