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Florida Lottery's repeat winners don't always come out ahead

Florida LotteryFlorida Lottery: Florida Lottery's repeat winners don't always come out ahead
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Thirteen players cashed at least 20 tickets paying more than $600 in 2011

Most people who play the lottery won't win more than a few bucks. But there are people in South Florida who win big money almost every week.

A Plantation woman has won at least $600 more than 240 times in the past 19 years, according to a Sun Sentinel analysis of individual Florida Lottery winnings dating to 1993. A Hollywood man won $5,000 at least 52 times last year. The winningest player for 2011, a resident of Pasco County, cashed 100 Play 4 tickets for a total of $500,000.

These winners are bound by more than just luck. They all play games that offer better odds than Powerball or Lotto. And they play them regularly, almost methodically.

"Cash 3 and Play 4 players tend to be more consistent and regular in their play," lottery secretary Cynthia F. O'Connell said. "They play at least one drawing a day and sometimes both."

Consider the odds: Powerball players have a one-in-175 million chance of winning. The probability of selecting six of 53 numbers in Lotto is one in 23 million. The odds of buying a winning Play 4 ticket are considerably better — one in 10,000, though the maximum payout is $5,000.

The Sun Sentinel analysis examined winnings of $600 or more, including the scratch-off games. Winners who receive less than $600 are not required to fill out identifying information and may claim winnings directly from retailers.

Play 4, which is drawn twice daily, has more winners in the Florida Lottery's database of reportable wins than any other game. Another twice-daily game, Cash 3, pays $500.

Mike Patel, owner of Tuzzo's Circle News in Hollywood, said some customers will drop $200 or more a day on tickets. "But for others, it's just a hobby," he said.

A convenience-store owner in Orlando, who doesn't want to be identified, hit Play 4 30 times in 2011 after buying $30 worth of tickets a day — as he had been doing for years. His four numbers came up once in 2011. For one Plantation woman, who declined to be interviewed, Play 4 has yielded at least $1.2 million. Since 1996, she has cashed 248 Play 4 tickets at about six convenience stores, according to the Lottery's database.

"She's a nice lady, but sometimes, she comes in here to play all her numbers. It holds up the line," one employee of a Plantation store said. "Then, the non-lottery part of our business suffers."

A Miami laborer said he's in the red this year, even though he won $150,000 by hitting 30 Play 4s in 2011.

"No, I'm not ahead," he said. "You always play more than you win. But it's a choice you make. I like playing."

Of about a dozen multiple winners contacted by the Sun Sentinel, none wanted to be named. That's to be expected, said Pat Fowler, of the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling.

"If you're winning multiple times on the daily games, I'd have to assume you must be playing frequently," she said. "And as they begin to develop various levels of problem gambling, they become much more secretive about it. They don't want people to know how much they're gambling, or that they're losing."

The state requires players who have won $600 or more to cash their tickets at a lottery district office, which in South Florida means either Miami or West Palm Beach. A recent Monday morning visit to the lottery office in Miami found about 75 players waiting to cash their tickets.

Miami resident Chris Bee, who arrived with a winning Monopoly scratch-off ticket, said he's lost money on the lottery this year.

"I play a lot, and I lose a lot," he said. "But when you hit that lucky one ... "

O'Connell, the lottery secretary, said focusing on players who have won $600 or more is somewhat arbitrary, because many people who don't win big amounts still enjoy the games.

"Winners might get $10, $100, $200, and they're excited and enthusiastic about that, and they'll come back and play some more," she said. "And there are millions of them that love our product."

That includes Safritz Massenat, 83, a daily player at a Shop 'N' Save Mini Mart in Fort Lauderdale. He said he spends $50 to $100 a day on a variety of games, and has seen plenty of people here win. Records show the Shop 'N' Save has had 98 winners of $600 more, totaling $311,824.

But no Powerball or Lotto winners, he noted.

"The big one," he said. "That's when you'll hear from me. And it might be tonight."

Sun-Sentinel

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42 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by martingorgeous.
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Monkey Butt, USA
United States
Member #54569
August 23, 2007
1124 Posts
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Posted: May 14, 2012, 8:54 am - IP Logged

Pick 3 and Pick 4 are the state's form of the "one-arm-bandit".

No matter how you slice and dice pick 3 and pick 4, unless you refine your skills to hit exact order every drawing spending $5 or less per drawing, you are only paying the state to play the lottery.

