The Instant Lottery Option
An instant lottery game, a game of chance where money can be won immediately, is also called a scratch card, a scratch off, scratch ticket, scratcher, scratchie, scratch-it, scratch game, or scratch-and-win, depending on where one is. The game comprises of the purchase of a small card, often made of thin paper-based card and plastic to conceal PINs, where one or more areas contain specific concealed information that can be revealed by scratching off the opaque covering on the card. In operation the scratch card functions similarly to regular cellular pre-paid tickets, where the confidential digits are concealed until the owner scrapes off the covering to reveal it.
There is, naturally, some variations within in the range of instant lottery games; sometimes the entire scrape-able area needs to be scratched to see whether a prize has been won, and the result does not depend upon what portions are scratched off. In other cases, some but not all areas have to be scratched; this may apply in a quiz situation, where the area corresponding to the right answer is scratched, or in some gambling applications where, depending on which areas are scratched, the card wins or loses. In these cases the card becomes invalid if too many areas are scratched.
The History of Scratch Cards
The original instant lottery game tickets were produced using manual randomization techniques. In 1974 the American company Scientific Games Corporation led by scientist John Koza and retail promotions specialist Daniel Bower produced the first computer-generated instant lottery game. In 1987, Astro-Med, Inc. of West Warwick, Rhode Island, received the U.S. Patent for the instant scratch-off lottery ticket.
There are currently two major manufacturers of game tickets around the world. The primary manufacturer, Scientific Games Corporation, has extensive production facilities in the USA, Chile, UK, Germany, Canada, Brazil and Australia. The second manufacturer, Pollard Banknote, has production facilities in the USA and Canada. There are also several other smaller manufacturers in North America, Europe and Asia.
The Use of Instant Lottery Cards
Instant lottery cards are indeed a very popular form of gambling due to their low cost and the opportunity to win prizes and money instantly, which has a universal appeal. The popularity of instant lottery scratch cards has been increasing at a greater rate than any other form of lottery, according to many commercial reports, and this has extended their use and applicability. By around 2010 online versions of virtual scratch card instant lottery gambling games which utilize Macromedia Flash and Java to simulate scratching a card on a computer started appearing had become available for numerous prize winning and gambling applications. These virtual scratch cards are now able to be purchased, played, and prizes collected, all over an internet connection; online or even on mobile devices. However, due to the instant nature of these cards, the virtual availability and the size of the prizes involved, these cards are susceptible to potential fraudulent usage and players should only acquire these instant lottery card games and scratch cards from reputable sites, if they ever wish to see any money or prizes that may be won actually make its way back to their wallets.