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Indiana Lottery has limit for Pick 3 and Pick 4 Numbers

Indiana LotteryIndiana Lottery: Indiana Lottery has limit for Pick 3 and Pick 4 Numbers

The Hoosier Lottery has at least one unhappy player, and he's not unhappy because he lost. He's angry that he wasn't allowed to play at all.

Ken Myers of Fort Wayne, who plays the Daily 3 and Daily 4 numbers regularly, sent us a copy of a letter he sent to lottery officials, complaining that from time to time, the lottery cuts off betting on certain numbers. It has happened to him, he says, and others he knows.

You can imagine what a player's response might be if he tried to bet four numbers and was told, "No, you can't bet that number today. The computer has shut off betting on that number."

It might make some people wonder, as it did Myers. Does the lottery compute the odds of certain numbers being chosen and restrict those numbers? Does someone in the lottery have some idea what numbers might be picked on a particular day?

Well, no, no one knows what numbers are going to be picked.

It is possible, though, to understand why certain numbers might be restricted from time to time, but we asked the lottery itself whether Myers' claim is accurate and, if it is, why it happens.

Indeed, Myers isn't imagining anything. Besides computer failures, which make it impossible to bet any numbers, there are occasions when the lottery will close betting on certain combinations, according to Andrew Reed, the spokesman for the lottery.

It only happens once in a blue moon, Reed said, and he didn't believe it had even happened this year, but sometimes, if too many people are betting one number, betting will be shut down on that number.

How come?

The lottery limits its liability to $2 million on any one number in the daily games. The top prize in the Pick 4, for example, is $5,000, and the top prize on the Lucky 5 is $50,000.

That means that, statewide, after 400 people bet the same combination of numbers in the Pick 4 – say 1134 – the state's lottery computers automatically shut off betting on that number because, if those numbers come up, the total prize money will be $2 million.

If 40 people bet the same Lucky 5 numbers, betting on those numbers gets shut off.

The same formula is used for the Pick 3, which has a $500 payoff. After the same number has been bet 4,000 times, the lottery's computers refuse to allow any more betting on those numbers.

In a way, the lottery's strategy might seem unnecessary. Reed said he can't remember any instances in which a number that has been shut down has eventually come up as a winner, and it is unusual that a large number of people will, by coincidence, bet the same number.

If a huge number of people were to bet the same number and it were to come up, though, the lottery could get hammered.

Let's say this afternoon 10,000 people went out and bet 1134 because someone kept pitching that number in a newspaper column, and they all won. The total prize payout would be $50 million. That would be a staggering hit for the lottery, enough to break the bank, so to speak. It would amount to one quarter of the profits that the lottery makes in an entire year.

There are days when huge numbers of people bet the same numbers. When Sept. 11 arrives, Reed predicted, you can bet there will be plenty of people betting 911 in the Pick 3. When a plane crashes, lots of people bet the tail numbers on the plane that went down. It's superstition because it worked once.

What are the chances a large number of people will bet the same number and that number will come up the winner? Pretty slim, but it happens.

In late March, for example, Powerball, which normally has about four $100,000 winners per drawing, announced that 110 people had won $100,000 prizes in one drawing – 28 times as many as normal – and some of those got even more because they bought the power play, which multiplies the winnings.

Powerball officials were mystified why so many people had bet the same numbers. It turned out that a New York fortune-cookie maker had put those numbers in a batch of fortune cookies it had shipped to customers in several states.

In the meantime, people who have been shut out at one time or another can only take consolation in knowing that, as Reed said, a blocked-out number has never won – yet.

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

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43 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by dvdiva.
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Avatar
New Mexico
United States
Member #12305
March 10, 2005
2984 Posts
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Posted: August 26, 2005, 9:40 am - IP Logged

Powerball officials were mystified why so many people had bet the same numbers. It turned out that a New York fortune-cookie maker had put those numbers in a batch of fortune cookies it had shipped to customers in several states.

I'll wager that fortune cookie company is working three shifts now and the employees are spending up all their wages on insider information about what number's on the next run of cookies.

Indiana lottery seems to be just hedging the bets.  They don't want to risk losing any of the money today that they made yesterday and on the previous days by some freak stroke of fate.  From the perspective of the State it makes sense and so long as they aren't making up the rules as they go along, so long as it's part of their formal rules, there's nothing in it that should be cause for unhappiness on the part of players.

Interesting story.  Those lottery guys have to be right on their toes all the time to keep from losing any money.

Jack

 

 

Absorb the good, ignore the bad, weigh the ugly.

It's about number behavior.

Egos don't count.

 

Dedicated to the memory of Big Loooser

 

    Avatar
    Atlanta, GA
    United States
    Member #1265
    March 13, 2003
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    Posted: August 26, 2005, 11:09 am - IP Logged

    When folks are feeling as if a particular triple is about to hit and there's a run on it, Georgia has also cut off sales on that number.  Has happened over the years so really not news.  If you feel it, purchase it ahead of time.

