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Michigan Lottery offers a way to win nearly 100% of the time

May 25, 2017, 4:52 pm

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Michigan LotteryMichigan Lottery: Michigan Lottery offers a way to win nearly 100% of the timeRating:

And it appears the lottery is OK with you taking advantage of it

Includes video report

Michigan Lottery players have discovered a way to play the lottery's online games so that they win every time they play — and the lottery seems to be OK with it.

There is evidence some players used a low-risk keno game to turn tens of thousands of dollars in lottery bonus money into free cash.

The 'loophole' centers on a specific game on the Michigan Lottery's online gaming platform.  The online version opened in 2014 and Michigan's Bureau of State Lottery routinely has been giving away up to $100 on bonus money for people to sign-up to gamble on the new site.

The online promotions seem to be working to increase revenues. More than half a million people signed up to play on the web site as it generated $48 million for the state in 2016.

Executives said the bonus money gets more people gambling money on the site, which in turn helps fund schools.

"The lottery offers a variety of promotions for both its traditional and online games to attract new players and retain players," Michigan Lottery spokesman Jeff Holyfield wrote in an e-mail. "Promotions provide a direct benefit to the lottery by supporting incremental growth and increased contributions to the School Aid Fund."

"Any business uses marketing techniques to give folks the opportunity to play as an option," Bureau of Lottery Commissioner Aric Nesbitt said.

How to get bonus bucks

There are clear indications people are taking advantage of any bonus the lottery provides.

Various people on the Internet reported they were able to get "free money." They applauded the lottery for being "pretty good to us."

These players reported that they expected to make a profit of around $62 on any $100 bonus provided by the lottery. Charts were posted showing probabilities of 99 percent all the way up to 100 percent to show how sure they were they could "game" the game.

So here's how it works. The scenario begins as the player deposits $200 into the lottery's website as a first-time player and that player would automatically receive a one-time sign-up bonus of $100 using the "BONUS" code. They would then begin to gamble the $300 on one particular game, Fuzzball Keno. The player then has to play 300 games of Fuzzball Keno with one ball (the same ball) at $1 a game. In this particular game, if the ball is selected during the game, the player receives double the money. If the ball doesn't get selected, the player gets half the bet back. 

When it was introduced, the lottery posted on social media that Fuzzball Keno has the "best odds of any online game." So the "13 Watchdog team" did its own testing of the gamers' "recipe" to see if they could win some money as well.
 
The media channel's investigative team played Fuzzball Keno as prescribed three times. The first time they put their $200 in and got a $100 bonus and they ended up earning $49 (on top of their original deposit of $200) and were able to withdraw the money immediately. The lottery allows players to only withdraw winnings, and in this scenario they played enough to be able to cash out.

The second time, their ball (No. 13) was selected more often and they won a total of $59 on top of the $200 they originally put in.

For their third time, they wanted to bring a guest in. One of the lottery's chief critics over the years, Sen. Rick Jones helped them test the system. In a matter of an hour in his Senate office, he signed up, played Fuzzball Keno 300 times with his lucky number of 17, and won as well.

"I have made $59.50 (on top of the original $200)," Jones said after finishing his required 300 games. He said he would withdraw the money immediately and pay taxes on it. 

"I am going to be asking the lottery bureau if they are losing money with this stuff," Jones said. "It does seem logical people are going to take the money and run. 

"It's shocking it's out there online to be able to game the system."

Jones said he opposed the state's move to bring the lottery online, fearing people would gamble and get in financial trouble. He told us about a senior citizen in his district who gambled all his money away and asked the lawmaker to buy him a cup of coffee because he didn't have enough money.

"I personally am not that thrilled by it and I could see how somebody with an addictive personality would enjoy all the noise," Jones said.

Not just one-time money

A spreadsheet posted on the web showed evidence of dozens of players using various Michigan Lottery promotions to gain free money using Fuzzball Keno. During the last year, the lottery has run several "buy one, get one free" promotions where the player would often get double their money to spend online. That's when people reported they were able to repeatedly use bonuses to rack up free money using the Fuzzball Keno method.

