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College Student Who Just Got into Scratchers – Advice?

Topic closed. 27 replies. Last post 2 years ago by JackpotWanna.

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Douglasville, GA
United States
Member #126604
April 12, 2012
870 Posts
Posted: September 24, 2014, 6:19 pm - IP Logged

Play once in a blue moon or not at all! The most i ever won in college on a scratch off was $36 and you would have thought it was $500! It was a $2 or $1 ticket. I very rarely played though. It is not a good habit to pick up and from reading the boards PA is not a state with good odds.

2014 $500+ Wins: 2 - $500 Luck Loot, 2 - $500 Millionaire Jumbo Bucks, 2 - $500 50X the Money, 8 - $500 Cash Spectacular, 1 - $1,000 Monopoly Millionaire, 3 - $1,000 Cash Spectacular, 1 - $500 - $7500 a Week for Life, 1 - $500 100X the Money

    Bay Area, California
    United States
    Member #154225
    April 8, 2014
    49 Posts
    Posted: September 24, 2014, 6:56 pm - IP Logged

    If you can only afford to spend a few dollars you will probably have more fun buying a ticket to the daily draw games instead of scratchers. Try the pick three game which usually pays $500 for a win. 

    In playing the lottery most of the fun comes from the anticipation of winning. Draw games make you wait until the draw to find out if you won, so you have more time to anticipate your win. With scratchers you win or lose instantly, so the fun doesn't last very long.

      Scratch$'s avatar - sm lottery.jpg

      United States
      Member #158848
      September 5, 2014
      294 Posts
      Posted: September 25, 2014, 1:16 am - IP Logged

      What are some good $5 cards? And are the $1 and $2 scratchers ever worth playing?

      Win It All and Red Hot Crossword are both good $5 cards.

      $1 and $2 cards in Pennsylvania suck, the top prizes are just too lame to justify buying them. If your budget is on the lean side and $10 cards are a little too steep, go with the $5 cards.

      Good luck! Thumbs Up

      Scratchers ~ Cash 5 ~ Powerball ~ Mega Millions

        United States
        Member #129849
        June 29, 2012
        314 Posts
        Posted: September 25, 2014, 8:51 am - IP Logged

        The main reason I recommend against it is that, if you have money to spend on the lottery

        then you have money to put towards your student loans. Again your finances or your finaical 

        situation are none of my business but unless your going on a full scholarship or have someone

        else paying for it then please consider my advice:


        I graduated two and a half years ago with a degree in Computer Science. I spent five years at

        the University of Pittsburgh and nearly $60,000 all in. Of that money, I still owe around $47,000.00


        For a number of different reasons, I had to take a private loan from Sallie Mae one semester for $12,000.00

        at 10.5% interest. My inital payments were around $240 a month, with around $180 of that being just interest.

        On some of my other unsubsidized loans the interest has accumulated and compounded to where I've basically

        been paying on them for 2 years now and the balance is still what it was 2 years ago.


        Moral of my story: Borrow as little as possible, and pay back as fast as possible. You'll potentially save yourself

        tens of thousands of dollars which is probably more than you'd ever win in the lottery anyways.



        But if your finances are in line and you won't have the situation I've described above, then it might be ok to gamble

        every once in a while on scratchers. A kid in one of my classes freshman year won $60,000.00 on a $2 scratcher.

          dr65's avatar - black panther.jpg
          United States
          Member #74096
          May 2, 2009
          23208 Posts
          Posted: September 25, 2014, 1:30 pm - IP Logged

          Buddios..here we go. Honestly.

          Buy $2 tickets only. If you have $5 to spare per week, get them early and get then on Friday and keep

          to your budget. FRIDAYS, $5.00

          Get 2 from the same slot and one $1 Frenzy ticket.

          Don't even attempt the $20 tickets and you should stay away from the $10's too.

          Most $5's suck.

          IF you are just starting out, the lure of winning $100 on a $5 or $10 ticket is going to be too much. It doesn't happen

          as much as it should and if you have $50, that's 5 $10 tickets. BIG DEAL. That same $50 will buy you 2 $20's BIG DEAL.

          Not sure of your age or your financial status but there is a college student tag - they are on aid, they are poor, they are

          getting money from dad and mom, they blow their aid, they fail their courses and they have too much fun.

