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Have you or anyone you known tipped clerks that have helped you select a winning instant ticket?

Topic closed. 23 replies. Last post 6 years ago by CarHauler.

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Posted: December 20, 2010, 6:45 am - IP Logged

Being that it is near Christmas, I have been considering tipping some of the clerks that have been most helpful with my instant ticket purchases, or that have given me excellent customer service. I see nothing wrong with this, and was wondering if this was something that ever happens. It could be considered tipping, as the clerk provides you with a service (his opinion of which ticket might be a winner).  I have also gone into more detail here: http://www.lotterypost.com/thread/224662/1885801 .

Do you or anyone you know do this, or have you heard of it? If so, is it a percentage or a flat fee. Seeing as how a clerk cannot possibly be certain if a ticket is a winner before it is sold, I see nothing illegal or immoral about this, any more than I see someone tipping a waiter or waitress more for excellent, speedy service. If I come to your restaurant frequently and give you a 25% tip, is it unreasonable that you would give me better service than someone who never tipped? As a former pizza delivery driver, I had different levels of service, based on customers tipping habits.

Let me know your thoughts on this. If you are going to claim that this is illegal, please provide the exact code section, as I do not want to intentionally break any laws. Opinions or statements such as "I am sure that that would be illegal", or "My brother is a cop and he said you couldn't do that" are welcome, but I cannot substantiate them unless you show me the law. Thanks a million!

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    Monkey Butt, USA
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    Posted: December 21, 2010, 7:30 pm - IP Logged

    Being that it is near Christmas, I have been considering tipping some of the clerks that have been most helpful with my instant ticket purchases, or that have given me excellent customer service. I see nothing wrong with this, and was wondering if this was something that ever happens. It could be considered tipping, as the clerk provides you with a service (his opinion of which ticket might be a winner).  I have also gone into more detail here: http://www.lotterypost.com/thread/224662/1885801 .

    Do you or anyone you know do this, or have you heard of it? If so, is it a percentage or a flat fee. Seeing as how a clerk cannot possibly be certain if a ticket is a winner before it is sold, I see nothing illegal or immoral about this, any more than I see someone tipping a waiter or waitress more for excellent, speedy service. If I come to your restaurant frequently and give you a 25% tip, is it unreasonable that you would give me better service than someone who never tipped? As a former pizza delivery driver, I had different levels of service, based on customers tipping habits.

    Let me know your thoughts on this. If you are going to claim that this is illegal, please provide the exact code section, as I do not want to intentionally break any laws. Opinions or statements such as "I am sure that that would be illegal", or "My brother is a cop and he said you couldn't do that" are welcome, but I cannot substantiate them unless you show me the law. Thanks a million!

    I agree with you completely. It may not be against the lottery's policy but it may be against the store owner's policy.

    There have been times when I've won I have given my favorite store clerk $5 or $10 to show my appreciation.

    As far as I am concerned it is no different than when you tell a cashier to keep the change when you make a purchase.

    If I am giving a cashier a tip then it is because we are very familiar with each other and on a name basis.

    I often joke around with the cashiers by asking if I can get a partial refund if my tickets don't win. lol

    Most of the time the cashiers respond with a resounding YES, until they realize what I just asked.

    Then their response is a laughing NO!! I find that it helps to give the cashiers something to laugh about.

      four4me's avatar - gate1
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      Posted: December 21, 2010, 7:37 pm - IP Logged

      When the clerk wins on a tip you give them do they reward you!

      Big John says. You don't hit the number. The number hits you!!!!

                     I'm not Big John, I'm Four4me, Big John's a friend.
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        Posted: December 22, 2010, 12:38 am - IP Logged

        When the clerk wins on a tip you give them do they reward you!

        Are you asking or answering? Your punctuation is causing the confusion. It looks like a question to me, but it could be a declaration.

