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Most lottery players never see big payoff

South Carolina LotterySouth Carolina Lottery: Most lottery players never see big payoff

At a convenience store with a hilltop view of Williams-Brice Stadium, Jeff Connor scribbles five numbers on a Palmetto Cash 5 lottery slip.

"If I've got 20 extra dollars, I'll put 10 percent or so into the lottery. Just like tithing," he said.

Connor estimates he spends $20 to $30 per week on lottery games for a very simple reason: "I'd like to be a millionaire."

Meet the bread and butter for the Palmetto State's lotto.

They're residents who play regularly but have never won big. And they continue playing even though they don't directly benefit.

Connor, 44, has no children so the lottery-funded scholarships won't help him out. And he's already finished school himself.

"The lottery wasn't around when I was at USC," he said. "Otherwise, I wouldn't be paying on these student loans."

And while he's won a few times, including $40 and $80 pots, his millionaire dreams are still just dreams.

The lottery's architects say it's not their job to look out for people like Connor.

"It's a voluntary decision (to play). Nobody's arm is being twisted," said former Gov. Jim Hodges.

State Rep. John Scott, R-Richland, said people take equally risky chances all the time.

"It's the same choice you make if you want to use alcoholic beverages - you don't have to do it," Scott said. "You've got a 401(k)? You're gambling. Got stocks? You're gambling."

Connor said he takes solace in the fact that his money is providing scholarships for worthy students, even if they're not his children.

"We have children in need of an education," he said. "They may not be my kids, but it takes a village. We're all one village."

That's a good attitude because just like in Vegas, the house almost always wins.

Connor's odds of matching up all five numbers on his play slip and winning the $100,000 pot is one in 501,942.

"We shouldn't be sending the message that you can change your circumstances by playing the lottery," said Ernie Passailaigue, executive director of the S.C. Education Lottery Commission. "Because, chances are, you won't win."

The State

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38 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by LOTTOMIKE.
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Jack Pot's avatar - Lottery-028.jpg

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Posted: December 17, 2007, 11:22 am - IP Logged

"Most lottery players never see big payoff"

Big Grin Please tell me it ain't so!!!!Big Grin

    chasingadream's avatar - Archangel 01.jpg

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    Posted: December 17, 2007, 12:22 pm - IP Logged

    as true as it is.....thats not something I wanna hear right before I go to buy tickets...lol

    Oogle  waiting patiently for my jackpot

      ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
      Idaho
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      Posted: December 17, 2007, 12:41 pm - IP Logged

      I don't think this is news to most lottery players. I think we know that most players will never get a big hit, but that won't stop me from believing that one day I will see a big payoff. So yeah, I'm going to keep playing. 

      "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

        justxploring's avatar - villiarna
        Wandering Aimlessly
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        Posted: December 17, 2007, 1:31 pm - IP Logged

        Thank you Todd for posting this article.  I doubt if it will change any attitudes here, but maybe somebody will wake up and smell the coffee and realize the lottery is a shot at a big win, but far from a guarantee. I read so many posts here that say "I know I'll win the PB" and the chances are so slim.  I often think I'm going to win too, even after 30 years.  I still hope I do someday, but I realize it might never happen.

        I'm glad I continued reading the entire article, because at first it said the 44 year old man didn't benefit from the funds generated by the state lottery, since he has no children in school. I was ready to dispute that comment.  Then the player said "it takes a village" which is so true.  When I'm looking for a place to live, someone will say that good schools aren't critical because of my age and my answer is "Yes, but that's not entirely true."  I want to live in an area where a child's quality of education is important to the community.  I've been looking at homes in SC which is why this article caught my attention in the first place.

          Avatar
          Los Angeles CA
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          Posted: December 17, 2007, 1:33 pm - IP Logged

          If he wants to be a millionare why is he playing a Cash 5 game?

          EXMECHANIC

          "My dollar buys hope, what does yours do?" 

            Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
            Zeta Reticuli Star System
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            Posted: December 17, 2007, 2:15 pm - IP Logged

            I'm with ThatScaryChick, this is not news to most players.

            From the OP:

            Meet the bread and butter for the Palmetto State's lotto.

            Very true.

            Anyone who looks at the lotto as anything other than entertainment or a $1 or a few dollars worth of the chance to "run a toothpick into a lumberyard" is just not being real.

            Recreation money is one thing, expecting a ROI (return on "investment") in any form of gambling is economic suicide. Eventually the house edge will destroy you, it is designed to destroy you.

            Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

            Lep

            There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

              RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
              mid-Ohio
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              Posted: December 17, 2007, 2:32 pm - IP Logged

              When the overall odds of winning any prize are 1:40 or worst and most of those prizes are $1-$2, most players think they are lucky if they get back a dollar for every $10 spent when they don't win the big prize and they are.

               * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                 
                           Evil Looking       

                Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                Chief Bottle Washer
                New Jersey
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                Posted: December 17, 2007, 2:48 pm - IP Logged

                Thank you Todd for posting this article.  I doubt if it will change any attitudes here, but maybe somebody will wake up and smell the coffee and realize the lottery is a shot at a big win, but far from a guarantee. I read so many posts here that say "I know I'll win the PB" and the chances are so slim.  I often think I'm going to win too, even after 30 years.  I still hope I do someday, but I realize it might never happen.

                I'm glad I continued reading the entire article, because at first it said the 44 year old man didn't benefit from the funds generated by the state lottery, since he has no children in school. I was ready to dispute that comment.  Then the player said "it takes a village" which is so true.  When I'm looking for a place to live, someone will say that good schools aren't critical because of my age and my answer is "Yes, but that's not entirely true."  I want to live in an area where a child's quality of education is important to the community.  I've been looking at homes in SC which is why this article caught my attention in the first place.

                I agree it takes a village.  Just not the kind of village Hillary Clinton would create.

                 

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

                 

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

                  justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                  Wandering Aimlessly
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                  Posted: December 17, 2007, 3:16 pm - IP Logged

                  I'm with ThatScaryChick, this is not news to most players.

                  From the OP:

                  Meet the bread and butter for the Palmetto State's lotto.

                  Very true.

                  Anyone who looks at the lotto as anything other than entertainment or a $1 or a few dollars worth of the chance to "run a toothpick into a lumberyard" is just not being real.

                  Recreation money is one thing, expecting a ROI (return on "investment") in any form of gambling is economic suicide. Eventually the house edge will destroy you, it is designed to destroy you.

                   it is designed to destroy you.

                   

                  Maybe it has.  I always thought I had a chance, then I got on LP and thought I had more of a chance, and now I'm reading I'm a fool to even dream about it.  So, no matter how intelligent or rational a person is, the idea of being that 1 in a million or even one in 20 million, still creates temptation. Whether it's greed or hope, logic is cast aside by these illusions.   

                    go4it-andwin's avatar - drevil
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                    Posted: December 17, 2007, 3:57 pm - IP Logged

                    I dont think you need to tell lottery players that chances are youre not going to hit the jackpot... We all know by the odds that probably not, but as long as you have 1 CHANCE, you got one more chance than the guy who dont play... Its kinda like lightning hitting you...most likely you wont get hit by it...but tell that to the 1000's with burnt shirts and shoes!

                    with a prayer and 6 lucky numbers...im beach bound!

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                      Englewood, Colorado
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                      Posted: December 17, 2007, 4:57 pm - IP Logged

                      Sure it's unlikely that you'll ever hit the "Big One", but I do know that you can't win if you don't play. I also don't spend myself into the poorhouse buying tickets.

                      I wager comfortably within my budget about $25 a week on Cash 5, Colorado Lotto and Powerball. That money is purely discretionary income that I could spend any number of ways but I choose to buy lottery tickets.

                      I've won a few small prizes including $200 twice on 4 of 5 in Cash 5.

                      I hope to win the "Big One" someday, but you can take it to the bank that I will keep on playing as long as I live.

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                        NY
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                        Posted: December 17, 2007, 5:25 pm - IP Logged

                        Didn't this article come out last week in The Daily Obvious

                        "State Rep. John Scott, R-Richland, said people take equally risky chances all the time.

                        "It's the same choice you make if you want to use alcoholic beverages - you don't have to do it," Scott said. "You've got a 401(k)? You're gambling. Got stocks? You're gambling."

                        Spoken like a true politician, who's either putting a hell of a lot of spin on his position, or  doesn't have a clue about reality. Sure, people lose money on investments now and then, but on average, investing is just as sure to increase your worth as gambling is to decrease it.

                          time*treat's avatar - radar

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                          Posted: December 17, 2007, 6:27 pm - IP Logged

                          "You've got a 401(k)? You're gambling. Got stocks? You're gambling."

                          The main dfferences between stocks and lottery are stigma and rates of return. 

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

                            Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                            Zeta Reticuli Star System
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                            Posted: December 17, 2007, 7:26 pm - IP Logged

                            Let me expound a bit on "designed to destroy you".

                            By that I mean the house edge, regardles of the game, is always going to prove itself out. 

                            I'm sure there's people here (LP) that don't spend on lotto in a month what some other people spend on one night out.

                            Those aren't the kind of people I'm talking about.

                            I'm talking about someone, that for whatever reason, one day decides they have got a game beat. Those are the ones that are going to get destroyed by the house edge.

                            Think about the game of Blackjack. Everyone who has ever written a Blackjack book says never take insurance. Well, the stats they use to back that up are based on millions and millions of hands. no one is going to play that many hands. 

                            Someone who just read that goes to Vegas and this is the one time in their life they're betting $100 on a hand of cards and the dealer looks at them and asks, "Insruance?"

                            And that's blackjack, a game with a very low house edge.

                            People get slaughtered with 6 & 8 dice systems, betting the Don't, etc.... and yet people think they're going to consistently beat a lotto game?

                            Any form of gambling is as much the ego business as it is the gambling and entertainment business.

                            Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                            Lep

                            There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.