Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 7, 2016, 3:49 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Pick-Quickpick Question

Topic closed. 39 replies. Last post 8 years ago by Todd.

Page 2 of 3
PrintE-mailLink
bobby623's avatar - abstract
San Angelo, Texas
United States
Member #1097
January 31, 2003
1394 Posts
Offline
Posted: October 11, 2008, 8:25 pm - IP Logged

I do not believe that is correct about the Quick Picks being generated centrally.

From the Texas Lottery Web site:

How does Quick Pick work?

By marking the appropriate box on your playslip, or by telling the clerk you want to use Quick Pick, the lottery terminal will automatically select numbers for you. The Quick Pick random number generator for our on-line games has no built-in memory. Once a set of numbers is picked in one play, the random number process starts fresh for the next play. The fact that a number is picked in one play has no influence on the chances of it getting picked in following plays. Each set of numbers generated by the Quick Pick feature is unrelated to any other Quick Pick selection. This means that one or more numbers, or even the same set of numbers, can be chosen by the Quick Pick option on more than one play. If the random number generator was restricted to producing each set of numbers only once, the system would not be completely random.

That in itself is certainly not conclusive either way, but I did read GTECH materials about their lottery terminals a while back and it clearly said that the lottery machines themselves have an RNG built in to them that generates the numbers, and they are transmitted to the central computer to be recorded.

I would be interested indeed to see anything you have to offer that clearly illustrates that the Texas Lottery has a central computer that generates the random numbers.

Edit: Having an RNG is no big deal.  Every programming language (including the one that runs the terminals) has an RNG function.


This Information came from the Texas Lottery Website.
Go to Site Map.
Scroll to Current Rules
Chapter 401, SubChapter D, 401.301, General Definitions.

27) On-line game--A lottery game which utilizes a computer system to administer plays, the type of game, and amount of play for a specified drawing date, and

in which a player either selects a combination of numbers or allows number selection by a random number generator operated by the computer, referred to as

Quick Pick. The commission will conduct a drawing to determine the winning combination(s) in accordance with the rules of the specific game being played and

the drawing procedures for the specific game.

  (28) On-line retailer--A lottery retailer authorized by the commission to sell on-line tickets. On-line retailers shall sell all on-line lottery games and

at least two instant ticket games offered by the commission.

  (29) On-line system--The commission or commission's vendor's on-line computer system consisting of on-line terminals, central processing equipment, and a communication network.

  (30) On-line terminal--The commission or commission's vendor's computer hardware through which an on-line retailer enters player selections or Quick Pick selections and by which on-line tickets are generated and claims are validated.

  (31) On-line ticket--A computer-generated ticket issued to a player, by an on-line retailer, as a receipt for the combination of numbers a player has

selected, and generated on an on-line terminal provided by the commission or commission's vendor on official Texas Lottery paper stock, by either selecting

his or her own numbers or selecting Quick Pick, which is a random number generator operated by the computer. That ticket shall be the only acceptable

evidence of the combination of digits, numbers, or symbols selected. On-line tickets may be purchased only from on-line retailers

The 'commission's vendor's (GTECH) on-line computer system is key definition.

There is no language or definition confirming that the on-line terminals at convenience stores are random number generators.

I've talked to several senior store officials. All stated that 'quick picks come from the GTECH computer in Austin.

One day, when I have time, I'll browse through the commission transcripts and try to locate the one where the 'GTECH RNG' was a topic of discussion.

    Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
    Chief Bottle Washer
    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #1
    May 31, 2000
    23267 Posts
    Online
    Posted: October 11, 2008, 9:44 pm - IP Logged

    Oh no, those are just operating guidelines for the lottery, they are in no way a guide to the technical methods by which the lottery is operated.  Plus, when a lottery vendor like GTECH refers to "online," they normally are referring to the remote terminals that communicate "online" through a telephone modem  to the central computer, to communicate the numbers to play, and to receive back confirmation of the entry (and code number).

    Another part of your message that I really didn't nit-pick, but I'll go ahead and do it now is when you say, "...the desired number of combinations are generated and returned to the requesting terminal along with the bar codes and other data."

