Getting started with your scratch ticket collection

What Will you specialise in?

- Your first decision is what 'conditioned' tickets you are going to collect:

  1. Mint - Bought and not scratched - Worth the most - Most expensive to collect - you need to have a lot of self control to collect these as you will never know if you have a big winner.
  2. Sample/Void - Invalid tickets given out buy the seller - Cheap and worth something  - Cant win on the tickets
  3. Scratched - Second hand  or scratched tickets - free to collect and you can win on others overlooking prizes - not worth as much

I recommend collecting the scratched variety because it doesn't cost anything and you can always find prizes that have been looked over on them.

- Secondly you have to decide how wide your collection will be:

Because of the huge number of different tickets in the world, or even in your country (if it sell thousands of different tickets like the U.S.A. does), it is impossible to have a comprehensive collection covering the world (or the US). This is the great thing about Lotology, you can specialise you ticket collection on your interests! Here's some suggestions on what you can specialise on and the amount of tickets available for each topic. I suggest you pick one that fits the amount of time (or money) that you want to put into your collection.


Rough Numbers

All different world tickets 100,000+ Impossible to manage
1 of each different $ amount ticket from every country or state in the world 1,000+ (states)
100+ (countries)
Not a huge amount to collect but fun and challenging! Meet people all over the world!
An entire set of a countries tickets 50,000+ (USA)
10,000+ (Australia, Canada,)
1,000+ (for smaller countries with few states)
Great idea if you live in the smaller countries with not many different states, not for USA!
An entire set of a states tickets 100 - 1,000+ A grate idea for all countries.
One type of $ amount tickets only 10,000+ (world)
1,000+ (countries)
100+ (state)
Tickets will mostly be the same sizes for your state or country making displaying easy
Extended play tickets
(bingo, monopoly)
10,000+ (world)
1,000+ (countries)
100+ (state)
A really fun option to see the innovations of these tickets.
Word / title themes 5 - 1000+ Tickets with certain titles or words eg, lucky duck, lady luck, lucky ball
Themes of interest
(see below for ideas)
100 - 1,000+ (world)
10- 100+ (country/state) 
This will fit in with any other collecting you already do and will look fantastic with 1 theme of tickets collated together too!
Ticket issued between 2 dates   For example collect all tickets up to the year 2000 or every ticket issued around the world in a certain year 

Theme ideas to specialise in:
(tickets with images of:)

  • sports

  • animals

  • movies

  • cars

  • transport

  • flowers

  • card games

  • year Events: New Year, Christmas, Halloween, Fathers/Mothers day

  • board games

  • more ideas? e-mail me!

Remember if you do find that it's getting to hard to find new tickets in the area you collect, simply expand and collect another topic of interest too!!

Where to get all your used scratch tickets

The fastest and largest way to collect tickets is on the Internet. there are many other people worldwide who are wanting to swap their tickets with you. however before you can swap tickets with other people you need some tickets to swap.

The next best way to collect tickets is to go to a seller and ask to empty their bin for you. Some of them don't mind.

The two main places you find tickets (in Australia any way) are fairly obvious, on a scratching table outside the outlet that sold the ticket or in rubbish bins near where they are sold. Another interesting place is at a quiet rubbish tip where scratch ticket sellers throw out their rubbish. I have found many there, however it's hard to find appropriate rubbish tips to do this.

Digging for Gold!!

"Yup! That's me pulling tickets out of a bin alright!"

How to get used tickets from the bins without being embarrassed

Tickets can be easily gotten from tables where people scratch and leave. You can innocently walk past wipe your hand across the table and pick up 1 - 10 tickets this way. This has extremely little chance of people seeing you.

Now for the serious collectors you go through the near by bin. This is where you can get 10 to 50 tickets in one go at the right places. The best way to do this is to have someone with you standing next to you, as cover I guess.

My tips on picking up tickets

Find a popular spot where many tickets are sold and where there is a bin or table you feel comfortable going through.

Visit later in the day when there are more lying around and the bins have filled up. Also you may find that on Thursdays and Fridays there are a lot more tickets as everyone is getting there weekend lotto numbers. Bins can get emptied during the day if it is a busy place so see if you can figure out when the bin is at its fullest before it is about to be emptied (or you meet the cleaner)

Look for a place where people are in a rush or (in the USA) in liquor stores where people may be a little tipsy.

If anyone asks what you are doing (never happened so far!) tell them proudly that you collect them, that you are a LOTOLOGIST and you now have over 200 tickets in you collection, or something like that.

Displaying and storing your tickets

Displaying collections can be tricky. some suggestions are as follows:

  • Baseball card holder sheets - can become expensive - different tickets sizes can be a problem - safe way to store and display them.
  • Photo albums - some sheets have an acid in the clear pages and this could ruin you collection over a few years - good for all size ticket variations.
  • Stamp albums - good for all different sizes - your tickets may rub or be touched by hands - could prove expensive if you have a lot of tickets.
Up until now I personally have been using photo albums to display my tickets. When I change over the order displayed form ticket values to date released I will be moving over to stamp albums. Photo Album

The best order to sort, categorise and display your tickets is by country, state and date issued. You can find the issue dates on my catalogue page.

An alternative to this is to divide up into money categories ($1, $2, $3, $4, $5 and $10) in each state. This is not seen as the best 'official' way to display them but make a great, neat looking display. 

All of your spare tickets can be sorted by value or country or state, again depending on the size of your collection, and put into boxes, waiting to be swapped. 

Note: Make sure you have a bug protection plan for your stored tickets so they don't get to and eat all your tickets. 

Keeping Records

It's a good idea to keep thorough records of your collection from the day you start. some details you might like to record are:

  • a check list of the tickets you have
  • a possible want list or check list of the tickets you want to give other collectors
  • a count of the number of different tickets you have (even divided into $ values) 
  • a count of the number of total tickets you have all together
  • keep a record of the tickets you send people so when it comes time to trade again you don't send the same tickets again.

It's best to start as soon as you can because it will save you having to go through 4000 tickets (Like I had to) and count and sort them all.

Not just tickets

There are many people around the worked who do not collect scratch tickets but have a lot to trade for other items they do collect. I suggest that you also keep any collector cards or toys or anything else that some one may collect because they become great trading tools to get more tickets from around the country or world.