        What I am getting at here is rewarding a clerk that is trying to truly look out for my best interest, and form an alliance. I am wondering whether or not anyone has had any clerks who helped them win more than they lose. Someone has to win. After all, if a clerk has just opened a pack of $20 tickets on their shift, and sold thirteen of them, and they all lost, then that clerk would be in a position to highly recommend the remaining two tickets. Just the opposite, I was going to only purchase one of a particular $10 ticket tonight, and a particular clerk convinced me to buy the last one as well. I spent $20 when I only intended to spend $10 on that ticket. Both lost, so I don't know if he actually thought there was a good chance of one of those tickets winning, OR on the other hand, he knew that he had just paid out a $100 winner on the previous ticket, or earlier in the roll, and was just trying to get rid of the rest of the pack.

        Maybe if there was a winner just before, he helped the other guy pick out the ticket, because he knew him better, and they had an "alliance", however unholy it may be. I am trying to find a clerk that I can trust, and I think that it is only fair to reward them, assuming they help me win more often than I lose, or where I consistently win more than I do spending the same amount at a competitor. I fully understand that you will have average rolls, and high paying ones. I understand that they cannot know for sure, but as far as I am concerned, after a winner of $100 or more, I personally consider the rest of the roll dead, and on the case of $20 tickets in particular, I will most likely leave that roll alone. If he tells me about a big winner on a previous ticket in a roll that I am considering purchasing from, then he is preventing me from wasting money on a ticket which is most likely destined to lose.

        I am interested mainly in purchasing tickets with the goal of winning $100 or more, with my sights firmly set on a $500 winner. That is not to say that I am unhappy with smaller winners, because certainly I am not, it is just that I am looking for bigger wins. I am not in the hunt to win $5 off of a $2 ticket, or $3 off of a $1 ticket. I could care less about wins like that. I consider them insignificant and worthless, and a complete waste of my time. Actually, my new favorite game has a $100 winner approximately every two rolls. This means that if the cashier has two or more consecutive rolls of the same ticket, they are in an excellent position to help me make an informed purchase. They simply cannot do this for all of their customers, because most of them have to end up losing more money than they make. That is just a fact of the lottery, because the losers outnumber winners. The changing of shifts can make this a hard proposition.

          four4me's avatar - gate1
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          Posted: December 22, 2010, 1:14 am - IP Logged

          Are you asking or answering? Your punctuation is causing the confusion. It looks like a question to me, but it could be a declaration.

          What I am getting at here is rewarding a clerk that is trying to truly look out for my best interest, and form an alliance. I am wondering whether or not anyone has had any clerks who helped them win more than they lose. Someone has to win. After all, if a clerk has just opened a pack of $20 tickets on their shift, and sold thirteen of them, and they all lost, then that clerk would be in a position to highly recommend the remaining two tickets. Just the opposite, I was going to only purchase one of a particular $10 ticket tonight, and a particular clerk convinced me to buy the last one as well. I spent $20 when I only intended to spend $10 on that ticket. Both lost, so I don't know if he actually thought there was a good chance of one of those tickets winning, OR on the other hand, he knew that he had just paid out a $100 winner on the previous ticket, or earlier in the roll, and was just trying to get rid of the rest of the pack.

          Maybe if there was a winner just before, he helped the other guy pick out the ticket, because he knew him better, and they had an "alliance", however unholy it may be. I am trying to find a clerk that I can trust, and I think that it is only fair to reward them, assuming they help me win more often than I lose, or where I consistently win more than I do spending the same amount at a competitor. I fully understand that you will have average rolls, and high paying ones. I understand that they cannot know for sure, but as far as I am concerned, after a winner of $100 or more, I personally consider the rest of the roll dead, and on the case of $20 tickets in particular, I will most likely leave that roll alone. If he tells me about a big winner on a previous ticket in a roll that I am considering purchasing from, then he is preventing me from wasting money on a ticket which is most likely destined to lose.

          I am interested mainly in purchasing tickets with the goal of winning $100 or more, with my sights firmly set on a $500 winner. That is not to say that I am unhappy with smaller winners, because certainly I am not, it is just that I am looking for bigger wins. I am not in the hunt to win $5 off of a $2 ticket, or $3 off of a $1 ticket. I could care less about wins like that. I consider them insignificant and worthless, and a complete waste of my time. Actually, my new favorite game has a $100 winner approximately every two rolls. This means that if the cashier has two or more consecutive rolls of the same ticket, they are in an excellent position to help me make an informed purchase. They simply cannot do this for all of their customers, because most of them have to end up losing more money than they make. That is just a fact of the lottery, because the losers outnumber winners. The changing of shifts can make this a hard proposition.