    The bar codes are another thing that is generated by the lottery terminal in the store, not by the central computer.  The central computer sends back the unique ticket ID number corresponding to the specific entry, but the lottery terminal transforms that number into a bar code.

    If you opened up a lottery terminal, you would see that it is actually a real computer in there, not all that powerful by today's standards, but capable of quite a bit.  In the past I spoke at length with a technician who worked for the company, and was capable of building one from the ground up.

     

    Check the State Lottery Report Card
    What grade did your lottery earn?

     

    Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
    Help eliminate computerized drawings!

      bobby623's avatar - abstract
      San Angelo, Texas
      United States
      Member #1097
      January 31, 2003
      1394 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: October 11, 2008, 10:13 pm - IP Logged

      I guess we are at a standoff.

      I'll go with 'common knowledge' here in Texas until proven otherwise.

      I'm doing more research and will reveal results later.

      When I read the transcript of the meeting where the GTECH RNG was discussed, I can't recall that they were talking about multiple machines. In other words, they were not talking about a particular RNG at a particular store not being as random as some folks thought it should be. It was a discussion about a central RNG computer operated by GTECH. I recall that a GTECH representative was at the meeting.

      I didn't get the impression they were talking about several thousand RNG's.

      I do recall one commissioner wondering why the players had no problems with the "GTECH's computer generated quick picks, but oppose computer drawings.

      All I can say is that it will be a surprise to most convenience store clerks here to learn, if true, that they are generating quick picks at their lottery terminals.

      Bottom line, what does it matter.

      You want quick picks, the clerk punches the right buttons and the machine spits them out.

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #1
        May 31, 2000
        23267 Posts
        Online
        Posted: October 11, 2008, 10:24 pm - IP Logged

        I guess we are at a standoff.

        I'll go with 'common knowledge' here in Texas until proven otherwise.

        I'm doing more research and will reveal results later.

        When I read the transcript of the meeting where the GTECH RNG was discussed, I can't recall that they were talking about multiple machines. In other words, they were not talking about a particular RNG at a particular store not being as random as some folks thought it should be. It was a discussion about a central RNG computer operated by GTECH. I recall that a GTECH representative was at the meeting.

        I didn't get the impression they were talking about several thousand RNG's.

        I do recall one commissioner wondering why the players had no problems with the "GTECH's computer generated quick picks, but oppose computer drawings.

        All I can say is that it will be a surprise to most convenience store clerks here to learn, if true, that they are generating quick picks at their lottery terminals.

        Bottom line, what does it matter.

        You want quick picks, the clerk punches the right buttons and the machine spits them out.

        There is no such "common knowledge", you are giving inaccurate information, and I'm trying to say that as gently as possible.

        I'm not sure if you realize that by saying "thousands of RNGs" you are really not making sense.  Every personal computer sold (billions) has a RNG as part of the programming languages that drive it.  Since lottery terminals are computers, they too have "RNGs".

        It is not some exotic technology, it's entirely boring stuff, no big deal.

        This topic DOES matter, which is why I'm being very careful to give accurate information.  Many people are suspicious of the lottery, saying that they generate Quick Picks that will not hit, and that the lottery has the ability to do that because a central computer controls them.

        I have no problem of looking suspiciously at the lottery where it is deserved, but in this area it is not, because the random numbers are generated at the lottery terminal.

        I will accept the fact that you disagree, and that we are at a standoff, but it would be irresponsible of me to allow the last thing posted to this thread be something I feel is highly inaccurate, so if you want to continue the debate, I'll be forced to continue myself.

         

        Check the State Lottery Report Card
        What grade did your lottery earn?

         

        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

          Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
          Chief Bottle Washer
          New Jersey
          United States
          Member #1
          May 31, 2000
          23267 Posts
          Online
          Posted: October 11, 2008, 10:49 pm - IP Logged

          By the way, I went digging around for some definitive info about the lottery machines generating the quick picks, and it is just darn hard to find anything on the subject. 

          But I DID find a very interesting piece published in Wired magazine in 2004 about Scientific Games and GTECH lottery machines, and some advancements they had made at the time.

          It includes a VERY INTERESTING look at how the random numbers are derived, at least in some cases.  I do know that many of the terminals in around the country use a simple RNG that sets its "seed" value based on the current number of milleseconds the computer has been turned on, but apparently they are using some other unique methods.

