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All you would need to beat scratchoffs is to know the number of tickets sold

Topic closed. 8 replies. Last post 2 years ago by jimjwright.

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New Member
Midlands, South Carolina
United States
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August 8, 2014
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Posted: August 8, 2014, 1:50 am - IP Logged

I was thinking today that all you would need to know is the number of tickets sold on a particular game and you could figure out if the odds were better or worse than expected given the number of total tickets and the number of claimed prizes... I sort of relate it to counting playing cards in blackjack, you could figure out if a particular game was either hot, ( more % winners or higher value winners) or as in blackjack( higher the number of tens and faces left in the deck and thus more prone to give blackjacks). If you could figure out that number( the number of tickets sold on a particular game) down to i guess lets say 0.05% or better you could totally beat lottery scratch offs over the long term. No doubt that it would still take luck, but you would be playing smarter i guess. Just a thought. Why don't the <snip> lotteries just give us the number of sold tickets.hahaha it would make things a lot easier. They already give us everything else... All I need is just that one more thing!!! Someone who is really smart at figuring out the number of tickets sold, better than just averaging the number of prizes total vs. total claimed times number of total tickets could make some money. Or someone with inside knowledge at whatever state office that handles that??? or do they even keep that statistic on them. I know that they keep up with the number of winners... I am sure that they must keep up with the number of total tickets sold. Anyway. Something to think about.

This post has been automatically changed by the Lottery Post computer system to remove inappropriate content and/or spam.

    LottoMetro's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
    Happyland
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    September 1, 2013
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    Posted: August 8, 2014, 2:00 am - IP Logged

    I was thinking today that all you would need to know is the number of tickets sold on a particular game and you could figure out if the odds were better or worse than expected given the number of total tickets and the number of claimed prizes... I sort of relate it to counting playing cards in blackjack, you could figure out if a particular game was either hot, ( more % winners or higher value winners) or as in blackjack( higher the number of tens and faces left in the deck and thus more prone to give blackjacks). If you could figure out that number( the number of tickets sold on a particular game) down to i guess lets say 0.05% or better you could totally beat lottery scratch offs over the long term. No doubt that it would still take luck, but you would be playing smarter i guess. Just a thought. Why don't the <snip> lotteries just give us the number of sold tickets.hahaha it would make things a lot easier. They already give us everything else... All I need is just that one more thing!!! Someone who is really smart at figuring out the number of tickets sold, better than just averaging the number of prizes total vs. total claimed times number of total tickets could make some money. Or someone with inside knowledge at whatever state office that handles that??? or do they even keep that statistic on them. I know that they keep up with the number of winners... I am sure that they must keep up with the number of total tickets sold. Anyway. Something to think about.

    This post has been automatically changed by the Lottery Post computer system to remove inappropriate content and/or spam.

    I have used this strategy for several years, since (all?) lotteries will happily provide such information through freedom of information requests. (Heck, in a recent Philly news story series, a lottery even gave them the pack numbers and locations for all the remaining packs in the game! Talk about confidence of security!)

    I wouldn't say it's a waste of time, but the improvement in odds is negligible and maybe once per year will a game actually be a good bet. Even in those cases, there is usually just 1 prize left, no guarantee it hasn't been sold yet, and the edge is only a few percent, which means you would have to buy very large quantities of tickets to make a profit (blackjack would be better). The opportunity window is usually open for just a few weeks or less.

    The main issue is that in no way does it help you identify where a jackpot ticket might be. You can buy tickets with a big grin and believe you have decent/better chances of winning, but it won't change the fact that a winning ticket likely isn't even in your neighborhood. It does help identify which games to play and which to avoid, though. For example, if a game has 10 million tickets left but only 2 top prizes unclaimed then I would probably not play that game.

    My advice is just choose the games with the best overall odds and play those. If they are out of your budget then skip a few plays and save up....it's worth it IMO

    If the chances of winning the jackpot are so slim, why play when the jackpot is so small? Your chances never change, but the potential payoff does.
    If a crystal ball showed you the future of the rest of your life, and in that future you will never win a jackpot, would you still play?

    2017: 0% (0 tickets)
    P&L % = Total Win($)/Total Wager($) - 1

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      Midlands, South Carolina
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      Posted: August 8, 2014, 2:17 am - IP Logged

      good points here. But it depends on what your definition of the word beat is my definition is to come out ahead over the long run maybe averaging 10 dollars a month on x number of dollars spent. In the long run would/will it pay off, probably not but having a 0.00001% better shot of winning a mill. or more is still good with me, and finding out the number of tickets sold vs. claimed will help you win more. if you have a large enough bank roll/ collective bank roll it can help. In the end Will it help identify where the top prize/prizes are? of course not. So don't risk any amount of money that you can't afford to loose. DUH!!! yeah scratch offs are a long shot. if you want to win money/ loose less go ahead and play blackjack. with a bank roll of 100 dollars you could win a couple hundred or loose it all. But with lotteries it is much more likely that you will loose faster, but you also gain the benefit of making significantly more tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars by chance. I don't know anyone that has ever won ten thousand dollars in playing 5 minutes of 100 dollar blackjack, and if they did then they were stupid. I get it, we are on the same page.