          Take what i said anyway you want, you seem to think the clerk knows where the winners are or thinks they know.

          Just so you'll know the clerk has no clue as to where the winning tickets are. He/she may be able to keep up with the people scratching tickets at the counter or in the store but once people walk away with a bunch of tickets the clerk could loose track of which tickets lost or won.

          I worked with guys that bought 50 scratch tickets at a time took them out of the store and scratched them then cashed any winners wherever they felt like it. So unless your hanging out in the store yourself watching everyone who buys and scratches the tickets your interested in then you might gain a slight edge over the rest of the customers.

          For me the objective in buying a scratch off ticket is getting the one with the top tier prizes remaining anything else is a waste of time and money.

          Big John says. You don't hit the number. The number hits you!!!!

                         I'm not Big John, I'm Four4me, Big John's a friend.
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            Posted: December 22, 2010, 3:42 am - IP Logged

            Take what i said anyway you want, you seem to think the clerk knows where the winners are or thinks they know.

            Just so you'll know the clerk has no clue as to where the winning tickets are. He/she may be able to keep up with the people scratching tickets at the counter or in the store but once people walk away with a bunch of tickets the clerk could loose track of which tickets lost or won.

            I worked with guys that bought 50 scratch tickets at a time took them out of the store and scratched them then cashed any winners wherever they felt like it. So unless your hanging out in the store yourself watching everyone who buys and scratches the tickets your interested in then you might gain a slight edge over the rest of the customers.

            For me the objective in buying a scratch off ticket is getting the one with the top tier prizes remaining anything else is a waste of time and money.

            I agree with what you are saying, and I would like to add some of my thoughts to it. I am also one of the types that usually buys my tickets and even if I scratch them in the store and win, I don't usually tell the clerk, so you are definitely right about that. I almost never turn in a winner on the spot. For a number of reasons, the main one is that I like to record all of the information from the ticket, I take them home. I also like to keep others from learning about how many losers in a row there may be. I keep them for a while, and turn in a pile of them. I never throw away losers, I keep them to compare to winners to see if there is anything leading up to a winner.

            On the other hand, I think most people turn them in right away, and/or throw away the losers. I do neither. Like I said, if the cashier sees someone buy 6 tickets and throw them all in the trash, then I might like to know that, especially if they were the first 6 in the pack. Not that a guaranteed winner follows, but not a bad bet either. I am NOT one that subscribes to the idea that there are rolls of tickets that are duds. I think there may be strings of losers, and the sheer number can seem astronomical some times, but I believe in most such cases that that is storing up for a bigger win. More on that theory later. I do know that I can look at the winners on the wall, and the clerks can report that the winners usually are in the beginning or end of the roll, but it all boils down to whether I trust the clerk. I also keep in the back of my mind the fact the clerks might be saying this is to get rid of unwanted tickets, or to boost sales. Maybe even both.

            I had another different cashier sell me two instead of one ticket for a $10 game. He too said that the last tickets can be lucky, and I know this. They were the last in the book, number 028 and 029, and they both lost. They could have been winners, but if he had just paid someone $50 on ticket number 027, then he would have known that the chance of these last two being winners was very slim. No, he couldn't be certain, but he could be relatively sure. Like before, I assume that he was just trying to get rid of the last two. If you knew the previous ticket was a winner, would you buy the next ticket in the roll? Me neither.

            Here is the way I see it: If it is true that the Georgia Lottery only guarantees that there are $180 worth of winning tickets per $300 book of tickets, then that means in a book of $20 tickets that there might likely be a $100 winner, 4 free ticket or $20 winners, and 10, yes read it 10 losers. That adds up to $180. Nothing in the $180 rule is construed that a roll of tickets ONLY has $180 worth of winners, but that it MUST have that as a minimum. So therefore it would be possible to have 6 $25 winners and one $40 winner. That $190 would have exceeded their guarantee, so it would be OK. That would be 7 winners and 8 losers. Better odds, but not as big a payout. See I don't know for certain, but I can make an educated guess.

