Ding dong!

The freaky soul-sucking animatronic lottery-shilling groundhog is dead!

He is being forced to retire. Gus’ tag line was “the second most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania. “Part of the lottery’s decision was cost.The state reported it cost between $300,000 and $400,000 to produce a commercial with Gus.More recent lottery ads without Gus have been running $150,000 less.

Three to four hundred thousand dollars?! FOR AN EAGLES FAN?!

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I’m pretty sure we can get Juanita the Weasel for cheaper.

Works for me, Juanita.


  1. StacyfrPgh
    February 22, 2012 10:31 am

    Great use of Juanita! Wonder why those commercials with Gus cost so much? Wonder who his agent is?

  2. Sue
    February 22, 2012 10:48 am

    Everytime I saw a Gus commercial, it made me “stabby”…….

    Juanita for president!

  3. bucdaddy
    February 22, 2012 10:59 am

    Camel isn’t allowed to use Joe Camel to sell a legal product, but the Pa. lottery was allowed to use an animatronic groundhog to try to suck every last dollar out of the pockets of the poor and elderly, as long as they “play responsibly.”

    I dance on Gus’ grave, is what I’m saying.

    True fact: The W.Va. lottery once used Joe South’s mighty “Games People Play,” a song about shysters and con artists, to sell lottery tickets. No, really. Someone there either had a wicked sense of irony or was completely clueless.

    Our states have built their budgets (and much of their support for the elderly, who apparently aren’t worth caring for with actual tax money) on a literal house of cards, and there are signs a strong wind is coming.

    • AngryMongo
      February 22, 2012 11:47 am

      Because kids can’t buy lottery tickets and lottery tickets don’t cause cancer.

      • bucdaddy
        February 22, 2012 12:32 pm

        Why can’t kids buy lottery tickets? It’s just a little harmless fun. Everybody’s winning! That’s what I hear. Lots of allowance money out there that the state hasn’t stuck a siphon into yet. Kiddie rooms at the casinos! Call it “Junior’s college tuition!”

        … But if cigarettes were bad for you, the state wouldn’t cynically reap a tax windfall off the sale of every pack, would it?

        • Butcher's Dog
          February 22, 2012 3:58 pm

          They don’t reap much of a windfall from it down here in SC. Per pack tax was something like 3 cents no more than two years ago. So I guess southern cigarettes aren’t as bad for you as northern ones.

      • Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
        February 22, 2012 1:23 pm

        Kids can’t legally buy cigarettes or lottery tickets or alcohol. Yet somehow, they manage to get their hands on them. With the self serve kiosks, it’s even easier to get the tickets. Scratch offs are the gateway drug to the bookies.

    • Butcher's Dog
      February 22, 2012 12:13 pm

      Gettin’ to the point where educating our young isn’t worth caring much for with actual tax money, too. Leaves a helluva lot more for the one per-cent, though.

  4. Washpa
    February 22, 2012 11:11 am

    So glad it’s over. Having to endure Gus made me miss Nick Perry.

  5. SteelCityMagnolia
    February 22, 2012 11:16 am


    Seriously? SERIOUSLY????


    In my next life, I’m coming back as a lottery-hawking groundhog.

  6. Julie
    February 22, 2012 11:37 am

    OMG…I love Juanita!!! I literally run to change the channel when Gus comes on. I am SO glad to see he’s gone!

  7. Jim W.
    February 22, 2012 11:40 am

    or a stuffed cobra.

  8. bluzdude
    February 22, 2012 1:14 pm

    I heard that on the last shoot, Gus was in his trailer running through hookers and blow like he was Charlie Sheen.

    • SteelCityMagnolia
      February 22, 2012 3:10 pm

      I just absolutely spit ice tea all over my monitor!!!! Post a warning, will ya????

    • Dr Kevlar
      February 23, 2012 2:45 pm

      Any truth to the rumor that Gus was in the backseat with a Brazilian Capybara driving around with Frank Coonelly last December?

  9. Sheila
    February 22, 2012 2:31 pm

    The ad agency that handled the lottery (MARC) lost the account so I’m sure that was why Gus was “retired”. $300K is just a drop in the bucket for this account

    • Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
      February 22, 2012 4:18 pm

      That was one of the reasons, but the primary one was the high cost of the puppeteers necessary to bring Gus to life. You are right, though, $300K is nothing in the grand scheme of this account. There’s usually a change in the ad firms when a new administration comes in so MARC losing the account wasn’t a surprise to me.

  10. Karen
    February 22, 2012 3:03 pm

    Let’s get Beyonce on it, too! I love The Bloggess! Of course, not as much as I love YOU, Virginia!

  11. Scott
    February 22, 2012 3:09 pm

    Thank goodness. My hatred for that ad campaign was intense….glad to see I wasn’t the only one feeling that way.

  12. suzie-Q
    February 22, 2012 8:43 pm

    Juanita needs a manager…..and the lottery needs Juanita!!! FUNNIEST thing I ever saw…makes me want to go out and buy a lottery ticket!!!

  13. Bojack
    February 22, 2012 8:49 pm

    Groundhogs taste like chicken. That is all.