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It seems like I have to continue to fight the urge to buy scratch tickets

Topic closed. 18 replies. Last post 3 years ago by shyguitar.

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United States
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February 1, 2012
530 Posts
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Posted: October 1, 2013, 10:15 am - IP Logged

Hi everyone,

I was at a convenience store today and bought 2 megamillions tickets with the multiplier for tonights draw. I was looking at all of their scratch tickets and though I didn't buy any it's hard to continue to just walk away when I go into places that sell scratch tickets. I bought one scratch ticket over a week ago and haven't scratched it yet. I've mentioned before that over the last 6 months I've been buying less tickets. My pattern is to buy one scratch ticket and scratch it in the store and if I win something I will leave and take my winnings. If I lose then I will buy one more scratch ticket and save it for a week or more before scratching it.  The last week or so it's been getting harder to just walk away and not buy a scratch ticket. I've never been someone to go overboard on scratchers but I really wish this feeling of wanting to buy them would just leave me. Sometimes I relate this to junk food that I can't give up. I try to give myself pep talks and tell myself that with a scratch ticket the odds of winning 1 million dollars on a 5 dollar scratch ticket (when 25 million tickets are printed and there are only 6 winners) is extremely difficult. What are the chances of my being in the right place at the right time to get that ticket? There are just thousands and thousands of places to play and the chance of being at that right place seem so hard. I can't seem to go cold turkey and so far have been able to keep myself in check, I'm just afraid that I might just go hog wild on scratchers and then regret it.

    RedStang's avatar - tallman zps6gf4inoc.jpg
    NY
    United States
    Member #121961
    January 21, 2012
    3159 Posts
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    Posted: October 1, 2013, 10:52 am - IP Logged

    I have the same problem in the cookie aisle. Maybe you should just play 1$ tics so you loss is no big deal or only bring a creditcard.

      HoLeeKau's avatar - YheaShea
      Idaho
      United States
      Member #94283
      July 17, 2010
      2284 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: October 1, 2013, 11:18 am - IP Logged

      They don't tempt me at all when I buy my draw tickets from a clerk.  But when I'm at a vending machine, they do call to me.

      The problem comes when I don't have $1 dollar bills, and stick in a $5 or heaven forbid a $10.  I usually only "must-have" a couple dollars worth of draw tickets for that night's drawing, then the other $2 or $3 is sitting in the machine and must be used up cuz they don't give change.  I SHOULD buy tickets for the other draw game the next night, but sometimes my finger hits a scratch off button instead.  And I always regret it but still end up buying one occasionally.

        maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
        Massachusetts
        United States
        Member #37433
        April 14, 2006
        2747 Posts
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        Posted: October 1, 2013, 11:16 pm - IP Logged

        The reason why you cannot seem to shake off the scratch ticket habit shyguitar is because you live in MA, the lottery here is the most efficient in the country in taking away your money. I personally have cut off scratch tickets permanently. Good luck!

        That money's gone fo ever

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          Posted: October 2, 2013, 9:07 am - IP Logged

          I have the same problem in the cookie aisle. Maybe you should just play 1$ tics so you loss is no big deal or only bring a creditcard.

          LOL about the cookie aisle. I never play the 1 dollar tickets because the odds are so lousy.

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            United States
            Member #122468
            February 1, 2012
            530 Posts
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            Posted: October 2, 2013, 9:15 am - IP Logged

            They don't tempt me at all when I buy my draw tickets from a clerk.  But when I'm at a vending machine, they do call to me.

            The problem comes when I don't have $1 dollar bills, and stick in a $5 or heaven forbid a $10.  I usually only "must-have" a couple dollars worth of draw tickets for that night's drawing, then the other $2 or $3 is sitting in the machine and must be used up cuz they don't give change.  I SHOULD buy tickets for the other draw game the next night, but sometimes my finger hits a scratch off button instead.  And I always regret it but still end up buying one occasionally.

            Hi HoLeeKau,

            That's great that you don't get tempted when you buy from a clerk.  I can understand your dilemna about not having 1 dollar bills when using a vending machine and then feel it just has to be used up due to not being able to get change.

