Lotology Interview Series

'Scratchy  Factory' employee, Australia.

I had the privilege of interviewing someone who works inside the walls of where all the Australian & New Zealand Scratchies come from!

  • How long have you worked in the Scratchy industry?

I have been in the business for 17 yr. now.

  • What is your exact roll in making the tickets and what tasks do you do?

My title is Bindery and warehouse supervisor, which looks after 30 women over 2 shifts, that means I make the decisions for making what goes out. Good quality hopefully.

  • Who do you make ticket for?

We currently do 100% for NSW, Vic, WA, SA, and NZ so all tickets for these states are processed at our plant. We also do a number of games for overseas, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, just name a few.

  • What is the official name for the scratchy material on the tickets?

Ok the name is called Latex, it’s applied by an ink.

  • How is it applied?

The process is quite involved using a number of machines, but the Latex which is the last process is run on a 16 colour Flexographic machines which applies the ink all together in the one process.

  • What about scratch and sniff tickets, how here they made smelly?

The smelly ink that we use comes actually from the UK and is applied using the same process, when you scratch it breaks the crystals thus causing the smell. Very expensive therefore not used much.

  • What dimensions are a unbroken 'sheet' of scratchies when they are made?

The process is in roll form, not sheet form, we print different meters depending on the size of the tickets. But we can actually run about 300,000 tickets in 1 roll. The web width is printed 420 mm and the document size from what we call the cue mark is 12.75mm.

  • How many people are involved in the production of tickets

We currently have over 98 staff, last Sept we lost a major contract for Taiwan so we lost about 15 people.

  •  How many voids are usually made?

The voids are about 150 metres at the beginning and start of the machines to help set up the process before live tickets come.

  •  Do you buy tickets yourself?

Yes I do but usually I go to have a look at the quality, just in case one of my girls have sent out by mistake.

  • Do you collect tickets yourself?

Not now but when I did start I used to …..

  •  What do you collect?

Nothing much, I do enjoy watching the rugby league and gardening.

  • Do you enter the lottery or every used pokies or casinos?

Yes, I play the lottery games and like the extended games like Bingo and Pyramids tickets, and you would not believe this but my wife works at the Star City casino for the last 7 yr., as a dealer.

  • Do you smile or shudder when you walk past a store and see tickets in shops?

Bit of both, its my problem first when someone complaints about a faulty ticket, until we look at the process, we can go back to ever machine and see what day, time who processed the ticket.

  • When telling people what you do are they generally fascinated with what you do?

My wife says no, but most people like to know more like "Can you get me one" "How many winners do we make" "You never win on those things".

  • Do you have any interesting stories about tickets you can share?

Well we have a lady who works for us, before she started she was in a shop, buying a paper and lady in front of her, was buying some tickets. When the lady went to pay for it, she didn’t have enough money so she gave one back. Well the ticket she gave back to the lady that works with us won $10,000. Wow.

  • If I wanted to do a run of tickets what would be the minimum?

Roughly speaking about 1 million tickets is the shortest run.

  • Any idea of the cost of material for a single scratchy?

Memory tells me about $7,000au for one production roll.

  • What's the security like in the factory?

Only one entrance, through the front door with security guards, and heaps of cameras everywhere.

  • Do you need special security checks before you can become an employee at a scratchy factory?

Yes, we do a reference check, on all staff before you get to start.

  •  Do you consider yourself like a person who works in a money mint?

Yes, but most tickets have barcodes on them so not worth a cent until activated.

  • So you aspire to work in a mint? Is a job at the mint climbing the ladder of prestige?

Yes…You never know.