|Posted: September 14, 2005, 2:04 pm - IP Logged|
My scratch off lottery ticket experiment.
After a good month where I made a killing working from home I decided to buy a couple books of lottery tickets and put aside about a grand to blow. I live in Illinois which offers fair games in my eyes compared to other states. I decided to play the Miles of Millions game as they still had three top prizes available and about 40% of the game had been sold. (Yes I realize that people could be holding on to winners) Finding books to buy for the $10 game was hard. 60 come in a book. I probably went to 10 stores or so before I found two books. Most only stock one at a time. I was looking for pristine books. I plunked down the 1200 and figured I would probably get around 650-800 back if the odds held true. I also played this game so it would give me a decent amount of 2nd chance entries to the ILL lottery second chance game.
The odds for this game are as followed. 1 in 3.29 chance to win.
$10- 1 in 7.5
$15 1 in 30
$20 1 in 15
$25 1 in 23.08
$50 1 in 60
$100 1 in 128.62
$200 1 in 827.59
$400 1 in 645.16
$1000 1 in 214,736.84
$2000 1 in 255,000
$10000 1 in 340000
$1 million 1 in 1360000
I figured with two books I would expect 36.47 winners. Or 18 per book.
I wound up getting back exactly $415 back from each book. ( So I was a $370 loser)
And both books were exactly similar. I actually had 19 winners in each book, which is a little better than expected. In both books I had
8 $10 winners (expected total was 8)
2 $15 winners (expected total was 2)
4 $20 winners (expected total was 4)
3 $25 winners (expected total was 2.6 or so)
1 $50 winner (expected was 1)
1 $100 winner (expected one in both books)
So I got a bit lucky that I received 2 $100 winners. An observation from all this scratching.
1. You are a sure loser buying books of tickets unless you hit a big winner. The fact I had 19 winners per book made me figure that those books that have bigger winners will probably yield less winners per book. I know there is a minimum amount of winners per book but am curious to know what that is. Is it 1 out of 4 or 1 out of 5 would be my guess? So when I scratch books I now root for losers, cause I firmly believe to make up for the odds, the books with big winners will have less per.
After doing this I finally got an email back from the ILL lottery telling me where books of the Merry Millionaire game possibly were being sold. There still is an outstanding million dollar winner and supposedly only 6 books were left. Now I know the winner was probably either thrown out or not properly identified and already scratched but I couldn't let this go by. I was given 5 places the ILL lottery thought this game was still avail. ( How they cannot be definite is beyond me ) One place was a shell station that had a book left ( 58 tickets actually) I went there and picked up one of those. That game had odds of 1 in 2.99. I spent $580 and got back $390. Again I believe I was lucky to get a $100 winner in that bunch. But once I see that I know my chances of a big one are gone.
Lastly I decided to try one more book of Miles of Millions. I couldn't find a whole book anywhere. I then decided to try my luck buying random tickets at two different places. Doing it this way I think is a lot less of a sure thing as far as knowing what you will get back. I believe per book you are really staying within the statistical norm. Here it was more random. I blew $600 and only got back $290. No $100 winners or even $50 winners. I knew I was rolling the dice by splitting up my purchase but still wanted to see what happened.
All in all I blew $870 bucks. Please dot email me or IM me saying I could have done better at pick three or blah blah. The LOTTERY IS A LOSING PROPOSITION. Unless of course you hit a jackpot. Games that offer 50%-70%payback cannot be beaten long term. I just had some extra money to blow and wanted to see what happened. I cant wait to see where that last Merry Millionaire ticket shows up as I had some fun trying to track down a book of that.
I will buy a book again in future but only in a game where my odds have slimmed down of winning the big prize due to market sales. Thank God I make good money for myself from home so I can have these adventures. Good Luck to all!