Beaver Dam man in statewide commercial

February 16, 2019

A Beaver Dam man said he’s experiencing a brief moment of fame after being chosen for a Wisconsin Lottery commercial.

Russell Kranz took part in a new campaign that spotlights how the lottery benefits the state. The commercial “What Do Lottery Winners Look Like?” debuted with a winter-themed spot Jan. 28, and features state players and retailers engaged in everyday activities.

“It was fun but nothing like what I expected,” Kranz said. “I’m in the commercial for only five seconds. It shows me snowblowing in front of a million-dollar house that ain’t mine.”

The lottery campaign showcases winners, retailers and Wisconsin homeowners who in part represent the recipients of 93 percent of Wisconsin Lottery revenue.

Kranz said he was selected because he is a homeowner.

“It’s not like I won a million dollars; I’m just a regular lottery player and a homeowner,” he said.

He learned of the opportunity to be part of the commercial in September when members of the online Wisconsin Lottery Players Club were contacted via email.

After a brief email exchange, Kranz found out he was under consideration. In the next email, he was asked if he participated in any winter sports.

“Well, I hate the winter, so I told them ‘Sorry, the only thing I really do is help neighbors out doing snowblowing and shoveling,’” he said. “I was told they would get back to me and I thought that would be it.”

But Kranz was chosen and his part of the commercial was shot Dec. 17 in Mequon.

“It was fascinating. Back then, there was no snow on the ground, so they had to make it,” he said. “I think it took about an hour to film. I was going to wear my Packers coat that I normally put on when I snowblow, but they had a wardrobe for me and makeup.”

In a press release, Wisconsin Lottery Director Cindy Polzin said, “Seeing our players in some of their favorite everyday activities generates a genuine Wisconsin feel that we can associate with our own hometowns. Residents across Wisconsin feel positive effects of the lottery every day.”

Since 1988, the state lottery has paid more than $8.2 billion in prizes, generated more than $4.3 billion in property tax relief for state homeowners, and surpassed $920 million in retail compensation.

Kranz said he plays the Daily Pick 3 and Badger 5 games and has been a winner in the past.

“I won $500 on a $2 scratch off ticket that I bought in a Randolph gas station, so I figure that’s my lucky store,” he said.

The winter-themed spots are airing now on broadcast/cable, sports programming and connected television programming and will continue through the middle of March.

“I was hoping they would put my name on the screen to prove I was in it — my glasses are dark and with my winter stuff and hat on, people won’t recognize it’s me,” Kranz said. “I don’t care that I was only on for a few seconds because it was a fun experience, I loved it and I got paid some to do it.

“When we were done filming, they asked if I would like to do another commercial someday and I said, ‘Yeah, I’m an old retired guy looking for fun stuff to do.’ In fact, I even invited them to come to my place on Beaver Dam Lake if they ever want to do a summer commercial.”