Are scratch-off tickets one of your go-to gifts for the holidays? The Virginia Lottery has some reminders as Christmas and other holidays quickly approach.
“Scratchers” are popular. Immensely popular. In fact, during the VA Lottery’s latest fiscal year, scratch-off games registered $1.17 billion in total sales. That number is expected to grow to $1.24 billion in the coming fiscal year.
Scratch-offs are, by far, the most popular games that the VA Lottery offers. And during the holidays, those sales spike as shoppers look for last-minute stocking stuffers.
However, before your holiday shopping, the Virginia Lottery and the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) have a few reminders.
Scratch-off Tickets Are for Adults Only
The VA Lottery is reminding would-be lotto players to spread the holiday cheer responsibly this season. After all, it’s illegal to gift lotto tickets to minors.
“We at the Virginia Lottery strive to present our games in the most responsible manner possible,” Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall stated. “While lottery tickets can be fun gifts for adults, it is important to remember that they are not intended for minors.”
In fact, lotto officials produced a radio public service announcement. The PSA spot, titled “Scrooge,” will air across the commonwealth to nail home Hall’s message.
For the 13th year, the VA Lottery has teamed up with the VACPG, the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), the International Center for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University, and dozens of other lotto corporations, for its holiday reminder.
As VACPG President Carolyn Hawley stated:
“The earlier in life a young person starts to gamble, the more likely they are to develop gambling problems later on. So during this time of giving, please remember that lottery tickets are not toys. They are for adults only.”
Buying Tips for Holiday Scratchers
OK, so your gift recipient is an adult, and you’ve decided that scratch-off tix are the way to go. Now what?
Holiday shoppers will find no shortage of scratcher options. The VA Lottery has approximately 100 scratch-off games for sale at more than 5,300 retail locations.
The games range from $1 to $30, so there are options for all gift budgets. For example, the Virginia Lottery unveiled these new games for December:
- White Ice Million$ ($10 each, $1 million top prize)
- Cash King ($5 each, $250,000 top prize)
- Frosty Bingo Multiplier ($3 each, $40,000 top prize)
- Break the Bank ($2 each, $100 top prize)
- 2021 ($1, $2,021 top prize)
Here’s a little tip before you purchase your tickets: Check out the VA Lottery’s “Scratcher Search” page to see how many prizes still remain for each scratcher type. If the big prizes have already been claimed, consider another option.
Also, if you want to deviate from the scratchers, there’s another option unique to Virginia:
Don't forget to wear a mask and grab a New Year's Millionaire Raffle ticket while you're out shopping the Black Friday deals! It's Virginia's best odds to start 2021 as a millionaire! pic.twitter.com/957iurfW1o
— Virginia Lottery (@VirginiaLottery) November 27, 2020
Tickets for the New Year’s Millionaire Raffle cost $20 each. A limited number of tickets are available, and once they’re sold, no more are printed.
This year, the game expands from 375,000 to 500,000 tickets. Additionally, the top prize of $1 million will go to four winners instead of three when officials draw the numbers on New Year’s Day.