From a doodle to a scratch ticket, how the Idaho Lottery makes their games

How Idaho Lottery scratch games are made.

BOISE - Scratch tickets are the most sold Lottery game in Idaho. Every year Idaho sells about $136 million worth of scratch games.

Lucky Idahoans win about $93 million in Lottery prizes every year.

Have you ever wondered how Lottery scratch games are made?

Tickets start with a clever name and a blank sheet of paper.

Tonya Bloedel is one of three artists who draw all of Idaho's scratch games. She says she loves the creation process.

"I usually close my door and just kind of zone out and just draw," says Bloedel.

Bloedel came to Idaho as a student at Boise State studying graphic design. As a Bronco she interned with the Idaho Lottery and eventually got a full-time job. Fourteen years later she still hasn't left.

One of her most recent projects is the soon-to-be released scratch game “Cash Word on a Stick.”

Bloedel says she thinks it will turn out great.

"I thought it would be really fun around fair time because everything is better on a stick," said Bloedel.

Bloedel’s concept starts to take form as she first scratches out her idea with pencil. She then brings it to life in full detail on the computer

The process takes Bloedel anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks.

When the design is finished it goes to the programmers, they program the game, then it's off to the printing press! 

There are only three scratch game presses in the United States. The Idaho Lottery uses the ones in Florida and Michigan.

The printing process starts with a big mold called a lexography plate. One is created for every color that is going to be on the ticket.

The plate gets wrapped around, glued, and sent around a wheel so as the cards runs and print a layer for every color.

The final product has 8 layers that are then put through 24 different security checks.

"Integrity and security really makes what the Lottery is - without that we wouldn't have any games," said Sherie Moody-St. Clair, deputy director of marketing for the Idaho Lottery. 

The Lottery does everything it can to prevent ticket fraud. That includes printing a unique bar code on every ticket to identify winners and losers and to prevent cheating.

After scratch games pass all the security tests, it's time to head home to the Gem State.

They are shipped to a secret warehouse in Boise. There, warehouse employees package the orders.

The final leg of the journey is inside a secret truck to one of close to 1,200 Lottery retailers in Idaho. That is where you will find a colorful collection of games just itching to be scratched. 

Bloedel is not allowed to play, but she feels like a winner when she steps up to the store counter.   

"It’s fun! I still every time I look into the dispenser I say 'I did that one and that one' and it's a really neat feeling," said Bloedel.

For every dollar the Lottery receives from ticket sales, approximately 25 cents goes towards the annual dividend. Total dividends given to all Idaho Public Schools and the Permanent Building Fund from 1990 to 2014 is $649.5 million.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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