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Scratch Cards History

How much do you know about how scratch cards were first invented? Would it surprise you to know they're a pretty recent thing compared to some inventions that exist today? You'll come across the history of scratch games around the mid Seventies if you look back in the past. The idea of such a game was first thought of back then, and in 1974 you'd have been able to buy one for the first time.

Here are some facts you may not have spotted about scratchcards before now:

  • Computer scientists in America are the people we have to thank for the cards!
  • The Massachusetts State Lottery was the first lottery to have a scratch off ticket available to buy
  • Scratch cards are used by lots of people for lots of reasons – raising money for charity is just one example
  • As soon as they were launched they became hugely popular
  • After the Millennium the online scratch cards were launched to a huge fanfare and they were successful too

The idea behind the original card was pretty simple. You'd go to an outlet that sold them and choose the card you wanted. You'd then take off the silver foil to see what was underneath. If you got the right combination of symbols or numbers (or whatever was used on the card) you'd win the relevant prize. You could then take the ticket to the retailer and receive your winnings right there and then. It's one of the reasons why the cards were also known as instants or instant wins, because they could produce a prize for you just that quickly!

It's easy to see why the cards have always been known as scratchcards. The name refers to the cardboard format that was used right from the start, and is still used for real life cards today. You'd scratch the foil to reveal a potential prize, as we all know. Lots of people loved the format and the instant gratification they got if they'd won a prize. Many American lotteries started using them and soon they were in use in other countries as well. Soon after the UK National Lottery started back in the Nineties, they'd got a range of scratch cards on the go as well.

Another notable date in their history was 1985. It was when a card dispenser was invented by Cal Tigner. He should be applauded for bringing the cards out into the open, because his dispenser allowed the cards to be seen and to attract attention. A lot of people didn't know about the cards until his dispenser put them right in front of every customer in stores all over the US. Now the cards really did hit the big time and sales went up easily.

Once it was clear how successful the format was, it was obvious that it'd move on to another level when the internet was invented. Gaming online wasn't thought about initially, but once the first few gaming sites opened it wouldn't be long before online scratch cards made their appearance.

It's hard to begin with to figure out how a card with a foil front could ever be used online. But it's made the leap very easily indeed, and in fact you'll find a lot more versatility in the online version of these cards. Soon after the new Millennium came a whole host of websites that featured these scratch tickets, and players soon realised how much fun they were to play.

Most of the time, you'll see two different types of tickets online. The first one most closely represents the offline ticket, in that it has parts of the card that look like foil. When you move your mouse cursor over the ticket surface on your screen, you'll see a coin appear. Just wiggle your mouse backwards and forwards and the on screen coin scratches off the "foil" on your virtual card. It'll also reveal a prize if you've been lucky enough to win one. The second type of card prompts you to click a button to select a ticket and then click on a square, item or some other part of the card to play the game. There are lots of variations so watch out for them all.

Online scratch cards are just another part of the history of the game. They've been very popular and have the advantage that you can buy them whenever you want to, since they're online 24 hours a day, 7 days every week. You'll also see you can buy the online cards more cheaply than the offline ones if you wish, with prices starting from just a few pence. You can even get free scratch cards now, although they're normally just played for fun. The history of the scratch card is certainly an eye opener and it's amazing to think they've only been around for a few decades. They've been so successful in the time they've been in existence that it's easy to imagine they've been around for longer.

There's no doubt that the internet has made them even more popular though. You've got the chance to play animated ones, free ones, funny ones and major prize winning ones, and they're now available right around the clock. It's incredible to think they were only ever available as small pieces of card to begin with, for sure.

Whether you still play the real ones or you just go to the sites online for the virtual version, there's no doubt that they've been a huge success. Scratch cards sites all over the internet welcome thousands of players through their doors every day to play the cards, and it's easy to see why they keep on coming back for more.

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