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scratch card truth

Topic closed. 13 replies. Last post 1 year ago by Coal Thumb.

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Raleigh, NC
United States
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May 28, 2015
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Posted: October 19, 2015, 10:54 pm - IP Logged

Stay away from lottery scratch cards ... long story short - and I can't get into great detail here because it would require a different  topic matter and therefore new thread, which I don't mind doing for you if you're interested in hearing it in case you didn't know - but scratch cards are not in fact random gambling or a true random lottery at all as a state run lottery would have you believe in the advertising and promotion. Just talk with an employee of G-Tech or Scientific Games, the 2 companies that make almost all of the 45 states or so lottery scratch off cards in the United States and your eyes, mouth and mind will " gag " open from the shock and anger once you find out how these scratch cards are manipulated ( at the state lottery's request - after all, they are the paying customer asking the factory to create the card for them ) during the creation and production process at the factory and so are you the buying public into thinking that you are buying a random chance when you buy one of these cards. Sort of like how ball draw games are manipulated unethically with pre-draws and set change outs, just in a different way of not exactly being truthful about it's claim of total and absolute randomness.

It all has to do with a little known mathematical concept called an " algorithm ". If you are not the brightest person in the world in higher mathematics, and I wasn't claiming to be either earlier so I decided to educate myself on this subject matter further due to interest, then you'll need to google the term - learn what it means and how state run governmental lotteries use this mathematical application in a discreet way to ensure that a scratch game never goes " bust ", that they don't lose money on a particular card game and to give you the consumer the impression that you are playing a 100 % totally random game with a chance to win the big jackpot on any purchase. The algorithm ensures that they will always make money and not lose money. In other words the purchasing public will always lose in the life of the game and the state will always earn positive revenue and not a loss. Just do it when you have some time ..... google " scratch cards lottery algorithm truth secret, etc. " , read up on it, and then go get a smart college math student to explain to you how an algorithm is used this way. Trust me, afterwards, you'll be floored if you are an ordinary Joe like me. But then again, we're talking about your state government here managing a gambling department of the government, right ? Try taking this to a lottery official at their fair tent or at their lottery offices and ask them to explain and they will do their darndest to deny, lie or change the subject rather than look you in the eye and explain how the algorithm is used in the scratch cards they sell. Would be glad to explain and talk further with you on this but out of respect for LP, I won't go any further since this would be considered different subject matter. Just thought I'd elaborate on it a bit since it was already brought up.

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    Chief Bottle Washer
    New Jersey
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    Posted: October 20, 2015, 8:01 am - IP Logged

    <Moved to Instant ("Scratch-Off") Games forum>

    Please post in the appropriate forum ... thank you.

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      Douglasville, GA
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      Posted: October 20, 2015, 8:36 am - IP Logged

      I think our friends in Florida are already onto this. Read that forum and you will see their eyes opening. No way it is random and it never will be. States are not going to release the grand prize winners on day one of a game and hope they are not all sold in the first week. Games are released in waves which ensures the states will make money before all the grand prizes are paid. Gambling is gambling no matter what form and the house will always win. However someone is going to win a grand prize because they do exist. I think the point is to not go chasing because chances are more likely you will go broke than win a top prize.

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        PA
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        June 29, 2012
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        Posted: October 20, 2015, 10:14 am - IP Logged

        First of all I'd like to state that none of this is meant in a negative or derogatory way to the OP, anyone who has already posted

        in this thread, or anyone that will after wards.

         

         

        There are two things being discussed here, and I feel it's important to separate them. The first being that lottery games are created

        with the notion that the game will be profitable to the state, and the second being how the winning tickets are being distributed.

         

        Lets start off with the idea that these games were designed to be profitable for the state lotteries that run them. This concept is no different

        then what a casino does, or what a claw machine does. The idea is that a percentage of the money taken in is going to be paid out, and 

        of course that the percentage taken in will be more then the percentage paid out. For a slot machine or even a claw machine, something like

        a 60/40 split is fairly average. This means that for every $100 the machine takes in, it will pay out $40 (in prizes) and retain $60 (in profit).

