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Indiana lottery players still hunting year-old jackpot

Indiana LotteryIndiana Lottery: Indiana lottery players still hunting year-old jackpot
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Lottery Post noted for raising awareness 

More than a year has fallen off the calendar since someone last claimed a Hoosier Lotto jackpot, an unprecedented drought that's raising eyebrows — in addition to fueling ticket sales and pushing tonight's grand prize to a record $53.5 million.

"I just am stunned," said Mike Krueger, a regular Hoosier Lotto player from Whiting. "And a lot of other Lottery players and the people at the stores where I play are like, 'Why hasn't it been hit?' Is something wrong?'"

Krueger's curiosity led him to the Internet, where a number of conspiracy theorists are raising questions about the computer that has been charged with picking the winning Hoosier Lotto numbers for nearly six years. All is well, Lottery officials insist.

[Editor: the phrase "conspiracy theorists" is left unchanged from the original text.  For the record, this editor does not agree with labeling people raising questions about the legitimacy of the drawings as "conspiracy theorists."  The same author might have labeled people questioning the Tennessee Lottery drawings as "conspiracy theorists" before the drawing error was discovered.]

"We think it's just the luck of the draw," Hoosier Lottery spokesman Andrew Reed said of the jackpot dry spell. "We stand by our random number generator. This is a program that's been in place since December 2001."

Before that, a machine filled with balls numbered 1 to 48 selected the six winning numbers every Wednesday and Saturday night. While Illinois still employs the ball-drop system, Reed said it's increasingly becoming a thing of the past, with 25 of the 42 state lotteries now using a computer-generated system.

Overall, the Hoosier Lotto has awarded 34 jackpots, or roughly seven a year, since the switch to the computer-generated system. That's down 13 percent versus from the ball-drop system, which awarded an average of eight jackpots a year.

A Republican lawmaker from Fort Wayne tried to force a return to the ball-drop system two years ago, but his legislation didn't have much luck in the General Assembly. Several visitors to lotterypost.com favor the switch, with one post urging disgruntled Hoosier Lotto players to take their grievances to the governor and state inspector general.

The unrest appears fueled by a controversy in Tennessee, where a computer glitch discovered in August prevented repeat number combinations, such as 2-2-6, from being drawn. The Tennessee Lottery responded by offering two free tickets to anyone who had a ticket showing they made a double-number selection during the three weeks the system was on the fritz.

Reed calls the Hoosier Lotto jackpot drought, which stretches 106 consecutive drawings, "an anomaly." At the other end of the spectrum, the Lottery computer drew back-to-back jackpots in April 2005 and another winner the following week, for a total of three jackpots in a span of four drawings.

Krueger said the ever-increasing jackpot fed by the current drought has led him to double his ticket-buying budget, from $10 to $20 a week. He's not alone.

Hoosier Lottery ticket sales have grown steadily — from 4.2 million in November to 12.8 million last month — since the last jackpot was claimed, following the Oct. 21, 2006, drawing. Players fortunate enough to select at least two winning numbers have nabbed $27 million in prizes during the jackpot dry spell.

With the game now averaging 1.5 million tickets sold per drawing, the odds of a jackpot streak lasting as long as it has is less than 1 percent, said Bodgan Vajiac, an assistant mathematics professor at Indiana University Northwest.

But, while anticipating a jackpot winner sooner rather than later looks to be a safe bet, players still must remember the odds stacked against them. The Hoosier Lottery puts the chances of selecting all six numbers at about one in 12 million.

The issue

No one has selected all six winning numbers in the Hoosier Lotto since Oct. 21, 2006 — a span of 106 drawing. The drought has fueled an increase in tickets sales and ballooned tonight's jackpot to a record $53.5 million.

The Times

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13 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by tnlotto1.
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Posted: October 31, 2007, 12:39 pm - IP Logged

"I just am stunned," said Mike Krueger, a regular Hoosier Lotto player from Whiting. "And a lot of other Lottery players and the people at the stores where I play are like, 'Why hasn't it been hit?' Is something wrong?'"

 

Hell yes somethings wrong!Its called computerized drawings!Indiana isn't going to let anyone hit the jackpot until they're damn good and ready.As long as the jackpot keeps growing there is a lot of interest and people are spending twice as much hoping to win it.If a private business used these techniques to drum up business they would be charged with consumer fraud.

    Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
    Indiana
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    Posted: October 31, 2007, 2:15 pm - IP Logged

    With about only 22% of all COMBINATIONS at play during the most recent drawings, I'm not yet convinced that any wrong doing is occuring because mathematically, it is possible for this game to roll as many times as it has, whether it be a ball drawing or computerized drawing. The biggest Hoosier Lotto jackpot claimed was $42M, and this was BEFORE they switched to computerized drawings. That would mean the game went 84 draws without a winner.

    Gonna win.Big Smile

      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
      Chief Bottle Washer
      New Jersey
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      Posted: October 31, 2007, 5:49 pm - IP Logged

      With about only 22% of all COMBINATIONS at play during the most recent drawings, I'm not yet convinced that any wrong doing is occuring because mathematically, it is possible for this game to roll as many times as it has, whether it be a ball drawing or computerized drawing. The biggest Hoosier Lotto jackpot claimed was $42M, and this was BEFORE they switched to computerized drawings. That would mean the game went 84 draws without a winner.

      Your remarks are somewhat puzzling -- maybe it's just me.

      If you were to refer back to the news story posted on the 17th (Hoosier Lotto in a dry spell), you would notice the following quote:

      The probability of no jackpot winner for such a long time is incredibly small, said Steve McKinley, a probability lecturer at Indiana University.

      He estimated the odds of no winner for 51 straight weeks to be a fraction of a percent.

      Now, that's a probabilities lecturer from Indiana University saying that.  Is there some other kind of expert who would be more convincing? 

      You think a year without a winner -- where there have been lots of winners in every previous year -- does not indicate a problem?  How long would it have to go before you started suspecting something?  2 years?  3 years?

      The people of Tennessee were not jumping the gun when they started getting suspicious after about a week.  And you think a year is not long enough?

      By the way, there is no disrepect intended, and I'm not invalidating your opinion.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  I just can't see a clearer case myself.

       

      Check the State Lottery Report Card
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      Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
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        Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
        Indiana
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        Posted: October 31, 2007, 7:08 pm - IP Logged

        Your remarks are somewhat puzzling -- maybe it's just me.

        If you were to refer back to the news story posted on the 17th (Hoosier Lotto in a dry spell), you would notice the following quote:

        The probability of no jackpot winner for such a long time is incredibly small, said Steve McKinley, a probability lecturer at Indiana University.

        He estimated the odds of no winner for 51 straight weeks to be a fraction of a percent.

        Now, that's a probabilities lecturer from Indiana University saying that.  Is there some other kind of expert who would be more convincing? 

        You think a year without a winner -- where there have been lots of winners in every previous year -- does not indicate a problem?  How long would it have to go before you started suspecting something?  2 years?  3 years?

        The people of Tennessee were not jumping the gun when they started getting suspicious after about a week.  And you think a year is not long enough?

        By the way, there is no disrepect intended, and I'm not invalidating your opinion.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  I just can't see a clearer case myself.

        I'm just going by what I know. There was a time I flipped a quarter and got heads 10 times in a roll. That's 10 times in a roll with each side having a 50% chance of coming up. Now for Hoosier Lotto, if you have all combinations in play representing 22% of all possible combinations, it is VERY possible for the game to go as long as it has without a winner. There might have been more winners in previous years, but being a game of chance, there is no SPECIFIC amount of time a game can go before there absolutely must be a winner. Since the results are random, the intervals of time without a winner are also random, and every now and then there will be intervals of time without a winner that are longer than others. This happens to a lot of lotteries, whether it be ball or computerized drawing. That's what I'm going by.

        Gonna win.Big Smile

          Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
          Chief Bottle Washer
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          Posted: October 31, 2007, 10:33 pm - IP Logged

          Sometimes you just gotta step out of the realm of theory and into the real world.

           

          Check the State Lottery Report Card
          What grade did your lottery earn?

           

          Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
          Help eliminate computerized drawings!

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            NY
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            Posted: November 1, 2007, 1:43 am - IP Logged

            Sometimes you just gotta step out of the realm of theory and into the real world.

            The real world is what happens when things work exactly the way theory says they should work.  The mere fact that such a long run without a winner is very unlikely is meaningless by itself. Far less likely things happen all the time. As a rough approximation, the "fraction of a percent" probability suggested by the probabilities lecturer is the same as the chances of winning pick 4 with one ticket.  Anyone who thinks that such a long run without a winner is a good indication of a problem would be a fool to buy a ticket in a lottery with odds that are 1000 times worse.