One player said online "I keep my withdrawals under $1000 to avoid drawing attention."

Another player asked others: "The question is do you do more withdrawals in smaller amounts or fewer withdrawals in larger amounts."

Another said: "I don't see situations like this come around much."

The Michigan Lottery provided more than $2 million in promotional money to players on the online platform in 2016.  How much of that money was compromised by this vulnerability is unclear.

100% certainty

The people taking advantage of the bonuses put charts up showing how certain they were they could win.  Using the $1/300 Fuzzball Keno game approach, they had calculated that it was a 99.16% probability they would make a profit. The chart shows a 100 percent probability of profit if the player chose to play the .10 version of the Fuzzball keno game 3,000 times. 

Calvin College statistics professor Thomas Scofield said he believes what's been posted is true and told us the 99 percent and 100 percent figures are accurate.

"The author has rightly calculated that the expected profit for the various strategies the rows represent is $62.50," Scofield wrote in an e-mail.

Do they know? 

Michigan Bureau of State Lottery Commissioner Aric Nesbitt, who has been on the job just three months after taking over for long-time former commissioner Scott Bowen, didn't know people were taking advantage of the bonuses.

"Whether you are using regular money, bonus money or the demo, the ratios are the same," Nesbitt said.

After he was informed of what was happening, Nesbitt acknowledged it was new to him.

"I don't know about this personally," Nesbitt said.  "I am going to have to look at all the facts that are there and take corrective action if anything needs to be done. There should be the same chance as anybody."

One week later

After Commissioner Nesbitt said he would look into the situation, one week later the lottery indicated that the investigation could be closed.

The lottery's spokesperson took issue with the statistics described on the Web, and said it's not true.  No changes are scheduled to be made.

"It is inaccurate to say that playing Fuzzball Keno or any lottery game in a certain manner guarantees gains for players," Michigan Lottery's Jeff Holyfield said. "Like all lottery games, Fuzzball Keno is a game of chance and as with all games of chance, anything is possible. As the blog notes and as we constantly remind players, Lottery games are not designed to serve as investments or provide income. They're games of chance designed to provide fun and entertainment."

Holyfield didn't respond to a question today asking if any changes had been made to the system as this vulnerability is made public in this report. Fuzzball Keno was still active as of late Wednesday afternoon.

VIDEO: Watch the report

v8vuvZ_Y15IMichigan Lottery offers a way to win nearly 100% of the timeMichigan Lottery players have discovered a way to play the lottery's online games so that they win every time they play — and the lottery seems to be OK with it.PT07M03Shttps://img.youtube.com/vi/v8vuvZ_Y15I/hqdefault.jpghttps://youtu.be/v8vuvZ_Y15I2017-05-25T16:50:00-05:00

WZZM, Lottery Post Staff

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16 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by NoCompLotto!.
Page 1 of 2
Avatar
Chasing $ Millions.
White Shores- California
United States
Member #136473
December 12, 2012
6313 Posts
Offline

They " OK" with players winning 100% of the time until they find out the winners are on food stamps or collecting disability checks.That's when the worm will turn..

 * Voice of Reason *   

 

People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

    music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
    USN United States Navy
    Fresno, California
    United States
    Member #157851
    August 2, 2014
    3959 Posts
    Offline

     Thanks, Lottery Post Staff and WZZM.  Very interesting!!Noel

     "We are all in this together!" 

      Avatar
      Ypsilanti, MI
      United States
      Member #15733
      May 20, 2005
      217 Posts
      Offline

      Quite honestly, it's not that great of a game. I've played it before on several different price points and have never went anywhere with it. That being said, this article is 100% true. If you are in Michigan, and have a little time to spare, 1 in 4 odds to double your money or 1 in 1.25 odds to get 50% of your bet back while not risking a cent of your OWN money ain't that bad of a deal. Think about it:

      At 300 plays @ $1, you are guaranteed to win back $150.

      Assuming it paid out at odds, 75 plays would double your money, and 225 would return 50% of your bet. Your ending total is $275.50 - $75.50 of free money now available to cash out since you have played it through.

