The panda commercial for the NY State Lottery aired during The Apprentice (is it too much to hope that they are all fired, 'cause they are seeming particularly hateful lately), and now the world (or at least NY State) gets to see what started the Pandas-Invade-NY hubbub. Pandas were spotted a few weeks ago, when when stereogum and rion discovered them in Times Square being dispatched to places like Grand Central, Rockefeller Center, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Then there were the questions: Why? Would this be daily? Could we expect a panda at The Magician? Then it turned out that NYSL was shooting a commercial for "Panda-Money-Um," a new game. Luckily, Neil made a .mov file of the commercial so everyone can see what all the fuss was about (thanks, Neil!). The pandas in the commercial are seen lurking furtively, and seem more solitary (and truly panda-like) than how they were off-camera, such as being happy to pose for tourists, as rion captured below.

Pandas in Time Square; Photo: rion.nu

Gothamist on pandamonium.