    Georgia Cash 3 and Cash 4 allow you to play a particular number on say Monday to hit the following Sunday, so you don't have to purchase a full week worth of plays.  I certainly like the ability to do that.  Jester  Perhaps other states do also.   

    Good luck to everyone!

      Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
      Atlantic Mine, Michigan
      United States
      Member #416
      June 23, 2002
      1614 Posts
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      Posted: August 26, 2005, 11:28 am - IP Logged

      One word.....CHICKENS

        Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
        Atlantic Mine, Michigan
        United States
        Member #416
        June 23, 2002
        1614 Posts
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        Posted: August 26, 2005, 11:35 am - IP Logged

        It is near impossible that 10,000 people would bet the same number straight.

        Look at Michigan....they aren't chicken.

        Top 20 Daily 4 Payouts

         

        Winning NumberPrize
        Liability
        Draw
        Date
        Mid-Day or EveningPercentage Payout
        1010$13,965,8444/15/2004Evening2,600.0%
        1028$15,096,9965/14/1993Evening2,227.1%
        1010$10,226,1683/21/1998Evening1,514.1%
        1101$4,787,6505/29/2004Midday1,422.0%
        1028$6,207,56812/27/1990Evening1,117.0%
        1010$5,752,1418/03/1998Evening965.8%
        1021$2,510,4966/27/1998Mid-Day930.4%
        1212$5,479,0714/21/2001Evening918.4%
        1110$2,357,9509/26/2001Mid-Day828.7%
        1021$4,515,5124/28/1997Evening773.6%
        1110$3,761,8757/26/1999Evening708.1%
        1025$1,370,26812/31/1996Mid-Day692.7%
        1028$2,757,90810/15/1986Evening667.7%
        2111$2,363,75012/11/1998Mid-Day614.4%
        1012$3,708,4243/11/2000Evening555.9%
        1120$2,983,84011/04/1998Evening475.9%
        2211$1,318,2223/31/1998Mid-Day460.5%
        1210$2,801,29210/18/1993Evening452.4%
        1101$3,191,25012/02/1993Evening431.1%
        2020$975,2118/06/1997Mid-Day419.5%

        Now there is a lottery that isn't chicken

        Brad

          Avatar
          New Mexico
          United States
          Member #12305
          March 10, 2005
          2984 Posts
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          Posted: August 26, 2005, 11:43 am - IP Logged

          Bradley:

          Indiana's just striving for a risk-free lottery system. 

          Gambling is an activity that happens on the player side of the equation.  Taxpayers don't like State officials gambling with their money.

          Jack

          Absorb the good, ignore the bad, weigh the ugly.

          It's about number behavior.

          Egos don't count.

           

          Dedicated to the memory of Big Loooser

           

            Rainmaker2k's avatar - voodoo
            Dallas, TX
            United States
            Member #5506
            July 8, 2004
            24 Posts
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            Posted: August 26, 2005, 3:06 pm - IP Logged

            Now that just reassures me that big brother is watching the lottery.  I am under the impression that the house always win in this game.  Let's face it, if you played all 1000 combinations in the pick 3 game straight,it would cost you $1000 for a sure win, you would win $500 and the house would win $500.  So why cut off bets on a particular number.  Please tell me what are they afraid of?  The only way to profit in the game is to play the winnig number at least 4 times to make any headway.  I have been playing in Texas for 10 years and I have yet to see them shut down a number.

              Avatar
              New Mexico
              United States
              Member #12305
              March 10, 2005
              2984 Posts
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              Posted: August 26, 2005, 3:28 pm - IP Logged

              I am under the impression that the house always win in this game.  Let's face it, if you played all 1000 combinations in the pick 3 game straight,it would cost you $1000 for a sure win, you would win $500 and the house would win $500.  So why cut off bets on a particular number. 

              Please tell me what are they afraid of? 

              They're afraid they'll lose some of the money they won on all previous days.  Some of the other money they won on this particular day.  They've limited the amount of money it's possible for them to lose. 

              The people who couldn't buy the number they wanted bought another, different one and lost.  The lottery cut potential losses and gave up nothing.

              Now that just reassures me that big brother is watching the lottery. 

              Big Brother OWNS the lottery.  Of course he's watching it.

              Do you still see those bumper stickers in Texas?  The ones that say, "I DON'T CARE HOW THEY DID IT UP NORTH!"? 

              You might send Indiana an email expressing your sentiments on this.  They'd probably appreciate it.

              Jack

               

               

              Absorb the good, ignore the bad, weigh the ugly.

              It's about number behavior.

              Egos don't count.