            There could likewise be a $250 winner, and no other winners in that roll! That is of course unless there is a guaranteed number of winners per pack, but I have not heard of that. There might even be 9 $20 winners and only 6 losers. I am strongly considering buying a $300 book of Maximum Green tickets as a Christmas present. Half for me, and the other half for my wife. That will allow me to test my theory. I will probably lose money, hopefully not, but it will be a learning experience. I have not verified the $180 rule, beyond having a member of management of a large retail chain tell me this. I see no reason for him to lie about such a thing. So I will do like the greatest President in my lifetime suggested: Trust but verify. I will look to see if this is codified in GA code anywhere, or in any lottery materials intended for retailers.

            I would never ever consider purchasing a ticket without any top tier prizes remaining, and the GA lottery is supposed to end all games when the last top prize is claimed. I have a number of criteria when I buy a ticket, and the number and size of the top prize is first. In GA the lottery website only makes available the number of top prizes remaining, but they do not mention any other prize levels. If there are not any top prizes left, I will not buy. I also go by the overall odds. Another thing I am interested in is the odds of winning a certain prize.

            I am always hoping for a top prize, but realistically, I want to win at least $100 regularly when I play a game, and I am searching for larger prizes. I know that the $5 game Giant Jumbo Bucks has a 1 in 1,000 chance of winning $100, the $10 game Jingle Jumbo Bucks has a 1 in 100 chance of hitting $100, and Maximum Green has a 1 in 32 chance of hitting $100. Maximum Green has a top prize of $5,000,000 and it also has a monthly contest in which losing tickets can be entered for monthly drawings in which there are 10 prizes of $10,000 paid out every month. Those three reasons alone, and with the fact that there are still 4 out of the 6 top $5,000,000 prizes yet unclaimed are reason enough for me to consider this my number one game of choice.

            I did something stupid, and I hope it doesn't end up biting me in the rear. I entered a $100 winner in the drawing, just to see if it would take it, and it did. There is no way to un-enter that I am aware of. I still have the ticket, but they would quickly point out that it was a winner, and that it had been cashed in. I seriously doubt that they would allow me to substitute another ticket for it. I hope that I am selected to win, just not on that ticket! So now you know, in case you ever wondered. I have also taken losers out of the trash and entered them into the contests. I do that in all games that have second chance drawings if I remember, which I usually don't. I am too pre-occupied with trying to select a good ticket.

              Nino224's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg
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              Posted: December 22, 2010, 3:55 am - IP Logged

              Being that it is near Christmas, I have been considering tipping some of the clerks that have been most helpful with my instant ticket purchases, or that have given me excellent customer service. I see nothing wrong with this, and was wondering if this was something that ever happens. It could be considered tipping, as the clerk provides you with a service (his opinion of which ticket might be a winner).  I have also gone into more detail here: http://www.lotterypost.com/thread/224662/1885801 .

              Do you or anyone you know do this, or have you heard of it? If so, is it a percentage or a flat fee. Seeing as how a clerk cannot possibly be certain if a ticket is a winner before it is sold, I see nothing illegal or immoral about this, any more than I see someone tipping a waiter or waitress more for excellent, speedy service. If I come to your restaurant frequently and give you a 25% tip, is it unreasonable that you would give me better service than someone who never tipped? As a former pizza delivery driver, I had different levels of service, based on customers tipping habits.

              Let me know your thoughts on this. If you are going to claim that this is illegal, please provide the exact code section, as I do not want to intentionally break any laws. Opinions or statements such as "I am sure that that would be illegal", or "My brother is a cop and he said you couldn't do that" are welcome, but I cannot substantiate them unless you show me the law. Thanks a million!

              I'm glad you brought this up because I'm definitely conflicted about it.

              If I purchase a ticket from a clerk who doesn't make eye contact, engage or otherwise acknowledge me am I obligated to return and tip him if I win? I don't think so. If, however, a clerk makes me laugh, gives me a number, suggests a scratch off that wins or helps me in some way then absolutely. I refuse to reward someone for being indifferent.

              Here's another scenario: I walked into a store recently, and the owner complained to me that someone had come in to cash a $500 winner and hadn't tipped the clerk. The clerk hadn't sold the ticket, just cashed it. He felt his employee had been cheated. HUH???

              Where does it end?

