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PA Raffle Countdown to 500,000 ...

Topic closed. 52 replies. Last post 2 years ago by chris-chase.

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Posted: December 23, 2014, 1:48 am - IP Logged

I have been wondering for several years if the PA Lottery really does sell out all the raffle tickets ... it's a nice claim that the tickets always sell out and maybe they always do completely sell out.

Something happened exactly one year ago with the raffle and I will go into detail shortly ... I have a theory that maybe as the raffle is getting close to the drawing date and many tickets are still left to be sold ... the lottery continues to sell tickets but also runs tickets or the raffle numbers off to look as if the tickets are being sold.

If this were to be the case, any of those tickets would not have to be paid since they really belong to the lottery, never bought by anybody ... but we don't know that for sure.

Several years back I picked up two raffle tickets from Michigan ... when the drawing took place I noticed right away at the Michigan Lottery web site that all the large prize tickets had the actual location of purchase ... there were no winner names since the drawing had just occurred but the name and address of the store or where that ticket had been sold was published ... so you knew the ticket had actually been purchased by somebody.

The PA Lottery does not do that, to my knowledge ... they could publish right away the purchase location of the four million dollar tickets and the four $100,000 tickets. That would prove the tickets were probably actually sold to somebody and not just "run off" to be able to say that all tickets were sold.

Last year on Dec 24, 2013 I bought my last raffle ticket and there were many tickets still left to be sold ... anyway, most all the winning one million dollar tickets and $100,000 tickets were bought sometime after Dec 24th ... all were ticket numbers after my Dec 24th ticket.

I noticed this right away and I had wished I had waited longer to buy my last ticket sometime after Christmas ... if all the remaining tickets were actually sold after Dec 24th and they very well could have been sold but ... thinking maybe if some of those tickets were not really sold, just printed or run off at lottery headquarters to be able to say that "all tickets had been sold" and perhaps the RGN machine was "tweaked" to draw some of those numbers ... I have no proof but the lottery would do well like Michigan and other states ... immediately publish where the high dollar winning tickets were bought.

Look at these winning number numbers from one year ago ... perhaps just a coincidence that so many big winning ticket numbers were bought after Dec 24 when there were many tickets still left to sell.

I just thought it was interesting ... very lucky people buying in those final days or something else going on ... I don't know ... PA should publish where the eight high dollar tickets were bought, even before any tickets are claimed.

Just my thoughts ... here are those numbers from Jan 2014

Millionaire Raffle 17 Winning Numbers (drawn January 4, 2014)

$1,000,000 Winners

00077226
00332500 (?)
00339016 (?)
00355789 (?)

$100,000 Winners

00009710
00068057
00352025 (?)
00393530 (?)

So out of the eight large prize tickets ... five winning tickets were purchased after Dec 24th ... I noticed this right away when I checked my tickets. The lucky people were the ones that waited till the last minute to buy a ticket ... if all those remaining tickets were actually sold. It just looks strange to me ... I never checked to see if any winning names were published for those eight large prize tickets.

I no longer have my tickets from last year but I am pretty sure those five high winning numbers were all sold after my Dec 24th ticket purchase.

Just my wild theory on whether all the PA raffle drawings really do sell out ... I hope they do sell out and not any "funny stuff" going on ... all prizes are supposed to be awarded, even if they don't sell 500,000 tickets but they always say the tickets have sold out.

Will have to watch this year but how will we really know for sure?

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    Wyomissing, PA
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    Posted: December 23, 2014, 9:53 am - IP Logged

    Interesting thoughts Ron, thanks for sharing.  Say they don’t sell all their tickets, for example only 450K are sold, does the lotto buy the remaining 50K, or is the raffle drawn with 450K as the limit and thus increasing the odds of winning?  People would scream conspiracy if the lotto bought the remaining tickets and one of the 1 million dollar prizes was in that final 50K range.  If I think they will be discounted, I should probably hold off to the New Year to buy anymore to save some cash.

