Tuesday Turnip

David K. Israel

It's time for another whimsical Tuesday Turnip search wherein I type a random phrase and we see what kind of interesting factoids "turn-up."

Today I typed in "U.S. lottery business," unearthing the following fascinating factoids about scratch-off tickets from this article in Forbes:

  • Scratch-off instant lotteries are the hottest thing in the $52 billion (face-value sales) U.S. lottery business.
  • Scientific Games [who sell more than half of the tickets sold in the U.S.] produced 24.5 billion scratch-off tickets last year.
  • Scientific Games produces 125 new games a month, and each one germinates within the company's database of 15,000 existing games, measured against more than 50 attributes.
  • Green tickets sell better than those of any other color, and $1 tickets are more popular than $20 tickets
  • Once the look of game is chosen, a group of 30 programmers sets up the algorithms that will dictate how many winners (and losers) there will be in a multimillion-ticket print run.
  • The data, which pile up annually at the rate of 20 terabytes, are kept from the company's graphic designers by three computer firewalls.
  • Sci Games can print 60 million tickets a day domestically on its four rolling presses, the largest of which is longer than a football field.
  • Each ticket has between 15 and 20 layers, half of which are used for color and graphics, the other half for data and security.
  • The scratch-off surface is made of ten ingredients the company won't divulge.