      Taking advantage of the $100 free sign up is worth it. At the most, you lose $50. At the best, you've earned $100 free money and most likely more.

      Personally, I prefer Hit series and Queen of Diamonds - I've had 4 claims on each of those games so far this year (over $600).


        United States
        Member #164721
        March 12, 2015
        3507 Posts
        Offline

        Too bad I have to be a resident of MI to play.

          Avatar
          Kentucky
          United States
          Member #32651
          February 14, 2006
          8965 Posts
          Offline

          Too bad I have to be a resident of MI to play.

          The 100% winning guarantee is misleading and should be "100% guarantee to collect something every drawing".

          I tried the demo wagering $20 a drawing for five drawings and collected $140 for a net win of $40, but that included matching the one number three out of the five drawings. Probability of matching the picked number is once every four drawings so at $20 a game wager, players can expect to collect $70 for every $80 they wager.

          Wagering $20 for 15 games should collect $280 for a net loss of $20, but because they give a $100 bonus, players get a net win of $80.


            Germany
            Member #164597
            March 8, 2015
            803 Posts
            Offline

            This sounds a lot like people in Las Vegas playing Video Poker to convert Freeplay/credits to cash.

            I'd rather try to net something big with my bonus money, personally.


              United States
              Member #164721
              March 12, 2015
              3507 Posts
              Offline

              The 100% winning guarantee is misleading and should be "100% guarantee to collect something every drawing".

              I tried the demo wagering $20 a drawing for five drawings and collected $140 for a net win of $40, but that included matching the one number three out of the five drawings. Probability of matching the picked number is once every four drawings so at $20 a game wager, players can expect to collect $70 for every $80 they wager.

              Wagering $20 for 15 games should collect $280 for a net loss of $20, but because they give a $100 bonus, players get a net win of $80.

              I don't trust demos because they can be manipulated to win more often thus drawing you in to use real money.

                Avatar
                Ypsilanti, MI
                United States
                Member #15733
                May 20, 2005
                217 Posts
                Offline

                I don't trust demos because they can be manipulated to win more often thus drawing you in to use real money.

                The Michigan demos actually very closely mirror the real payouts. I've found you can test it in demo mode and if you're on a little bit of a streak, switch to real mode and play the same game. It'll seem as if you hadn't left demo mode... For a while, at least. However, that's how I hit my first claim. Was hitting like crazy in demo mode on Queen of Diamonds, switched to real and got a claim 3 plays in.

                  Avatar

                  United States
                  Member #181335
                  April 22, 2017
                  68 Posts
                  Offline

                  I've confirmed that this works IRL. Here's the math behind it:

                  With 200 of your money, plus 100 of theirs, you have 300 in the account. But you can only withdraw winnings.

                  Any number will average 25% pick (20/80). You win $2 if the number is picked, and $0.50 if it isn't. At this rate, you will pay $1 per game, paying $4 over 4 draws, taking back in $3.50- But that is now $3.50 that you can take out of the account.

                  After 300 drawings, your balance is down to $262.50, but the amount you can now withdraw is $262.50- This returns you $62.50 on top of your $200.

                  It takes about an hour if you go at $1, increasing the bet just speeds it up.

                   

