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JOE EDWARDS

Associated Press Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Lottery is using pro wrestler Ric Flair and his signature scream "woooooo" to promote the Mega Millions game.

Flair, who calls himself "the nature boy," appears in 30-second TV and radio spots tagged "Jack Up Your Jackpots." He's shown slapping a hapless skinny fellow and encouraging him to turn puny jackpots into huge ones by playing Mega Millions.

"He's an absolute delight to work with and everybody knows him," said Rebecca Hargrove, president and CEO of the Tennessee lottery. "He's a good representation of good people.

"Everything we do is geared to sell more tickets, and this ad has garnered a lot of attention."

The spot will run for three weeks but lottery officials have the rights to run it for a year. It had more than 2,000 views on You Tube in six days.

"It's gotten the response we hoped," Hargrove said.

Flair has done previous promotion work for lotteries in North Carolina, Hargrove said.

"I thought this was a perfect fit for him," she said Tuesday.

Flair's website proclaims him "the most decorated world champion in history." In the Tennessee spot, he screams his famous "wooooo" four times.

"People of all ages want his autograph," Hargrove said.

As far as the thin young man slapped by Flair in the chest, Hargrove said, "He's a hoot. He sure has the right look for this ad."

Lottery officials would not say how much the spot cost to produce.

Mega Millions is a multi-state lottery in which players pick five numbers and then another number. It costs $1 to play.

The Tennessee lottery, authorized in a statewide referendum in 2002, has raised more than $1.6 billion for education programs since it started in January 2004. Players have won about $3.6 billion in prizes. Lottery tickets are available at more than 4,700 retail locations.

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Online:

www.tnlottery.com

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