    Not sure what they'd do, but if they still draw as if all 500,000 were sold, then the odds for players remains exactly the same. However, the lottery faces some potential risk running a drawing that way...

    If distribution of the large prizes is relatively even, the overall payout percentage will still be ~50%. However, if the large prizes are mostly drawn the lower numbered, actually sold tickets, then the lottery could take in less profit. Or, conversely, potentially earn much more profit, if most of the large prizes are drawn for tickets that weren't sold.

    Another option, as you're alluding to, is the lottery draws only from the number of actual tickets sold (ie. 450,000). That would improve the odds of winning, but reduce lottery profits. But that assumes the lottery still offers the same number of prizes, which is most likely. Reapportioning the prizes would be a bad pr move, and likely doom any future raffle; leading to much distrust of the lottery.

    My guess is the PA Lottery raffle will sell out, just under the wire. Regardless, it seems the raffle, in its current incarnation, is nearing the end of its run. I would love to see the raffle revamped in 2015 with more lower tier prizes, and, ideally, with a higher overall payout percentage of 70-75%, similar to that of $20 instant tickets.

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      Posted: December 23, 2014, 10:14 am - IP Logged

      I always thought maybe they could take a one million dollar prize and give twenty $50,000 additional prizes ... there would still be three million dollar prizes left ... plus with $50,000 after Federal taxes a person would have around $26,000 or $27,000 left over ... but many people like a shot at a million dollars so it may not fly with most people, the smaller prizes, it would with me ... $1000 really doesn't mean much to me but $50,000 would !

      The total cost to the lottery for 6,000 cash prizes is $5,089,200 so if they sell 255,000 tickets they get $5,100,000 ... they don't lose any money ... but they make nothing either, so around 300,000 or 350,000 tickets sold would give them some dollars.

      CW

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        Wyomissing, PA
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        Posted: December 23, 2014, 10:21 am - IP Logged

        PA Lottery posted the sales locations a couple of days after the raffle on their website in the News, Events, and Media section.

        The top prize distribution was certain uneven, but such clusters, given how few top prizes were selected (8 out of 500,000), appears within the bounds of randomness.

        PA Lottery has thousands of terminals spread throughout the state - even just a few extra sales, on average, at each can easily pump ticket sales to upwards of 30K per day. Many players wait till near the end to buy / buy more raffle tickets. Personally, I've often waited to buy well into the sales period for most of the past raffles; haven't bought any yet for this one.

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          Wyomissing, PA
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          Posted: December 23, 2014, 10:34 am - IP Logged

          I always thought maybe they could take a one million dollar prize and give twenty $50,000 additional prizes ... there would still be three million dollar prizes left ... plus with $50,000 after Federal taxes a person would have around $26,000 or $27,000 left over ... but many people like a shot at a million dollars so it may not fly with most people, the smaller prizes, it would with me ... $1000 really doesn't mean much to me but $50,000 would !

          The total cost to the lottery for 6,000 cash prizes is $5,089,200 so if they sell 255,000 tickets they get $5,100,000 ... they don't lose any money ... but they make nothing either, so around 300,000 or 350,000 tickets sold would give them some dollars.

          CW

          Adding something like 20 $50K prizes would be interesting, but would have little effect on the overall odds, which is currently 1 in ~83. Get that number down to under 1 in 20, and many more will win, and thus play it again in the future.

          Alternatively, the lottery could try going the other way. Eliminate most all the smaller prizes, and just offer big ones ... say a bunch of $50K prizes and up. And, if feeling bold, go one step further by charging $50 per ticket - I'd buy one or two for sure at that price-point, if the overall payout percentage was 75%.

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            Posted: December 23, 2014, 11:42 am - IP Logged

            Adding something like 20 $50K prizes would be interesting, but would have little effect on the overall odds, which is currently 1 in ~83. Get that number down to under 1 in 20, and many more will win, and thus play it again in the future.

