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# Lotteries long for 'jackpot fever'

Topic closed. 63 replies. Last post 10 years ago by tony95.

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NY
United States
Member #23835
October 16, 2005
3474 Posts
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 Posted: February 21, 2007, 10:38 am - IP Logged

If people really want lower odds then they had better get used to the idea of \$2 tickets. Lowering the odds and having a \$1 price would only result in much lower jackpots and lower sales. Sales are already in a slump for Megamillions. With these states trying to sell their lotteries telling them that what you want is even lower sales isn't going to fly.

If you wanted a \$2 price and lower odds that could work. Euromillions has odds 100 million less then Mega but with larger pots.

Odds are already bad enough and another raise in odds might result in larger pots but much longer to get there. I'd rather pay more per ticket for a game with lower odds and better prizes.

Why is it so hard for some people to understand that halving the odds while doubling the price of a ticket doesn't actually change anything? If you're willing to pay \$2 for a ticket if the odds are half of what they are now, you don't need the lottery to change the game.Just buy 2 \$1 tickets and you'll get exactly the same results.

Average jackpots are a function of the odds and how much money goes into the prize pool for each ticket sold.  If the odds of winning are 1 in 100 million, the long term average will be one winning ticket for every 100 million tickets that are sold. If selling 100 million tickets puts \$30 million in the prize pool, then the average jackpot will tend to be \$30 million (cash). If you change the odds to 1 in 50 million there will be 1 winning ticket for every 50 million tickets. At \$2 per ticket that will still be \$100 million in sales and it will still mean a \$30 million jackpot. Either way, it will be \$100 million out of players' pockets for the same jackpot. Anybody who sees a difference doesn't understand how it works.

Atlanta, GA
United States
Member #1265
March 13, 2003
3333 Posts
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 Posted: February 21, 2007, 11:14 am - IP Logged

Lotteries need to try proven concepts of creating volume sales to bring in revenue.

Prime examples are Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, Sam's Club and BJ's wholesale mammoth daily sales, continuing to expand locations by offering discounts ...  make their money through volume sales of excellent very desirable goods.  Stores which don't go belly up.

Lowering odds (hopefully back to original game matrices) effectively creates a fire sale on tickets which will multiply sales exponentially and hold them there.

Value for \$\$\$\$\$ spent rules in today's market.  Current odds on PB and MM come nowhere near that .... no matter how much they spend on ad campaigns telling us otherwise.

Good luck to everyone!

Knoxville
United States
Member #13510
April 7, 2005
89 Posts
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 Posted: February 22, 2007, 1:05 pm - IP Logged

Why is it so hard for some people to understand that halving the odds while doubling the price of a ticket doesn't actually change anything? If you're willing to pay \$2 for a ticket if the odds are half of what they are now, you don't need the lottery to change the game.Just buy 2 \$1 tickets and you'll get exactly the same results.

Average jackpots are a function of the odds and how much money goes into the prize pool for each ticket sold.  If the odds of winning are 1 in 100 million, the long term average will be one winning ticket for every 100 million tickets that are sold. If selling 100 million tickets puts \$30 million in the prize pool, then the average jackpot will tend to be \$30 million (cash). If you change the odds to 1 in 50 million there will be 1 winning ticket for every 50 million tickets. At \$2 per ticket that will still be \$100 million in sales and it will still mean a \$30 million jackpot. Either way, it will be \$100 million out of players' pockets for the same jackpot. Anybody who sees a difference doesn't understand how it works.

Double the ticket price and cut the odds in half and you may accelerate jackpot growth.  What will change is people who spend 1 dollar will be forced to spend 2 dollars in order to play and this would speed things up quite a bit.  However, what kind of backlash would occur is the big question.  If people accept the higher ticket price then the game would be faster paced, if not then the game could remain slow of even be hurt.

Knoxville
United States
Member #13510
April 7, 2005
89 Posts
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 Posted: February 22, 2007, 1:21 pm - IP Logged

Those posts are a large part of my reasoning on how well the typical player understands the relationship between odds and the prizes. A large percentage of players  have almost no clue about what the odds are and what they really mean. It's simple math, but the numbers are too big to be really meaningful. You say that 1 in 75 milion is "much better" than 1 in 150 million, but your chances of winning with either is hardly different than if you don't even buy a ticket.

On one level I do believe that the odds are largely meaningless. There isnt any lottery anywhere that has a substantial payout and odds that give you a practical chance of winning. Giving away \$5 million dollars simply can't be done without collecting far more than \$5 million. All you can do is  spend the dollar and hope you beat the odds, whatever they are. Raising the odds from 1 in 175 milion to 1 in 500 million would also raise the average jackpot to about 3 times it's current level. The jackpot fever that we've seen when lotteries advertise a jackpot of \$300 to 350 million will look meaningless if they advertise a jackpot of \$1 billion despite the steeper odds.

What I see from posters here isn't that they understand how unlikely they are to win based on the odds. I see posters saying they've been playing for years and seldom win more than a few bucks. That doesn't suggest a real grasp of the actual odds. It shows that people figure out that what's been happening for the last few years is probably a good indicator of what will continue to happen for as long as they play the lottery. For any lottery that pays out 20 to 30 cents on the dollar in small prizes and 20 to 30 as a jackpot, the typical player's results are going to be the same regardless of the odds. They'll occasionally win a modest prize while losing most of their money, and continue to hope that lightning strikes.

Just because someone here doesn't understand the odds doesn't mean that most players don't understand.  I think more than half of the players have a good idea want the odds mean, but almost everyone knows that when they hear that the odds are going to be raised that it means they are going to have less of a chance of winning.  I know my wife doesn't consider the odds, but I am the one that buys the tickets.  I think that maybe 25% of the regular players don't care about the odds, another 25% don't really understand them, and 50% have a good idea of what they mean.  We have seen the odds climb and participation drop which is why I believe people would rather play a game with \$50-\$100 million dollar jackpots with much better odds than \$200 million dollar jackpots that hardly ever get hit.  You can blame economics, but I doubt that has much to do with it.  Right now, gas prices are low, unemployment is at an all time low, and the stock market is at an all time high.

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