Colorado Lottery scratches and sniffs

Smells like... less money to spend at Starbucks.

There’s been griping recently about the coffee from the cashiers at a local quick-stop gas station that I sometimes go to.

No, not about the convenience-store coffee they sell there. The complaints are about Coffee Crossword, the $3 scratch ‘n’ sniff game from the Colorado Lottery, which debuted in June. The problem? The tickets don’t smell.

As a journalist for fourteen years, I decided to verify the cashiers’ account, so I shelled out $3 for a ticket, and they were right. The tickets don’t smell.

Well, let me take that back. They don’t smell like coffee. Cardboard, yes. Coffee, no. (And no, I didn’t win any money.)

So what’s the odor disorder?

Lottery spokeswoman Erika Gonzalez says some batches smell more like coffee than others. "If they have been sitting there for a while, the special ink they use may have rubbed off and they may have lost some smell."

Gonzalez says she got a whiff of the problem back in June when a couple of people complained, but hasn’t heard anything since. A new, floral-bouquet-scented scratch ‘n’ sniff game will be released in mid-October, she adds, followed by a chocolate one.

“Most people agree that the floral bouquet is the strongest scent of the three,” she adds. -- Jonathan Shikes

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes