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General question on lottery drawing procedures

Topic closed. 9 replies. Last post 2 years ago by Coin Toss.

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New Member
Denver
United States
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January 12, 2011
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Posted: January 19, 2015, 3:49 pm - IP Logged

Hello everyone, I'm new to the lottery game I've just started playing more often, now a hobby, and have even purchased some lottery software to help me along the way. I just have a couple questions that I wanted to ask about drawings in general.

I wanted ask if random numbers are actually used. A little background that leads to this question is that I've been making yearly trips to Vegas for the last thirty years as a vacation. Not a big spender, maybe a couple hundred bucks, but enjoy the slots. 

I noticed that years ago the slot machines were all mechanical you pull the lever and the numbers fail where they may. The casinos were making money but with the randomness I didn't see how they could control how much they made, in other words what the percentage of what they made was profit and what the percentage was paid out.

To keep long story short I see that now the slot machines are controlled by computers in this way the casinos can know exactly how much they will payout percentage wise and how much money they're going to make. The computer has preset payouts and no random numbers.

I was wondering if it was possible for the lottery systems to work the same way. Do they use truly random numbers or can they be preset the payout to a certain percentage thus the states or governing bodies knows how much they will produce in income each year. Like I said I'm just starting out and becoming a regular lottery player so my theory may be flawed and probably totally off-base. This brings me to my next question. How are most lottery winners determined? Do they do it by computer or the numbers generally hand-picked?

If it is done by computers does the same computer that collects the drawing data also select the winning numbers? Or does a separate computer select the numbers. If the same computer collects drawing data and selects the winning numbers could an algorithm be used to generate a number that is not any of the entered betting slip combinations? This way they can reasonably predict the income generated by the lottery each year and allocate that to whatever resources that the lottery money supports.

Of course if the numbers are handpicked it negates the above questions.

What I'm asking here is if I'm completely off-base or does anyone know for sure how the systems are set up and if they are tamper proof and things that I suggested can't happen. Do they have agencies that make sure things like this won't happen, hopefully not state run agencies. Once I get this cleared up I'll be a happy lottery player forever. I just need this psychological block out of my mind that I might be playing a rigged system where randomness and statistics have nothing to do with winning.

Not a conspiracy theorist, just very pessimistic,

Thanks for taking the time.

    LottoMetro's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
    Happyland
    United States
    Member #146344
    September 1, 2013
    1129 Posts
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    Posted: January 19, 2015, 4:44 pm - IP Logged

    Hello everyone, I'm new to the lottery game I've just started playing more often, now a hobby, and have even purchased some lottery software to help me along the way. I just have a couple questions that I wanted to ask about drawings in general.

    I wanted ask if random numbers are actually used. A little background that leads to this question is that I've been making yearly trips to Vegas for the last thirty years as a vacation. Not a big spender, maybe a couple hundred bucks, but enjoy the slots. 

    I noticed that years ago the slot machines were all mechanical you pull the lever and the numbers fail where they may. The casinos were making money but with the randomness I didn't see how they could control how much they made, in other words what the percentage of what they made was profit and what the percentage was paid out.

    To keep long story short I see that now the slot machines are controlled by computers in this way the casinos can know exactly how much they will payout percentage wise and how much money they're going to make. The computer has preset payouts and no random numbers.

    I was wondering if it was possible for the lottery systems to work the same way. Do they use truly random numbers or can they be preset the payout to a certain percentage thus the states or governing bodies knows how much they will produce in income each year. Like I said I'm just starting out and becoming a regular lottery player so my theory may be flawed and probably totally off-base. This brings me to my next question. How are most lottery winners determined? Do they do it by computer or the numbers generally hand-picked?

    If it is done by computers does the same computer that collects the drawing data also select the winning numbers? Or does a separate computer select the numbers. If the same computer collects drawing data and selects the winning numbers could an algorithm be used to generate a number that is not any of the entered betting slip combinations? This way they can reasonably predict the income generated by the lottery each year and allocate that to whatever resources that the lottery money supports.

    Of course if the numbers are handpicked it negates the above questions.

    What I'm asking here is if I'm completely off-base or does anyone know for sure how the systems are set up and if they are tamper proof and things that I suggested can't happen. Do they have agencies that make sure things like this won't happen, hopefully not state run agencies. Once I get this cleared up I'll be a happy lottery player forever. I just need this psychological block out of my mind that I might be playing a rigged system where randomness and statistics have nothing to do with winning.

    Not a conspiracy theorist, just very pessimistic,

    Thanks for taking the time.

    I noticed that years ago the slot machines were all mechanical you pull the lever and the numbers fail where they may. The casinos were making money but with the randomness I didn't see how they could control how much they made, in other words what the percentage of what they made was profit and what the percentage was paid out.

    To keep long story short I see that now the slot machines are controlled by computers in this way the casinos can know exactly how much they will payout percentage wise and how much money they're going to make. The computer has preset payouts and no random numbers.

    Actually, slot machines generate random numbers continuously. Who wants to play a rigged slot?

    Casinos make money because of the law of large numbers and a mathematical term called expected value. Same way lotteries do. If I offer you a 1 in 2 chance of winning a dollar, but I charge you $2 for that chance, then my take is 50 cents. The more you play this game, the closer to 25% your loss and my gain will be.

    Once you understand how probability works then you realize that lotteries/casinos don't need to do any rigging or rely on anything other than randomness.

    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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      Posted: January 19, 2015, 6:24 pm - IP Logged

      I will chime in to add that the old pull lever and mechanics slot machines were also able to be messed around with. They were not random and were similar to today's computer slot machines with the difference being that gears and springs would be the cpu and code. There was a set percentage that would be paid out but it was harder to make sure the slots were not rigged unless inspected carefully, some places could add some different weights inside the springs to make a payout impossible. Thanks to computers we can check the code running the machine to make sure it is playing and paying out as advertised. Having a 20% chance to win $2 if you put in $1 is pretty much dead on today with computers while back then the old machines could get wonky if their gears started to wear out.

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        January 25, 2015
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        Posted: January 25, 2015, 11:47 pm - IP Logged

        BananaBandit This may be off topic!? but i would like to discuss the problem of dishonest store clerks. A couple of years ago I purchased a $20 Florida lottery scratch off ticket, and it was printed funny anyway u couldn't tell if it was a $20 winner or a $100,000 winner. Anyway instead of driving to Tallahassee, FL (which is a couple of hours drive) I decided to take it to a local convenience store. I don't know if the guy RIPPED ME OFF or not but he said it was only a $20 winner, and thats what I got. 

        I did sign the back of the ticket so that he couldn't cash it. What do u think? Did I get ripped off!?

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          Kentucky
          United States
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          February 14, 2006
          7314 Posts
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          Posted: January 26, 2015, 12:04 am - IP Logged

          BananaBandit This may be off topic!? but i would like to discuss the problem of dishonest store clerks. A couple of years ago I purchased a $20 Florida lottery scratch off ticket, and it was printed funny anyway u couldn't tell if it was a $20 winner or a $100,000 winner. Anyway instead of driving to Tallahassee, FL (which is a couple of hours drive) I decided to take it to a local convenience store. I don't know if the guy RIPPED ME OFF or not but he said it was only a $20 winner, and thats what I got. 

          I did sign the back of the ticket so that he couldn't cash it. What do u think? Did I get ripped off!?

          A similar thing happened in New Mexico, but it's obvious that ticket was either a misprint or the player scratched the second digit too hard. Because your signature was on the back of the ticket and if the ticket was really worth $100,000, the clerk could not legally collect from the lottery.

          If the value of the ticket was over $20 but under $600, you could be scammed.

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            Kentucky
            United States
            Member #32652
            February 14, 2006
            7314 Posts
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            Posted: January 26, 2015, 12:55 am - IP Logged

            Hello everyone, I'm new to the lottery game I've just started playing more often, now a hobby, and have even purchased some lottery software to help me along the way. I just have a couple questions that I wanted to ask about drawings in general.

            I wanted ask if random numbers are actually used. A little background that leads to this question is that I've been making yearly trips to Vegas for the last thirty years as a vacation. Not a big spender, maybe a couple hundred bucks, but enjoy the slots. 

            I noticed that years ago the slot machines were all mechanical you pull the lever and the numbers fail where they may. The casinos were making money but with the randomness I didn't see how they could control how much they made, in other words what the percentage of what they made was profit and what the percentage was paid out.

            To keep long story short I see that now the slot machines are controlled by computers in this way the casinos can know exactly how much they will payout percentage wise and how much money they're going to make. The computer has preset payouts and no random numbers.

            I was wondering if it was possible for the lottery systems to work the same way. Do they use truly random numbers or can they be preset the payout to a certain percentage thus the states or governing bodies knows how much they will produce in income each year. Like I said I'm just starting out and becoming a regular lottery player so my theory may be flawed and probably totally off-base. This brings me to my next question. How are most lottery winners determined? Do they do it by computer or the numbers generally hand-picked?

            If it is done by computers does the same computer that collects the drawing data also select the winning numbers? Or does a separate computer select the numbers. If the same computer collects drawing data and selects the winning numbers could an algorithm be used to generate a number that is not any of the entered betting slip combinations? This way they can reasonably predict the income generated by the lottery each year and allocate that to whatever resources that the lottery money supports.

            Of course if the numbers are handpicked it negates the above questions.

            What I'm asking here is if I'm completely off-base or does anyone know for sure how the systems are set up and if they are tamper proof and things that I suggested can't happen. Do they have agencies that make sure things like this won't happen, hopefully not state run agencies. Once I get this cleared up I'll be a happy lottery player forever. I just need this psychological block out of my mind that I might be playing a rigged system where randomness and statistics have nothing to do with winning.

            Not a conspiracy theorist, just very pessimistic,

            Thanks for taking the time.

            PB and MM are the only live ball drawings for tickets bought in Colorado though the drawings are not held there. The Colorado lottery has no live ball drawings for state games.

            "Or does a separate computer select the numbers."

            I've read on some state sites that their drawing RNG is not connected to the terminal computers, but to say it's a fact is difficult because the state lotteries police themselves.

            "What I'm asking here is if I'm completely off-base or does anyone know for sure how the systems are set up and if they are tamper proof and things that I suggested can't happen."

            A few years ago a programmer found a flaw in a casino Keno drawing RNG so it's not a given all the drawing RNGs are tamper proof. While it's probably impossible for MM and PB to rig their drawings, but because the majority of tickets sold are QPs, it's possible to program how the combinations are distribution.

              RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
              mid-Ohio
              United States
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              March 24, 2001
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              Posted: January 26, 2015, 2:16 pm - IP Logged

              PB and MM are the only live ball drawings for tickets bought in Colorado though the drawings are not held there. The Colorado lottery has no live ball drawings for state games.

              "Or does a separate computer select the numbers."

              I've read on some state sites that their drawing RNG is not connected to the terminal computers, but to say it's a fact is difficult because the state lotteries police themselves.

              "What I'm asking here is if I'm completely off-base or does anyone know for sure how the systems are set up and if they are tamper proof and things that I suggested can't happen."

              A few years ago a programmer found a flaw in a casino Keno drawing RNG so it's not a given all the drawing RNGs are tamper proof. While it's probably impossible for MM and PB to rig their drawings, but because the majority of tickets sold are QPs, it's possible to program how the combinations are distribution.

              "A few years ago a programmer found a flaw in a casino Keno drawing RNG so it's not a given all the drawing RNGs are tamper proof."

              I remember reading about a similar case and it wasn't the RNG that was temper with, it was the casino owner's ignorance that was the problem.  He didn't know a different seed number had to be entered into the computer every day after it was started or it was use a default one.  Since he didn't enter one the computer repeated the same pattern of numbers everyday so anyone who recorded the numbers from previous days knew what was coming up and in what order.

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

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                Posted: January 26, 2015, 2:43 pm - IP Logged

                Yes well most store clerks are overworked and underpaid, and are just told to learn the lotto machine which is kind of complicated. They don't get any training from the lottery headquarters as you might think, and  when jackpots get up to 100 or 200 million they've got lines going down the street.Troll oh well nobody cares i guess?!Disney

                  Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                  Zeta Reticuli Star System
                  United States
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                  January 17, 2006
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                  Posted: January 26, 2015, 7:45 pm - IP Logged

                  moose59,

                  It's always better to go to clerks who play the lottery, too.

                  Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                  Lep

                  There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                    Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                    Zeta Reticuli Star System
                    United States
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                    January 17, 2006
                    10353 Posts
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                    Posted: January 27, 2015, 12:28 am - IP Logged

                    Re: Slot machines.

                    In the old days, the machines had gears with a certain number of 'stops' on them, usually nine.

                    On a machine with three windows the combinations were 9 X 9 X 9. Some of the old time players could actually 'time' a machine, that is if the first two windows showed like symbols they could 'time' the pull on the third window and get a payout. Sounds out there but we had a boxman at one casino that when an old 5 cent machine was put in he told us he put a down payment on a house thanks to one of those machines. In that particular casino employees could play the slots on their breaks and management told him to stop playing that machine.

                    Then came the computer chips giving the machines unlimited numbers of combinations.

                    Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                    Lep

                    There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.