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              United States
              Member #122468
              February 1, 2012
              530 Posts
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              Posted: October 2, 2013, 9:17 am - IP Logged

              The reason why you cannot seem to shake off the scratch ticket habit shyguitar is because you live in MA, the lottery here is the most efficient in the country in taking away your money. I personally have cut off scratch tickets permanently. Good luck!

              Hi maringoman,

              How right you are about MA taking our money and not giving anything good in return. Good for you for cutting out scratch tickets, was this a recent thing for you and how were you able to do it?

                dr65's avatar - black panther.jpg
                Pennsylvania
                United States
                Member #74096
                May 2, 2009
                23238 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: October 2, 2013, 11:55 am - IP Logged

                Professional here..LOL

                j/k but serious here now, shyguitar...

                You are ahead of the game by knowing what the chances are of winning a big one. The odds are awful. Just
                like you said, with 4 - 6 top prizes in one game alone with a ticket printing amounting to 6 - 7 million tickets,
                what are the odds? They are TERRIBLE.
                Right place, right time for lower tiered prizes always happens for some. You have to be happy with $50, $100,
                $500 or $1,000..but that's not happy money...with things like this, it's always bigger and better. The constant
                reminders through advertising and easy access IVM's, scrolling updates on the screen at the terminal, constant
                enticements printed on tickets about 5 TOP PRIZES OF A MILLION DOLLARS!!! and the convenience of being
                able to purchase just about anywhere you go is sick actually.
                Take a good, hard look at how long you've been playing, how much you win, if those wins justify what you
                spent and what exactly the reason is that you play.
                Everyone is looking for a grand prize but everyone can't win one, there are simply not enough to go around.
                5 out of 6 million is nothing...that, realistically, isn't even worth playing for considering odds alone.
                Getting lucky? Maybe...but trying to force a winner out of one machine when there are thousands in the state
                isn't going to happen if it's 5 miles down the road. So much for right place right time.
                Look at it this way...most people support the lottery and not the other way around. Put $20 in a machine and
                what are you going to win? $5? $50? $0? There goes your $20 and how long until you play again? 5 minutes?
                2 days? 1 week? Chances are you'll have the same outcome.
                You have to put winning into perspective.
                Winning and your definition of it matters. Are you happy with a FREE ticket? or happy with $10 with $20 spent?
                Eventually if that's all you do or if all you do is lose, you're behind in the game and if you can't let that feeling go
                because you're trying to catch up, all you're going to do is continue to try to catch up.
                It doesn't sound like you're happy just playing. It sounds like you want to stop and to want to stop and wonder
                how suggests you're not happy with what you are winning or are sick of losing.
                You know the deal already, you said it yourself - you want to stop playing.
                Try this..
                when you walk up to a machine, stand there and look at it. Look at each bin. Look at what one ticket costs.
                Restrain the impulse of doing what you walked up to do at the machine or counter. Keep your money in your
                pocket and just look.
                Try and imagine the winner out of all the selections there. The more you look, the more it'll seem ridiculous
                to even try choosing one ticket out of what? 25? Some counter displays have 30 or more tickets going...
                WHERE is the winner if you HAVE to win?? The more you resist the impulse of the situation, the better your
                chances are of just walking away from it. In a split second your money can be sucked into the machine and
                you can't get it back..what you get back are chances at winning something or most likely, nothing. There are
                TONS of duds - some people shoot blanks every single time they play. There are too many variables in this
                game.....someone could have come right before you and won $100...your next 50 purchases of that game
                probably won't win more than $10 because of that $100. YOU are feeding up to the next winner for SOMEONE
                ELSE if you get stuck on the notion: The winner HAS to be the NEXT one.
                If you don't like playing for fun or it is NO fun...you are being manipulated, used and abused by your states
                bottom line: to sell a product which sells itself through temptation - a chance to change your life.
                They don't care WHO wins, WHO loses, WHO spends money, WHO doesn't have money to spend, WHO can't stop
                spending, WHO stops spending, WHO is playing, WHO needs it....the players don't have a face, they only have
                money...the state doesn't have a conscience, they only have a bottom line: making money on whoever they can.
                The difference between you and some players is you want to stop playing.
                That's a plus because you already know the reality of these games, you might not want to fully accept it thinking
                you're going to get lucky SOME day..and you might. But if you feel worse more often than better about playing
                it does make a lot of sense to cut way back or quit altogether.
                Say there are currently 6 games out where you can win a million...and 4 - 6 top prizes in those games. There
                are thousands of lottery retailers selling packs of tickets that present a chance to win one of those millions..36
                chances tops on winning $1M...out of thousands of stores and millions of tickets. THAT alone is cut and clear...
                chances are it WON'T be you or me or anyone we know. It's like a piece of sand in a sandbox.
                I don't know how you play - if you're sick of playing because you always lose or spend too much but if you
                want to stop, one key is to make stopping more desirable than playing. A lot of the impulse buying is - like
                a drug - brought on by the way 'winning' makes you feel....there is a definite high and low...the high comes
                when you win and the low comes when you lose. Is the high worth the low? That's why I asked if you're
                happy winning a FREE ticket...and asked if you just play for fun.
                You won't conquer the urge if you don't make a choice to play for fun or fully grasp the fact that winning anything
                significant is a shot in the dark just about.
                You'll have to change your mindset to one where you learn to hate feeding dollars over to a bad investment if
                all you do is feel bad about spending money and losing money.
                It'll take some work but soon you'll like the feeling of just walking right by those tickets..it's a split second decision
                to put your money into the machine or ask for a ticket at the counter..it all happens so fast. Slow down next time
                you pass a machine, think about where the winner is and if you're actually going to choose the winner and once
                you control the impulse part of things, you'll be on the road to controlling it right out of your life if you want.

