Collecting Vintage Lottery Tickets: Value and Clubs

Updated September 9, 2021
Man playing Lotto

Made up of over 200 members, the Global Lottery Collectors Society represents a diverse community of lotologists who take the time to share in their love of lottery tickets, new and old. The hobby of collecting lottery tickets, known as lotology, is one of the most fascinating niche interests on the internet. Collectors worldwide are able to come together and share their love of lottery tickets as they trade vintage lottery tickets with one another, share collecting stories, and gather together for their annual Lotovention. No type of lottery ticket, decade, or region is too unique for these lotologists, and you're just one swipe of your card away from starting your own collection.

Collecting Lottery Tickets

Lottery ticket enthusiasts collect many different types of tickets: scratch-offs, quick picks, and so much more. The reasons for collecting these pieces greatly vary, with some collectors procuring tickets based on the artwork that's printed onto the tickets they collect, while others only want lottery tickets of a specific geographical area or time period. Naturally, there are also lotologists that collect a broad range of lottery tickets without limiting their collections with any guidelines.

Of course, there is the question of whether you should save any of those losing lottery tickets you have taking up space in your car's center console. Currently, there isn't really any collector's market for contemporary lottery tickets, but tickets from the mid-century are really popular with lottery enthusiasts. However, this area of collectibles isn't known for its big-ticket items; in general, most sellers retail their 1960s and 1970s lottery tickets for anywhere between $1.00-$20.00 individually. While some people might be disappointed to discover that these items aren't particularly valuable, fans of the lottery know that half of the fun is getting to find the strangest, most unusual tickets out there.

Collecting International Lottery Tickets

Most states in the United States hold individual lottery drawings, with a few states joining together to create jackpots for mega lottery competitions. Several European and African countries also hold lotteries, though on a national level. Lotteries are also found in the British Commonwealth, such as in many provinces and territories in Canada and Australia. Tickets from all of these different locations are highly sought after by many lotologists that collect tickets based on the area of origin. In fact, there are even lottery tickets from long-since defunct nations and organizations; take for instance the USSR and the many lottery tickets of theirs that you can find for sale on websites like Etsy and eBay.

USSR 1975 Soviet Lottery ticket 50 kopek

Types of Lottery Tickets

Lottery ticket collectors look for many different types of tickets to add to their collections, including:

  • Instant Tickets - A very popular type of lottery ticket is the instant ticket. Also called a scratch off or instant game, this type of lottery game is played by scratching the latex covering off the playing area. If the ticket is a winner, payment is made immediately up to a certain dollar amount. If the winning amount is over a certain amount, the winner must take the ticket to a lottery office to receive payment. Lotologists collect instant game tickets in three categories.
    • Used Tickets - Used tickets fall into two categories: tickets scratched off by non-collectors and those scratched off by collectors, known as collector scratched tickets. Collectors carefully scratch off the ticket by removing the smallest amount of latex possible.
    • Mint Lottery Tickets - Mint lottery tickets, also known as unused or MT, are tickets that remain unscratched. Although no one knows if the tickets were winners or losers, there are lottery collectors that believe investing in mint tickets is a better choice.
    • Void Ticket - A sample/void, or SV, ticket has been voided and has no value. The most common use for these tickets is promotions and displays.
  • Bet Slips - Lotto tickets, and the bet slips used to choose numbers, are also sought after by lotologists worldwide.
  • Pull Tabs - Pull tabs, also known as pop ups, are another type of instant game that is highly collectible.
  • Scratch-offs - Scratch-offs are lottery tickets printed with sections of the ticket covered in a thin layer of latex ink that can later be removed or 'scratched' off, and collectors find these in both mint and used forms.
Vintage Scratch-off Lottery Ticket Instant Dollars Derby 1977/78

The Global Lottery Collectors Society's Lotovention

Not all collectible communities encourage social engagement and community building, but lotologists love to get together. Each year, the Global Lottery Collectors Society hosts a national convention for both members and non-members. Held in a different city every year, the Lotovention is a place for lottery enthusiasts to come together and bring their favorites from their collections, do some reconnaissance on potential investments, and enjoy on betting big. For example, lotologists joined together in Philadelphia in 2021 for the 26th annual Lotovention. Just a few of the activities that are offered to guests at this covention are:

  • Ticket trading
  • Prizes being awarded
  • Award ceremonies
  • A freebie table
  • A chance to meet fellow lotologists in person

Society Member Benefits

If all this talk about lottery tickets has you itching to test your luck, you too can become a member of the Global Lottery Collectors Society. As a member, you will receive a monthly newsletter, the opportunity to purchase their publication The Lottery Collectors Ticket Catalog, and have access to the society's members only area. The restricted member's area includes:

  • Ticket catalog listings
  • Member profiles
  • Contact emails
  • Access to past newsletter archives
  • Downloadable lotology screensaver, banners and logos

It's Time to Test Your Luck

If you like to spend twenty minutes in front of a lottery machine picking out the best tickets and predicting the probability of winning big on them every day, you should think about converting that passion into the world of collecting. There's no time like the present to find a new way to test your luck by perusing the online auctions for unique and interesting vintage lottery tickets and getting in on the bidding action. After all, you just might hit the jackpot.

Collecting Vintage Lottery Tickets: Value and Clubs