                  DrawHitReturnTotal Win (Able to withdraw)Balance (Start at 300)
                  100.50.5299.5
                  200.51299
                  300.51.5298.5
                  4123.5299.5
                  500.54299
                  600.54.5298.5
                  700.55298
                  8127299
                  900.57.5298.5
                  1000.58298
                  1100.58.5297.5
                  121210.5298.5
                  1300.511298
                  1400.511.5297.5
                  1500.512297
                  161214298
                  1700.514.5297.5
                  1800.515297
                  1900.515.5296.5
                  201217.5297.5
                  2100.518297
                  2200.518.5296.5
                  2300.519296
                  241221297
                  2500.521.5296.5
                  2600.522296
                  2700.522.5295.5
                  281224.5296.5
                  2900.525296
                  3000.525.5295.5
                  3100.526295
                  321228296
                  3300.528.5295.5
                  3400.529295
                  3500.529.5294.5
                  361231.5295.5
                  3700.532295
                  3800.532.5294.5
                  3900.533294
                  401235295
                  4100.535.5294.5
                  4200.536294
                  4300.536.5293.5
                  441238.5294.5
                  4500.539294
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                  4700.540293
                  481242294
                  4900.542.5293.5
                  5000.543293
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                  601252.5292.5
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                  6300.554291
                  641256292
                  6500.556.5291.5
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                  681259.5291.5
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                  25612224268
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                  26412231267
                  26500.5231.5266.5
                  26600.5232266
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                  26812234.5266.5
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                  27212238266
                  27300.5238.5265.5
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                  27500.5239.5264.5
                  27612241.5265.5
                  27700.5242265
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                  28012245265
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                  28200.5246264
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                  29612259263
                  29700.5259.5262.5
                  29800.5260262
                  29900.5260.5261.5
                  30012262.5262.5

                  Edmond: There are 72,519 stones in my walls. I've counted them many times.

                  Abbe Faria: But have you named them yet?

                  The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

                    ressuccess's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg

                    United States
                    Member #93160
                    June 23, 2010
                    3141 Posts
                    Offline

                    I didn't know that they can win these prizes.

                    I hope that one $2 ticket is the only one that matches all 5 numbers plus the PB to win the largest PB jackpot in United States history of over $2 Billion Dollars! I hope that one $2 ticket is the only one that matches all 5 numbers plus the Mega Ball to win the largest Mega Millions jackpot in United States history of over $2 Billion Dollars!

                      LottoMetro's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
                      Happyland
                      United States
                      Member #146340
                      September 1, 2013
                      1146 Posts
                      Offline

                      The lottery is OK with it because most players at some point will put the money back into their games. Only a handful will take the money out and never play again, which is really the only way to guarantee a profit.

                      If the chances of winning the jackpot are so slim, why play when the jackpot is so small? Your chances never change, but the potential payoff does.
                      If a crystal ball showed you the future of the rest of your life, and in that future you will never win a jackpot, would you still play?

                      P&L % = Total Win($)/Total Wager($) - 1

                        Avatar
                        Kentucky
                        United States
                        Member #32651
                        February 14, 2006
                        8965 Posts
                        Offline

                        I don't trust demos because they can be manipulated to win more often thus drawing you in to use real money.

                        It's not about the demos it's about the probability that one number should be drawn once every four drawings. For $200 players are getting $300 and even if a player betting $20 only wins three times, they still have $240 and $40 profit.


                          United States
                          Member #164721
                          March 12, 2015
                          3507 Posts
                          Offline

                          It's not about the demos it's about the probability that one number should be drawn once every four drawings. For $200 players are getting $300 and even if a player betting $20 only wins three times, they still have $240 and $40 profit.

                          I get it, but the point is that the demos may shell out more bucks to lure people to play for real, and not payout as much. Reading some of the Internet forums about this MI game, lots of people are saying they didn't profit betting their real money.

                          I say this because years ago I dabbled with demo games such as online gambling with slots, poker, roulette and other games. Most of those demos make the player win more often than when they use real money.

                            Avatar

                            United States
                            Member #181335
                            April 22, 2017
                            68 Posts
                            Offline

                            I get it, but the point is that the demos may shell out more bucks to lure people to play for real, and not payout as much. Reading some of the Internet forums about this MI game, lots of people are saying they didn't profit betting their real money.

                            I say this because years ago I dabbled with demo games such as online gambling with slots, poker, roulette and other games. Most of those demos make the player win more often than when they use real money.

                            I have 2 points here- 1) I shelled out $200, and it worked fine for me. 2) The idea is that you are going to pick 1 number, stay on that number, and after 300 draws, it will average to 25% and you will be able to cash out for $240-260.

                            Jumping around to a different numbers, or getting bored over an hour, and trying to pick larger number combinations doesn't work.