So here's the thing. I tend to keep my nails trimmed pretty short. I don't often have coins in my wallet. Those were always the top two ways to scratch off lottery tickets that I've been told.

Problem is, I find myself in possession of a scratch ticket, and I want to know if I've won the big money.

What are some things in my office I can use? I've tried a paperclip, and a pen lid. Neither were all that effective.

  • 3
    You're more than welcome to send them to me and I'll scratch them free of charge! – user2121 Feb 3 '16 at 3:55
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    @user2121 but will I get them back when you're done, I wonder. – Ash Feb 3 '16 at 3:59
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    @AshleyNunn: most of them. – Steve Jessop Feb 3 '16 at 9:43
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    Save your money and don't buy lottery tickets, problem solved. – Michael McGriff Feb 3 '16 at 17:19
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    @KiranLinsuain We get scratch tickets as a cherry on top of the holiday bonus. There's really no need to downvote because of your personal preference. Also, given that OP does not have a host of card scratching tools, I think that it's safe to assume he/she doesn't often buy therm. – Carl Feb 3 '16 at 21:13

13 Answers 13


Any type of plastic card may work, you probably have one in your wallet, so fairly accessible. enter image description here

  • The credit card totally worked. – Ash Feb 2 '16 at 23:36
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    Please limit your answer to just one solution. By having multiple solutions in one answer, if your answer is marked as accepted, the rest of us have no way to know which solution was the one that worked. Recommended reading: Lifehacks Manifesto – Adam Zuckerman Feb 3 '16 at 0:27
  • @AdamZuckerman in this case, the asker said which worked. should i next time post 4 different answers? – Dragonrage Feb 3 '16 at 0:30
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    Yes, please do that. – Adam Zuckerman Feb 3 '16 at 0:32
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    Does anyone else see the irony in using a credit card to further your lottery pursuits? – Joel B Feb 4 '16 at 3:18

Also if you are a into music you may have one of these in your pocket that can do the trick. enter image description here


You can use the edge of a key. Turn the key so that the sharpest edge along a flat edge is used to scrape the scratch area.

I couldn't find a picture, but it is the same technique you would use when using a coin to scratch a card.

  • 4
    a friend tried that once and it actually took off the ink too – Dragonrage Feb 3 '16 at 17:45
  • Agreed with Dragon; you scratch it all right, but you have to be careful not to damage it – Shevliaskovic Feb 4 '16 at 13:57

You can use one of these scratch off tools. ![enter image description here

  • I kinda feel like I need one of these. Wonder where I'd find one. – Ash Feb 3 '16 at 1:04
  • @AshleyNunn can probably find something similar to it on amazon. or possibly at like a gas station market or something – Dragonrage Feb 3 '16 at 1:07
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    @AshleyNunn if you feel like you need one of these, you might wanna start going to meetings. – DickieBoy Feb 3 '16 at 12:59
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    @KiranLinsuain isnt that localized to the united states? – Dragonrage Feb 3 '16 at 18:48

I carry one of these on my keychain.

enter image description here

I don't play the lottery, but it is great for scratching off the grey stuff on the backs of prepaid cards.

  • Lottery tickets tend to be more fragile than hard plastic prepaid cards. I believe they will sometimes be voided if you accidentally puncture the ticket. – GodEmperorDoom Feb 3 '16 at 18:02
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    You would have to be beasting it. This is pretty dull, nowhere near as sharp as a knife or a screwdriver. – Mike Vonn Feb 3 '16 at 19:05

also if you carry a nail file like this enter image description here
you can use the pointed tip or the edge to scratch it off.


I thought the default that everyone used was a quarter. Or any coin with a rough edge.

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    In my question, I mention I rarely have coins. – Ash Feb 3 '16 at 22:06
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    @AshleyNunn sorry, I skimmed the question and missed that part – Kevin Feb 4 '16 at 2:04
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    @Kevin No worries, it happens. :) – Ash Feb 4 '16 at 2:33

A metal collar stay! a few clean swipes and all of the scratching cratching is done

this is what i used


You can use your pants' zipper or button.

Case in point, you are supposedly wearing some of these clothes when being outside. So you can immediately scratch your ticket in the store.

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    And just how am I supposed to angle myself to scratch particular areas of the card? This strikes me as a highly difficult and impractical solution. – Ash Feb 3 '16 at 6:19
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    @AshleyNunn Agreed that pants zipper is pretty impractical, it's a hard angle to use and even if you can it will look quite weird. However, a jacket zipper would probably work pretty well! – DasBeasto Feb 3 '16 at 12:59

Do you carry a penknife?

You could use the knife, or bottle opener parts pretty easily.

  • I don't, but I keep thinking that I should. It feels like it might be useful. – Ash Feb 3 '16 at 18:01
  • @AshleyNunn I have a wallet ninja (google it) and it's awesome. Supprising how often I actually use it. – djsmiley2kStaysInside Feb 4 '16 at 9:27

Do you have hot drink making facilities? A teaspoon would work pretty well. A USB connector would work too, or a stapler if you can get it at the right angle. Other things in sight of my desk - ruler, coaster, bulldog clip and old cd/dvds

  • Any reason for the downvote? – Dave Feb 11 '16 at 15:51

Most of the time I used any parts of the ball pen like the bottom part of it. If you are lucky to have the cap of the ball pen it can effectively scratch your lottery ticket.

I suggest the pen because it is always available in almost every places, you can borrow one if you can't find any.


I found this thing on eBay that works great on my bingo scratch off game's and also on big scratch area's on other ticket games. I think it's called ezscratch,under scratch tools.Its blade is different than most of those others and it came on A keychain. I actually use it for more then lottery tickets.You got to check it out.Hope I helped you. No more broken nails. 😂

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