History of Scratch Cards

History of Scratch Cards

This is the age of instant gratification. And in the spirit of this modern age, many gamers are looking for instant wins. Scratch cards, which let the player know within seconds whether he has won a cash prize, are a great when someone has just a few minutes to spare and wants to enjoy a quick game of chance.

They can be bought at the corner newsstand with spare change and give a little lift, an enjoyable time out from the daily routine. Scratch cards, often nicknamed scratchies, scratch-its or scratch-offs, are available on the Internet as well. Click for details on how to play scratch cards.

Origin of Scratch Cards

Scratch cards are a relatively recent phenomenon. They were invented in 1974, by two Americans, John Koza and Daniel Bower. A computer scientist and a retail promoter respectively, Koza and Bower founded a company called the Scientific Games Corporation.

Their work with the Massachusetts Lottery Commission led them to look closely at the current lottery system. These two entrepreneurs concluded that lottery customers would prefer not to have to wait up to a week to find out who had won. With this in mind, Koza and Bower came up with the idea for the first scratch cards.

Revenues from the Massachusetts Lottery increased two and a half times, from $1 million to more than $2.5 million dollars per week, when they adopted simple to use, instant win scratch cards. Other state lotteries began using scratch cards and their popularity spread to other countries besides the US. When online casinos were developed in the 1990s, virtual scratch cards became available as well.

“Real Life” Scratch Cards

History of Scratch Cards

Scratch cards can be bought in a number of convenient land based venues, such as corner groceries, smoke shops and soon. Many of these retailers now have lottery terminals for quick purchase and game checkers for customers to verify whether their ticket is a winner. Playing the “scratchies” is simple.

Choose the type of card you want – usually there are a variety of prices, from less than a dollar and up – with prize values that increase correspondingly. The card selection itself is part of the fun, as cards often have fun themes such as current holidays or cartoon characters. With a real life card, a waxy coating must be scratched off various squares on the card.

Depending on the card, a winning pattern such as three of a kind or the word “jackpot” may be revealed. If so, the card is an instant winner! Other features such as prize multipliers can make play even more exciting – and lucrative.

Online Scratch Cards

To purchase scratch cards via computer or mobile device, players can go to an Internet casino or the website of a government lottery commission, register, choose a payment method and select the scratch cards they want. Scratch cards are often offered at online bingo rooms, as an enjoyable way to pass the time while waiting for a game to start or numbers to be called.

Designers of online scratch cards attempt to make the experience resemble the fun of using “real” scratch cards as much as possible. Move your mouse over the each panel to “scratch” and reveal the symbol underneath. Or for even faster results, simply click “Scratch All.” You can even opt for Autoplay to play 10 or more scratch cards, one after another.


Scratch cards, a fairly recent invention, are a simple and rewarding way to enjoy a quick lottery type game. Buy an inexpensive “scratchie” from your local grocery or newsstand, or play online. Scratch and reveal winning symbols for great jackpots.

Posted by CCJ Team