Nebraska’s Scratch/Lotto Hybrid, “Lucky Numbers Scratch”

While doing some research on lottery tickets, I came across this amazing press release from last summer. Seems the great state of Nebraska is on the cutting edge of lotto/scratch-innovation:

Nebraska Lottery Launches Hybrid Scratch/Lotto Ticket

June 12, 2008 – The Nebraska Lottery has launched its first hybrid Scratch and Lotto ticket, $10 Lucky Numbers.

The Lucky Numbers Scratch game features a top prize of $150,000 as well as $1.7 million in total cash prizes. Additionally, each Lucky Numbers ticket contains a perforated bonus area with the chance to win a barcoded coupon for a free $1 Nebraska Pick 5 Lotto play. Lucky Numbers is the first hybrid ticket offered by the Nebraska Lottery that combines the instant win features of a Scratch game with the opportunity to win a Lotto jackpot of $50,000 or more.

A couple thoughts: FIRST, if you let me within 500 feet of one of these tickets, the odds of winning are 1 in 1. I’ve been waiting for a scratch/lotto hybrid my whole life. I must have played the simulation in my head 10,000 times. The only reason I’m not on a plane to Nebraska right now (lucky-scratchin’ penny in hand) is because I don’t want to bankrupt the state.

SECOND, when is the rest of the country gonna follow Nebraska’s lead? It’s time to step up and embrace hybrid technology! I can’t believe we live in the 21st century, yet lottery agencies and scratch agencies are still issuing separate tickets!!! This is an outrage! If we don’t adapt and evolve, this ol’ ball of laughing gas we call “The Planet Earth” will be doomed.

Call your representative in Congress and demand hybrid ticket technology NOW! Go to your gas station, your bodega — wherever you buy your scratch tickets — and ask the proprietor when they plan on switching over to 100% hybrid. It’s up to us!

This reminds me of the old saying my old scratch-sensei used to say: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single scratch. So get scratchin’ on them tickets. Then bring me some soup.”

I’m gonna see if Thomas Friedman will write a column about this issue … might help move the debate forward …