Pick 3 and pick 4 are the states most expensive online games to play.

    time*treat's avatar - radar

    United States
    Member #13130
    March 30, 2005
    2171 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: May 14, 2012, 8:58 am - IP Logged

    Mike Patel, owner of Tuzzo's Circle News in Hollywood, said some customers will drop $200 or more a day on tickets. "But for others, it's just a hobby," he said.

    Check your tickets real close, if you go there to cash 'em. Wink

    In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
    Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

      JAP69's avatar - 2526
      South Carolina
      United States
      Member #6
      November 4, 2001
      8508 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: May 14, 2012, 9:49 am - IP Logged

      Pick 3 and Pick 4 are the state's form of the "one-arm-bandit".

      No matter how you slice and dice pick 3 and pick 4, unless you refine your skills to hit exact order every drawing spending $5 or less per drawing, you are only paying the state to play the lottery.

      Pick 3 and pick 4 are the states most expensive online games to play.

      "to hit exact order every drawing spending $5 or less per drawing, "

      Every drawing??

      My math figures for exact order comes to 2 times out of a hundred to be ahead in pick 3.

      Stats hunting: Type

        RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
        mid-Ohio
        United States
        Member #9
        March 24, 2001
        17903 Posts
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        Posted: May 14, 2012, 10:11 am - IP Logged

        Pick3 and Pick4 games are the biggest money makers in every state that have lotteries so it shouldn't be a surprise that many of the players of these games have gambling problems.

        * you don't need more tickets, just the right ticket * 
        * your best chance at winning a lottery jackpot is to buy a ticket * 
             Wink 

          Boney526's avatar - NjlpLogo
          New Jersey
          United States
          Member #99034
          October 18, 2010
          1439 Posts
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          Posted: May 14, 2012, 10:12 am - IP Logged

          Mike Patel, owner of Tuzzo's Circle News in Hollywood, said some customers will drop $200 or more a day on tickets. "But for others, it's just a hobby," he said.

          Check your tickets real close, if you go there to cash 'em. Wink

          And why is that?

            JAP69's avatar - 2526
            South Carolina
            United States
            Member #6
            November 4, 2001
            8508 Posts
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            Posted: May 14, 2012, 10:37 am - IP Logged

            Pick3 and Pick4 games are the biggest money makers in every state that have lotteries so it shouldn't be a surprise that many of the players of these games have gambling problems.

            True.

            The reason as I see it is many pick 3 and pick 4 players are not disciplined in their wagering strategy on playing the game. They are playing too many numbers per draw and not getting any hits (very costly).

            They need to learn to filter down their plays to just a few per draw and have hits in a time frame that returns a profit. Patience is a key factor in the game.

            That is why I prefer to select a few keepers out of the list I post and use those for awhile. I am a cheap player for maximum benefit.

            Stats hunting: Type

              RedStang's avatar - 20130829 151641_zps3qbxhhqb.jpg
              Dutchess NY
              United States
              Member #121966
              January 21, 2012
              2638 Posts
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              Posted: May 14, 2012, 11:11 am - IP Logged

              For some of them, the lottery is the only entertainment alot of those retired players have. Most of them have no bills so why not play heavy on these games. Gets most of them out of the house.


                Bahamas
                Member #114689
                August 5, 2011
                422 Posts
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                Posted: May 14, 2012, 11:22 am - IP Logged

                I agree!

                 

                We are the popular state for retirees. They play heavily which is why I often wondered why we don't win the Powerball more often particularly given the fact that we are one of the bigger contributors but the report from the state lottery and this article confirms the reasons behind that. The 3 and 4 ball games are far more appealing amonng that age group that has the time, energy and resources.

                "Freedom of Speech? Keep reading and you will discover that freedom comes at a price!"

                  Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
                  Clarksville
                  United States
                  Member #487
                  July 15, 2002
                  17638 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: May 14, 2012, 12:42 pm - IP Logged

                  When I vacationed there last summer, I had a blast.  I was playing S/B and won several times.  I averaged about 20 bucks a draw (spending)

                  If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

                  You never know when you will get another hit.

                    Lucky Loser's avatar - bucks
                    Texas
                    United States
                    Member #86155
                    January 30, 2010
                    1419 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: May 14, 2012, 1:13 pm - IP Logged

                    True.

                    The reason as I see it is many pick 3 and pick 4 players are not disciplined in their wagering strategy on playing the game. They are playing too many numbers per draw and not getting any hits (very costly).

                    They need to learn to filter down their plays to just a few per draw and have hits in a time frame that returns a profit. Patience is a key factor in the game.