          Mix lottery buying in there and it's a recipe for DISASTER.

          Lottery tickets are not the instant answer they want you to think they are..and they aren't fun most times. I've been

          playing so long, winning $100 is nothing...when I see $500 it's nice but almost as much nothing as the $100.

          I have the money to play, no problem there it's just the instant win possibility and the fun of scratching can get

          catchy...addictive. They aren't fun I said but still fun at the same time. It's a hobby for some, a trap for others and

          a curse for still others. You have to have the money to back you up.

          I saw a lady once almost have a heart attack over winning $60 on a $1 ticket. I could tell she didn't play much.

          IF you can limit yourself to a MINIMAL amount...ie the $5 per week...2 $2's and 1 $1....then you are doing yourself a

          favor in the area of your life you're at right now. School is WAY more important, get your books, get your courses, get

          your head in the right place. Keep it REAL - I've seen LOTS of people feed machines HUNDREDS of dollars chasing a win

          only to be frustrated by loser after loser. I can't laugh out loud at them, I won't pity them (they do it to themselves) BUT

          I sure and heck can take a lesson from them: DON'T DO WHAT THEY DO.

          I've had LOTS of luck buying one ticket and done from multiple places - go in, put a $20 in make one selection and GO.

          I found a $5k like that. BAM. I don't know what kind of player you'd be maybe the luckiest in the state of PA..but probably

          not. I'm not lucky every time...no way. I do find a lot of winners though..but I don't go to college and I know how to play


          IN THE BELLS AND WHISTLES OF PA LOTTERY TELLING YOU 4 TOP PRIZES OF $1M dollars...sure it would be nice but why

          waste money when the 4 tickets are in a release of 6 - 7 million? Is it in your area? Who knows...I'd rather be ahead a few

          hundred than chase the big one just because they say IT COULD BE 'ME'.

          Winning $100 on a $1 or $2 ticket is WAY BETTER than winning $20 or nothing on a $20.

          STICK with the $2's...I've won $100's, $400, $200's, $50's, $20's and loads of little prizes on $2's....the $2 FRENZY's are

          another okay one..if you get a burst, you got a hundred. MANY OF THEM ARE BLANKS, FREE TICKETS AND $2 dollars.

          Keep it simple, if you win be satisfied with that win...movin on up might be a mistake for you at this point. Play SMART.

          Play small. Don't dump all your winnings into the lottery again.

          I've made some assumptions here...but so what?...if they're wrong then okay...if I'm right, do what I said....hey, if you win

          $100 on a $2 put it in your pocket....save it for a date, a movie, a dinner, some fun. Keep the lottery in perspective and

          you'll be happier for it.

          Good luck to you and I hope you don't win enough to get stupid about it. If you win big, don't give it back. BEST REVENGE:

          either keep winning or keep it in your pocket.

          I prefer to keep winning, but hey, # one I've got more experience than you and # two I don't need tips. Razz

            Scratch$'s avatar - sm lottery.jpg

            United States
            Member #158848
            September 5, 2014
            294 Posts
            Posted: September 26, 2014, 10:56 am - IP Logged

            Beware of bad advice! 

            $5 cards are clearly superior to $2 cards. The prizes are substantially larger, and the odds of winning prizes are noticeably better with the $5 cards. Don't take my word for it - research it yourself on the PA lottery website.

            For individuals on a budget, $5 cards give by far the "best bang for the buck".

            Scratchers ~ Cash 5 ~ Powerball ~ Mega Millions

              dr65's avatar - black panther.jpg
              United States
              Member #74096
              May 2, 2009
              23208 Posts
              Posted: September 29, 2014, 6:10 am - IP Logged

              $20 cards give the best bang for the buck.

              $10 are the next biggest bang.

              $5 cards are junk and need only be played here and there and at 4 max at a time. OR 1 from each slot of a

              row in a IVM.

              We are talking budget here and a budget seldom includes lottery at all. The overall feeling I get from the OP's

              post is that s/he is going to try the instants and is looking for advice on just how to do it right.

              There is no right but there is a way to do it.

              Research on the PA lottery website is useless beyond accessing the info they want you to see...the hands on

              experience of playing multiple denominations is far superior to posted statistics.