                010 122 963 824 684 584 0000 6837 4061 1207 2319 4901 1009 1347 1537

                  RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                  mid-Ohio
                  United States
                  Member #9
                  March 24, 2001
                  19901 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: October 2, 2013, 12:52 pm - IP Logged

                  Scratch tickets are like big fat women to me, I could walk by them all day and never notice even one unless I thought I was going to get lucky.

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

                    maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
                    Massachusetts
                    United States
                    Member #37433
                    April 14, 2006
                    2747 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: October 2, 2013, 5:23 pm - IP Logged

                    Hi maringoman,

                    How right you are about MA taking our money and not giving anything good in return. Good for you for cutting out scratch tickets, was this a recent thing for you and how were you able to do it?

                    Its easy. When I am at the store buying a drink or something else, I usually see the silent look of a person who has just fiinished scratching off their ticket and their eyes darting all over the ticket trying to find a match and the resignation of not finding any. Those instances remind me to keep away from scratchers.

                    That money's gone fo ever

                      maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
                      Massachusetts
                      United States
                      Member #37433
                      April 14, 2006
                      2747 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: October 2, 2013, 5:29 pm - IP Logged

                      Scratch tickets are like big fat women to me, I could walk by them all day and never notice even one unless I thought I was going to get lucky.

                      haha LOL is there a culture that prefers big boned women as they like to call themselves?

                      That money's gone fo ever

                        Artist77's avatar - batman14

                        United States
                        Member #121745
                        January 16, 2012
                        4974 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: October 2, 2013, 7:56 pm - IP Logged

                        haha LOL is there a culture that prefers big boned women as they like to call themselves?

                        Same for guys....back at ya...lol  I have a neighbor (the hoarder I mentioned before) who is morbidly obese, nutier than a fruitcake,  and she has groceries delivered... and I see more bags come in at one time than I have in 3 months. Some guys like that type though. 

                        But I plan to be madeup like her if I win the lottery and have to claim it publicly. It is part of my master Plan! HHHHHHHaaaahahaaa

                        J'aime La France.

                          maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
                          Massachusetts
                          United States
                          Member #37433
                          April 14, 2006
                          2747 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: October 2, 2013, 8:19 pm - IP Logged

                          Same for guys....back at ya...lol  I have a neighbor (the hoarder I mentioned before) who is morbidly obese, nutier than a fruitcake,  and she has groceries delivered... and I see more bags come in at one time than I have in 3 months. Some guys like that type though. 