            Alternatively, the lottery could try going the other way. Eliminate most all the smaller prizes, and just offer big ones ... say a bunch of $50K prizes and up. And, if feeling bold, go one step further by charging $50 per ticket - I'd buy one or two for sure at that price-point, if the overall payout percentage was 75%.

            I understand now what you are saying ... they need to cut their overall profit back and throw more money in the pot ... totally agree. If it weren't for the lousy federal tax the prizes would also be better ... how does Canada offer tax free lottery prizes ... I never really looked into it, are the lotteries all run by the Canadian and local government and not "private parties" like here in the US with MM and PB?

            The $1,000 prizes have little interest to me ... after taxes I guess a person would get $600 ... if it doesn't throw you into a higher tax bracket.

            If the lottery could make money on 400,000 tickets and the extra 100,000 tickets to get to 500,000 total tickets sold could be more prizes but nothing lower than $50,000 ... like I said earlier, after taxes maybe you have $26,000 + but that's real money that could buy a new car, pay off bills, fix the house up or just take some trips.

            However, I don't know about a $50 raffle ticket ... would have to have good odds and a real chance at something ... really have to think that over a few times ... the $20 ticket I can work with but it is a struggle after all these years and never winning anything.

            CW

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              Posted: December 23, 2014, 3:18 pm - IP Logged

              PA Lottery posted the sales locations a couple of days after the raffle on their website in the News, Events, and Media section.

              The top prize distribution was certain uneven, but such clusters, given how few top prizes were selected (8 out of 500,000), appears within the bounds of randomness.

              PA Lottery has thousands of terminals spread throughout the state - even just a few extra sales, on average, at each can easily pump ticket sales to upwards of 30K per day. Many players wait till near the end to buy / buy more raffle tickets. Personally, I've often waited to buy well into the sales period for most of the past raffles; haven't bought any yet for this one.

              My observations with the Connecticut raffle is similar to what's seen in PA.

              I don't know why, but players in Ct seem to wait until the last few days tickets are on sale before buying their tickets. (That applies to both the New Years drawing and the Summer time drawing) From looking at the published list of winning numbers on The CT Lottery's website, I've noticed that the higher tier prizes had higher winning numbers, implying that they were sold nearer to the date of the drawing.  Now to be fair to The State of Ct, if the largest percentage of tickets in the total ticket pool were sold just prior to the drawing, then it seems reasonable to me that the largest percentage of winners would come from that piece of the pie.  Sales locations are also posted and the top prize winner is usually pictured on the CT Lottery's website accepting an oversize check. I don't really worry too much about The CT Lottery tampering with unsold tickets. They'd be risking too much by jeopardizing sales of all lottery games they sell, not just the SuperDraw raffle.  I don't think that'd be worth it to them.

              I too have wondered why ticket sales are waning.  I wrote it off to player fatigue and the lousy economy. I hope they don't pull the plug on either the PA raffle or Connecticut's.  Enhancing both of them might help juice up sales, and I'd certainly welcome that. G5

              About playing the lottery --  You will lose more than you win. Until you hit a jackpot.  Then everything changes!

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                Posted: December 23, 2014, 5:07 pm - IP Logged

                My observations with the Connecticut raffle is similar to what's seen in PA.

                I don't know why, but players in Ct seem to wait until the last few days tickets are on sale before buying their tickets. (That applies to both the New Years drawing and the Summer time drawing) From looking at the published list of winning numbers on The CT Lottery's website, I've noticed that the higher tier prizes had higher winning numbers, implying that they were sold nearer to the date of the drawing.  Now to be fair to The State of Ct, if the largest percentage of tickets in the total ticket pool were sold just prior to the drawing, then it seems reasonable to me that the largest percentage of winners would come from that piece of the pie.  Sales locations are also posted and the top prize winner is usually pictured on the CT Lottery's website accepting an oversize check. I don't really worry too much about The CT Lottery tampering with unsold tickets. They'd be risking too much by jeopardizing sales of all lottery games they sell, not just the SuperDraw raffle.  I don't think that'd be worth it to them.

