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Saturday, September 24, 2011

This lottery ticket couldn’t be scratched with just a coin

LOUDON – The odds are pretty long, but the ticket was even longer.

The world’s largest instant scratch ticket – 36 feet, 2 inches tall by 18 feet, 8 inches wide, which makes it bigger than many living room floors – was displayed Friday at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway as part of events leading up to the Sylvania 300 NASCAR race.

The enormous $1 Million Cash Spectacular scratch ticket was certified as being a record by an adjudicator from Guinness World Records.

It was scratched by Norm Blanchette, along with Commissioner Doug Scamman, of the New Hampshire Lottery, and Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway.

Perhaps to nobody’s surprise, it proved to be a winner, giving Blanchette a “VIP experience” at the speedway for next year’s Lenox Industrial Tools 301 race.

It seems appropriate a really big ticket should be associated with the $1 Million Cash Spectacular, which was launched in December with a really high price – $20 – but really high payouts, with four tickets from each drawing winning $1 million each.

Many state lotteries around the country have experimented with a similar format, trying to use large payouts fueled by large ticket prices as a way to draw more players. Texas, for example, has experimented with a scratch game in which ticket cost $50.

The odds of winning something in the Cash Spectacular game are 1 in 3.2, although about two-thirds of the prizes just refund the price of the ticket.

The odds of winning $1 million are 248,000-1.