               

              Dedicated to the memory of Big Loooser

               

                four4me's avatar - gate1
                MD
                United States
                Member #1701
                June 18, 2003
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                Posted: August 26, 2005, 5:10 pm - IP Logged

                Lotteries have to set limits on the games they have to insure that they will continue to have a games. If they didn't set limits and for the sake of argument a thousand people played 1111 and it came out then the next draw 20,000 people decided to play 1111 again and it came out. Now if you were running a lottery either for the state or for yourself would you want to back up those bets.

                On any given day there a more than a few numbers which reach the threashold limit in many states. If you have a number you know will probably be sold out then by all means get the number in advance.

                  JAP69's avatar - Lottery-053.jpg
                  South Carolina
                  United States
                  Member #6
                  November 4, 2001
                  8511 Posts
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                  Posted: August 26, 2005, 5:32 pm - IP Logged

                  When I use to play the 3 and 4 in N.Y. I have been cutoff many times over the years.

                  I do not know why Indiana cuts off a number anyhow. nobody wins anyhow. Look at their payout sheet.

                  Stats hunting: Type

                    Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
                    Atlantic Mine, Michigan
                    United States
                    Member #416
                    June 23, 2002
                    1614 Posts
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                    Posted: August 26, 2005, 7:45 pm - IP Logged

                    1010 is probably the most played number in the Daily 4 game.  But there is now way that many people would buy that number.  If there was over 1500 ticket that play any number straight on any given day is out of the norm.  I can't believe IN has only a 2 million cap.  Look at my great state of Michigan.  We don't limits numbers and the most we won was less then $15,000,000 and we are a gaming state.

                    Brad

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                      New Mexico
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                      Posted: August 26, 2005, 7:59 pm - IP Logged

                      Bradley:

                      It really doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.  I've been searching my mind for some sinister motive for them doing it, but I'm at a dead loss.

                      Maybe it was just something some idiot politician demanded back when they were passing the lottery bill. 

                      Jack

                      Absorb the good, ignore the bad, weigh the ugly.

                      It's about number behavior.

                      Egos don't count.

                       

                      Dedicated to the memory of Big Loooser

                       

                        Avatar

                        United States
                        Member #1826
                        July 11, 2003
                        2645 Posts
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                        Posted: August 27, 2005, 2:18 am - IP Logged

                        Just another cover-up to make people think they have honest draws. It would be common sense that liability limits would only be placed if it was a random, coincidental draw. But as we've seen, that isn't the case here.

                        (insert signature here)

                          johnph77's avatar - avatar
                          CA
                          United States
                          Member #2987
                          December 10, 2003
                          832 Posts
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                          Posted: August 27, 2005, 2:51 am - IP Logged

                          I've mentioned this before - some lotteries cut off numbers after a certain number have been purchased. And it doesn't matter which numbers will be drawn - the lotteries simply could not stand a popular number winning and going that far in the hole - on that day. My response? "So what?" They're going to play the same number again the next day, and over and over - and it still stands the same odds of hitting as it did the day before. The odds remain the same, the overall take will be the same - hell, if they're gonna cut off numbers then make the whole damn thing pari-mutuel and cut off any chance of loss.

                          Guess you can tell I'm a might ticked.....

                          gl

                          j

                          Blessed Saint Leibowitz, keep 'em dreamin' down there..... 

                          Next week's convention for Psychics and Prognosticators has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

                           =^.^=

                            KyMystikal's avatar - Lottery-016.jpg
                            Clarksville,Tennessee
                            United States
                            Member #8658
                            November 13, 2004
                            1930 Posts
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                            Posted: August 27, 2005, 10:11 am - IP Logged

                            I've mentioned this before - some lotteries cut off numbers after a certain number have been purchased. And it doesn't matter which numbers will be drawn - the lotteries simply could not stand a popular number winning and going that far in the hole - on that day. My response? "So what?" They're going to play the same number again the next day, and over and over - and it still stands the same odds of hitting as it did the day before. The odds remain the same, the overall take will be the same - hell, if they're gonna cut off numbers then make the whole damn thing pari-mutuel and cut off any chance of loss.

                            Guess you can tell I'm a might ticked.....

                            gl

                            j

                            This subject used to upset me because I am a avid player of 999 in Kentucky. The number hasn't come out since Jan 01 and everyone knows so it is usually blocked out by the time it gets dark. It doesn't bother me now cause I can always play it on the quarter site and if it by some chance ever did come out, it would pay more. Another number here in Kentucky is 0000, it has been locked out for both draws early in the morning so that if you want to play it you have to play it the day before or a couple of days in advance. Some how with this number being locked out everyday it came out earlier this year. I've been told by several clerks that it was locked out, then they opened the number up for betting some more, then locked it out again. 

                            I'm waiting for this site Todd has mentioned before to start so I can support this site even more. Todd when is it scheduled to be available for us to play???

                            I love doubles and remember, it's just a game!!!!!!