Friday, January 6, 2017

1992 Topps Gold Winners

Yesterday's post showed the gold parallel Cubs from the 1992 Topps set.  Eric left a comment, asking about similar cards marked "Winner".

Here's the scoop on them...

Topps included scratch off cards inside each pack of cards for a game they called "Match-the-Stats."  Each card contained eight dots.  You needed to scratch off three that showed stats.  If you revealed one that said out, you lost.  If you won you could get gold cards or other more valuable prizes.

But in early January, 1992, not long after the packs were available, someone posted on a Prodigy message board (yes, this was very early in the days of the web) that by holding a bright light behind the card you could see through the scratch off material and read the circles.  It was almost a guaranteed win.


Going into scramble mode, Topps said that they would honor all of the winner cards despite the hack.  They also decided to print in gold the words "Winner" on the gold cards that would be sent to winners.  That allowed a way to differentiate between the regular gold cards and the contest cards.

Theoretically, the winner cards would be more valuable.  But, no.

Since a winning scratch card could net ten gold cards, there was a potential for over half a billion (yes, billion with a b) winner cards to be won.  A 1992 Tribune article (link here) cites a source that said about 76 million packs would be printed, meaning a possibility of 760 million winning gold cards.  That doesn't make the winner cards very rare, does it.

Yesterday I picked up a Cubs team set.  Like my first gold set, this one also doesn't include the prospects, so I've picked them up from Sportlots.  It was not a problem.  Despite being 25 years old, the cards are worth just pennies each.  I'll show then once they arrive.


  1. I totally sat in my bedroom on the floor in the dark with a flashlight and a stack of the game cards. At one point I had an 800ct. box filled with these. Not sure what ever happened to them, but I'll see these floating around the flea market and card shows from time to time.

  2. Same as Fuji... But, I actually finished a hand collated set! Woo-Hoo! I'm rich!

  3. I admit to being one of the ones who held a flashlight behind the card and got a win on every damn scratch card. I just happened to figure it out myself, I didn't see it on a message board. In fact, I don't even know if I had internet then....certainly didn't have Prodigy access. I was just a smartass 14 year old with a pen light looking to get "free" cards.

    In my first shipment of winning cards that I sent in I got regular gold cards back.
    Maybe at first they were sending out the standard gold cards to winning tickets....but it eventually changed.
    Every shipment I got back after that first one had "Winner" cards in the pack.

    Also....soon after Topps changed the scratch cards to thicker stock that you couldn't shine a light through. That's about when the fun ended.

  4. My mailman hated me back then. There were so many cards coming in, he had to to stuff what he could inside the mailbox and put the rest in a bag and hang them on my mailbox handle. That went on every day for weeks until I had a few full sets and tons of doubles. I stopped because I thought I was going to get in trouble with Topps lol.