Why Scratchies are a no-no as Christmas presents

Have you ever given scratchies as a Christmas present? Popped a lotto ticket in someone’s card, or stuck a few scratchies to a hamper?

I know I’m guilty of this. It seemed like a good idea at the time – a quick fix for Secret Santa, an easy filler for the father-in-law who is impossible to buy for.

But if you’re considering scratchies or lotto tickets as a Christmas present this year, I issue this dire warning: please don’t. For the sake of your relationships, keep scratchies away from the Christmas tree!


And not because the recipient might not like it. I didn’t even know this was a thing, but apparently, some people don’t like receiving tiny cards that offer seconds of gambling joy as a gift. Thoughtless, they call it – tacky, even.

I’m not worried about that, though. No, my concern is centred on your relationship with the gift recipient.

Because after receiving your gift of scratchies, their actions could change your relationship forever.

Hear me out on this… In fact, let’s put this idea into practice.

If I give a scratchie to, say, my sister, and she wins $100,000. What happens next?

Does she wander off into the sunset, $100k richer? Or should she share any of those winnings with me?

A recent survey suggested that around 80% of people would do the right thing share their winnings with the person who gave them the gift. Meaning, 1 in 5 would-be winners are happy to keep their gambling proceeds for themselves.

Can you imagine the arguments?!

For the sake of clarity, I had this conversation with my sister, and she said she would definitely share the proceeds with me if I gave her a winning scratchie.

“I’d give you half,” she said, “because the way I see it, I would never have had that money in the first place, if you didn’t give me the gift.”

A friend has the completely opposite viewing, saying a gift a gift – it should be given without any expectations, and therefore, she’s not obliged to share a single cent with me.

As you can see, there is so much opportunity for friction around such a supposedly simple gift. Which is why I say: eliminate the potential for friends and family to come to blows, and refrain from giving scratchies and lotto tickets this Christmas.

Your future relationship could depend on it!