                          But I plan to be madeup like her if I win the lottery and have to claim it publicly. It is part of my master Plan! HHHHHHHaaaahahaaa

                          I sometimes see big boned man and woman together as I am running erands and wonder if they met at a nutrition clinic. More power to them!

                          That money's gone fo ever

                            Avatar

                            United States
                            Member #122468
                            February 1, 2012
                            530 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: October 3, 2013, 1:54 pm - IP Logged

                            Professional here..LOL

                            j/k but serious here now, shyguitar...

                            You are ahead of the game by knowing what the chances are of winning a big one. The odds are awful. Just
                            like you said, with 4 - 6 top prizes in one game alone with a ticket printing amounting to 6 - 7 million tickets,
                            what are the odds? They are TERRIBLE.
                            Right place, right time for lower tiered prizes always happens for some. You have to be happy with $50, $100,
                            $500 or $1,000..but that's not happy money...with things like this, it's always bigger and better. The constant
                            reminders through advertising and easy access IVM's, scrolling updates on the screen at the terminal, constant
                            enticements printed on tickets about 5 TOP PRIZES OF A MILLION DOLLARS!!! and the convenience of being
                            able to purchase just about anywhere you go is sick actually.
                            Take a good, hard look at how long you've been playing, how much you win, if those wins justify what you
                            spent and what exactly the reason is that you play.
                            Everyone is looking for a grand prize but everyone can't win one, there are simply not enough to go around.
                            5 out of 6 million is nothing...that, realistically, isn't even worth playing for considering odds alone.
                            Getting lucky? Maybe...but trying to force a winner out of one machine when there are thousands in the state
                            isn't going to happen if it's 5 miles down the road. So much for right place right time.
                            Look at it this way...most people support the lottery and not the other way around. Put $20 in a machine and
                            what are you going to win? $5? $50? $0? There goes your $20 and how long until you play again? 5 minutes?
                            2 days? 1 week? Chances are you'll have the same outcome.
                            You have to put winning into perspective.
                            Winning and your definition of it matters. Are you happy with a FREE ticket? or happy with $10 with $20 spent?
                            Eventually if that's all you do or if all you do is lose, you're behind in the game and if you can't let that feeling go
                            because you're trying to catch up, all you're going to do is continue to try to catch up.
                            It doesn't sound like you're happy just playing. It sounds like you want to stop and to want to stop and wonder
                            how suggests you're not happy with what you are winning or are sick of losing.
                            You know the deal already, you said it yourself - you want to stop playing.
                            Try this..
                            when you walk up to a machine, stand there and look at it. Look at each bin. Look at what one ticket costs.
                            Restrain the impulse of doing what you walked up to do at the machine or counter. Keep your money in your
                            pocket and just look.
                            Try and imagine the winner out of all the selections there. The more you look, the more it'll seem ridiculous
                            to even try choosing one ticket out of what? 25? Some counter displays have 30 or more tickets going...
                            WHERE is the winner if you HAVE to win?? The more you resist the impulse of the situation, the better your
                            chances are of just walking away from it. In a split second your money can be sucked into the machine and
                            you can't get it back..what you get back are chances at winning something or most likely, nothing. There are
                            TONS of duds - some people shoot blanks every single time they play. There are too many variables in this
                            game.....someone could have come right before you and won $100...your next 50 purchases of that game
                            probably won't win more than $10 because of that $100. YOU are feeding up to the next winner for SOMEONE
                            ELSE if you get stuck on the notion: The winner HAS to be the NEXT one.
                            If you don't like playing for fun or it is NO fun...you are being manipulated, used and abused by your states
                            bottom line: to sell a product which sells itself through temptation - a chance to change your life.
                            They don't care WHO wins, WHO loses, WHO spends money, WHO doesn't have money to spend, WHO can't stop
                            spending, WHO stops spending, WHO is playing, WHO needs it....the players don't have a face, they only have
                            money...the state doesn't have a conscience, they only have a bottom line: making money on whoever they can.
                            The difference between you and some players is you want to stop playing.
                            That's a plus because you already know the reality of these games, you might not want to fully accept it thinking
                            you're going to get lucky SOME day..and you might. But if you feel worse more often than better about playing
                            it does make a lot of sense to cut way back or quit altogether.
                            Say there are currently 6 games out where you can win a million...and 4 - 6 top prizes in those games. There
                            are thousands of lottery retailers selling packs of tickets that present a chance to win one of those millions..36
                            chances tops on winning $1M...out of thousands of stores and millions of tickets. THAT alone is cut and clear...
                            chances are it WON'T be you or me or anyone we know. It's like a piece of sand in a sandbox.
                            I don't know how you play - if you're sick of playing because you always lose or spend too much but if you
                            want to stop, one key is to make stopping more desirable than playing. A lot of the impulse buying is - like
                            a drug - brought on by the way 'winning' makes you feel....there is a definite high and low...the high comes
                            when you win and the low comes when you lose. Is the high worth the low? That's why I asked if you're
                            happy winning a FREE ticket...and asked if you just play for fun.
                            You won't conquer the urge if you don't make a choice to play for fun or fully grasp the fact that winning anything
                            significant is a shot in the dark just about.
                            You'll have to change your mindset to one where you learn to hate feeding dollars over to a bad investment if
                            all you do is feel bad about spending money and losing money.
                            It'll take some work but soon you'll like the feeling of just walking right by those tickets..it's a split second decision
                            to put your money into the machine or ask for a ticket at the counter..it all happens so fast. Slow down next time
                            you pass a machine, think about where the winner is and if you're actually going to choose the winner and once
                            you control the impulse part of things, you'll be on the road to controlling it right out of your life if you want.

