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What Is The History of Scratch Cards?

It was in 1974 that the use of scratch cards came into play. The inventors of this game were American computer scientist John Koza and retail promotions specialist Daniel Bower. Its popularity started from state lotteries and in due course went online and further into mobile interface. They are relatively a new game in this arena. John Koza is a B.A. in Computer Science, and thereafter did an M.S. and in 1972, a PhD in Computer Science. Computer Science at that time was considered to be a new field. He formed up a team in 1973 with Daniel Bower to form Scientific Games Corporation.

This combination of John Koza being a computer scientist and Daniel Bower being a retail promoter respectively proved to be very fruitful not only to them but also to the whole world. It’s first client was the Massachusetts Lottery Commission. They both used a lot of innovation and creativity in their approach while making new games. First they identified loopholes with the existing games and then on ways to improving them. These two men found that the purchasers of Massachusetts Lottery cards had to pick six numbers and then wait for around ten days to find out about their success or failure.

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They identified this as being cumbersome and invented the scratch card. Here the users had to just scratch off the opaque covering, and one can immediately see if he/she has a winning card or not. Randomness of the results was completely ensured and Bower contributed the marketing know-how to make them attractive to the public. And what was seen next created history. The revenues of Massachusetts Lottery went up from $1 million a week to $2.7 million a week; which means a revenue percentage increase of more than 100%. In the honor of these two innovators, they were admitted as charter members of the Lottery Industry Hall of Fame. In 1987, a U.S. patent was issued for the instant scratch card. In the U.K., it went on sale in March 1987.

Game That Appeals To a Broad Audience Worldwide

As soon as the success of the Massachusetts Lottery became public, many other casinos started adopting them. Some of the state lotteries who did this were Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, New York and many others. Within no time, this spread to almost all the corners of the country. Today they are used by many countries around the world. These were also nicknamed as scratchies, scratch-its or scratch-offs. The most spectacular feature of these scratch cards games were that the user can within seconds know if he has one the cash prize or not. One another advantage it offered was quickness; this game gives results immediately. It also offers the feature of simplicity; a person who does not have much knowledge about this can also play. These cards are available in a range of prices therefore gives an option for even the lower income group to enjoy. Lottery is old but scratch cards are a new way of playing.

One Step Forward By another Inventor

In 1985, Cal Tigner invented the Take-A-Ticket plastic scratch card dispenser in Oregon. Before this, scratch cards were often hidden in the cash register in convenience stores or newspaper kiosks, corner groceries, smoke shops, etc. Many of these retailers also had lottery terminals for purchase and game checkers for customers to verify whether their ticket is a winner. Cal introduced Take-A-Ticket which enabled the display of scratch cards publicly, which increased awareness and as a result more people bought them. Cal Tigner became another inventor to be elected to the Lottery Industry Hall of Fame.

Today, scratch cards have become very routine; used by a variety of organizations. Today, it has become the part of millions of players’ lives. It is played and enjoyed by people across vast lands. These are not only used for lottery but for other purposes also. Many charity organizations print and sell scratch cards for their fundraising purposes. Private companies use them as a means of promotion for their new products; they give these away for free in magazines and other publications to attract customers.

Scratch Cards Keeping Pace with Time – Going Online

Even though the two inventors had identified the problem of players and solved it by providing scratch cards, there was still an issue unaddressed. People had to physically go the marketplace and buy scratch cards. And with this need, came the invention of online scratch cards in the 1990s. This was the need of the hour in the US as the whole country was witnessing the Information Technology (IT) boom in the 1990s. This was a quantum leap in the scratch card history. The scratch cards then became easily available: at the click of the mouse. All the user needs to do is log in to an online scratch card casino and play the game instantly. This was completely providing the ultimate user experience and involvement. This not only saved time, efforts and money of players but also gave them a new digital experience while playing. This system tried to simulate the look and feel of the physically available scratch card game. With time we can see that scratch card games have become one of the popular online casino games. These online scratch cards are sanctioned by the National Lottery in the United Kingdom. For providing more options to the user, these cards have been divided into two categories: web-based scratch cards and download-based scratch cards. While some companies offer just one type of card, others offer both. Its popularity was so rampant that Scratch2Cash launched the first website dedicated solely to online scratch cards In November 2005. It gives the players options to choose from an extensive variety of games such as shopping, car racing, poker, fishing and horse riding.

Moving Into the Mobile Industry

Mobile scratch cards offer even more accommodation and handiness. Mobile is the most readily and closely available gadget; it provides the best method of playing scratch cards for the users. With this facility, users can scratch cards any time and from any place.

Hence we see that scratch cards have provided comfort and pleasure ever since it has been invented, it gave way to a series of advancements and innovations.

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