Latest news of the domain name industry

Recent Posts

New gTLD lottery to return in 2026

Kevin Murphy, February 16, 2024, 17:02:13 (UTC), Domain Policy

Remember The Draw? It was the mechanism ICANN used to figure out which new gTLDs from the 2012 application round would get a first-mover advantage, and it’s coming back in 2026.

The Org is currently considering draft Applicant Guidebook language setting out the rules for how to pick which order to process applications in the next round.

There’s no mention of Digital Archery this time. ICANN is sticking to the tried-and-tested Prioritization Draw, a lottery method in which applicants buy a paper ticket for a nominal sum ($100 last time) and ICANN pulls them out of a big bucket to see who goes first.

Applicants for internationalized domain names will have an advantage again, but it’s arguably not as strong as in the 2012 round, when all the IDN applicants that had bought tickets were processed first.

This time, the draw will take place in batches of 500 applications, according to the latest version of the draft AGB language.

The first batch will contain at least 125 IDN applications — assuming there are 125 — and they will be drawn first, before any Latin-script strings get a look. In subsequent batches, the first 10% of tickets drawn will belong exclusively to IDN applicants.

In the 2012 round, the first 108 applications selected were IDNs. The Vatican won the lucky #1 spot with .天主教, the Chinese term for the Catholic Church, while Amazon was the first Latin-script application with .play (which Google eventually won but still hasn’t launched, over 11 years later).

Due to California’s gambling laws, applicants will have to show up to buy a ticket in person. If they can’t make it, they can select an Angeleno proxy from a list provided by ICANN to pick it up on their behalf.

Last time around, The Draw took over nine hours to sort all 1,930 applications and was the social highlight of the community’s calendar. Santa Claus even showed up.

Tagged: , , ,

Comments (5)

  1. Rubens Kuhl says:

    While the draw was bound to come back, the ticket purchasing system doesn’t have to, and might change before implementation.

    • Kevin Murphy says:


      A raffle is a type of lottery in which prizes are awarded to people who pay for a chance to win. Each person enters the game of chance by submitting a detachable coupon or stub from the paper ticket purchased. A raffle must be conducted under the supervision of a natural person age 18 or older. At least 90 percent of the gross receipts from raffle ticket sales must be used by the eligible tax-exempt organization to benefit or support beneficial or charitable purposes in California.

      Awarding raffle prizes by use of a gaming machine, apparatus, or device such as a slot machine is prohibited. Operating or conducting a raffle via the Internet is also prohibited. However, the organization conducting the raffle may advertise the raffle on the Internet.

      • Rubens Kuhl says:

        From the same reference:
        “Registration is not required if all tickets for a drawing are free, solicitations of voluntary donations to the organization are in no way connected to distribution of tickets, and this is made clear to all participants. If a “donation” is required in return for a ticket, registration is required.”

        • Kevin Murphy says:

          Perhaps ICANN’s lawyers are being cautious. If you pay $250,000 and get a “free” ticket, how free is it?

          • Rubens Kuhl says:

            This was just to show that a draw may involve no-cost tickets. Registration with CA authorities is the cautious move to do, even if the ticket is worth USD 250k.

Add Your Comment