Some FACTS about scratch-off games!

Scratch off games
Instant Games

While much information about Scratch-off games is secret, there is a lot of facts that we’ve been able to determine about them since we started ScratchSmarter in 2011. Here are just a few of them:

– It is a HUGE BUSINESS!! It is a $32,000,000,000+ business – YES – 32 BILLION DOLLARS a year!

In fact, the revenue created by Scratch-off / instant games equals the revenue generated by Powerball and MegaMillions combined every year!


– A lot of information is published on your state lotteries website about every game. Most states will publish the rules and facts for each game in a report – usually in a PDF format providing critical information about each game. The critical data to understand about every game includes:
Game name, Game number, Game Price, Total Number of Tickets Printed, Overall Odds, Detailed Odds, Prize amount levels, prizes remaining

– All games will have a specified number of tickets printed – you can find this in the game report OR on the games individual web page.

– All tickets printed are NOT all immediately distributed to retailers. Most of the printed tickets are in the lottery distribution warehouse waiting to be sent to retailers over time.

– The total number of tickets printed is a key piece of data – it determines the parameters for each game.

– The Game Name is usually unique- but not always!  Some lotteries really like some game names a run that same game name over and over in different series.

– The Game Number is almost always unique- but as Colorado recently started printing the same game number with different names on the front- it’s sometimes hard to tell.

– Overall odds are the chances of winning a prize (any prize- like a free ticket) based on the number of all prizes printed vs the number of tickets that do not give you a prize

– Detailed odds are the chances of winning that specific prize level.