In the never-ending effort to make buying a lottery ticket new and fun, the North Carolina Education Lottery has come up with this: Tickets that smell like barbecue when you scratch them.
The $2 scratch-and-sniff tickets bring a chance to win up to $25,000 and to enter a secondary drawing for one of 10 prizes of 100 pounds of pork and a Big Green Egg grill to grill it on.
North Carolina lottery officials say their tickets smell like “smoky BBQ,” side-stepping the issue of the Tarheel State’s sauce varieties.
The Palmetto State has no plans as of now to sell barbecue-scented tickets, said South Carolina Education Lottery spokeswoman Holli Armstrong.
The closest promotion the S.C. lottery is running now, Armstrong said (and it’s a stretch), would be the Double Side Dollars (Scratch My Back) ticket, where you can scratch the front and back of the ticket for more chances to win. There are two more of the five $100,000 prizes remaining in the state for the $5 tickets.
The BBQ ticket is the first scented scratch-off game for the N.C. lottery, as the state joins a growing number selling tickets with what are meant to be appealing aromas. Colorado began selling tickets with coffee, chocolate and bouquet scents as far back as 2008. Texas, Florida and Missouri have offered chocolate tickets, too, while Nebraska unveiled Sriracha-scented scratch tickets at its state fair this summer.
But pig products appear to be the hot thing in lottery tickets this year, with New Hampshire, Colorado and Indiana all introducing bacon-scented tickets. In Indiana, players of the Bringin’ Home the Bacon game can enter a separate drawing for a chance to win $250 worth of bacon each year for 20 years.
The odds of winning at North Carolina’s BBQ Bucks, including break-even prizes, are 1 in 4.55, and odds of claiming one of the $25,000 top prizes are 1 in 888,000. The first tickets were sold Sept. 1 at Cooper’s Barbecuein Raleigh. along Wilmington Street from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday
North Carolina sold nearly $2 billion in lottery tickets in the fiscal year that ended June 30, providing more than $500 million for a variety of education programs. Many legislators want to goose those sales by increasing advertising for the lottery and making a version of instant tickets available on the Internet or smartphones.
South Carolina sold $1.4 billion in lottery tickets in the same fiscal year ending June 30, providing more than $343 million for education programs.
The State contributed to this article.