BOISE – There’s money in bird droppings.
Or at least in the idea of bird droppings.
North Idaho College graduate Nicolet Laursen recently won a $1,000 scholarship from the Idaho State Lottery for her design of a scratch ticket. The scratcher will be printed and available to the public beginning in October.
Called “Super Splatters,” Laursen’s design features a row of birds sitting on a wire over a line of cars. Lottery players scratch off the windshields. If the car has been “splattered,” they win the prize under the car’s hood.
“One thing that caught our attention was that it was so original,” said Sherie Moody-St. Clair, advertising manager for the Idaho Lottery. “It was something never done before. It was humorous.”
Moody-St. Clair said the design was not only creative, but the execution was well done. “We really didn’t have to change much. Hers was pretty much, get ready to print and go.”
Laursen designed the ticket for a contest offered at Boise State University, where she is studying for a bachelor’s degree in graphics design. “I was sitting and playing with different ideas. The teacher told us we should come up with interesting ideas … I just wanted to do something different and shocking,” she said.
The Idaho Lottery received 54 contest entries, which were narrowed to 10 finalists. Laursen submitted several entries. “Our panel of judges all put her designs in the top categories,” Moody-St. Clair said.
Laursen’s association with the Idaho Lottery didn’t end with the contest. A few months after she won the contest, Laursen contacted the Lottery and asked if there were any job openings. She now works for Idaho Lottery as a paid intern and is designing a second scratcher. The contest “certainly did help her get the internship,” said Moody-St. Clair, Laursen’s boss.
Laursen, 21, graduated from NIC in 2003 with a degree in graphic design. She’s the daughter of Gary and Sherry Laursen of Coeur d’Alene. “I’ve always been really interested in art in general,” she said. When she started at NIC, she was a physical therapy major. “I didn’t think art was something you could have a career with.”
She took an art class, loved it and then sort of “fell into” graphic design. She’s thinking about perhaps working for a graphics design or advertising firm when she graduates from BSU. “I really want to do something with a lot of variety.”
Moody-St. Clair said that the Idaho Lottery is very happy with the results of the contest offered at BSU, which was a pilot program. Due to its success, the Lottery will take the contest statewide in January.
Laursen, who used to play the lottery, said she prefers scratchers to picking numbers. “A lot of it might be the tactile (sense), having it there and playing it rather than choosing random numbers. You have an actual game to play.”
However, her lottery playing days are over, at least for the time being. “I can’t any more since I work there.”