Pennsylvania's "second most famous groundhog" is back on television, computer and smartphone screens after a nearly four year hiatus.
He's also changed his look.
The Pa. Lottery's scratch-off ticket mascot Gus used to be an animatronic puppet, explained PennLive, and "first appeared in early 2004 to promote a St. Patrick's Day-themed instant game. He went on to appear in more than 50 TV commercials and numerous print ads before he was retired during former Gov. Tom Corbett's administration."
Now, Gus enjoys computer-generated sleekness, WGAL added.
He's also now wearing clothes – though he continues a long American tradition of cartoon animals wearing shirts but not wearing pants. Or, in Yogi Bear's case, a hat, collar and a tie – but no shirt or pants.
At any rate, the Gus the Groundhog's retirement didn't last terribly long.
In November, lottery officials announced Gus was coming back. "We have continued to hear from players who told us how much they missed Gus and wanted him to return," said lottery official Drew Svitko. "Simply stated, Gus is a Pennsylvania Lottery institution."
A Pa. Lottery institution is right, too. Gus' replacement, a red-haired woman named Penny, received wide derision from Pennsylvanians. In fact, replacing Gus with Penny was so controversial, PennLive conducted a survey in 2013 about the change.
"Eighty-two percent of respondents favored Gus making a comeback" over Penny, PennLive reported. "Of those who favored Gus' return, 15 percent indicated they found the Penny ads 'make me want to drink myself to death with Geritol.'"