              The only interesting charts on the PA website are the REMAINING PRIZES.

              Millions of tickets with thousands of mediocre prizes amount to impressive odds in any of the games when those

              rotten, mediocre wins are factored in to the overall odds of 4. something on most of the games out there right


              Consider the blanks printed and how they're arriving at the odds and NO tickets is best.

              The best advice does not come from the odds page...the best advice comes from the players who have hands on

              experience with all denominations. For those on a budget and just wanting to 'tinker' in instant games, the best

              place to start is small before you get way in over your head. The rotten track record for $5 cards from those that

              know and play is much better info than what they want you to see on the website.

              The BEST tickets out there are the $20 tickets IMO...I'm not going to tell a person who is using BUDGET in his/her

              post to go and play them though.

              I'm going to try an experiment today...I'm going to 3 different spots and buying the row of $20's they have - one from

              each bin and the row of $5's they have - one from each bin too - that's $100 at each spot.

              I'll let you know which ticket did better.

              BUT for any slot that wins no matter what the amount, it was right place right time anyway....and there are NO posted

              odds anywhere that take into consideration THAT factor of the game.

              $2 shoot more blanks but keep a 'budget' minded person in the game and do come up lucky sometimes.

                Scratch$'s avatar - sm lottery.jpg

                United States
                Member #158848
                September 5, 2014
                294 Posts
                Posted: September 29, 2014, 1:11 pm - IP Logged

                $2 cards are worthless. $5 cards have considerably higher top prizes and noticeably better odds of winning a prize.

                You're just flushing your money down the toilet with $2 garbage cards. I've hit several $100 cards playing $5's, while every single person I know who plays $2's loses money virtually every time.

                The sister of an acquaintance of mine won $250 grand on a $5 card - try telling her they're "junk". The typical top prize on a $2 card is only around $20 grand.

                Better to buy two $5's than five $2 garbage cards. $5's are clearly the best choice for anybody on a budget.

                Scratchers ~ Cash 5 ~ Powerball ~ Mega Millions

                  dr65's avatar - black panther.jpg
                  United States
                  Member #74096
                  May 2, 2009
                  23208 Posts
                  Posted: September 30, 2014, 12:14 am - IP Logged

                  Try telling anyone who hasn't won a top prize on an instant that they aren't junk. Hey, maybe I think $2 cards aren't

                  that bad because MOI won a top prize on one...helluva lot better than a $100 on a $5 card, which, btw I win enough

                  $100's on so as it is...you know why? Because I play enough of them. They have as much filler as the $2 cards and

                  if you don't like considering a FREE ticket a win, maybe the OP does or will. Personally, I don't.

                  Funny the OP hasn't chimed in lately...maybe he tossed the whole idea because the only truly GOOD card is the

                  TWENTY dollar card...bought one at a time from different places. Once and done is the way to go...heck, even

                  on the $2's it works, although, I prefer to buy in sets of 5 tickets.

                  Just for shyt's and giggles I bought 1 each of the row of each $2 ticket at each stop I made today....The $2 Fortune

                  had a 5x symbol and won $25...a $2 Frenzy had a symbol and won $100...the other 10 cards - loser count with a 

                  ratio of 7 to 3....the 3 winners had wins of $2, a FREE and a FREE. So, let's see...cost: $24, win: $131 wtf?

                  Still, had I not won the $100 on the Frenzy, I would have won $31. That's got nothing to do with odds, it has

                  to do with right place, right time...the distribution of tickets doesn't secure a sure fire win of a top tier prize, nor

                  does it secure a lower tier prize of $50 or $100. It lays solely on where those winners go and the college student/

                  first timer/testing the waters/newbie might be in the best area of the state or the worst.

                  The $5 tickets did as expected...$5 wins when they won and one $10 win on a Winner Take All...so of my 12 that I

                  got..4 were winners of $5's and $10.

                  Now, for the higher end...

                  The 12 $20 tickets I got had 2 $50 winners plus a $200 winner...that's 3 of 12 of not so shabby ticket wins. I'm

                  at $300 there....the other 9 were comprised of 6 losers and 3 more winners of $20.