              "...a chance to push everything aside, the circumstances that've controlled our lives, and do it our way now. Good, bad or otherwise. You'll maybe get lost in it, tied up in it a little bit, but if you work your way through that the real you shows up, I think. Maybe what's at your core deep down, maybe that comes out. Maybe that's what it's about." Mike Pace 

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                Posted: December 22, 2010, 4:21 am - IP Logged

                I'm glad you brought this up because I'm definitely conflicted about it.

                If I purchase a ticket from a clerk who doesn't make eye contact, engage or otherwise acknowledge me am I obligated to return and tip him if I win? I don't think so. If, however, a clerk makes me laugh, gives me a number, suggests a scratch off that wins or helps me in some way then absolutely. I refuse to reward someone for being indifferent.

                Here's another scenario: I walked into a store recently, and the owner complained to me that someone had come in to cash a $500 winner and hadn't tipped the clerk. The clerk hadn't sold the ticket, just cashed it. He felt his employee had been cheated. HUH???

                Where does it end?

                That is crazy, expecting a tip. I have no idea if it is customary. I am going to try and read clerks from now on. My idea was never to give away money just because I won some. I was just thinking that I might find a few clerks that I can trust, with the idea being that if they help me win, I will give them a little. That way they may be less likely to dishonestly sell me a ticket that they reasonably should know is going to lose. They always have customers that play with no strategy in mind to sell those tickets. I did of course have one store owner who told me that he had the last ticket in a book, and that it sat around for a month. He just couldn't sell it. One day a customer came in and requested a ticket in that price range, and he sold it to him just to get rid of it, and what do you know? It turned out to be a $5,000 winner.

                Again, whether this is true or not I do not know. It may be, or maybe that is a story he tells to sell the last tickets in a roll. People get the craziest ideas in their head, and even if they lose 95% of the time on the last ticket, that one and only $100 winner that they can remember will always be present in their mind. They will always buy that ticket number. Take buying a lottery ticket for example. The idea behind purchasing one is not a sound economic choice, but we will do it for the possibility of winning a big prize. I know that I am going to lose money almost every time I play, but I still do it. All for a dream that is almost nonexistent.

                One clerk asked me what I would do if I won the lottery. Simple I told him, I would buy whole books of tickets at a time. If I ever win over a million dollars, I am going to go into a retailer and tell them that I want to purchase all of their tickets. Every last one of them. They would likely start laughing, that is until they saw how serious I was. I imagine that is a store owners dream come true, along with many of the players at that store. Not only would it be exciting because of the amount of the purchase, it would also be exciting because the store would be refreshed with brand new tickets.

                  sully16's avatar - sharan
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                  Posted: December 22, 2010, 8:21 am - IP Logged

                  It depends on the clerk for me anymore....I used to tip this one clerk until I found out he was playing my numbers, he had the audacity to get mad at me when I went on a losing streak, because he was wasting his money, now I play all over and I don't always cash my winners at the same place. The less the clerks know about my business the better.

                  Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

                  For a lead role in a cage?

                   

                                                              From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

                    Fl3winner's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
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                    Posted: December 22, 2010, 8:49 am - IP Logged

                    I agree with you completely. It may not be against the lottery's policy but it may be against the store owner's policy.

                    There have been times when I've won I have given my favorite store clerk $5 or $10 to show my appreciation.

                    As far as I am concerned it is no different than when you tell a cashier to keep the change when you make a purchase.

                    If I am giving a cashier a tip then it is because we are very familiar with each other and on a name basis.

                    I often joke around with the cashiers by asking if I can get a partial refund if my tickets don't win. lol

                    Most of the time the cashiers respond with a resounding YES, until they realize what I just asked.

                    Then their response is a laughing NO!! I find that it helps to give the cashiers something to laugh about.

                    I always tip the person when I cash in a winning ticket i give 10% of the winnings to the clerk. i know the store's policy is don't tip but they have never told me to stop .My father always told me tipping when I win will bring back the luck to me and I feel good about helping someone with a few extra bucks and the smile on their face shows me they are grateful.

                    follow your Dreams and the world will follow youParty

                      RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
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                      Posted: December 22, 2010, 5:14 pm - IP Logged

                      It depends on the clerk for me anymore....I used to tip this one clerk until I found out he was playing my numbers, he had the audacity to get mad at me when I went on a losing streak, because he was wasting his money, now I play all over and I don't always cash my winners at the same place. The less the clerks know about my business the better.

