L90 Acquires Lottery Site

Lottery site webMillion.com this week hit a $19.3 million jackpot, by agreeing to be acquired by Internet advertising firm L90 Inc. in an all-stock deal.

L90 agreed to buy the Boise, Idaho-based site by issuing 2 million shares of its stock, which was valued at $9 5/8 as of Monday’s close.

The move gives L90 a new way to bring in dough — selling advertising on a site that attracts consumers hoping to win the $3 million prize, which is given away weekly.

These online lottery sites — including iWon.com, FreeLotto, LuckySurf.com, and Extreme Lotto — have become quite popular with consumers, even if their business models aren’t yet proven. Iwon.com is number 22 in Media Metrix‘ list of the top 50 Web properties, bringing in 8.4 million unique visitors in the month of May. FreeLotto is number 35, with 6.4 million. According to PCData Online figures for June, webMillion.com was ranked No. 8 in overall page views, and tallied in excess of 340 million impressions in the month.

The idea behind the acquisition is to enhance L90’s sweepstakes, promotions, and direct marketing business.

“We are acquiring webMillion because of their well-developed direct marketing capabilities,” said John Bohan, chief executive officer of L90 Inc.

“Direct marketing is one of the fastest growing parts of our business, and this acquisition directly complements our full-service Internet advertising solution.”

Firms like DoubleClick Inc. and 24/7 Media Inc. have also recently been making acquisitions and adding more direct marketing — promotions, sweepstakes, and loyalty programs — capabilities to their arsenals of services.

L90 had already been representing webMillion in the ad sales arena, and had been serving ads on its site. When webMillion launched, however, its ad rep was 24/7 Media, but that company was apparently dropped somewhere along the way.

webMillion was founded in February of 1999 by president and chief executive officer Tony Hauser. The company will apparently continue to operate autonomously under the webMillion brand.

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