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Statistician cracks secret code behind lottery tickets

Topic closed. 39 replies. Last post 6 years ago by DoctorEw220.

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GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
NY State
United States
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June 10, 2010
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Posted: February 2, 2011, 7:52 pm - IP Logged

To me, this is just another reason not to buy scratch off's. 

I'm in New York, and I've never seen anyone get to pick which individual scratch off ticket they want to buy.  Scratch-off tickets are in a clear plastic display case and the clerk simply tears off the next available ticket and hands it to the customer.  Retailers buying back unscratched tickets?  Not saying it cant happen, but I've never seen it.

All of that said, I'm sure the guy featured in the article did expose the flaw. But he's probably one of a very select few that could actually spot it.  He's a very atypical player.

About playing the lottery --  You will lose more than you win. Until you hit a jackpot.  Then everything changes!

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    FL
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    Member #104946
    January 22, 2011
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    Posted: February 2, 2011, 8:03 pm - IP Logged

    It looks like this would only work with extended play Bingo type tickets, there would have to be info on the ticket before scratching.

    Then you would have to have time to sit there and analyze the ticket.  I don't see anyone with that kind of time or clerks letting people behind the counter to stand there and look at tickets.  Also, can't buy tickets out of numerical order or return unscratched tickets that I have ever seen, so nice story but nothing that seems like it would help me win more.

    Either way, the Lottery is making millions/billions and only a few lucky people get a win every now and then.   The odds are stacked but if I set the budget and just throw my hat in the ring knowing that money is just allocated to be spent on the 1 in a million chance to get the big winner.

    Need more raffles and I don't see why Lottery doesn't allow for more prizes/more winners.  It seems like as the odds have gotten worse the ticket sales are going down some.... but not enough for them to change back to better odds.   Maybe we need to boycott tickets for a year until they go back to 1:1.95

    __________

    Must be in to win!

      time*treat's avatar - radar

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      Posted: February 2, 2011, 8:16 pm - IP Logged

      The ability to look at the THEIR NUMBERS side of a ticket and predict with high accuracy whether or not there will be a prize won on the YOUR NUMBERS side may make for a neat party trick (so does knowing all the words to We Didn't Start the Fire or It's the End of the World as We Know It) but it's not something that can be done BEFORE a ticket is purchased (i.e. before your money is spent).

      I can look at the drawing results and tell you how you should have marked your playslip. Clown

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

        HaveABall's avatar - rocket

        United States
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        Posted: February 2, 2011, 8:30 pm - IP Logged

        The stores around here sell scratchers right off the roll from clear plastic display cases. ALL of the "YOURS" and "THEIRS" numbers on the ticket are covered, and I've never seen anyone try to buy tickets out of sequence.

        Best line:

        Srivastava: "People often assume that I must be some extremely moral person ... I can assure you that that's not the case." Green laugh

        That's what you want to hear from a statistician. He has a future career in calculating gov't CPI numbers. LOL

        Well, it's great that Srivastavia's consulting business earns him more than $200K per year annually!  Sun Smiley

        Isn't it a shame that even after all his work, he still couldn't get the Ontario Lottery's Security Division to hire him on as another of their high-paid outside consultants? 

        Hiding Behind Computer

        Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

        Disney

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          September 22, 2010
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          Posted: February 2, 2011, 9:10 pm - IP Logged

          Even if someone figured out which tickets in a roll were more likely to be winners, they couldn't buy them out of the middle of a row of tickets unless they were a clerk or store manager selling them and waiting for the winners to come.  And even if they were smart enough to spot such a flaw in the design of the tickets, they would probably (as he suggests) have a more profitable way of making a living.

          No they couldn't buy them out of order, but they could buy all of the tickets to get at them, assuming they thought it was a big enough winner. My favorite game used to be a scratch off named Holiday Gifts. I started keeping detailed statistics about every ticket from every roll that I purchased. For the longest time, I was making a consistent profit, and buying winners at the rate of 1 out of every 2 tickets I bought at that store.

          It was a relatively slow store, and I simply let other customers buy the tickets I did not want. I would go to the store a couple of times a day, sometimes more, sometimes less, and I would keep track of what had been sold. I bought when I thought there should be a winner, and I was right 50% of the time. The overall odds were 1 in 3.99, but I was winning at half that rate. The three largest wins were $150, $75, and $40. Not too bad for a $5 ticket.