                      I used to tip this one clerk until I found out he was playing my numbers, he had the audacity to get mad at me when I went on a losing streak....

                      The same thing has happened to LP members who post combinations on the prediction board.  They not only get complaints from people losing money but from those who claim the number of combinations posted exceed their budget.

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

                        spookysoozy's avatar - acepent
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                        Posted: December 22, 2010, 5:42 pm - IP Logged

                        I tip them to be quiet at one of my regular places.

                        as they fell in the past, Ga first. 1=0, 0=1

                        A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing

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                          Posted: December 22, 2010, 8:19 pm - IP Logged

                          I always tip the person when I cash in a winning ticket i give 10% of the winnings to the clerk. i know the store's policy is don't tip but they have never told me to stop .My father always told me tipping when I win will bring back the luck to me and I feel good about helping someone with a few extra bucks and the smile on their face shows me they are grateful.

                          I don't know if you just by some odd reason ended up on this page for your one and only post, or if you are another member in hiding, but I am glad you made your way to my thread, however you got here. Welcome to America. I would never routinely tip a clerk that I did not know. I certainly don't ask random clerks to share in my losses either. To expect either is just plain nonsense. It is like this: if you help me make money that I otherwise would not have made, and you do it on a routine basis, I will spend a great deal of my lottery money in your store.  If it happens a lot, I will give you some money. A deal can be worked out.

                          I would be living in the twilight zone if I really believed that this never happens. Look up multiple lottery winners. There are people that have won 2 out of 5 instant millionaire tickets. I bet this goes much further up the food chain than at the store level. Are these all just big spenders or incredibly lucky people? Or did they have some help? Judge for yourself.

                          Multiple lotto winner's 5th jackpot disputed  http://www.cbc.ca/canada/calgary/story/2009/10/26/lottery-dispute-court-super7-ndabene-calgary.html

                          'Beyond lucky': Woman wins same $1M lottery jackpot twice in 6 months http://www.lotterypost.com/news/114722

                          Debra Bitler, of Shillington, in eastern Pennsylvania, holds the record with 38 instant lottery wins topping $1,000.http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/10913133/detail.html

                          If you sell me tickets that you knew or reasonably should have known would lose, then you get nothing. If this happens more than about 5 times, I will assume that you are playing, and snatching up all the winners. I won't be back. If you just sold a $50, $75, $100, $125, $250 or $500 winning ticket out of that book, tell me. I won't buy from that book. I might not even buy anything from you tonight at all, but I will be back, and I will trust you because you were honest with me.

                          I think I might start outright asking clerks about this, and tell them my idea. I like the idea that giving a 10% tip might be a good idea, but like I said earlier, only if they are going to sell me the next ticket for 10% off, or give me 10% back on every loser. That is a little extreme of course. There are places that I have been to a number of times, and lost every single time. If this happens too many times, I never go back there.

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                            Posted: December 22, 2010, 11:00 pm - IP Logged

                            I used to tip this one clerk until I found out he was playing my numbers, he had the audacity to get mad at me when I went on a losing streak....

                            The same thing has happened to LP members who post combinations on the prediction board.  They not only get complaints from people losing money but from those who claim the number of combinations posted exceed their budget.

                            I did a month or two worth of analysis on a senior member's Cash 3 predictions. I determined that this individual was right enough that if you were to play all 20 of his combinations that he puts out every few days, that you would win enough to stay ahead if you purchased $ .50 box plays on all of them. I only did this analysis once, and I don't know if his luck is better, worse, or about the same. If I remember correctly, it would not amount to a fortune, but it would make money. I have no idea how he came up with his numbers.

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                              Member #97729
                              September 22, 2010
                              321 Posts
                              Offline
                              Posted: December 23, 2010, 12:10 am - IP Logged

                              It depends on the clerk for me anymore....I used to tip this one clerk until I found out he was playing my numbers, he had the audacity to get mad at me when I went on a losing streak, because he was wasting his money, now I play all over and I don't always cash my winners at the same place. The less the clerks know about my business the better.