          Here is the snippet that deals exclusively with the Quick Picks portion.  I'd recommend checking out the rest of the article here.  (It's a little more than half-way down the page, starting with the headline, "Playing the Numbers".)

          Quick Pick Tricks
          Most players let the terminal pick their numbers, which means it all comes down to random timing. A microprocessor starts counting as soon as the keyboard is tapped. Each time you or the clerk behind the counter presses another key, the processor computes the elapsed time. The processor takes the resulting figures and scrambles them with the numbers issued on the last ticket sale. The jumbled output is your lucky number — or not.

           

          Check the State Lottery Report Card
          What grade did your lottery earn?

           

          Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
          Help eliminate computerized drawings!


            United States
            Member #17555
            June 22, 2005
            5582 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: October 11, 2008, 11:45 pm - IP Logged

            By the way, I went digging around for some definitive info about the lottery machines generating the quick picks, and it is just darn hard to find anything on the subject. 

            But I DID find a very interesting piece published in Wired magazine in 2004 about Scientific Games and GTECH lottery machines, and some advancements they had made at the time.

            It includes a VERY INTERESTING look at how the random numbers are derived, at least in some cases.  I do know that many of the terminals in around the country use a simple RNG that sets its "seed" value based on the current number of milleseconds the computer has been turned on, but apparently they are using some other unique methods.

            Here is the snippet that deals exclusively with the Quick Picks portion.  I'd recommend checking out the rest of the article here.  (It's a little more than half-way down the page, starting with the headline, "Playing the Numbers".)

            Quick Pick Tricks
            Most players let the terminal pick their numbers, which means it all comes down to random timing. A microprocessor starts counting as soon as the keyboard is tapped. Each time you or the clerk behind the counter presses another key, the processor computes the elapsed time. The processor takes the resulting figures and scrambles them with the numbers issued on the last ticket sale. The jumbled output is your lucky number — or not.

            The terminal inside a liquor store in California where my friend worked had the numbers already on display. He showed them to me one night. This was actually discussed here a year or so ago.

            He showed me a list of p-3 numbers and which one(s) looked good to pick. I was not happy to see this. I thought they were generated when you hit the QP key. Not only that, if no one bought from that list, the list stayed the same even when you came back later to look at it. I do remember a button to hit that generated new numbers for the list, but I didn't like that feature either....lol

             

             

             

              BobP's avatar - bobp avatar.png
              Dump Water Florida
              United States
              Member #380
              June 5, 2002
              3103 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: October 11, 2008, 11:58 pm - IP Logged


              Long as this thread is continuing, I'd like to point out there are multiple companies supplying lotto equipment in multiple countries over a long period of time, so not everything has to be the same everywhere.

              I do recall reading way back when that the Florida terminals could print tickets while offline and send info later in burst packets, not having to be online all the time.  We're talking 80's computers here. That's the way I remember it, I could be wrong.
               
              I'm sure things have changed to online all the time as Todd says.

              BobP

                Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                Chief Bottle Washer
                New Jersey
                United States
                Member #1
                May 31, 2000
                23267 Posts
                Online
                Posted: October 12, 2008, 12:25 am - IP Logged


                Long as this thread is continuing, I'd like to point out there are multiple companies supplying lotto equipment in multiple countries over a long period of time, so not everything has to be the same everywhere.

                I do recall reading way back when that the Florida terminals could print tickets while offline and send info later in burst packets, not having to be online all the time.  We're talking 80's computers here. That's the way I remember it, I could be wrong.
                 
                I'm sure things have changed to online all the time as Todd says.

                BobP

                There are really not all that many manufacturers around the world of online lotto machines.  Just a handful.  I've heard it called an "incestuous industry" by those on the inside, for that reason.

                Things are certainly a lot different from the 70s and 80s, when lotto machines first made their appearances, but back when they were first created there was no such thing as a Quick Pick.

                The back-end systems for the lottery industry are mainly accounting-type systems, not systems that run the front-end terminals.  They are separate specifically because of the flexibility that offers -- you can upgrade the back end without upgrading all the terminals (and vice-versa).

