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Are Scratchers infinitely harder to win?

Topic closed. 20 replies. Last post 2 years ago by jaggudada.

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Kentucky
United States
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February 14, 2006
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Posted: January 17, 2015, 7:32 pm - IP Logged

 For the last 8 months, I spent a few hundred dollars on scratchers, mostly luck for life and 5 million dollar ones. Here's one thing I realized: You need to buy the winning ticket at a location that the ticket is located, which makes it really harder to win one because you never know where the winning tickets are.

 This is why I decided to stick with jackpot lottos like MM and PB. They are cheaper and kinda more fun. Sure, the result is more instant with the scratchers, but they turn out to be the worse waste of money than lottos.

Dollar scratch-offs average around a 20% chance of winning something, $25 are around 36% compared to PB's 3.2% and MM's 6.8%. If the idea is to win $1 million, I never saw a $1 or $2 scratch-off with that large a payoff. If you want to win something with a chance of it being $5000 or under, scratch-offs give a much better chance.

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    New Member
    Detroit
    United States
    Member #161964
    December 17, 2014
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    Posted: January 17, 2015, 8:21 pm - IP Logged

    Dollar scratch-offs average around a 20% chance of winning something, $25 are around 36% compared to PB's 3.2% and MM's 6.8%. If the idea is to win $1 million, I never saw a $1 or $2 scratch-off with that large a payoff. If you want to win something with a chance of it being $5000 or under, scratch-offs give a much better chance.

    I never saw a $1 or $2 scratch-off with that large a payoff. If you want to win something with a chance of it being $5000 or under, scratch-offs give a much better chance.

     

    Neither have I. And the odds are those are just horrible. There was once a Reddit AMA where a guy that worked for a state's lottery was answering questions and he even referred to those as impulse buys. In fact, it was from him (her?) that I instituted my $10 minimum limit rule - that really turned things around for me once I changed my approach.

    Personally, I don't play for the big prizes; I play just to break even or make a little extra. (Granted, it's all in the mindset.) Having said that, it's gotten really hard to even play MM or PB now. For example, the odds are of winning $100 in PB are 1 in roughly 12,000. In the Michigan Classic 47 they are 1 in roughly 800.

    Now, with the scratchers, if you put the little bit of legwork into it, your chances of breaking even are so much better. With the more expensive scratchers, the odds are better to offset the up-front cost. (Plus they don't sell as quickly as the $1 scratchers so it's easier to keep track.)

    Sure, like someone said, it might be like counting cards, but I haven't heard of any lottery agencies breaking kneecaps for it yet.

      gra8*2win's avatar - spherewall
      williamson county
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      November 14, 2011
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      Posted: January 17, 2015, 9:03 pm - IP Logged

      I knew a man that bought a whole book of scratch offs here in Tennessee, and won about 6 free tickets and close to

      $150.00 dollars.......these were 5.00 scratch offs.     i believe they are rigged, designed to just pay enough to entertain.

      i just don't play them......

      You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails

        LottoMetro's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
        Happyland
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        September 1, 2013
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        Posted: January 17, 2015, 9:04 pm - IP Logged

        LM ... you wouldn't be that person that was thrown out of of the Casino for counting cards at the blackjack table, would you? ... working and keeping track of scratch off tickets in your head sure looks a little like card counting to me !!!

        I would think there's a connection there somewhere ...

        CW

        I am a casual card counter yes, but I have never been thrown out of a casino Wink

        Like I said, it was a lot of work with not much to show for it except less variance which kept my drawdown low. But most of the time the lottery still has the edge. There has only been I think 2 or 3 instances in the last 3 years where I actually had a statistical advantage, and none of those opportunities resulted in a top prize win. Now I just monitor games for the best odds and play those whenever I have a few spare dollars. This year I plan to start buying one a week.

        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?

        2016: -48.28% (13 tickets) ||
        P&L % = Total Win($)/Total Wager($) - 1

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          December 3, 2014
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          Posted: January 18, 2015, 1:04 am - IP Logged

          I am a casual card counter yes, but I have never been thrown out of a casino Wink

          Like I said, it was a lot of work with not much to show for it except less variance which kept my drawdown low. But most of the time the lottery still has the edge. There has only been I think 2 or 3 instances in the last 3 years where I actually had a statistical advantage, and none of those opportunities resulted in a top prize win. Now I just monitor games for the best odds and play those whenever I have a few spare dollars. This year I plan to start buying one a week.

          That's about all a person can really do ... check the odds and hope for luck. In my area there is an older guy who I see quite often at the self serve lottery machines ... he covers them all at various locations and he spends big bucks on the $20 tickets. I have talked a few times with him ... he stands at the machine scraping, cashing and buying more tickets ... anything with taxes to pay on he sticks in his back left pocket.

          After seeing him around at different locations over the last 1 1/2 years ... I say Hi or he says Hi ... he knows I play the machine games ... I don't ask him too many questions but I would like to ... but he's busy working the machine and the tickets.

          Just before Christmas I ran into him scraping away at the grocery store where he cashes the big winners ... I just briefly asked how he was doing ... pulled out a pink slip from his back pocket for just cashing in a thousand dollar ticket.

          I almost feel he really cleans out the big winners in the $20 tickets ... I have seen him at the customer service counter with many tickets in his back pocket or in his hand to be cashed. I asked him once how big a winner he had hit on and he said he'd won $100,000 in a town about six miles away.

          That's really all he does ... makes the rounds and buys $20 tickets ... I'm guessing he stays with a streak of winning tickets until it turns cold and  then goes somewhere else ... I know he won the $100,000 about six miles away but I have no idea how large his playing territory is.

          I'm sure he has many pink tax slips to deal with at tax time but it's what he does ... he told me in Nov he has no friends although I see him having a smoke and talking to people at the gas station every now and then.

          That's his life and he makes his daily rounds looking for the big winner.

          ... of course I was kidding about getting thrown out of the Casino ... I'm still trying to figure out where to put my dollars, still fill the need to have at least one ticket on all the big games, so I may go back to that approach. Thought I had 2015 all figured out but now I'm changing my play.

          CW

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            NY
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            December 31, 2010
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            Posted: January 18, 2015, 10:51 pm - IP Logged

            Draw lottery pays big prizes to top winners. Like 30, 50, 100, 400 million etc; therefore accordingly they have to sold that many tickets and that many losers!  That's why chances of hitting big are very slim. Where as in scratchers, the prizes are comparatively small and they have lots of small prizes therefore it seems like people win more.  I believe as a percentage of sale, draw lottery puts more money in kitty compare to scratchers.