Story of the Scratchcard

It is a constant of summer that scratchcards are everywere. These premiums are very popular thanks to their low cost and the possiblity of instant wins. But where and when were scratch tickets born?

Although lotteries and raffles always existed, the invention of the scratch cards such as we know them now is attributed to the IT scientist John Koza and his partner Daniel Bower, an expert in retail marketing. Koza and Bower realized that lottery games were becoming more and more popular in the US, which gave them the idea to create a first computer able to print scratch tickets based on a software that assigned an instant prize randomly.

In a forst phase the scratchcard had three squares covered by latex, hidding its contect. If the drawing in the three squares matched the player won and instant prize. Since the very beginning these promotional cards where a great success, spreading rapidly across the US, and from there to the rest of the world. Gradually they have become more complex and varied, with different kinds of combinations to keep the interest of the players and to adapt them to different targets.

In the 90’s Scratch tickets started to become a regular promotional item for big companies, especially food and tobacco. Prizes diversified, favouring buying repetition or offering brand-related experiences. At this time Grifoll, one of the first printers of scratchcards in Europe, begins to offer solutions adapted to these sectors, like wrapped scratch promos certified for food contact, and four-colour printing over the scratch ink  to offer high-impact integrated designs.

Scratch and Win tickets are nowadays one of the most demanded promotional solutions for companies trying to engage customers. Thanks to the instant-win factor, consumers are more receptive to these kind of premiums, unlike those where it is asked some effort from them, like codes that you have to insert in a website. Promotional Scratchcards, after 40 years, are younger than ever.

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Mateo Hilderink
Mateo Hilderink

Generating opportunities for Grifoll since 2013. Specialist in promotional product and loyalty campaigns.

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