Above is a typical 'unwashed'
Tigerino game card.

TIGERINO was a promotional game issued by Humble Oil at its ESSO and ENCO-branded gas stations in 1966. This was a collect-and-win game with instant winners. The game consisted of a game card given to customers each time they visited a participating ESSO or ENCO gas station.

The Tigerino game cards have a wash-off area which, when you run water over it (or wipe it with a wet rag), reveals either an instant winner cash prize, or alphabet letters that were to be collected and combined with other cards. When a player collected one or more cards that spelled the word 'TIGER,' their cards could be redeemed for cash prizes of $50 or $1,000 depending on the type of letters on the card. The instant winner cash prizes ranged from pennies to hundreds of dollars.

Tigerino cards produced for ESSO gas stations have 'ESSO Extra' printed on the front. Tigerino cards produced for ENCO gas stations have 'ENCO Extra' printed on the front. These were the names of the premium gasolines sold at the respective stations. The front of the cards are identical otherwise.

There are four different versions of the printing on the backs of the cards (all shown below). This, combined with the two different front designs, all the different letter combinations, and all the instant winner variations, resulted in over 250 different Tigerino cards. It is unlikely that a complete set could ever be assembled because some of the top-prize cards may no longer exist.

The 'Tigerino' theme promoted Humble Oil's tiger branding and 'Put a Tiger in Your Tank' slogan.

Above is a scarce ENCO (back Version 4)
INSTANT WINNER 'Tigerino' game card.

At least sixteen different letter combinations appear in the wash-off area on Tigerino game cards. The letters are printed with either a solid font or a striped font. Spelling 'TIGER' with solid-font letters won a prize of $50. Spelling 'TIGER' with striped-font letters won a prize of $1,000. Below is a list of observed printed letter combinations.

Game CardLetter Combination
TigerinoTI . . .
TigerinoTIG . .
TigerinoTIGE .
TigerinoTI . E .
TigerinoTI . ER
TigerinoT . GE .
TigerinoT . . E .
Tigerino. IG . .
Tigerino. I . . .
Tigerino. IGE .
Tigerino. IGER
Tigerino. I . E .
Tigerino. I . ER
Tigerino. . GE .
Tigerino. . . E .


Above are typical ESSO 'Tigerino' game cards showing solid-font letters.


Above is a typical ESSO 'Tigerino' game card showing striped-font letters.


Above: Backs of 'Tigerino' game cards; Version 1 (left), Version 2 (right). These two versions
are seldom seen. They were discontinued early in the game.


Above: Backs of 'Tigerino' game cards; Version 3 (left), Version 4 (right).


Above: Newspaper ad in 'The Daily News,' Tarrytown, NY, 11/3/1966.


Above: Cool photo from 1966. Location unknown.

Use your back button or Click here to return to the main game page.