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Ypsilanti — A brand-new printing press is rolling this week at Pollard Banknote – a massive 22-station apparatus of steel that prints small pieces of hope.

Company and local officials are celebrating upgrades at the facility that sits just off I-94 in Ypsilanti that will allow Pollard - one of only three plants in the nation that print instant lottery tickets – to claim the “most advanced” equipment in the game. The new $20 million Danish-built press officially went on-line Monday ahead of a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Once at full speed, sheets of cards for instant games like Bingo whiz pass by the hundreds, in the time it takes to blink twice. Those cards create the potential for Pollard, which employs 150 workers, to potentially add 60 more.

Company officials made the investment based on steady growth in instant games. Roughly $1 billion in scratch-off tickets are sold each month, and Pollard is primed to be the second-largest producer of them.

“It’s the Mega Millions and the Powerball that gets all the headlines,” said Doug Pollard, Co-CEO of the Winnipeg-based company. “But the real growth has been in instant tickets. And the instant scratch-off ticket is the number one fastest-growing product, within the lottery…”

“We wouldn’t be making this investment if we didn’t have confidence in this category...”

The value of what is being printed at Pollard is hard to miss when viewing the operation. There is far more security at the plant that what you’d find at your neighborhood printing operation. Among those on-hand for Monday’s ceremony was Terry Rich, president of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, who said the tickets are tracked from the moment they come off the presses until the time the are disposed of.

“It’s absolutely the most secure product in any convenience store or grocery story in the United States,” he said.

Local officials were also on-hand to celebrate the plant expansion, including several from Ypsilanti Township. U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell attended as well.

“There are only three companies in the world that do this,” she said. “Three — just consider that. And we’re really lucky that one of them is in Ypsilanti.”

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