                    That is why I prefer to select a few keepers out of the list I post and use those for awhile. I am a cheap player for maximum benefit.

                    In my opinion, this is the best response thus far...and I've mentioned the first word in the fourth sentence here many, many times regarding Pick 3. A player can simply put together one or two formats, which will contain all the numbers minus strategic filtering, and come out ahead with patience because the formats must absolutely be drawn at some point. Most players really don't start with enough numbers from the get go...and wonder why the numbers never hit.

                    This is a game of starting with all of the numbers in one format, and then removing specific pairs, sums, etc. to further narrow down costs. Players that do the one number deal for days on end are only wasting money. Sorry to be so forward but, it's the truth and I'm only trying to help. Quit waiting on 4-9-7, as an example, to hit at some point because "it hasn't fell in over a year." 

                    Now, if we look further into this number, 4-9-7 is a "format" of the Even-Odd-Odd combination. This means that a player needs to BEGIN WITH ALL THE NUMBERS IN THIS FORMAT, FIRST, in order to experience high odds of getting paid at some point. Why? Because if ANY combination of Even-Odd-Odd is drawn, you already have a 90% chance of matching that combination. The other 10% is based on whether or not the filtering works out. If it does, you automatically win on that format.

                    Been doin' this for a long time...and a player needs to begin with a WHOLE instead of PIECES...then narrow down. When I do play, this is how I roll...and it works well. Gotta be patient, though, as you've mentioned. The more complete formats a player can afford to play, the better the odds of winning. Pre-draws are, again, designed to put back in what the player has filtered out which is where the challenge lies. Very good post, JAP69.


                    L.L.


                      United States
                      Member #124498
                      March 14, 2012
                      7024 Posts
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                      Posted: May 14, 2012, 1:33 pm - IP Logged

                      Pick 3 and Pick 4 are the state's form of the "one-arm-bandit".

                      No matter how you slice and dice pick 3 and pick 4, unless you refine your skills to hit exact order every drawing spending $5 or less per drawing, you are only paying the state to play the lottery.

                      Pick 3 and pick 4 are the states most expensive online games to play.

                      the best feasible from my charts to hit a str8 is twice a week...otherwise you are trying to hard...i try to keep my budget to 2.50 per draw...only box bets at 1/2 dollar until i get some winning momentum...

                      pick 3 preys on seniors, who dont use computers, dont know patterns and play superstiously...

                      interesting enough with the introduction of slots at racing venues...the lottery commission can have its cake and eat it  too...

                      yes refining your skills to hit exact order at least ONCE per month is the key...because you can always bet more when you have a friendly patterns...which is why the pick 3 threads are beginning to annoy me

                      because there are so few people who have that skill...and i i hate looking through so many contradictory picks...Puke


                        United States
                        Member #124498
                        March 14, 2012
                        7024 Posts
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                        Posted: May 14, 2012, 1:35 pm - IP Logged

                        Pick3 and Pick4 games are the biggest money makers in every state that have lotteries so it shouldn't be a surprise that many of the players of these games have gambling problems.

                        yes and many of these gambling problem people clog up the terminals...which is very annoying as well....and with the liability cap...the lottery commission never loses...

                          Lucky Loser's avatar - bucks
                          Texas
                          United States
                          Member #86155
                          January 30, 2010
                          1419 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: May 14, 2012, 1:41 pm - IP Logged

                          Pick 3 and Pick 4 are the state's form of the "one-arm-bandit".

                          No matter how you slice and dice pick 3 and pick 4, unless you refine your skills to hit exact order every drawing spending $5 or less per drawing, you are only paying the state to play the lottery.

                          Pick 3 and pick 4 are the states most expensive online games to play.

                          Perdue, I highly support your reasoning as well...and include this as a best response. $5 is a bit low but, can be done so long as a whole format is the starting point. $10-$15 will produce some very good results with a little patience on one format. Happens every single day.


                          L.L.

                            Avatar
                            Kentucky
                            United States
                            Member #32652
                            February 14, 2006
                            5457 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: May 14, 2012, 4:54 pm - IP Logged

                            "Of about a dozen multiple winners contacted by the Sun Sentinel, none wanted to be named. That's to be expected, said Pat Fowler, of the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling."

                            Or the obvious answer; they told the Sun Sentinel to mind their own business. They already knew each winner was given a W-2G multiple times yet Pat Fowler of the FCCG ignorantly assumes they are all compulsive gamblers.