                              I kind of agree. I do usually like to keep my winnings to myself, but I still think clerks can be of help. One thing that occurred in the past has stuck with me for some time now; to this day I still wonder about it. Once upon a time, I was in a store trying to decide on which ticket that I was going to purchase. The clerk suggested Jingle Jumbo Bucks, and he said that it had been doing good recently.

                              Being that it was the first ticket (029) in the roll, I was skeptical, but I knew it could be a good game. Against my better judgment, I went ahead and bought it. I was wondering if I had made a bad decision, but it turned out to be a $100 winner. I felt like the clerk really helped me out there. Was there any way that he could have known it was a winner? I doubt it, call me crazy, but I will always wonder. Could it be possible that a lottery representative might tell clerks from time to time that a certain roll or batch of tickets has a decent winner, and leaves it at that? Again, I doubt it, but who knows. Stranger things have happened.

                              It was then that I first had the idea of tipping that clerk. I was counting my money, and I was considering how much I should give him. He said that I just had won big for the day, and he advised me to go home and keep my money. Little did he know that I was not contemplating buying another ticket, but I was thinking of giving him $5 or $10. I was going to give him that if he had only kept his mouth shut. I have felt like he has been helpful and patient. I should have given him the money, and I regret not doing so.

                              I think I might just give him a little money the next time I have a big winner that he directs me to buy. Once the clerks get an idea that there is a financial reward in the deal, I believe some might try harder. At the same time, unless a clerk is really going out of their way to help me, I don't want to give them the idea that it is automatic and guaranteed. If I spend $110 to make $100, then no, he didn't help me that much, and cannot possibly expect me to give him money when I am losing it. On the other hand, if his advice were to cause me to soften my losing spree, i.e. turning a $60 loss into a $10 loss, then I would be thankful enough for that that I might tip him.

                              Sully, I really wish I knew your secret. I used to play online games a whole lot for a while there, and I still do from time to time. Although I won Cash 3 on three consecutive Sundays, other than that I have not had good luck with the draw games. My other favorite is Fantasy 5, but the most I have won was around $30 once, and I had paid in $10. I have won 3 out of 5 maybe half a dozen times, and a bunch of free tickets.

                              I usually play small abbreviated wheels when I play F5, and most times I will pick 7 numbers for a total of 9 tickets with a 4/4 guarantee. I will usually pick another somewhat random number to make the ticket add up to an even $10. I have mostly quit playing them, because I found that I was losing money much faster on the online games than the instant tickets. I wonder why we end up having the opposite luck. You never say you win on scratch offs, and I never do good on draw games.

                              I believe in using hot numbers for the short term, but I don't think they have much validity in the long term. I have seen the same numbers appear time after time, but not predictably enough for me to win on a consistent basis. The way numbers play out has amazed me. The last few times I have played Cash 3, I did not look at the numbers, I just used quick picks. I have never won on those, but I got 1 correct number on 8 out of 10 lines the last time I played. Not enough to get excited by. On the other hand, the longer I play, the more that I get the idea that the lottery is truly random.

                              I like to use a program called Lotto Pro 2010. I use the free trials, and have a hack that allows me to use it beyond the 15 day trial, but I am unable to automatically update the drawing files. I had to recently format a computer, so I put a fresh trial on it. I wish there was a "complete" hack for this program. This makes it a pain in the rear, because you have to manually input the dates and drawing info for every game that you are interested in. I should buy it, but it is a bit pricey at $29.95.

                              Although I do not usually use all of the numbers that it selects, I occasionally will use some of them. It picks hot and cold numbers, and selects them based on how long it has been since the number came up, and uses a hot number cutoff of 5 draws, and it uses numbers from the past 50 drawings. If you haven't tried it, you might want to. It has all kinds of wheels. You can play your own numbers, smart numbers, and all kinds of wheeling options.

                              It allows you to view data, charts and statistics in so many different ways. There are skip and hit charts, frequency charts, repeating pair charts, repeating triples charts and on and on. It takes a little while to figure everything out, but once you do it is an excellent program. It is the only decent lottery program that I have tried so far.  If you already have it, I would love to hear your thoughts on it.