        Scratch cards aren't any different. When a new set of cards come out, they determine the quantity and quality of the winners and then determine

        how many losers they need to print to create this positive cash flow. If they pay out 200 million in prizes, they are probably going to sell 300 million

        worth of losers. In my opinion, this is not an absurd idea. The lottery system (and any gambling systems) were created with the notion of being

        profitable. It offers "that chance" to the player... put your money down and spin the wheel. Most will lose, the lucky few will hit it big.

         

        Then we can move on to winning ticket distribution. I personally do not believe the lottery targets winners either by length of time into the game

        or by area. Right now our PA lottery has a $10 scratch card that has been out over a month and still has almost all of it's top prizes remaining. I've seen games drop half or more of their top prizes in a month or two before. Our own little area has had a 300K winner, a 250K winner, a 100K winner and others I'm sure I've missed in the last few years. A little po dunk town like the one I live in, with a population of 1000-1500 people with winners like that.

        Other people on this board feel differently, the feel that more people seem to win in certain bigger areas or maybe even areas that are of a certain demographic. I guess it's a little harder to prove one way or the other, but I've seen my small little town full of nobodys win quite a few big payouts (instants atleast). Heck even 15 min away from where I live a woman won a million in the millionaire raffle we have around two years ago.

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          Florida
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          Posted: October 20, 2015, 11:50 am - IP Logged

          An algorithm is just a series of steps directed at achieving a particular result. Brushing your teeth, putting on your shoes, driving to work, baking a cake, all algorithms. The word doesn't need to be as intimidating as it seems. In computing, algorithms do exactly the same thing. They take an input, put it through a series of steps, and (when functioning properly) return the desired output. No magic or trickery.

          The steps that go into creating instant lottery games (the algorithms) are directed first at supporting the the given Lottery's business model (as GetReal720 explained). The state Lottery in Florida is a multi-billion-dollar business. They're not going to allow a game to be created that pays any amount more (or, deliberately, less) than initially conceived in the game design. The odds aren't set by the tickets printed, the tickets are printed based on the set odds.

          Where distribution by time is concerned, we go back to the business model. There's generally a minimum distance (in number of books) between top prize winners in any game. This is pre-set and understandable. This direction is what enables top prizes to be disseminated during the progression of a game, and therefore keeps the games alive. No Lottery is going to throw away the millions of dollars that go into creating a particular game by allowing even the potential of dumping all of that game's big wins at once, nor should any player expect them to. I would run the business exactly the same way.

          Distribution by location has room for a bit of argument. In Florida there are certainly some oddities, the biggest (in my mind) being that some places (particularly, tiny little bergs) have a gross overabundance (read: improbable distribution) of top prize sales when compared against their far larger counterpart cities.

           

          Randomness is an entirely separate topic and basically irrelevant with respect to instant lottery games. Technically, outside of quantum computing, true randomness is impossible for random number generators. Hence all of them being called pseudo-RNGs. However, that absence of complete randomness only has practical impacts in cryptography, research mathematics, and scientific computing. There's no instant lottery system at such a scale that it would make any perceivable difference (you'd have to print and analyze billions of billions of tickets). For the sake of scratch-offs what dominates the results is the rules of the game design, and the [deliberate] game design supports the business of the Lottery (while also occasionally paying out big to a few very lucky players). The overwhelming majority of players couldn't care less, and for those of us that do it's either accept that the Lottery is a business and keep playing, or keep your money and don't play. The purpose for the existence of any Lottery is to make money for the state.

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            Raleigh, NC
            United States
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            May 28, 2015
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            Posted: October 20, 2015, 12:37 pm - IP Logged

            First of all I'd like to state that none of this is meant in a negative or derogatory way to the OP, anyone who has already posted

            in this thread, or anyone that will after wards.

             

             

            There are two things being discussed here, and I feel it's important to separate them. The first being that lottery games are created

            with the notion that the game will be profitable to the state, and the second being how the winning tickets are being distributed.

