When the tedium of daily life and the inconvenience of single dollar bills get particularly acute, my sister buys scratch-off lotto tickets. Her favorite is the $3 Bingo game, because it takes a long time to scratch off all the bingo numbers and the scratching, well, that's part of the fun. (When you don’t win, that's all of the fun.)

As far as I’m concerned, this is a pastime time for cats.

But my scratch-happy sister is not alone, and here’s the proof: Hipster Lotto (as imagined by the Oregon Lottery).


The ads, which have been popping up recently—including some right in this here paper—offer illustrated instructions for making an elf hat out of ham slices and jazzing up a holiday sweater by cutting off the sleeves and belly. On the website, you can get holiday party tips, take a quizto figure out what lotto character you are (Mini-Meatball Aficionado or Ugly Sweater Wearer?), watch Mike Judge-ian tv spots, and of course there's Twitter. Get it? It's for you!

Now, I don’t like lotto. I don't like its questionable claims to outweigh obvious harms with money for education. (About five percent of Oregon public school funding comes from the lotto. Recently, there was a debate over raising the commission rates for lottery retailers that would have increased the amount, but it was ultimately rejected.) On the other hand, I do like the idea of marketing to hipsters instead of the usual demographics: children and impoverished adults. (Although the marketing strategy will probably backfire and these will only be popular with broke teenagers.)

But what if this is the beginning of a terrible trend? Imagine walking into a casino, only to be handed a dirty martini in a mason jar, and spin a roulette table that looks like a record player. My god, that would be awful. Where’s the escapism? The camp? The day that Las Vegas has bike parking, well, I just hope that Cher isn't alive to see it.