            As far as "conspiracy theorists"  goes, it sounds like a perfectly good description to me. Most of the complaining seems to be based on a belief that unlikely events can't happen (except for the people who win lotteries, I suppose), a few problems in other areas, and not knowing some of the details about sales and such.  Most of the complaining seen here seems to be based on a belief that anything that might be wrong is the result of a conspiracy rather than simple ineptitude. That pretty much makes some of the most ardent complainers fit the definition of conspiracy theorist almost perfectly.

              time*treat's avatar - radar

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              Posted: November 1, 2007, 2:26 am - IP Logged

              With 10% of the numbers in play, the odds of no-jackpot win are 90%. The odds of that happening twice in a row are 81%. Here are the odds of this happening up to 25 drawings straight, using 10% and 20% of all combos in play. Maybe there is a great deal of overlap in the combos being played?

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

                Avatar
                Indiana
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                Posted: November 1, 2007, 9:02 am - IP Logged

                Anyone who does not question what is going on here in Indiana fails to view the Hoosier Lottery situationin it's totality.  The fact is the Hoosier Lottery has been cheating players out of their money for years.  They do so with impunity and with the full protection of the politicians in this state.

                Recent cases in point:

                1. Hoosier Lottery Executive Esther Q. Schneider was forced to resign due to a veritable plethora of ethics violations.  These charges included (among other things) using lottery money and employees for party political fundraising.  She was investigated by the state's Attorney General who in essence "cleared" her by saying words to the effect, she did everything she was accused of doing but none of these things rise to the level of an ethical violation.

                2. The Hoosier Lottery's CASH BLAST scratch off game offered over $8 million in prizes.   With 80% to 90% of the tickets sold the official website showed the top tier prizes still available.  When it turned out these prizes were never actually available the Hoosier Lottery blamed the printer for a printing error and said they forgot to subtract out the paid prizes from the replacement tickets on their website.  A web site in Indiana (Fort Wayne Observed) has since reported that in fact although all $50 million in tickets were eventually sold less that $1 million of the advertised $8 million on prizes were actually paid out.  There is a class action suit against the Hoosier Lottery still pending but to date no official inquiry or investigation has been conducted.  And in all probability there will never be an official inquiry or investigation.  So the bottom line is...the prizes never existed.

                3. By now everyone knows Hoosier Lottery Security Official William C. Foreman rigged a scratch off game.  His partners in crime have already pled guilty.  But due to behind the scenes machinations Mr. Foreman (while charged) has yet to be prosecuted and all indications suggest he never will be prosecuted.  So the outsiders go to jail but the insider gets protection.

                4. The Build Indiana Fund was fleeced out of over $40 million in lottery money by state politicians.  i.e. The money was paid but nothing was ever built.  A Grand Jury was convined in the State Capital to investigate.  The conclusion was essentially...well the money is definitely missing but we can't find any evidence of wrong doing.  I guess it simply vanished into thin air.

                While none of these things point directly to wrongdoings in the Lotto game it does show an overall pattern of criminal behavior, cover ups and political protection at the Hoosier Lottery.  And the best ways to defend themselves is to (a) have political protection and (b) label anyone who questions them as a conspiracy nut.

                By the way...how many of you are aware that the same aforementioned, game rigging security guard Mr. Foreman is (by some press accounts) the person who reccomended the RNG now used by the Hoosier Lottery?

                Experience in life has taught me that most people will...regardless of the facts or evidence...believe what they need to believe...choose to believe or want to believe.  Given the past history of the Hoosier Lottery...my own experience...and the opinions of the experts like the statistician quoted in the article...I choose to believe the Hoosier Lottery is corrupt and the Lotto game is rigged.   

                That doesn't mean it is.  But I believe very strongly that the Lotto game will not be won until the Hoosier Lottery decides it will be won.  And right now they have no incentive to let anyone win it.  They are making money hand over fist.  They have defenders in the political arena and here at Lottery Post.  And their sales will plummit once it reverts back to the minimum jackpot.  They have the best of all possible worlds.  i.e. Despite the odds and the history of the Hoosier Lottery people are flocking to play an RNG game that hasn't been won in over a year and acting like they actually have a chance to win it!  Amazing! 