                I too have wondered why ticket sales are waning.  I wrote it off to player fatigue and the lousy economy. I hope they don't pull the plug on either the PA raffle or Connecticut's.  Enhancing both of them might help juice up sales, and I'd certainly welcome that. G5

                OK ... I have not seen the actual raffle winning ticket locations posted at the PA Lottery site, if you guys have seen them then I will accept that. I liked the old site better ... still am not used to this newer site even though it's several years old.

                Yes there will be travel and visiting over the Christmas holiday so raffle tickets will also be bought ... if the computers don't crash they may do very well from today on through New Year's day.

                CW

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                  Posted: December 23, 2014, 10:02 pm - IP Logged

                  OK ... I have not seen the actual raffle winning ticket locations posted at the PA Lottery site, if you guys have seen them then I will accept that. I liked the old site better ... still am not used to this newer site even though it's several years old.

                  Yes there will be travel and visiting over the Christmas holiday so raffle tickets will also be bought ... if the computers don't crash they may do very well from today on through New Year's day.

                  CW

                  Go to Pa lottery site. Click "Winners" then scroll down to where the games are. Click "Millionaire Raffle"..

                  Click whatever year and it will post the winners first name and last initial as well as their city/state. Doesn't say where

                  exactly they purchased though.

                  This lottery post forum is a joke for posting links or pics to show you.

                    GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
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                    Posted: December 24, 2014, 8:05 am - IP Logged

                    Last summer in a thread discussing the Summertime Ct SuperDraw Raffle, someone complained that they did not like the "value" involved with the purchase of a ticket.

                    Call me stupid, but that's a concept that I completely fail to grasp.  To me it's a binary thing.  You either want a ticket or you don't.  When I buy one, I have absolutely no thoughts of any kind with regard to value.  Look, everybody knows that playing the lottery is a sucker's bet.  That said I, just like many other people, want a shot at winning a million dollars.  I understand that it's highly unlikely that I'll win it, but somebody somewhere will win it, and I've got the same chance to win that they do. I doubt guy from Florida who won last summer's Ct raffle is sorry he bought a ticket.  I know I wouldn't be sorry. 

                    So what was the guy's beef about "value"?  Would someone please explain that to me?  Thanks in advance.  G5

                    About playing the lottery --  You will lose more than you win. Until you hit a jackpot.  Then everything changes!

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                      Posted: December 24, 2014, 8:40 am - IP Logged

                      Visit the PA Lottery homepage, click About Us & News on top right-hand side in the green header. Then click News, Events, & Media on left-hand side. Scroll all the way down to January - the list is at the 3rd to last item "PA Lottery Millionaire Raffle Drawing Creates Four New Millionaires".

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                        Posted: December 24, 2014, 9:19 am - IP Logged

                        Last summer in a thread discussing the Summertime Ct SuperDraw Raffle, someone complained that they did not like the "value" involved with the purchase of a ticket.

                        Call me stupid, but that's a concept that I completely fail to grasp.  To me it's a binary thing.  You either want a ticket or you don't.  When I buy one, I have absolutely no thoughts of any kind with regard to value.  Look, everybody knows that playing the lottery is a sucker's bet.  That said I, just like many other people, want a shot at winning a million dollars.  I understand that it's highly unlikely that I'll win it, but somebody somewhere will win it, and I've got the same chance to win that they do. I doubt guy from Florida who won last summer's Ct raffle is sorry he bought a ticket.  I know I wouldn't be sorry. 

                        So what was the guy's beef about "value"?  Would someone please explain that to me?  Thanks in advance.  G5

                        For the casual, occasional player, "value" is generally of little consequence. Many just buy a ticket and hope for the best. However, for players who wager a lot, "value" is a valid consideration in choosing the games, and how to best wager on them.

