If you visit our website, we hope you are already aware of what a scratchcard is.
But in this article, we are going to talk about how companies like the National Lottery could make scratchcard games available, with a brief history of the humble scratchcard.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
A time before scratchcards
Prior to inventing the scratchcard, a man named John Koza worked for a company that was responsible for printing bingo cards in the U.S. With a PhD in computer science, he was responsible for designing the algorithm that ensured that the bingo cards created by his company were deemed fair for players.
These bingo cards used a similar concept to scratchcards; a special coating needed to be scratched off in order to see if the bingo card was a winner or not.
However, the problem with these bingo cards was that they could not be played immediately – players had to use the bingo cards alongside a live bingo game.
Inventing the scratchcard
The idea of the scratchcard game was that players could experience a game similar to bingo, without the need for waiting for a bingo game. The prizes would be paid out instantly, as soon as a player purchased one.
Koza began working on the idea of the scratchcard in 1972, before partnering with ex-colleague Dan Bower who would help with sales and marketing. In 1973, they set up the company Scientific Games Corporation, which would be responsible for selling and distributing scratchcards.
It didn’t take long for the idea of scratchcards to prove successful, and they quickly became popular.
The Massachusetts State Lottery was one of the first Lotteries to get involved with scratchcards, purchasing 25 million on their first order.
In fact, the demand for the first scratchcards were so high, that players would queue outside local stores just to buy their own. In the first week alone, $2.7 million worth of scratchcards were sold – this was 3 times more than a typical week of lottery sales!
With scratchcard games proving ever popular, California lottery decided to jump on the bandwagon, ordering 700 million scratchcards from Scientific Games, just to meet demand.
Scratchcards received another welcome boost in 1985 by the introduction of the Take-a-Ticket system, the display that you see in stores that actually hold the tickets and make them visible to players at the till!
Scratchcards in the UK
Although scratchcards were invented in 1973, it took a lot longer for the UK public to be introduced to them.
The National Lottery introduced scratchcards as part of their range of games in 1995.
Initially, there weren’t as many scratchcards as there are today, but you can still find some of the first released National Lottery scratchcards available to buy on ebay – check out the below listing:
And it seems like a good decision; today, National Lottery scratchcards are the most popular game available from National Lottery, making them the most money for National Lottery Good Causes.
The future of scratchcards?
These days, there are lotteries all over the world that have scratchcards as part of their gambling line-up for their players.
Although we see new designs and different gameplay regularly, the future of scratchcards lies with online scratchcards.
With more and more online scratchcards available to choose from, you just need to decide which sign up offer to take advantage and try your luck!