                When this game finally is won...assuming that it is...look for the following scenario to happen:

                1. It will be won shortly before a holiday.

                2. It will be won by someone from the Indianapolis/Marion County area or someone in that media market.

                Until then those of you who believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and honest RNG drawings can continue to donate money to the State of Indiana's Graft and corruption fund by playing the Hoosier Lottery's Lotto game every Wednesday and Saturday.  But please don't come crying to your Uncle Jim when you don't win.    

                Jim

                If it looks like a duck...and it quacks, waddles, has feathers, webbed feet, and a bill...what do you think it is?


                Money frees you from doing things you dislike.  Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.  - Groucho Marx

                  Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                  Chief Bottle Washer
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                  Posted: November 1, 2007, 9:30 am - IP Logged

                  The real world is what happens when things work exactly the way theory says they should work.  The mere fact that such a long run without a winner is very unlikely is meaningless by itself. Far less likely things happen all the time. As a rough approximation, the "fraction of a percent" probability suggested by the probabilities lecturer is the same as the chances of winning pick 4 with one ticket.  Anyone who thinks that such a long run without a winner is a good indication of a problem would be a fool to buy a ticket in a lottery with odds that are 1000 times worse.

                  As far as "conspiracy theorists"  goes, it sounds like a perfectly good description to me. Most of the complaining seems to be based on a belief that unlikely events can't happen (except for the people who win lotteries, I suppose), a few problems in other areas, and not knowing some of the details about sales and such.  Most of the complaining seen here seems to be based on a belief that anything that might be wrong is the result of a conspiracy rather than simple ineptitude. That pretty much makes some of the most ardent complainers fit the definition of conspiracy theorist almost perfectly.

                  I don't think that's a fair statement.  It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and start labeling people.  There is such a thing as a conspiracy theorist, but this is not the case.  There is something wrong in the state, as has been shown clearly by many incidents that have occurred there.  If you're not aware of those cases, you should do a little researching, because many of them have been documented on Lottery Post previously.

                   

                  Check the State Lottery Report Card
                  What grade did your lottery earn?

                   

                  Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                  Help eliminate computerized drawings!

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                    Posted: November 1, 2007, 9:45 am - IP Logged

                    the sad thing is most states with RNG can not be trusted and aren't run properly and also have mistakes as proof.look at tennessee,look at indy,look at kansas with the same pick 3 number three or four days in a row,look at california with the derby game that was malfunctioning which was caught be a player in the state,the man ran the minnesota lottery commits suicide when problems were surfacing there.the lottery is being ruined by this computerized crap which is like the new coke in a way.its a fraud,its a disaster and it wasn't meant to be that way.when you think of lottery you think of the balls not a computer.

                      time*treat's avatar - radar

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                      Posted: November 1, 2007, 9:55 am - IP Logged

                      With 10% of the numbers in play, the odds of no-jackpot win are 90%. The odds of that happening twice in a row are 81%. Here are the odds of this happening up to 25 drawings straight, using 10% and 20% of all combos in play. Maybe there is a great deal of overlap in the combos being played?

                      I could have sworn I had a chart

                      to go along with this comment.

                      Thinking of...

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

                        KyMystikal's avatar - 1457224010054
                        Florence, Alabama
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                        Posted: November 1, 2007, 11:13 am - IP Logged

                        the sad thing is most states with RNG can not be trusted and aren't run properly and also have mistakes as proof.look at tennessee,look at indy,look at kansas with the same pick 3 number three or four days in a row,look at california with the derby game that was malfunctioning which was caught be a player in the state,the man ran the minnesota lottery commits suicide when problems were surfacing there.the lottery is being ruined by this computerized crap which is like the new coke in a way.its a fraud,its a disaster and it wasn't meant to be that way.when you think of lottery you think of the balls not a computer.

                        You know Mike you brought back something I had forgot about. Just maybe TN is trying to get rid of lottery? It took a long time for them to get it and there are a lot of people who don't want it here(ex. church groups) . Maybe there is a conspiracy theory to get rid of it.

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

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                          Posted: November 1, 2007, 11:36 am - IP Logged

                          You know Mike you brought back something I had forgot about. Just maybe TN is trying to get rid of lottery? It took a long time for them to get it and there are a lot of people who don't want it here(ex. church groups) . Maybe there is a conspiracy theory to get rid of it.

                          you are correct many people refuse to even buy gasoline at a station that sells lottery tickets so these problems are the perfect time for many to say look we told you so it was a bad idea but i dont think it would go away completely just some of the people running the lottery.