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After seeing ‘PROMO’ for the thousandth time in my intel & militia channels, I finally realized that ‘PROMO’ is not the secret word for a black-ops fleet, some new troll slang, nor is it the go word for a mass infiltration and corp-theft operation.
So what does it mean? I decided it was finally time to investigate this unusual phenomenon and turned to my lovable militia pals for the scoop.
‘PROMO’ originates from the EvE lottery & gambling site, SOMERblink, which hosts ‘microlotteries that finish in minutes’.
After asking how it worked, Jhaelee de’Aurvie from the Amarr Militia explained, “You give them ISK, which is then like casino chips which you can use to play little quick/mindless lotteries. Winnings can be kept, turned into more ‘credit’ or traded back for its isk value.
It is fun and mindless, they make a ton because each lot only resolves once each number has been paid for (equalling around twice the prize’s value).”
Members play frequently. Oppon’s Pull of Caldari Militia said, “I play whenever I’m on EvE, I have Blink up in a window, though you can play it out of game too.”
“Be warned though, clicking on that will slowly drain your wallet and ability to do anything else in EVE.” cautioned Jhaelee de’Aurvie.
So how much can you win? Lots, apparently. Jhaelee had already won a Phoenix, a Pilgrim, and a ‘bunch of interceptors’. Oppon’s Pull has won a Machariel and a Vindicator so far. Predator Elite claims to have a corpmate who has won over ’30 billion and counting from Blink”.
Afterwards, I spoke with Somerset Mahn of SOMERblink, to get an interview.
Are you the creator of it?
Yes, that’s right. I handle all the programming and was the original creator. We have a staff of about twenty-five now.
How long has Blink been around?
Blink started in September of 2010.
Where did you get the idea from?
I’ve been holding lotteries since Feb 2010. But originally they were the classic style, the kind you see on the forums– send money to a player with a special reason code, and your tickets show up eventually on a tracker. Blink is kind of the logical extension of that– it moves a lot faster because tickets are purchased immediately. So I sat down in September and wrote a beta, and the rest is history 😛
Was it expensive to start-up?
The biggest assets Blink has are its code, and trust 😛 I’ve been third-partying supercapitals and other lotteries for a couple of years now, and I’m grateful people trust me enough with their ISK to play on the site. That’s a much higher barrier to entry.
ISK-wise, people start their own Blinks for prizes, so we only buy the prizes once the Blink has completed. Of course, that takes an average of 3 and a half minutes. So we keep busy 😛
Do you have any tips or advice for someone who is just trying it out?
Definitely join the chat channel, SOMER Lotteries, everybody there can always help with any questions. If you check back often, you’ll see “Promo Blinks”– they’re free to enter and you can win some pretty nice stuff.
There’s a promo blink up for a Chimera at the moment.
We’re in the middle of our “90 Trillion Celebration”– we’ve completed 90 Trillion ISK of Blinks. So tonight we’ve given away about 38 billion ISK of free promo prizes.
Do you have to be logged into EvE to play?
Nope, you can play Blink from any web browser- we have a lot of people who play on their smartphones from work or school. You have to deposit money using Eve, though– no way to do that outside the game.
How much does an average player spend?
Our cheapest Blinks are just 2 million ISK– so a bunch of people might toss in 2-3 mil every so often just to have a go 🙂 some people spend a lot more, of course. I don’t really know the actual numbers there.
What’s the biggest prize someone’s won?
Well, during our celebration events is when we give away the largest prizes. So far we’ve given away– this isn’t an exhaustive list because I don’t remember– a Revenant, a Nyx, an Avatar, 4 Utus, 2 Adrestias, a Mimir, a Freki, a Vangel, a Malice, and 90 billion ISK. I’m pretty sure there are more grand prizes that I’ve forgotten, though 😛
The biggest win was probably the guy that won the Avatar with about 20 million ISK of tickets 😛 that was a big return.
How often do you do celebration events?
Well, it just depends on how long it takes us to get to the next 10T marker. It’s usually about 4-6 weeks between events. Gives everyone a break in between, staff included 😛
Do you have anything else you want to add?
Hmm, sure. We try to give back to the Eve community– we’re the largest single donator I know of to Eve University, we set up an endowment at Agony PVP-U, and we sponsored a tournament for Red Vs Blue. We’ve also given away around 3 and a half trillion ISK of free promo prizes.
Very nice. Thank you for your time, I appreciate it.
Always appreciated! Would you like a promo code or anything to offer people? I don’t know your target audience
Yes, that’d be great. So how would one use that?
Use ‘FWRules’ on the promo code box on the registration page, we’ll give them a little free credit to Blink with– 2.5M. (note: You must register using the in-game EvE browser, make sure you add it to your trusted sites, then you’re free to play out of game as well. Good luck!)