                  Would you use that experience to say I had 50% odds on those $20 tickets I played? This is why you can't talk odds,

                  it's useless to direct someone to the website to check the odds on any ticket out there...the only thing I use that for

                  is to steer clear of the ones where it states 1 in 4.62 or so wins....BS odds and consolidated odds.

                  I'm sure the college OP guy would be happy winning a $100 - or even $25 on a $2 ticket. I think I'm happier no

                  matter what the denomination when it amounts to multi times the purchase price. That's a bit of a rush itself

                  winning 5x, 10x or 50 times what you paid for the ticket. I've seen this happen many more times on $2's than

                  on $5's....5 x 5 = $25...5 x 10 = $50...5 x 50 = $250 huh??? - - - - - 2 x 5 = $10, 2 x 10 = $20, 2 x 50 = $100.

                  Come to think of it, when I lay it out like that for YOU...I see how much I'm right and you're wrong lmao.

                  I've won quite a bit on $2's and got more than a few FREE's and more than a few losers too. Same happens with


                  The losers are out there, they exist with $1's up to $30's. It's the game, win some, lose some but I'll tell you

                  what stick with one amount and snub the other, you're giving yourself the shaft. Go on chase your PA LOTTERY

                  produced odds chart...you can't win the top prize if it's 50 miles from your area. Remember, in a printing of 6

                  or 7 MILLION, there are 4 to 5 top prizes out there for you to try and grab.


                  your sister's brother's mother's cousin's wife or whatever was at the right place at the right time...nothing at all to do

                  with odds. Everything to do with selection of ticket at the right time and place. That's it - stuff the odds, they suck

                  as much as the $5 tickets do.

                  OP I leave it up to you to decide. You know what you can play. The only odds you have to be interested in are the 'odd'balls

                  who will tell you that $2 cards are junk. I've won enough on them to know that mindset is junk itself.

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

                    United Kingdom
                    Member #140684
                    March 24, 2013
                    566 Posts
                    Posted: October 23, 2014, 12:02 pm - IP Logged

                    I've never played scratchers, just not my thing but if you're looking to maximize the enjoyment then I would get the Crossword or the Wordsearch scratchers, they seem to take the longest to scratch and I guess you could stretch it out by doing it throughout the day.... or even do a word everyday when you wake up. I suck at ideas sorry!

                    2016 Won/Lost

                    EuroMillions / Spent: £22 / Won £0 / Total -£22

                    UK Lotto / Spent: £4 / Won: £0 / Total: -£4

                    2016 Total: -£24

                    Jan: -£22 Feb: £0 ~ Mar: £0 ~ April: £0 ~ May: £0 ~ June: £0 ~ July: £2


                    EuroMillions = £2 Line / Played: x11 [old price] 

                    EuroMillions = £2.50 Line / Played: x0

                    UK Lotto = £2 Line / Played x2

                      SE PA
                      United States
                      Member #93582
                      July 3, 2010
                      1872 Posts
                      Posted: October 23, 2014, 2:49 pm - IP Logged

                      Hey guys!

                      I'm in my first year of college, and recently I've begun treating myself to a few scratchers every week, particularly on Fridays or after a big test or assignment as a sort of "reward". Do you guys have any advice to maximize the fun while playing without any of the stress? I don't want to get addicted and would like to keep it as nothing more than a nice little treat for myself. Is this a good system? Also, do you guys usually buy from the same place? And do you tend to buy the same scratcher each time you play, or do you try different games? Thanks, and sorry for the newbie post! Keep scratchin' Wink

                      The best advice is don't spend more than you can afford - make it just fun. Otherwise it gets stressful. I haven't had good luck overall with PA tickets, so also better to space things out. Playing every day can get you more addicted. And it's ok to buy more  than 1 ticket, but chasing a win rarely works.

                        RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                        United States
                        Member #9
                        March 24, 2001
                        19891 Posts
                        Posted: October 23, 2014, 3:10 pm - IP Logged

                        Only spend what you can afford to lose because 80% of all scratchers are losers.

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

                          JackpotWanna's avatar - squiz

                          United States
                          Member #4121
                          March 23, 2004
                          817 Posts
                          Posted: October 28, 2014, 12:25 am - IP Logged

                          Play once in a blue moon and invest in mutual funds.  Your future self will thank you.