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Barbecue-scented scratch-and-sniff lotto tickets, dubbed "BBQ Bucks," are officially a thing in North Carolina.
Randy Spielman, director of product development for the N.C. Education Lottery, says the decision to do a scented ticket was made last November, but the real work began in April.
Via exclusive Q&A, he talks about the process of making lottery tickets smell delicious:
How does one make barbecue-scented tickets?
Our instant-ticket vendor works with scented ink companies to identify the right scent. The ink is applied to the latex covering that creates the scratch-off area of the ticket as the tickets are printed. Once a ticket is scratched off completely, the scent is gone.
The toughest part was finding the right scent. We knew we couldnít capture the smell of barbecue that you get at a pig pickiní or at one of our stateís great barbecue restaurants. Our specialty is prizes. Still, we wanted to do the best we can.
We sampled more than eight different scents before we ended up with the one that is on the ticket. Itís a smoky barbecue smell. We knew there would be debate about the scent, just like the debate over which is best, east or west (style). But we were glad to see that many of the folks trying the ticket so far got the scent.
Whose idea was it?
We saw other statesí lotteries having fun with a bacon-scented ticket. We also saw those tickets were successful with lottery players. We wanted to do a North Carolina version. People in North Carolina love their barbecue and this ticket is a fun way to celebrate that tradition. Adding something fun like this to a ticket will certainly help us meet our goals of raising more than half a billion dollars this year for education. If the game sells out, weíll have raised $2.1 million for education with it.
How much extra does it cost to make a lottery ticket sniffable?
Our contract with our vendor, IGT, allows us to apply a certain amount of money toward non-standard print features or techniques each year. We chose to use some of those funds toward the scented inks that were used on this ticket. If we didnít, then that budget to use for features like these, the scented inks, would have cost approximately $40,000 for the 4.4 million tickets produced ó just less than one-cent per ticket.
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