                        For example, a high roller player in Pennsylvania focused on winning $1 million cash with say a $10,000 budget would do better spending that amount on $20 instant tickets along with Quinto ($20 on the same number straight) verses the PA Lottery raffle. Below some comparisons:

                        PA Lottery raffle: ~50% overall payout, 1 in ~83 overall odds, 1 in 125,000 of winning $1 million

                        PA $20 instant tickets: 70-75% overall payout, 1 in ~3.25 overall odds, 1 in 960,000 to 1,320,000 (holiday one is the lowest) of winning $1 million

                        PA Quinto (5-digit): ~50% overall payout, 1 in 100,000 odds of winning $1 million with a $20 wager on the same number straight

                        While odds of winning $1 million (with a $20 wager) is easier with PA Quinto verses PA raffle (1 in 100,000 verses 1 in 125,000), the overall payout percentage is nearly identical for both. In essence, in PA, one can go for a $million with even better than raffle odds any day of the week by playing Quinto - it's the same identical value as the PA raffle; both 50% overall payout.

                        Instant tickets, even the worst ones, are a better overall value (~60% - ~80% overall payout) than number games. However, that comes with a huge caveat ... one needs to consider the prize distribution and whether that matches up with one's expectations. Most instant tickets have lots of lower prizes along with a relatively tiny number of top tier prizes with little in between; mostly break-even and somewhat higher nominal prizes. For example, winning $30 on a $20 ticket isn't all that satisfying, and yet often it's those type of prizes one will get.

                        Number games, while having a lower overall payout percentage, can be a better fit for many players. For example, if one is seeking to win a $million, but would also like a reasonable shot at winning a decent amount lower tier prize, the PA raffle is a good choice. Odds of winning $100 or more is 1 in ~83.

                        Personally, "value" is an important consideration for large wagers - being selective with what games to play. But if only buying a few tickets or less, is of lesser concern; good to mix it up a bit, since even the worst value game featuring a high top prize could be the big winner.

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                          Posted: December 24, 2014, 11:35 am - IP Logged

                          For the casual, occasional player, "value" is generally of little consequence. Many just buy a ticket and hope for the best. However, for players who wager a lot, "value" is a valid consideration in choosing the games, and how to best wager on them.

                          For example, a high roller player in Pennsylvania focused on winning $1 million cash with say a $10,000 budget would do better spending that amount on $20 instant tickets along with Quinto ($20 on the same number straight) verses the PA Lottery raffle. Below some comparisons:

                          PA Lottery raffle: ~50% overall payout, 1 in ~83 overall odds, 1 in 125,000 of winning $1 million

                          PA $20 instant tickets: 70-75% overall payout, 1 in ~3.25 overall odds, 1 in 960,000 to 1,320,000 (holiday one is the lowest) of winning $1 million

                          PA Quinto (5-digit): ~50% overall payout, 1 in 100,000 odds of winning $1 million with a $20 wager on the same number straight

                          While odds of winning $1 million (with a $20 wager) is easier with PA Quinto verses PA raffle (1 in 100,000 verses 1 in 125,000), the overall payout percentage is nearly identical for both. In essence, in PA, one can go for a $million with even better than raffle odds any day of the week by playing Quinto - it's the same identical value as the PA raffle; both 50% overall payout.

                          Instant tickets, even the worst ones, are a better overall value (~60% - ~80% overall payout) than number games. However, that comes with a huge caveat ... one needs to consider the prize distribution and whether that matches up with one's expectations. Most instant tickets have lots of lower prizes along with a relatively tiny number of top tier prizes with little in between; mostly break-even and somewhat higher nominal prizes. For example, winning $30 on a $20 ticket isn't all that satisfying, and yet often it's those type of prizes one will get.

                          Number games, while having a lower overall payout percentage, can be a better fit for many players. For example, if one is seeking to win a $million, but would also like a reasonable shot at winning a decent amount lower tier prize, the PA raffle is a good choice. Odds of winning $100 or more is 1 in ~83.