                            Hi dr65,

                            It seems we both agree about the awful odds of winning yet we still play the scratchers.  My problem isn't so much with the machines in stores as I tend to buy scratch tickets from clerks.  I agree with your assessment of impulse buying feeling like a drug and that's why I try to catch myself when I have those feelings of going wild and buying lots of scratchers. Cutting back on the lottery has made me feel less depressed about losing because my investment isn's as much. I remember years ago after my child was born and I tried to lose weight. I spent 4 months giving up junk food (I'm a chocoholic so it wasn't easy). Well one day after 4 months I went nuts and bought a large bag of M&M candies and just sat in my car and ate the entire bag. I got that initial high from eating chocolate but then when I fully realized what I had done, of course I felt lousy. That's why for myself it's going to be something that I just have to constantly be aware of and keep fighting the feelings of wanting to get more than one ticket.  You brought up some valid points.  I've seen your posts before on the Instant game forum and it seems like you also do not chase tickets and tend to by one or 2 scratch tickets at a time. The difference between us is that you seem to win and I seem to lose when I play, lol.

                              dk1421's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
                              North Carolina
                              United States
                              Member #64582
                              September 1, 2008
                              347 Posts
                              Offline
                              Posted: October 4, 2013, 9:37 pm - IP Logged

                              Hi shyguitar!

                              I completely understand you! I'm trying to fight my urge to buy scratch-offs too. Ironically, I've walked away the last several times, but tonight, I broke down and bought 3. Granted, it was only $5 worth of tickets (which, of course, means really bad odds) but it was at a store I don't go to often but more people win scratchers there than any other place in town, so I thought I'd go for it.

                              This is how I'm actually walking away: before I buy PB or MM tickets, I look online at my state lottery website and see which scratch-offs are the newest. Then I check out the odds and how many winners have already happened. I decide at home how much I'm willing to spend and pick which ones I want. When I get to the place, if they don't have the scratch-offs I want, then I don't play at all. And because I usually only pick the brand-new ones, it's easy because they usually aren't out yet. However, I forgot to check tonight and bought ones that looked new. Ironically, the ones I bought were the old ones I hadn't seen before and the ones I thought were old, were the 3-day old ones. 

                              Oh - and I only buy them from the vending machines. People are human and have figured out how to do teeny tiny scratches on some tix to see if they are winners, so I try to avoid those. 

                              So tonight? I spent $5 on scratchers and won $2 - which is better odds than I usually have. ;-)

                              Good luck!

                              "Don't be a schmuck, always take the cash." -Coin Toss