          Then things changed. Instead of picking with good accuracy tickets that paid $10-$20 on average, I started getting a bunch of winners of free tickets, and winning less frequently. I quickly started losing money, so I quit playing that game. I purchased somewhere between 125 and 150 of those. Patterns do emerge sometimes, but even my system did not make me a fortune, just a constant trickle of winners. It was a break even game, but I won at twice the posted odds. That is the only reason that I did so good at it.

          There is one store that I play at that has those video poker games in the back, along with tables that folks sit at and smoke cigarettes and scratch tickets and fill out online slips. You could sit back there and watch a customer scratch a number of losers, then go in and buy a ticket out from under him. It happened to me once there, and I lost several hundred dollars that day, and to this day I still think I could have made a good chunk of that back. After all, I had scratched a bunch of losers. I think they were pros. They left quickly after I discovered the next ticket in the series missing. Was it a winner? I don't know for sure, but I bet it was.

            James1's avatar - 5599078405 12a562a9e7_t.jpg
            Florida
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            Posted: February 2, 2011, 9:17 pm - IP Logged

            No they couldn't buy them out of order, but they could buy all of the tickets to get at them, assuming they thought it was a big enough winner. My favorite game used to be a scratch off named Holiday Gifts. I started keeping detailed statistics about every ticket from every roll that I purchased. For the longest time, I was making a consistent profit, and buying winners at the rate of 1 out of every 2 tickets I bought at that store.

            It was a relatively slow store, and I simply let other customers buy the tickets I did not want. I would go to the store a couple of times a day, sometimes more, sometimes less, and I would keep track of what had been sold. I bought when I thought there should be a winner, and I was right 50% of the time. The overall odds were 1 in 3.99, but I was winning at half that rate. The three largest wins were $150, $75, and $40. Not too bad for a $5 ticket.

            Then things changed. Instead of picking with good accuracy tickets that paid $10-$20 on average, I started getting a bunch of winners of free tickets, and winning less frequently. I quickly started losing money, so I quit playing that game. I purchased somewhere between 125 and 150 of those. Patterns do emerge sometimes, but even my system did not make me a fortune, just a constant trickle of winners. It was a break even game, but I won at twice the posted odds. That is the only reason that I did so good at it.

            There is one store that I play at that has those video poker games in the back, along with tables that folks sit at and smoke cigarettes and scratch tickets and fill out online slips. You could sit back there and watch a customer scratch a number of losers, then go in and buy a ticket out from under him. It happened to me once there, and I lost several hundred dollars that day, and to this day I still think I could have made a good chunk of that back. After all, I had scratched a bunch of losers. I think they were pros. They left quickly after I discovered the next ticket in the series missing. Was it a winner? I don't know for sure, but I bet it was.

            What you are talking about is "poaching" for tickets. Its one of the few successful strategies in playing scratch offs were a person observes another buy several losing tickets in a row and then swoop in and buy 1 or 2 themselves with an increased chance of winning. I have done this once and I hit 2 for 2 and got a $70 profit in 5 minuets.

            2014 Highest Winner: $500

              James1's avatar - 5599078405 12a562a9e7_t.jpg
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              Posted: February 2, 2011, 9:22 pm - IP Logged

              The story was an interesting read but I would not call it cracking the lottery. A number or letter can appear more then once and still win. However it does increase your chance of winning. That is what all us players look for right ?

              Cracking the algorithm code on the serial numbers is the only real way to crack the lottery. Finding out where the big winners are located is the most important factor of all.

              2014 Highest Winner: $500

                Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
                Clarksville
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                Posted: February 2, 2011, 9:53 pm - IP Logged

                They can think that all of those folks who play scratchers are dumb if they want to.  I know people who actually study those things and WIN most of the time.  They don't play numbers and they don't play the scratchers everyday.  I tried once to see how a couple was doing it but they tend to keep that information very, very secret.  They used to do the same thing with pull tabs.  The people who make these games are making a big mistake..just because you are poor, that does not mean you are stupid.

                As far as laundering money goes, its gonna get laundered one way or another.  The lottery is an ideal way for money to be cleaned. I think  the games P3 and P4  are where most of the money laundering takes place.  You get a straight number or boxed and get paid on the spot.  New money!

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

                You never know when you will get another hit.

