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# Canadian man wins \$400,000 playing 40 identical Washington Lottery tickets

Oct 25, 2017, 2:24 pm (21 comments)

A Canadian man beat the odds by winning \$400,000 from a Washington Lottery game that typically pays winners \$10,000.

Thomas Grimme of White Rock, British Columbia, picked the four winning numbers for the Match 4 game last December 28, something statisticians say is roughly a 1-in-10,600 chance. But he didn't pick those numbers on a single \$2 ticket.

Rather, he bought 40 tickets at the Cost Cutter Grocery in Blaine, picking the same four numbers on all of them. When those four numbers were drawn, each ticket was worth \$10,000, resulting in the biggest overall payout for a Match 4 game in the state's history.

Statisticians say the odds of Grimme winning was the same for those four numbers whether he bought one ticket or 40.

"I don't understand why you would do that," Christian Hansen, professor and department chairman of Eastern Washington University's Mathematics Department, said of using the same four numbers on 40 tickets. "It doesn't really make much sense."

Lottery players typically improve their odds by picking different numbers, Hansen said. If a person bought 40 tickets with different numbers chosen at random on each, the odds would be about 1 in 250 that one of the tickets would win.

Match 4 is one of the Washington Lottery's most popular games, typically selling between 10,000 and 20,000 tickets a day, Jana Jones, the agency's director of Legal Services, said. For \$2, players can either pick their own four numbers between 1 and 24 or let a machine pick them at random. If they get two out of four, they get \$2; three of four is worth \$20. Unlike some bigger lottery games in which a jackpot is divided among players if more than one winning ticket is sold, Match 4 pays out \$10,000 for every winning ticket that matches all four.

Before Dec. 28, the most winners the Lottery had in a single Match 4 game was 31 in June 2013, but 25 of those were on individual tickets, while one player had two and one player picked the same set of numbers five times. The winning numbers that day? 1-2-3-4.

On December 28, the Lottery had 42 winning tickets for Match 4 — 40 bought by Grimme and two by other players who each had a single winner. That prompted the Washington Lottery Commission's security office to investigate what it considered an "abnormally high number" of wins before paying out the prize money.

Grimme couldn't be reached for a comment on his unusual strategy. A phone number listed for him in White Rock, British Columbia, was answered by someone who said Grimme had moved and not left a forwarding address.

A report by investigator Derek Poppe said Grimme explained he picked the numbers — 4, 8, 17 and 24 — based on his children's birthdays, and had been playing them for several months after receiving extra money from a relative. In the previous three months he had spent \$8,250 on Match 4 tickets with those four numbers, often buying multiple tickets for a single daily game.

He told investigators he bought them at the store in Blaine because "it's right across the border." White Rock is south of Surrey, a few miles from the U.S. border. A check of sales from the Cost Cutter showed that someone had purchased multiple tickets at various times in the previous three months with those numbers.

Grimme didn't answer some of the questions in the standard Lottery "Winner's Survey," such as what the money would allow him to do or what he could now check off his "bucket list." He asked that the agency not share his photo.

The commission also checked the security of the machine that draws the numbers to be sure they were randomly drawn. "We have no reason to believe that the drawing machines were compromised or the numbers selected were predictable," Poppe wrote.

Stephen Wade, research and development manager for the lottery, said the investigation convinced the agency there was "nothing fishy" about the win. "It's just an unusual case," Wade said.

Many people feel that if they play the same numbers consistently, they improve their chances of winning, he said. Statistically, they are just as likely to win with any combination.

But Grimme's strategy provided a big pay off for his numbers and "we're happy to pay it," Wade said.

Spokesman-Review

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Bleudog101

Maybe the mathematician should do basic math and he'd see why he didn't buy just one winning ticket!

Statisticians/mathematicians fail to grasp the thought that someone will win, and usually when something like this happens, it pays off handsomely.

Mr. Grimme let them eat their own words.

Bleudog101

My FB response didn't cross over so here's my humble opinion.

'I don't understand why you would do that' says Christian Hansen, a mathematician and probably a statistician too.

Well I do, though I've never won the big won, when you get a certain feeling for the lottery sometimes your gut feeling pays off.

I just cringe when lotteries get super high and these 'experts' in their field give out crazy astronomical odds as to why someone won't win the lottery.  Yet they do, and they crawl back under their rocks until the next time.

Raven62

"I don't understand why you would do that," Christian Hansen, professor and department chairman of Eastern Washington University's Mathematics Department, said of using the same four numbers on 40 tickets. "It doesn't really make much sense."

40 times \$10,000 equals \$400,000

Can you understand now?

Stack47

Quote: Originally posted by Raven62 on Oct 25, 2017

"I don't understand why you would do that," Christian Hansen, professor and department chairman of Eastern Washington University's Mathematics Department, said of using the same four numbers on 40 tickets. "It doesn't really make much sense."

40 times \$10,000 equals \$400,000

Can you understand now?

And my personal favorite: something statisticians say is roughly a 1-in-10,600 chance.

The last time I looked, it's exactly 1 in 10,000.

Ron5995

Amazed the professor would say that. Maybe he thought it was a typical jackpot game in which the prize splits. As for the odds, 1 in 10,600 is correct. It's not a typical Pick-4 game, but is a choose 4 out of 24 game. Appears to have an overall payback of 65%. That's very good for a \$2 lottery numbers game. Wish PA Lottery had this game.

