Pennsylvania has joined a growing number of states (and even a province in Australia) that hope the King of Rock 'n' Roll also turns out to be the king of the scratch-offs.
Twenty-five years after Elvis Presley died at age 42, his image continues working, racking up an estimated $35 million for his estate in 2000. That made Presley the most lucrative decreased celebrity on the planet, according to a survey last year in Forbes Magazine. By contrast, the estate of Pittsburgh-born Andy Warhol, who died in 1987, earned a mere $8 million that year, placing him seventh on the survey.
Presley's likeness, which has adorned countless knickknacks and appeared in recent television commercials for iced tea and batteries, is now being used to sell state lottery tickets in Pennsylvania and 10 other states. The promotion started here in January and ends in May.
The King doesn't come cheap. It cost $717,840 for the Pennsylvania Lottery to get the right to use Elvis on $2 scratch-off tickets, state Revenue Department spokeswoman Deb Snyder said. That price also includes promotional prizes, such as trips to Graceland.
The spokeswoman would not say whether that is the most the state paid to license a pop culture icon. But she said the deal was more than motorcycle maker Harley Davidson ($592,500) and auto racing circuit NASCAR ($300,000).