                          Personally, "value" is an important consideration for large wagers - being selective with what games to play. But if only buying a few tickets or less, is of lesser concern; good to mix it up a bit, since even the worst value game featuring a high top prize could be the big winner.

                          Ron5995 ... very good post to make things a little better to understand in lottery terms.

                          A person can study all the games ... try to figure out the odds and the best game to play ... but in walks a person that has never played the lottery ... they buy a ticket and win $400 million dollars !!!

                          I'm guessing a seasoned lottery player just throws all his lottery sheets in the air and walks in front of a cement truck !

                           ... or not, just keep playing and hope Lady Luck is somewhere in the neighborhood.

                          CW

                            GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
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                            Posted: December 24, 2014, 3:41 pm - IP Logged

                            For the casual, occasional player, "value" is generally of little consequence. Many just buy a ticket and hope for the best. However, for players who wager a lot, "value" is a valid consideration in choosing the games, and how to best wager on them.

                            For example, a high roller player in Pennsylvania focused on winning $1 million cash with say a $10,000 budget would do better spending that amount on $20 instant tickets along with Quinto ($20 on the same number straight) verses the PA Lottery raffle. Below some comparisons:

                            PA Lottery raffle: ~50% overall payout, 1 in ~83 overall odds, 1 in 125,000 of winning $1 million

                            PA $20 instant tickets: 70-75% overall payout, 1 in ~3.25 overall odds, 1 in 960,000 to 1,320,000 (holiday one is the lowest) of winning $1 million

                            PA Quinto (5-digit): ~50% overall payout, 1 in 100,000 odds of winning $1 million with a $20 wager on the same number straight

                            While odds of winning $1 million (with a $20 wager) is easier with PA Quinto verses PA raffle (1 in 100,000 verses 1 in 125,000), the overall payout percentage is nearly identical for both. In essence, in PA, one can go for a $million with even better than raffle odds any day of the week by playing Quinto - it's the same identical value as the PA raffle; both 50% overall payout.

                            Instant tickets, even the worst ones, are a better overall value (~60% - ~80% overall payout) than number games. However, that comes with a huge caveat ... one needs to consider the prize distribution and whether that matches up with one's expectations. Most instant tickets have lots of lower prizes along with a relatively tiny number of top tier prizes with little in between; mostly break-even and somewhat higher nominal prizes. For example, winning $30 on a $20 ticket isn't all that satisfying, and yet often it's those type of prizes one will get.

                            Number games, while having a lower overall payout percentage, can be a better fit for many players. For example, if one is seeking to win a $million, but would also like a reasonable shot at winning a decent amount lower tier prize, the PA raffle is a good choice. Odds of winning $100 or more is 1 in ~83.

                            Personally, "value" is an important consideration for large wagers - being selective with what games to play. But if only buying a few tickets or less, is of lesser concern; good to mix it up a bit, since even the worst value game featuring a high top prize could be the big winner.

                            Thank you!

                            I guess you must have figured out I'm no high roller if I have to ask a question like that!

                            I enjoy playing the lottery, I find it very entertaining.  I've won mostly smaller prizes ($100 or less) and to tell you the truth, if I won a large amount I'm not exactly sure what I'd do with it.  I mean I have a general idea of what I'd do, but I'd definitely think on it a while before I did anything. 

                            To me, having a large sum of money in the bank represents freedom.  Freedom from debt, freedom from financial worries etc.  It's also the freedom to do what I want, when I want, and with who I want.  I already have some of those types of freedoms to a certain extent, but I'd be somewhat more comfortable knowing that not only do I have those freedoms, but that I could pass them on to my kids after I'm gone.  G5

                            About playing the lottery --  You will lose more than you win. Until you hit a jackpot.  Then everything changes!

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                              Posted: December 25, 2014, 8:39 am - IP Logged

                              Pa lottery updated their website to show tickets remaining, over 200K remaining. They will have to avg over 20K tickets a day to sell out.