Many of the larger lotteries (PA, FL, NY, etc) regularly payout large amounts to Pick-3 and Pick 4 players who wager like this person did. It's common in winner lists to see player names with multiple wins on the same number. What makes this interesting is the type of game. WA Match-4 seems like a jackpot game even though it actually isn't. Many savvy WA players recognize this and wager multiple times, but this particular winner was lucky enough to hit big.

grwurston

"I don't understand why you would do that," Christian Hansen, professor and department chairman of Eastern Washington University's Mathematics Department, said of using the same four numbers on 40 tickets. "It doesn't really make much sense."

All these mathematicians who are always saying something like this, are obviously not lottery players. Sometimes a player just knows a number will hit and capitalizes on it. It happens regularly, just not always to that scale.

KyUnderdog

Kentucky better get ready to fork over some cash this way too. That's exactly how I play Ky pick 4, same numbers multiple times. I fig my chance at winning pick 4 is better then a jackpot......

noise-gate

Quote: Originally posted by grwurston on Oct 25, 2017

"I don't understand why you would do that," Christian Hansen, professor and department chairman of Eastern Washington University's Mathematics Department, said of using the same four numbers on 40 tickets. "It doesn't really make much sense."

All these mathematicians who are always saying something like this, are obviously not lottery players. Sometimes a player just knows a number will hit and capitalizes on it. It happens regularly, just not always to that scale.

These Mathematicians are no different than Richard Lustig, not understanding a thing about the lottery. Back to Richard going on, telling folks on tv and in his brochure not to buy QP's,yet finding himself sitting next to Cynthia Stafford who won over \$112 mil, with a QP.

Cassie8620

Quote: Originally posted by KyUnderdog on Oct 25, 2017

Kentucky better get ready to fork over some cash this way too. That's exactly how I play Ky pick 4, same numbers multiple times. I fig my chance at winning pick 4 is better then a jackpot......

it is.and i am same way.odds are much easier, so good luck KY Underdog this week with your #s.

yep.odds are so much better, and personally this year i  have won handsomely as seen in my signature.

I love the odds best/better on p3 and p4 yep.

I call it our little jackpot

or a big win is what i still call a certain amount i've won,in one draw.

Congratulations to this person.I am so very very happy for him."

Coin Toss

Thomas Grimme    \$400,000

DELotteryPlyr

Quote: Originally posted by grwurston on Oct 25, 2017

"I don't understand why you would do that," Christian Hansen, professor and department chairman of Eastern Washington University's Mathematics Department, said of using the same four numbers on 40 tickets. "It doesn't really make much sense."

All these mathematicians who are always saying something like this, are obviously not lottery players. Sometimes a player just knows a number will hit and capitalizes on it. It happens regularly, just not always to that scale.

Its funny how many times to we someone in 'power/influence' telling a crowd of kids or such 'You can be or do anything you put your mind to'

So if they REALLY mean that, then this player is a very good example of that!! Which then means that professor should also shoot down anyone who uses the 'do anything you put your mind to' line.

GiveFive

Obviously the professor isn't a lottery player, because if he was, he'd understand.

All Mr Grimme paid for his 40 tickets was 80 bucks.  Although I rarely ever spend that much on a single drawing, I realize that there are many players that are willing to spend that much (or more) for one drawing.

If you're going to spend a lot of money for one drawing, then IMHO, it's a smart way to play.  That technique has been used to diminish the parimutel aspects of New York's Take5. I've seen where there were 5 JP winners, but 4 tickets with an identical set of the five winning numbers were sold to one player. That person won 80% of the jackpot while the other winner won just 20% of it.

These days, Take5 jackpots don't get to \$100,000, but if they did, and the one player had 4 winning tickets, he'd win \$80,000 while the other player would win \$20,000. G5

tony869

I know it worked for me last year and i played 1-2-3-14 and won \$50K and i almost put \$450 of casino slot winnings on that number my gut feeling told me to go all in.. If i had done that i would have won \$2.2 Million and beat that guy's record but i went conservative and played 5 lines for \$10 bucks and hit.. So from now on i will wait for gut feeling to tell me when next set of numbers come up for that day i will go all in...  So far Mr.Grimme is the leader in the Match 4 game as single highest winner and I am the second single highest winner so far for Match 4 game..

DELotteryPlyr

Quote: Originally posted by tony869 on Oct 26, 2017

I know it worked for me last year and i played 1-2-3-14 and won \$50K and i almost put \$450 of casino slot winnings on that number my gut feeling told me to go all in.. If i had done that i would have won \$2.2 Million and beat that guy's record but i went conservative and played 5 lines for \$10 bucks and hit.. So from now on i will wait for gut feeling to tell me when next set of numbers come up for that day i will go all in...  So far Mr.Grimme is the leader in the Match 4 game as single highest winner and I am the second single highest winner so far for Match 4 game..

NICE HIT!!!

Congrats, and another great example of how 'stupid' the professor is.

Another professor point- As a teacher he is suppose to be 'open' to new and different ideas and ways of looking at things in his field of statistics.  Proof he is not a real teacher, just a preacher of his own ideas, views and values.

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