        LottoMetro's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
        Happyland
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        Posted: August 8, 2014, 2:24 am - IP Logged

        good points here. But it depends on what your definition of the word beat is my definition is to come out ahead over the long run maybe averaging 10 dollars a month on x number of dollars spent. In the long run would/will it pay off, probably not but having a 0.00001% better shot of winning a mill. or more is still good with me, and finding out the number of tickets sold vs. claimed will help you win more. if you have a large enough bank roll/ collective bank roll it can help. In the end Will it help identify where the top prize/prizes are? of course not. So don't risk any amount of money that you can't afford to loose. DUH!!! yeah scratch offs are a long shot. if you want to win money/ loose less go ahead and play blackjack. with a bank roll of 100 dollars you could win a couple hundred or loose it all. But with lotteries it is much more likely that you will loose faster, but you also gain the benefit of making significantly more tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars by chance. I don't know anyone that has ever won ten thousand dollars in playing 5 minutes of 100 dollar blackjack, and if they did then they were stupid. I get it, we are on the same page.

        My signature has my actual, up-to-date lottery playing stats....as you can see, I am not really "beating" it. I am up for this year but I've only played a small sample. Interestingly, almost all of my losing tickets are drawings. I tend to do quite well with scratchers.

        I'm "beating" the lottery's advertised payout percentage so I guess that is better than random play Wink 

        I get what you're saying though....any improvement is better than nothing. Like right now, there's a game with advertised top prize odds of about 1 in 1,000,000 but the actual odds are nearly half that. Odds aren't everything though....if the prize is crummy for the price point then its lure can be a draw.

        Generally, higher price = better odds = better payout. People see $20 tickets and freak out but you get back more of your money than $2 tickets over time.

        If the chances of winning the jackpot are so slim, why play when the jackpot is so small? Your chances never change, but the potential payoff does.
        If a crystal ball showed you the future of the rest of your life, and in that future you will never win a jackpot, would you still play?

        2017: 0% (0 tickets)
        P&L % = Total Win($)/Total Wager($) - 1

          RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
          mid-Ohio
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          Posted: August 8, 2014, 4:13 pm - IP Logged

          A few years ago I read about a guy who sued the Illinois lottery because he read that a number of major prizes in a scratch-off games weren't payout out yet and he brought as many of the unsold scratch-offs as he could find figuring he couldn't lose money but he did and was pissed. I never read how his case turned out but I suspect he lost again because he wasn't the first player to figure out how to beat the lottery that came up short.  As the saying goes "figures don't lie but liars and fools figure".  Players do get lucky and beat the lottery once in a while but luck isn't dependable.

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

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            Georgia
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            Posted: August 13, 2014, 9:03 am - IP Logged

            I used to be against playing the lottery until I won a few dollars. I was really happy about winning $20 or $100 here and there. Most of the times, there. Anyway, over the course of time I felt I needed to try at least once to buy a whole pack of tickets. Yes! I spent $300 on the $20 tickets. My total winnings came up to $150 or maybe a few dollars less. The area didn't seem like a place that was unlikely to have a $1million jackpot prize because their are really nice homes located near there. I would not have bought a pack of tickets like that with a jackpot that size in a poor neighborhood. You just don't see it there. I check the lottery site often for winners and where tickets were sold. I have won over $1000 total on the lottery draw games.  These were rare cases and it was spreaded out over several years. I have also missed the opportunity to win over $5k in a lottery draw and it was a hunch I had to play but didn't follow through. I would rather play the scratch off tickets because you don't have to wait to see if you've won. What I have tried to do is take my chances with new tickets. Once the first ticket has been claimed, I feel like the odds get lower. I have seen instant tickets out for over a year and out of 5 winners, 3 have been claimed.  Some places cease to carry tickets even if they haven't all been claimed yet. Who knows where they are. I think once people start getting drawn to new tickets, some how the old tickets are now being claimed. Which leads me to believe, they never print all the winning jackpot tickets at once. How else could tickets that have been out for over a year still have jackpot prizes still unclaimed? I would "invest' $300 again but that would be a variety of tickets and not an entire book of them.

              Scratch$'s avatar - sm lottery.jpg

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              Posted: September 10, 2014, 3:03 am - IP Logged

              I prefer scratchers also, and have done reasonably well with them.

              As for jackpot games, Powerball pissed me off when they raised their ticket price to two dollars, and I also didn't like it when Mega Millions increased the range of game numbers to 75. Thankfully Cash 5 hasn't been screwed up yet.

              Scratchers ~ Cash 5 ~ Powerball ~ Mega Millions

                Scratch$'s avatar - sm lottery.jpg

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                Posted: September 10, 2014, 11:59 am - IP Logged

                There's no "sure thing", period. However, there are some people more successful than others.

                Virtually all the "scratch masters" who've won multiple major prizes, rely on the "buy as many as you can as often as you can" method. Not rocket science, but effective in many cases. The woman in Texas who won 4 million+ top prizes would go in stores and buy scratchers by the roll.

                Scratchers ~ Cash 5 ~ Powerball ~ Mega Millions

                  jimjwright's avatar - Yellow 3.png
                  Park City, UT
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                  Posted: September 10, 2014, 10:30 pm - IP Logged

                  Idaho lottery tells you how many prizes are unclaimed and how many sold.

                  Idaho scratchers unclaimed

                  Idaho scratchers sold

                  Does not increase your odds but it is good information to know.

                  I don't know if this practice still exists but in Texas at one time the algorithm for distributing tickets was the following:

                  http://www.lotterypost.com/news/277617

                  A computerized system tracks "packs" or "books" of  tickets being activated and prizes being cashed. When a store's stock gets low, tickets get shipped automatically, usually by UPS. Retailers can also place orders.

                  So after the first round of shipments, it turns out winning tickets are most likely to show up at the store with the highest sales.

                  By a wide margin, that store was Times Market.

                  During one week in October 2009, the tiny store with a couple gas pumps got one-fifth of all the tickets shipped for Extreme Payout.

                  If you can manipulate 20% of all tickets shipped in 1 week to a particular store then big picture you probably have increased your chances of hitting for a big win.

                  Jimmy