scratch cards history



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Scratch cards History


How and when were born games of scratch cards or instant lottery?





Scratch cards are a relative newcomer to the world of online casino gambling games. The scratch card was invented in 1974 by American computer scientist John Koza and retail promotions specialist Daniel Bower. It immediately became a popular game for state lotteries and other venues, and eventually moved into the online casinos.

Early History of the Scratch Card

John Koza is an interesting guy. Back in 1964, at the University of Michigan, he became the second person in the entire world to earn a B.A. in Computer Science, a field that was then in its infancy. He then went on to earn an M.S. and, in 1972, a PhD in Computer Science.

In 1973, Koza teamed up with Daniel Bower to form Scientific Games Corporation. The new corporation's first client was the Massachusetts Lottery Commission.

At that time, purchasers of Massachusetts Lottery cards had to pick six numbers and then wait several days, or even a week, to find out if they had won. Koza and Bower sensed that the gambling public craved instant gratification. And so, they invented the scratch card. Buy a card, scratch off the opaque covering, and you can immediately see if you have a winning card or not. Koza created the algorithm to insure that the scratch card results were truly random, and Bower contributed the marketing know-how to make them attractive to the public. Thanks to the new scratch card, Massachusetts Lottery revenues soared from $1 million a week to $2.7 million a week.

In recognition of their invention of the scratch card, John Koza and Daniel Bower were honored as charter members of the Lottery Industry Hall of Fame.

The Scratch Card Takes Off

From Massachusetts, the instant-win scratch card game took like wildfire to Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, New York and many other state lotteries. A majority of the states in the United States now offer scratch card games.

In 1985, Cal Tigner invented the Take-A-Ticket plastic scratch card dispenser in Oregon. Before Tigner's invention, scratch cards were often hidden in the cash register in convenience stores or newspaper kiosks. Take-A-Ticket enabled the display of scratch cards right out in public view, so that more people would become aware of them and buy them. For this innovative milestone in scratch card history, Cal Tigner was also elected to the Lottery Industry Hall of Fame.

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The National Lottery introduced instant scratch cards in the UK in 1995. The National Lottery offers scratch cards for as little as 10 pence, as well as higher priced scratch cards, offering higher prizes, for 10 or 20. The biggest scratch card prize paid out by the National Lottery was 2 million.

Today, scratch cards are ubiquitous. They are used not only by state and national lotteries, but also by charitable organizations as fund-raising devices. They are known by a variety of names, such as scratch-and-win cards and scratch-off cards, but they are all basically scratch cards. Millions of people all over the world now play and win scratch card.

Scratch Cards on the Internet

Koza and Bower's scratch cards promised instant gratification, but it wasn't completely instant. The scratch card player still had to put on his shoes and walk or drive to a retail outlet to buy a scratch card. This last obstacle was finally overcome by the invention of the online scratch card in the 1990s. Now you can sit down at your computer, log in to an online scratch card casino, and play scratch card online without putting your shoes on and without leaving your house. Instant scratch card gratification has truly arrived.

Of course, when you play scratch card online, you do not really scratch the card. If you tried to do so, you could damage your computer screen. But online scratch card does effectively replicate the look and feel of the scratch card game, and it has become one of the popular online casino games. Many people now enjoy playing scratch card online.


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