             

            Lets start off with the idea that these games were designed to be profitable for the state lotteries that run them. This concept is no different

            then what a casino does, or what a claw machine does. The idea is that a percentage of the money taken in is going to be paid out, and 

            of course that the percentage taken in will be more then the percentage paid out. For a slot machine or even a claw machine, something like

            a 60/40 split is fairly average. This means that for every $100 the machine takes in, it will pay out $40 (in prizes) and retain $60 (in profit).

            Scratch cards aren't any different. When a new set of cards come out, they determine the quantity and quality of the winners and then determine

            how many losers they need to print to create this positive cash flow. If they pay out 200 million in prizes, they are probably going to sell 300 million

            worth of losers. In my opinion, this is not an absurd idea. The lottery system (and any gambling systems) were created with the notion of being

            profitable. It offers "that chance" to the player... put your money down and spin the wheel. Most will lose, the lucky few will hit it big.

             

            Then we can move on to winning ticket distribution. I personally do not believe the lottery targets winners either by length of time into the game

            or by area. Right now our PA lottery has a $10 scratch card that has been out over a month and still has almost all of it's top prizes remaining. I've seen games drop half or more of their top prizes in a month or two before. Our own little area has had a 300K winner, a 250K winner, a 100K winner and others I'm sure I've missed in the last few years. A little po dunk town like the one I live in, with a population of 1000-1500 people with winners like that.

            Other people on this board feel differently, the feel that more people seem to win in certain bigger areas or maybe even areas that are of a certain demographic. I guess it's a little harder to prove one way or the other, but I've seen my small little town full of nobodys win quite a few big payouts (instants atleast). Heck even 15 min away from where I live a woman won a million in the millionaire raffle we have around two years ago.

            " Then we can move on to winning ticket distribution. I personally do not believe the lottery targets winners either by length of time into the game

             -  wrong. Of course they have set targets of time or specific lengths of time with which they " allow " a jackpot winner to come out. If they didn't, the lottery would lose it's rear end on a game !  You need to spend some time talking with an employee that works for G-Tech, Scientific Games or any other major lottery scratch card manufacturer in the U.S. or a college math professor who understands how algorithms are used in this way. In fact, it is the pre determined mathematical algorithm that spaces the jackpot winners far enough apart so that 95% of time or greater, the jackpot prizes will systematically evaporate at about the same rate as other prize levels.

            This does not happen in the natural and real world of 100% pure randomness. In the real and natural world of randomness, statisticians refer to unusual or unexpected happenings as outliers. It's a fact. A law of both mathematics and science. An example of an outlier in math as it relates to lottery scratch cards is when there are 5 jackpot prizes on a particular scratch card. The game is released on Monday. On Tuesday one is hit. Then let's say another just happens to be bought on Thursday. In a pure and truthful world of randomness, this does in fact sometimes happen even though it is not the norm or the expected. However, in state run lotteries, this never happens because the crooks have already paid a scratch card manufacturer to use an algorithm in the production of the cards so that the algorithm prevents this possible occurrence from happening.

            Here is the problem ... what all lottery participating Americans should take to their individual congressman as a complaint of wrongdoing and tampering ..... All state run lotteries advertise and promote their scratch card games as totally random opportunities to win any prize at any time during the life of the game. This is a lie because they know that is not a mathematical truth and possibility. It is false and misleading advertising.

            I understand that state run lotteries like casinos in our country are really just businesses or entities whose sole function and purpose is to generate revenue. I'm fine with that. No one has a problem with that. However, it is the lie that is being told and the deception that takes place that is crooked and should be illegal. The truth is, everyday in America there are millions of scratch cards being sold to individuals the day after one of the jackpot prizes for that game has been sold in that state to individuals, who if you interviewed them, would 99% of the time tell you they too have a chance to hit the big jackpot prize in that game. The reality is - they absolutely do not. The lottery's tampering with the production and distribution of the cards by use of a mathematical algorithm will not allow this to happen. It's a fact - Winning cards are systematically spaced apart so that the top tier larger prizes are not bunched together in certain time time intervals during the life of the game. If you and I were playing cards with a standard 52 card deck and even if we shuffled the cards very well and thoroughly, there is still a chance that 2 or 3 of the aces could be in the first 7 cards chosen. This sometimes happens in a real and truthful random world. This never happens in a lottery because they tamper with the natural randomness and then false advertise and lie to cover it up to trick the consumer into believing there is hope and chance where in fact, there is none at all.

