The Touch and Win Lottery Terminal
In 1992 at an Electronics Show and Convention in Los Vegas I met with Tony Marsh, the president of ACE Coin Equipment, manufacturer of 70% of “Fruit Machines in pubs throughout England and France. Although having sold his company recently to Allied Lyons Corp, the largest British brewer, for 22,000,000 Pounds Sterling, he still had access to bleeding edge software to complete my next project. A small footprint (1.25 sq ft.) vertical, unique video gaming terminal, located in a MAC Store or 7/11. If you won, it printed out a paper redeemable receipt that cost $0.0025. It would replace the the BC Lottery Corps Scratch and Win tickets which cost over $0.25 from their dedicated printing plant in Kamloops. With knowledge gained from the AVECA experience and using Tony’s new digital video interactive (DVI) technology I formed Lottosoft Software Inc. as a joint venture with Ace Coin Equipment Ltd of the UK to create a free standing lottery kiosk which we called Touch and Win!I physically built the “Touch & Win” dispenser in John Chilton’s, Camel Productions facility. Well known in the set decoration for Vancouver’s movie & TV industry. The unit was shipped to Boca Ratan Florida for presentation at the World Lottery EXPO attended by all major manufacturers of gaming equipment including IGE , Bally, Aristocrat and lottery executives from Europe, the US states and Canadian provinces.
The Touch & Win coin vend Kiosk was a hit with many lottery corporations including the BC Lottery Corp and Allied Lyons. Lyons was interested in purchasing 50 units to test for a potential order of 500 if, among several modifications we could add a bank and credit card reader. Doing the math quickly I would have to find $200,000 to fill the test order! At which point Tony said “Richard you take care of the changes, the last thing you have to worry about is money to build the test units”
A year passes, finances are thin, the next World Lottery EXPO was scheduled for Calgary Convention Center, Canada. The modifications were completed, we drove the unit to the Calgary, set up our booth and waited for Tony to arrive from Heathrow. When he was a no show the next morning, I phoned his wife Pat in Shropshire to find out where he was. “Oh Richard” , she said didn’t the hospital get in touch with you? He took my Ferrari and the gardener to buy some fertilizer. He was rounding a corner too fast when an old couple in an Austin came out of a country lane into his path. He wrecked both cars, the gardener in the seat, head back, eyes open. The driver of the other car was dead, his wife died in Tony’s arms. Right now he is in the psychiatric ward at Manchester General Hospital.... That’s another story.