                  James1's avatar - 5599078405 12a562a9e7_t.jpg
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                  Posted: February 2, 2011, 9:57 pm - IP Logged

                  They can think that all of those folks who play scratchers are dumb if they want to.  I know people who actually study those things and WIN most of the time.  They don't play numbers and they don't play the scratchers everyday.  I tried once to see how a couple was doing it but they tend to keep that information very, very secret.  They used to do the same thing with pull tabs.  The people who make these games are making a big mistake..just because you are poor, that does not mean you are stupid.

                  As far as laundering money goes, its gonna get laundered one way or another.  The lottery is an ideal way for money to be cleaned. I think  the games P3 and P4  are where most of the money laundering takes place.  You get a straight number or boxed and get paid on the spot.  New money!

                  Most of the money laundering occurs when criminals purchase tickets that have already won and claim them themselves. There is no guarantee you will hit P3 or P4

                  2014 Highest Winner: $500


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                    Posted: February 2, 2011, 10:52 pm - IP Logged

                    There is a sad reality reported in this story too:

                    "While approximately half of Americans buy at least one lottery ticket at some point, the vast majority of tickets are purchased by about 20 percent of the population. These high-frequency players tend to be poor and uneducated, which is why critics refer to lotteries as a regressive tax. (In a 2006 survey, 30 percent of people without a high school degree said that playing the lottery was a wealth-building strategy.) On average, households that make less than $12,400 a year spend 5 percent of their income on lotteries — a source of hope for just a few bucks a throw."

                      ttech10's avatar - blobdude
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                      Posted: February 3, 2011, 5:51 am - IP Logged

                      There is a sad reality reported in this story too:

                      "While approximately half of Americans buy at least one lottery ticket at some point, the vast majority of tickets are purchased by about 20 percent of the population. These high-frequency players tend to be poor and uneducated, which is why critics refer to lotteries as a regressive tax. (In a 2006 survey, 30 percent of people without a high school degree said that playing the lottery was a wealth-building strategy.) On average, households that make less than $12,400 a year spend 5 percent of their income on lotteries — a source of hope for just a few bucks a throw."

                      I think the part about high school dropouts can be mis-interpreted. It's not like they dropped out because they thought they'd win the lottery, but I think it's simply people who dropped out of high school (whatever the reason) simply see the lottery as their only chance at being wealthy (and in my experience of people I knew who dropped out of high school, that's probably true as most had issues with drugs, gangs or other criminal activity).

                       

                      I also find it ironic that in playing the lottery those people are giving money to the state to fund the very thing they abandoned.

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                        Clearwater, FL
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                        Posted: February 3, 2011, 8:23 am - IP Logged

                         If you haven't noticed, the state lotteries are now utilizing the science of color to make the panels more difficult to play to those with even slight vision impairments, especially the 50 and over crowd whose vision is beginning to naturally deteriorate. By color science, I mean the strategic placement of adjacent colors on the panels that send a confusing message to the brain (it has been proven that staring at certain shades of red and blue alternating rapidly in a strobe-like effect can quickly cause headaches in migraine sufferers, for example). You can imagine how many winning tickets might be thrown away as they get better at it, which is the obvious goal. To see what I mean, look at Florida's $3 Orange Crossword Tripler.

                          LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
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                          Posted: February 3, 2011, 12:49 pm - IP Logged

                          really enjoy stories like this.i think a lot of us feel if we had a certain amount of time and resources we could crack the code.

                            bula bula's avatar - Lottery-059.jpg
                            new jersey
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                            Posted: February 3, 2011, 1:14 pm - IP Logged

                            it happen 2 mehere in jersey city they played ajoke on me and i almost had a heart  attack...........

                              RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                              mid-Ohio
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                              Posted: February 4, 2011, 1:43 am - IP Logged

                              There is a sad reality reported in this story too:

                              "While approximately half of Americans buy at least one lottery ticket at some point, the vast majority of tickets are purchased by about 20 percent of the population. These high-frequency players tend to be poor and uneducated, which is why critics refer to lotteries as a regressive tax. (In a 2006 survey, 30 percent of people without a high school degree said that playing the lottery was a wealth-building strategy.) On average, households that make less than $12,400 a year spend 5 percent of their income on lotteries — a source of hope for just a few bucks a throw."

                              I sure similar statistics could be found about drug users, drunks and smokers.  Dysfunctional people participates in lots of activities to excess.

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