In the 1970s many parties were trying to develop an instant win lottery-style game with many offering early scratchcard examples of the game type. However, the early examples were all randomised by hand and, as a result, payouts were sporadic and unpredictable. In 1987, AstroMed Inc. patented the first computer-randomised instant-win scratchcard that solved many of the early problems. With their low buying and availability at local convenience locations, the popularity of scratchcards exploded and was soon available globally.
With a strong niche user base, scratchcards became the ideal choice for early online casino game developers like Microgaming. The company digitised the scratch experience and today the format is huge popular with the casual gaming base with modern iterations pushing the instant-win format to its limits.