In April the Illinois Lottery introduced a Loteria themed ticket in all corner tienditas “as another way to reach out” to the Mexican-American community, said spokesman Steve Rossi.
The three-dollar scratcher is a smaller version of a Loteria playing card, with 16 out of 54 possible symbols that range from “El Nopal” to “La Bota” but in English. You have to find four in a row to win.
Loteria, which literally translates to “lottery”, gained popularity in Mexico in the early 1800s after the Mexican War for Independence. It became a pastime at carnivals and street fairs, and it’s common to find a set of Loteria cards--and a puño of pinto beans--in the typical Mexican household, here and abroad.
“Obviously we’ve gotten some very good feedback,” Rossi said. “We’re very pleased to be able to offer this.”
It’s another immigrant tradition that enters the U.S. market.