40 years later: Lottery pays off for state. Has it for you?

Games generated $17.7 billion in sales, $2.4 billion for education and $10.5 billion in prizes.

  • By Andrea Brown abrown@soundpublishing.com
  • Monday, July 18, 2022 2:52pm
  • NewsNorthwest
Washington’s Lottery 40th anniversary “Scratch from the Past” ticket. (Submitted photo)

Washington’s Lottery 40th anniversary “Scratch from the Past” ticket. (Submitted photo)

Lordy, lordy! Washington’s Lottery is 40.

The lottery is celebrating with a “Scratch from the Past” ticket with a top prize of $50,000, which in 1982 would have bought five new cars with quarters left over to play hours of that hot new game, Ms. Pac-Man.

Gambling has paid off for Washington’s Lottery. The past four decades have resulted in more than $17.7 billion in sales, $10.5 billion in prizes awarded and $2.4 billion for educational causes.

“Scratch from the Past” will set you back $5, which 40 years ago was equivalent to about $1.70.

The first scratch ticket, “Pot of Gold,” was $1. Washington scratch tickets now sell for up to $30. About 50 new tickets are created annually.

“Since that first ticket was sold, scratch game sales have totaled more than $10.1 billion in sales in Washington state,” lottery spokesperson Dan Miller said.

Draw games brought in over $7 billion. The prize of multi-state Mega Millions topped half a billion dollars after no ticket matched all six numbers Friday. The drawing on Tuesday for a $530 million jackpot is the game’s eighth highest to date.

The state printed 4.3 million of the anniversary “Scratch from the Past” tickets. Six have the $50,000 jackpot. Total prizes are $17,317,030 in 11 amounts, such as 87,284 winners of $50 and so on, down to the 714,377 players who will get their $5 back.

That’s 80% of the $21.6 million expected to generate in sales. Because it’s the 40th anniversary game, the lottery is paying out at a higher rate than typical games, which are normally around 67%, Miller said.

Nearly half of all adults nationwide say they have bought lottery tickets, according to a Gallup Poll.

There’s a lot that goes into producing a scratch ticket — research, trends, accounting, packaging, delivering.

Over the years, the lottery has come up with hundreds of different scratch themes to entice people to part with their money.

Remember the ones that smelled like bacon a few years ago?

About 2.1 million “Bring Home the Bacon” scratch and sniff tickets were printed.

The “Scratch from the Past” ticket has a neon, ’80s retro design and, fortunately, is not scented like sloppy joes.

“For the year when the CD player was introduced and Thriller was the #1 song, it’s especially ‘thrilling’ to have created this cool, new ticket that’s sure to remind players of the time when leg warmers, big hair, mullets and anything neon ruled the scene,” Marcus Glasper, director of Washington’s Lottery, said in a press release.

Do we really want to be reminded?

Contact Everett Herald writer Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterbrown.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

File photo.
King County Council approves $5 million in funding for youth mental health

CDC statistics show increased mental health emergencies among youth during the pandemic.

(File photo)
Congressman introduces bill to discourage large investors from buying homes

Some point to large investors and private equity firms for the high cost of homes.

t
Senate race between Kent Democrats Kauffman, Kaur heads to recount

Kauffman leads Kaur by 65 votes for 47th District Senate seat bid against Republican Boyce

t
Two industry leaders take over LakePointe development in Covington

214-acre urban village to feature up to 1,750 residences, retail, office and hotel space

A map showing the expanding areas of wildfire risk in the region. Red areas indicate the greatest wildfire risk areas. (Courtesy of Washington Department of Natural Resources)
King County releases first-ever Wildfire Risk Reduction Strategy

Amid expanding fire risks, the plan makes recommendations for agencies across the region.

Photo courtesy of South Sound News
Office of Law Enforcement Oversight director issues statement on behavioral health response

Calls for non-law-enforcement teams to respond to non-violent emergencies related to mental health.

t
Kent City Council approves $7.2M purchase of land near Clark Lake Park

Buying of 17-acre Ruth property will complete city land purchases around the lake

Abortion rights protesters fill all four corners of the intersection in front of the Everett Planned Parenthood in support of abortion rights on Saturday, July 9, 2022 (Olivia Vanni / Sound Publishing)
GOP cheered abortion ruling. Democrats responded by voting.

A swell of electoral support for Democrats pushed turnout higher in primary. Republicans look to adjust for November

Most Read