There’s a new way to say “I love you” this Valentine’s Day.
And it doesn’t involve jewelry or flowers.
Or chocolate — well, sort of.
Just in time for the big day, the Texas lottery is offering chocolate-scented scratch-off tickets, each costing $5 and touting 20 chances to win up to $100,000.
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“We always strive to incorporate innovation into our products, and scented tickets have historically sold well,” said Kelly Cripe, a spokeswoman for the Texas lottery. “We launched the new chocolate-scented ticket … in anticipation of Valentine’s Day.”
Officials rolled out the Chocolate game last month, making it the third scented ticket in Texas, after Candy Cane Cash in 2010 and the first Chocolate game, in 2012.
Other states have long sold scented tickets. Colorado has scents ranging from bouquet to coffee, and New Hampshire most recently wheeled out a scratch-and-sniff I Heart Bacon offering.
For the record, you don’t have to scrape Texas’ tickets to release the chocolate aroma. (But the fragrance does seem to grow stronger when the tickets are scratched.)
“They might not just sell tickets,” said Gail Howard, Nevada-based author of the Lottery Master Guide. “They might sell a lot of chocolate in the store with the tickets.
“I’ve got to give credit to the people at the Texas lottery for their imagination. It’s a very clever promotional idea,” she said. “It’s very apropos at this time.”
Love must be in the air for the card, since players win five times the prize listed if they reveal a heart symbol.
Already, one of the eight largest prizes of $100,000 has been won and claimed.
But officials say there are plenty of winnings left to go around. Overall, the game offers more than $27 million in prizes.
“The Chocolate scratch-off game is currently one of our top-10-selling scratch-off games,” Cripe said. “Last week, the Texas lottery had its highest scratch-off ticket sales in the lottery’s 23-year history.”
Scratch-off sales totaled more than $75.6 million, topping the previous record of $75.3 million in March 2013.
The Chocolate ticket ranked No. 8, bringing in $2.48 million in sales last week, lottery records show.
Don’t let the chocolaty scent cloud your judgment.
This calorieless chocolate treat isn’t just for anyone. Players must be 18 or older.
But the scented tickets might make winning sweeter than ever.
Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610