Scratch cards were invented by Jack Koza, a computer scientist and Daniel Bower, an expert in retail promotions. In 1964, when Jack Koza did his computer science, He became the 2nd person in the world to get the degree. The field was yet not very popular and in 1972, he earned his Ph.D in Computer Science. He teamed up with Daniel Bowel in 1973 and formed the Scientific Games Corporation and in 1974, these Cards were introduced to the world.

History of Scratch Cards

The company’s first client was Massachusetts Lottery Commission. The lottery system earlier was by draw. The tickets were sold and the public had to wait for a period of many weeks to know the results. Koza and Bower analyzed the human craving for instant knowledge of the results and the scratch cards were thus, invented.

To make the number selection random, Koza wrote an algorithm. Bower’s contribution to the company was in the marketing side. He was an expert in marketing and used his know-how to promote the scratch card, making them attractive. The new card became an instant hit and rose to popularity. The Massachusetts Lottery Commission, earned $2.7 million in just one week by way of revenues.

These cards travelled to Michigan, Illinois, Maryland and New York. The National Lottery introduced it in the UK in 1995. They were sold for an amount ranging from 10 pence to 2 pounds. The maximum price that was won using these cards was 2 million pounds.

From 1974 to 2011, Scratch cards have had a successful journey. It is impossible to imagine life without these cards. There are many more variations of the card now from scratch off cards, scratch it cards, gift cards and scratch and win cards etc., but the basic idea remains the same.


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