For some people, the joy of gambling is all about the strategy and the determination that leads you towards a jackpot. For most people, however, it is not the means that matters – it’s the winnings.
Let’s take a look at three games that can deliver some of the most satisfying instant wins out there – and how you can play them.
Most scratch cards offer large up-front cash prizes – although some are now offering the reward of smaller cash sums every month for the rest of the winner’s life
When did it start? Scratch cards are so simple you could be forgiven for thinking that they have been around for centuries. However, the first-ever patent for a scratch card was filed by John Koza of Scientific Games Corporation in 1974. Early scratch cards were used as subsidiary branches of wider lottery campaigns, but today they’re produced by independent betting and gaming firms.
In recent years there has also been a wave of new, online scratch cards introduced by large remote gambling companies. You’ll find there’s just as much choice at the best online casinos as there is in brick-and-mortar stores. With themes ranging from movies to adventure challenges, quick loading speeds and huge instant jackpots up for grabs, you can see for yourself just why today’s online scratch cards are so popular among modern gamers.
How do you play? Scratch cards are perhaps the most basic of instant win games available. All you have to do is scratch off the protective film on a card to reveal the list of symbols beneath. The symbols revealed, or their pattern will determine whether or not you win money.
How popular is it? Millions of scratch cards are sold every year in Canada. While exact sales figures are unknown, it is estimated a large percentage of Canadian lotteries $1.07 billion revenues come from scratch cards.
Who’s the biggest winner? In 2017, taxi driver Melissa Ede was on her way to Hull city center in England to start her shift. While fuelling her car she decided to buy a scratch card on a whim and ended up winning £4 million.
She immediately quit her job, allowing her to take New Year’s Eve off for the first time in 30 years. Despite the big win, Ede didn’t blow all of her money at once revealing two months later that she had only spent £1,000 on new outfits.
Slot machines often offer the largest cash prizes of any instant win game on the market, with multi-million dollar wins in the USA are becoming increasingly common.
When did it start? Most commonly referred to as slot machines, these games came about over 125 years ago. The very first mechanical slot machine was released by Sittman and Pitt of New York in 1891.
Since then more and more slot machines have hit the market. Nowadays the vast majority of both online and land-based casinos base their business models on slot machines, which are more engaging and immersive than ever.
How do you play? Similar to scratch cards, slot machines require the players to match certain symbols in order to activate wins and prizes. They are operated by a lever or a button that ‘spins’ the reels to randomly order the symbols on the screen.
There are various levels of slot machines, varying from low stakes one penny games too much higher $100 machines.
How popular is it? In Canada, annual online gambling revenues are just short of $5 billion – and slot machines represent the largest contributor to that figure. Such is the popularity of these games that they often outnumber traditional casino games 30 to 1.
Who’s the biggest winner? Married couple Andy and Marlyne Dumoulin were already having fun at Prince George’s Treasure Cove Casino earlier this year before their big slot win. Andy had been playing a $3 slot game and already had $300 in the bank before he encouraged his wife to have a go.
On her first spin, she hit the jackpot, scooping an incredible $2.1 million – the highest single slot machine win ever recorded in Canada.
Christine Bradfield’s £1.1 million wins in 2007 was a then-record in the UK, but that figure has since being beaten by numerous online bingo winners
When did it start? The history of bingo can be traced back to the 1700s in either Italy and France. However, the game as we know it today first rose to prominence in the UK.
Prior to its legalization in 1960, bingo was typical played as a fundraising activity at village fayres and community gatherings. In its halcyon days, there were 16 million registered players in the UK – representing almost 50% of the adult population.
How do you play? Bingo players pay for a card which displays a random collection of numbers. The bingo caller then randomly draws numbered balls and announces them to the room. The first player to cross of a row of numbers or scrub of all of the numbers on their card will then be rewarded with a cash prize.
How popular is it? As mentioned above, bingo was incredibly popular in the UK after its initial legalization. However, in the following decades, the game fell in popularity – not just in Britain but across the world.
The rise of online bingo has sparked a revival for the game in recent years, with participation numbers experiencing double-digit growth for the first time in a generation. It’s also led to a resurgence in charity fundraising, with a number of high-profile causes running regular bingo events.
Who’s the biggest winner? In 2007, 53-year-old grandmother Christine Bradfield took her regular seat at Bargoed bingo hall in Caerphilly, Wales. Bradfield had been a regular bingo player, meeting up with her friends once a week at the same place for years.
On this occasion, the lucky grandmother was playing in a national event that was being played across all 470 bingo halls in the country. With her full house win, she scooped £1.1 million, the highest legitimate bingo win in the history of the UK.
Bradfield shared the money with her sister-in-law Lorraine and continued to work three days a week in her local garage.
It’s easy to see instant win games such as scratch cards as disposable – but as we’ve learned here, they’re incredibly easy to play, and can lead to life-changing jackpots. With the global gambling boom set to continue in the coming years, we can expect instant win games like these to remain just as popular – if not more so – among today’s players.