TCS' Gus the Groundhog celebrates his 40th Lottery spot!

Recently, Gus the Groundhog celebrated his 40th Pennsylvania Lottery spot. Gus has been promoting the Pennsylania State Lottery for over five years now, helping the Lottery make record-breaking sales numbers. Gus debuted on March 15, 2004. In fiscal year 2002-2003, the Lottery achieved sales of $2 billion. For fiscal year 2007-08, The Pennsylvania Lottery set a new all-time sales record, according to the Department of Revenue. Fiscal year 2007-08 Lottery sales totaled $3.089 billion, or a $1 billion increase since Gus' debut! The Pennsylvania Lottery benefits senior citizens in the state, every day. Senior citizen programs in Pennsylvania get 40% of proceeds, or about $800 million a year from the state lottery. Gus is proud to call himself "the second most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania" (after Punxsatawney Phil)

Since Gus' debut, not only has he upgraded the Lottery's coffers, but he's done some evolving himself! For the first three years, Gus, as created by Rick Lazzarini and The Character Shop, was an animatronic puppet with hand and rod-controlled movement of his head, body, arms, and hands. Ear, eye, and facial movements were accomplished via Radio Control.

However, in June, 2006 Gus got an upgrade! Called Gus 2.0, he is now completely radio controlled, and had more extensive functions, especially in the face and his arms. This allowed him to be put into locations and sets that did not require puppeteers to be scrunched under him. His arms now had multi axis movements: 3 axis upper arm, elbow, forearm rotation, and paw open/close, all controlled by the amazing TCS Arm Waldo. The Arm Waldo allows Gus's arms and paws to mimic exactly what the puppeteer is doing, allowing for an incredible range of realistic movement, precision, and spontaneous, changeable performance.

But Gus 1.0 didn't go anywhere. In fact, Gus 1.0 still pulls duty to this day, donning a beehive wig and portraying Gus's mom. We've also seen Gus "gussied up" in any number of different outfits and costumes by now. He's been an explorer, a standup comic, a baseball player, out on a date, a football player, and in an Eddie Murphy-like turn, he plays Uncle Dave, Cousin Joe, Aunt Dottie, and Grandpa Zach for an Upcoming Holiday spot.

Have a look at Gus's new technology, check out the progress clips, and enjoy the fashion show as well!.

The Tech:

CAD Drawing of Gus' arm mechs

The Outfits:



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