Johnny America


Lot­tery Tick­ets Re­viewed: Star Trek


"Scratched and Unscratched" photos of Kansas Lottery Star Trek lottery ticket.

This scratcher’s il­lus­tra­tion and over­all look be­lie promise: be­neath the clas­sic Star Trek word­mark, a Kirk-era USS En­ter­prise blasts phasers to­ward the right side of the card. The game area is a field of re­flec­tive sil­ver stars sprin­kled over a rosy neb­u­la; noth­ing you haven’t seen on a hun­dred t‑shirts and cof­fee mugs at the mall, but still ef­fort­less­ly “Trek.” The card’s graph­ic de­sign is not bold­ly go­ing where no one de­sign has gone be­fore, but it’s serviceable.

Scratch the game field, though, and you’ll dis­cov­er a fail­ure as sad as a wet An­do­ri­an: while many of the tick­et sym­bols are vague­ly space-re­lat­ed, none mine the rich and campy lex­i­con of the Star Trek uni­verse. This ticket’s sym­bols in­clude ‘Plan­et,’ ‘Cloud,’ and ‘Space Shut­tle,’ to name just a few. Whiles the En­ter­prise crew un­de­ni­ably vis­it­ed plan­ets, and plan­et with at­mos­pheres have clouds, could the game’s de­sign­ers have picked any­thing more gener­ic and uni­ver­sal? ‘Shoes,’ per­haps, since even space ex­plor­ers wear shoes? ‘Bur­ri­to,’ be­cause even in space, hu­mans need their fourth­meal? ‘Space Shut­tle’ is a par­tic­u­lar­ly pokey choice giv­en its non-Warp trav­el speeds, and ‘Globe’ is a such a non-space baf­fler one won­ders if this game de­sign­er is a for­mer high school jock flex­ing his graph­ic de­sign mus­cles to mess with the nerdy Trekker bunch so many years af­ter graduation.

A few sim­ple sub­sti­tu­tions that showed speci­fici­ty and a lit­tle love for the se­ries could’ve knocked this card all the way to the Klin­gon home world; swap ‘Klin­gon’ for ‘Alien,’ ‘Ro­mu­lus’ for the gener­ic ‘Plan­et,’ and they would’ve done right by fans of the Rod­den­bery fran­chise and sales would’ve mul­ti­plied like so many Trib­bles. As is, this scratcher’s a pass.

Filed under Lottery Tickets, Reviewed on March 5th, 2021

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Reader Comments

Ed Nobody wrote:

At a fun­da­men­tal lev­el, the idea of a lot­tery tick­et in it­self con­flicts with the post-scarci­ty so­ci­ety de­pict­ed in the tit­u­lar show.
Un­less you’re talk­ing about dilithi­um crys­tals, be­cause every­one fought af­ter that shit.
They should have made every square a dilithi­um crystal.

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