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Gaming the lottery was this couple's retirement plan

Topic closed. 26 replies. Last post 3 years ago by maximumfun.

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Jacksonville
United States
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March 26, 2014
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I'm surprised that it worked out so well given that the large influx of ticket purchases during a "roll-down" would greatly increase the chances that someone hit the jackpot and thereby mess up the drawing for the gambling pools.  Also, this tells you how hard it is to hit the jackpot given that they never actually hit the $2M or $5M jackpots despite buying insane numbers of tickets.  The story does not indicate whether any of the other pools (e.g., MIT students) even hit the jackpot for a really big win.

In any event, good for them.  Well worth the read.

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    New Member
    Worcester, Vermont
    United States
    Member #3771
    February 19, 2004
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    Great article! Thanks for posting it. As for it incidentally showing how purchasing a huge number of tickets doesn't get you a jackpot even in a statistically easy game, check out lottoreport's ticket comparison page

    16,381,736 tickets were sold for last night's Mega Million's draw. Nobody won obviously.

    The article's point was that having a rolldown week drawing with no jackpot winner gave you a $1 ticket that statistically was worth more then $1.00. That was Jerry's Eureka moment. It's no surprise that he hasn't come up with a way to game lower tier Powerball prizes with its 1 in 292,201,338 jackpot winning odds, let alone Mega Millions with its 1 in 258,890,850 jackpot winning odds.

    The woman who runs the lottoreport site really dislikes the new Mega Millions rules. Her article about that is a very enlightening read.

    The original Jerry and Marge Huffington Post article is entitled The Lottery Hackers. Its worth googling to see all the photos that are part of the article, and most definitely flesh the article out and bring it to life.

      GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
      Florida - West Coast
      United States
      Member #92605
      June 10, 2010
      4790 Posts
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      "If you figured it out and you could do this, would you do it?"  Jerry asked.

      Absolutely I would.  Wish I was as astute as he is.  Had I known about it, I know I'd have wanted to do it because The Massachusetts border is about an hour's drive from my home.  The big problem I'd would have had would have been finding a retailer that would go along with it because I don't know anybody that's a lottery retailer in Mass. 

      One other thing; If I read the story correctly, The Selbee's and others were apparently doing this for years.  The Mass Lottery had to know they were doing it because The Selbee's (who were from Michigan) cashed a boatload of The Massachusetts Lottery's winning tickets (they had to do that at a Mass Lottery claim center. No retailer could cash that many winners) that were purchased at two stores in the same town but only when a roll-down happened.  Yet The Mass Lottery didn't immediately withdraw Cash Winfall when it came to light! Why not?  I think it's because they knew The Selbee's weren't doing anything illegal.  True enough they broke the Lottery's retailer contract by operating the terminal during non-business hours, but that's not a crime. G5

      Players who've won large lottery jackpots have something in common. Many of them say "I've played the lottery for years, but I never won anything but small prizes."   That's normal or typical, but it's also why you should not get discouraged and stop playing.  Who knows?  Maybe someday you'll say "I've played the lottery for years...."

        GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
        Florida - West Coast
        United States
        Member #92605
        June 10, 2010
        4790 Posts
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        Great article! Thanks for posting it. As for it incidentally showing how purchasing a huge number of tickets doesn't get you a jackpot even in a statistically easy game, check out lottoreport's ticket comparison page

        16,381,736 tickets were sold for last night's Mega Million's draw. Nobody won obviously.

        The article's point was that having a rolldown week drawing with no jackpot winner gave you a $1 ticket that statistically was worth more then $1.00. That was Jerry's Eureka moment. It's no surprise that he hasn't come up with a way to game lower tier Powerball prizes with its 1 in 292,201,338 jackpot winning odds, let alone Mega Millions with its 1 in 258,890,850 jackpot winning odds.

        The woman who runs the lottoreport site really dislikes the new Mega Millions rules. Her article about that is a very enlightening read.

        The original Jerry and Marge Huffington Post article is entitled The Lottery Hackers. Its worth googling to see all the photos that are part of the article, and most definitely flesh the article out and bring it to life.

        It all nets down to "coverage".

        16,381,736 combinations is 6% of a possible 258,890,850 combinations that could be sold.  So just 6% of the combo's were covered (sold) and 94% were left uncovered. (un-sold)

        Not sure if you really meant "tickets" were sold or not.  If it's the case that it really is tickets, then many more combo's were sold due to sales of tickets with multiple combo's (lines) on them.  But even then the coverage percentage would still be low.  It's when coverage gets to about 50% of the possible number of combo's that a jackpot winning ticket is likely to be sold. G5

        Players who've won large lottery jackpots have something in common. Many of them say "I've played the lottery for years, but I never won anything but small prizes."   That's normal or typical, but it's also why you should not get discouraged and stop playing.  Who knows?  Maybe someday you'll say "I've played the lottery for years...."

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          United States
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          March 9, 2006
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            Kentucky
            United States
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            February 14, 2006
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            "Maybe the flaw was intentional, to encourage players to spend lots of money on lottery tickets, since the state took a cut of each ticket sold, about 35 cents on the dollar."

            Not much different than when more PB and MM tickets are sold as their jackpots gets higher and when state lotteries encourage players to buy a chance(s) to win $1/2 billion plus jackpots.

            What if MM limited their jackpot at $200 million cash value with the excess money being rolled down to secondary prizes?

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              ohio
              United States
              Member #5030
              June 11, 2004
              19041 Posts
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              nice story, way to many computer piicks, need something with less numbers to play

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                Simpsonville
                United States
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                January 22, 2015
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                Found the article very interesting and entertaining.  Really had to chuckle with the part of them running the lottery machines themselves.  Those old dot matrix machines in Massachusetts make a racket, think of all the decibels their poor ears had to endure.  IGT said it is replacing them all; correct me if I'm wrong here.  I understand that is the only state that is/was still using those old clunkers.

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                  New Member
                  Augusta, GA
                  United States
                  Member #189040
                  April 3, 2018
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                  That is breathtaking love the determination! Alot of patience that brought some big winners in family finance!

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                    New York, NY
                    United States
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                    March 23, 2013
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                    This is actually a nice story. I read it before it was written here, but I must say it was not only interesting but nice to hear and see. Happy for them.

                    Sometimes you do the right thing just because it’s right.

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                      New Member
                      Waskom, Texas
                      United States
                      Member #188954
                      March 30, 2018
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                      if you're interested in pulling something similar off send me a messsage

                        maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-030.jpg

                        United States
                        Member #124612
                        March 16, 2012
                        3713 Posts
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                        if you're interested in pulling something similar off send me a messsage

                        ^^^ scary post