                Quick Picks have always been a terminal-based activity though.  I'm not aware of even an outmoded system in which the numbers were generated centrally.  (Speaking of the United States, that is.  Perhaps there is a small country or private lottery I'm not aware of that has a centralized random number generator, but I don't thnk that's really relevant.) 

                 

                Check the State Lottery Report Card
                What grade did your lottery earn?

                 

                Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                  bobby623's avatar - abstract
                  San Angelo, Texas
                  United States
                  Member #1097
                  January 31, 2003
                  1394 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: October 12, 2008, 11:42 am - IP Logged

                  Good morning!

                  FYI: I have sent an email to the Texas Lottery requesting information on random number generators and QP generation. Basically, I posed two general questions:

                  1. Are the on-line lottery terminals located at hundreds of convenience stores in Texas random number generators capable of generating quick picks on demand. If true, how often are these hundreds of RNGs checked to ensure that combinations they generate are truly random.

                  2. Are quick picks generated at a centralized computer and returned to an on-line terminal for printing.

                  The TLC does not always reply to emails.

                  In the meantime, I've consulted with Dawn Nettles, who probably knows more about Texas lottery operations than any other person outside the lottery staff. I posed the same two questions. Her reply:

                  "The quick picks are generated by a central computer at Austin and sent to the terminals for printing."

                  I have no doubt that GTECH and other firms have designed all sorts of gambling equipment from video slot machines, to whatever. This does not in itself mean that the on-line lottery terminals in Texas are random number generators.

                  I will share any reply I receive from the TLC on this question.

                  If I'm wrong, then I'll accept it and consider it as a learning experience.

                  But, I have to say that you have not presented any hard conclusive evidence supporting your position on the QP question.

                    JKING's avatar - Kaleidoscope 3.gif

                    United States
                    Member #5599
                    July 13, 2004
                    1185 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: October 12, 2008, 12:42 pm - IP Logged

                    Hi,

                      I'm going to go back to my original thought.

                      Do the varios lotteries have the opportunity to profile the distribution of winners based on what numbers have been issued or selected by customers?

                      This would apply to computer generated winning numbers, not ball machines.

                      Is there any checks or balances to make sure this is not happening?

                     

                     Thanks to everybody for your comments. *S*

                    You are a slave to the choices you have made.  jk

                    Even a blind squirrel will occasioanlly find an acorn.

                      bobby623's avatar - abstract
                      San Angelo, Texas
                      United States
                      Member #1097
                      January 31, 2003
                      1394 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: October 12, 2008, 1:06 pm - IP Logged

                      Hi,

                        I'm going to go back to my original thought.

                        Do the varios lotteries have the opportunity to profile the distribution of winners based on what numbers have been issued or selected by customers?

                        This would apply to computer generated winning numbers, not ball machines.

                        Is there any checks or balances to make sure this is not happening?

                       

                       Thanks to everybody for your comments. *S*

                       Hi JKING

                      Although Texas uses a centralized computer to generate quick picks, ball machines are used to generate winning combinations.

                      However, there is some evidence (meeting transcripts) that GTECH has capability to analyze quick pick combinations. I don't know exactly what the data is used for. They can't know in advance what the winning combinations will be, so, I don't know if their studies impact on the drawings and payouts.

                      As for computer drawings. suggest you run a search. You will find a bunch of posts on the subject.

                      Whether or not states like Tenn. use their computers to affect lottery results is a question with no answers. If they do, it would be a criminal act, and would be protected in ways that would hinder any investigation.

                        RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                        mid-Ohio
                        United States
                        Member #9
                        March 24, 2001
                        19826 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: October 12, 2008, 2:04 pm - IP Logged

                        As long as the official drawings are fair and truly random, it doesn't matter how QPs are picked.  QPs are offered as an option to those players who don't want to take the time to fill out a play slip.  If a player doesn't feel comfortable having his combinations picked by a system he doesn't understand then he should pick his own combinations and stop blaming the system for his loses.  The odds are a player is going to lose 90% of the time regardless of how his numbers/combinations are picked

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

                          Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                          Chief Bottle Washer
                          New Jersey
                          United States
                          Member #1
                          May 31, 2000
                          23267 Posts
                          Online
                          Posted: October 12, 2008, 9:38 pm - IP Logged

                          Good morning!

