Lotteries are big business indeed, and spending on lotteries simply dwarf other forms of gambling, mostly due to its superior access and marketing. Lotteries also offer the appeal of a shot at a huge payout, and a big part of their appeal for many players is imagining what they would do if they were fortunate enough to get a big win, in spite of the very low probability of this ever happening.
Conventional lottery drawings do involve a considerable time lag between the purchase and getting the results, although this doesn’t discourage a lot of people. However, for many, the opportunity to reduce the waiting time from days to literally seconds is plenty appealing indeed, and this is exactly what scratch games do.
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Normally, when you buy a lottery ticket, you have to wait until the drawing takes place, which occurs on a periodic basis, once a week or once every couple of weeks. People buy tickets over this time and then the numbers are drawn and announced and players check their tickets to see if they won anything.
It isn’t really necessary to only have the drawings done periodically though, as the payouts are based upon probability and not how many tickets are sold, and in theory the lottery could do a “draw” each time a ticket was purchased and deliver instant results to the player.
There is some logic though behind periodic draws as it’s easier to market big jackpots in the media if it’s done in a fixed manner, rather than akin to a progressive jackpot which can grow larger by the second. Because it isn’t static, lotteries couldn’t advertise a certain number and being able to do so does contribute a lot to their sales, as many players get more excited as jackpots grow and will purchase even more tickets to try to cash in.
Scratch Games Offer A Quick and Easy Alternative
The technology for instant lotteries has been around since the 1970s, and in 1987 the first patent was issued for a scratch lottery format, where players would simply scratch off areas of a ticket to reveal pre-determined prizes.
So the company would issue a batch of tickets with prizes distributed on them based upon the desired odds and payouts, then they would be offered for sale. In this sense, the lottery results have already been drawn, and players would then purchase random tickets to them to seek an chance at winning the prizes.
As it turned out, this was a great idea, as it removes the wait time completely, other than the anticipation of doing the scratching, which does form an important part of the experience for many players.
Some players like to scratch their tickets slowly, paying close attention to the results as they go, and using that to build up their excitement and anticipation, while others may prefer to scratch the whole ticket at once and accelerate the experience even more. It’s your ticket though and you may scratch it however you like.
While the size of jackpots with scratch tickets is more limited than conventional lottery draws, the prizes do tend to be quite a bit higher than you would see with most casino games, and this also helps fuel the appeal for them. Like casino games though, payouts do tend to be more widely distributed, in other words more frequent smaller wins, much like a slot machine would pay out, to keep players’ interest and have them keep buying and playing.
Virtual Scratch Games
Online casinos have now gotten into this game with the offering of virtual scratch tickets as part of their casino software, and like other online casino games, these are available both in instant play through a browser, and by downloading the online casino’s software.
The process is the same, other than the fact that you don’t actually physically scratch the cards, you use a mouse to click instead, although graphics are generally provided to make the experience seem more real.
There is no real difference though between a physical and virtual scratch ticket, other than the online version is more accessible, you don’t have to go to a lottery booth to buy them, you don’t have to leave your home at all, and can even play on the go on your mobile device.
Online scratch cards also tend to have much more player friendly odds than scratch tickets offered by lotteries, which are famous for their very high edge. Lotteries enjoy a sort of monopoly though and can get away with that, where online casinos aggressively compete with each other and this serves to drive down the house edge to levels much more comparable with other casino games.
In a real sense, online scratch games are very similar to slots, the same idea just being presented in a different graphical format. Online scratch tickets aren’t anywhere near as popular as slots though, for whatever reason, but it is a fast growing form of gambling, and is certainly an enjoyable one for those looking for an experience that is both simple and relaxing and also a lot of fun.