                          FYI: I have sent an email to the Texas Lottery requesting information on random number generators and QP generation. Basically, I posed two general questions:

                          1. Are the on-line lottery terminals located at hundreds of convenience stores in Texas random number generators capable of generating quick picks on demand. If true, how often are these hundreds of RNGs checked to ensure that combinations they generate are truly random.

                          2. Are quick picks generated at a centralized computer and returned to an on-line terminal for printing.

                          The TLC does not always reply to emails.

                          In the meantime, I've consulted with Dawn Nettles, who probably knows more about Texas lottery operations than any other person outside the lottery staff. I posed the same two questions. Her reply:

                          "The quick picks are generated by a central computer at Austin and sent to the terminals for printing."

                          I have no doubt that GTECH and other firms have designed all sorts of gambling equipment from video slot machines, to whatever. This does not in itself mean that the on-line lottery terminals in Texas are random number generators.

                          I will share any reply I receive from the TLC on this question.

                          If I'm wrong, then I'll accept it and consider it as a learning experience.

                          But, I have to say that you have not presented any hard conclusive evidence supporting your position on the QP question.

                          Neither have you.

                          Dawn Nettles is not the source I would go to for un-biased information about the Texas Lottery.  She has made her entire reputation by trying to continuously belittle and criticize the Texas Lottery, and while some of that is good and needed, I have no need for someone whose entire business is based upon it.

                           

                          Check the State Lottery Report Card
                          What grade did your lottery earn?

                           

                          Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                          Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                            Avatar

                            United States
                            Member #119
                            February 19, 2002
                            527 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: October 12, 2008, 10:38 pm - IP Logged

                            Hi,

                              Is the same computer that is used to pick the lottery numbers also used to issue quickpicks?

                              A nifty way to control the amount of winners. *S*

                            The computer is programmed (or NOT programmed by a human being) to issue ALL the POSSIBLE combinations found in a number field of 55 numbers (i.e. Powerball) or LESS than all those possible combinations.

                            The quickpick you buy in Pennsylvania might be the SAME "quickpick" combination issued in ANOTHER state.

                            The proof?  Look at how many SECOND place winners there are in PB or MM drawings, especially when the Jackpot exceeds about $150 million dollars.

                            I'm convinced that the reason PB or MM has rarely exceeded $275 million is that the computer becomes programmed to issue/release/sell all the possible combinations.

                            One source of the above: William Atwood's The Lottery Solution.

                            A second source: the drawings themselves.

                            A third source: the people who orchestrate and control the programming of these computers, who no doubt will never talk, at least not on the record.

                            _________

                            Always tell the truth-- that will astonish some and gratify the rest. 

                            - President Harry S. Truman

                              BobP's avatar - bobp avatar.png
                              Dump Water Florida
                              United States
                              Member #380
                              June 5, 2002
                              3103 Posts
                              Offline
                              Posted: October 13, 2008, 12:27 am - IP Logged

                              The computer is programmed (or NOT programmed by a human being) to issue ALL the POSSIBLE combinations found in a number field of 55 numbers (i.e. Powerball) or LESS than all those possible combinations.

                              The quickpick you buy in Pennsylvania might be the SAME "quickpick" combination issued in ANOTHER state.

                              The proof?  Look at how many SECOND place winners there are in PB or MM drawings, especially when the Jackpot exceeds about $150 million dollars.

                              I'm convinced that the reason PB or MM has rarely exceeded $275 million is that the computer becomes programmed to issue/release/sell all the possible combinations.

                              One source of the above: William Atwood's The Lottery Solution.

                              A second source: the drawings themselves.

                              A third source: the people who orchestrate and control the programming of these computers, who no doubt will never talk, at least not on the record.

                              _________

                              Always tell the truth-- that will astonish some and gratify the rest. 

                              - President Harry S. Truman

                              There is no requirement the lottery QP run through all the possible combinations before starting again. 

                              The more QP's purchased, the better the odds one will win, but there is always the possibility of two or more jackpot winning QP's without all the possible combinations in the game being run through.

                              Is there a "switch" at the lottery director's disposal that could make this happen?  Perhaps, but why would they ever want to use it?

                              BobP