            The truth is, the consumer does not always have a 100% random chance of winning any prize at any time in a particular game. What has happened the day, week or month before as it relates to winners of prizes has already pre-determined what is possible today.

            That is not fair, random chance gambling which are the words that state run lotteries use in the advertisement and promotion in their scheme of deception. Lotteries, discreetly albeit, only want to give the illusion that they are purely random in their games. If they actually ran their lottery gambling businesses the way they state they do in their advertising and promotion, they would all be broke and out of business by the end of the year. The laws of nature, science and mathematics would 100% guarantee it.

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              PA
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              Posted: October 20, 2015, 3:31 pm - IP Logged

              @EZMoney

               

              First of all, I respect your difference of opinion but I find the way you express it to be a little bit disrespectful. I have a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science, a minor in Mathematics and a successful career as a software engineer. While I'm not deep into the particular theories surrounding random distributions, statistics and probabilities... they are not foreign concepts to me and I have working understandings of each. 

               

              Here in Pennsylvania, I watch the PA lottery website very closely. I choose which cards I play based upon what percentage of top prize winning tickets are left, the prize levels, and the odds of winning any particular prize. The whole point in mentioning that is I've seen brand new games come out and have a few top prizes go right away. I've also seen games that are months and months old before a top prize is won. So to see one or two of the top prizes go out the door in the first few weeks, and see other games where it's several months before a top prize is hit, seems to suggest this targeted distribution system at the very least does have some element of randomness to it. Maybe it's different in other states, but I can speak to what I've seen happen by watching our own ticket sales and tracking top prizes remaining vs age of the game.

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                ozone park
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                Posted: October 21, 2015, 8:05 pm - IP Logged

                First of all, Lotteries are in the business to make money. If they did not make money why would they stay in business. Second, this was not a surprise, like you seem to think, like you discovered gold or something. For instance, In NYS Lottery we have a 30 dollar game called 1 million a year for life. They printed 21 million tickets and every 3.5 million tickets there was a winner. They had printed 6 top prize tickets and believe it or not I had predicted within a few days 3 times when I thought a winner should step forward just by knowing how many tickets were sold in a certain time period. But it is true that for every 3.5 million sold there was 1 winner. I do not find that deceptive. They are doing theri job. They gave to make money to support this prize of 1 million a year for life. Think about this, if an 18 year old kid wins he will get 1 milliona  year til he dies. If he lives 75 years he collected 75 million from this game alone. Most of these types of games now have a maxium total you canw in but this game did not have that. So they have to ensure that they sell all their tickets to make money. This does not upset me. I think it is fair. 

                Yes they have algarythms and they enusre that for every 3.5 million tickets sold their is a top prize ticket. What are they doing so wrong. I played for 5 years. I have won about 100 grand in this game alone. Did I spend more yes of cause but that was to my choosing. I did hit for 50 grand on one ticket. I never thought of deception. Now the one thing I dod not like, which is something I have stated over 50 times is that the tickets that are sent back by stores that close, change hands, go bankrupt, etc are destroyed. That for me is not good. But that has to change. Otherwise they have to sell to make money or this could not work. And people do win.

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                  Mass
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                  Posted: October 23, 2015, 9:27 am - IP Logged

                    wrong. Of course they have set targets of time or specific lengths of time with which they " allow " a jackpot winner to come out. If they didn't, the lottery would lose it's rear end on a game !  You need to spend some time talking with an employee that works for G-Tech, Scientific Games or any other major lottery scratch card manufacturer in the U.S. or a college math professor who understands how algorithms are used in this way. In fact, it is the pre determined mathematical algorithm that spaces the jackpot winners far enough apart so that 95% of time or greater, the jackpot prizes will systematically evaporate at about the same rate as other prize levels.

                   

                  You are wrong and here is why- All the tickets are printed at once and stored in a warehouse. The lottery distributes them to retailers when they are ordered by the retailer. So, if the lottery comes out with a super-interesting game that gamblers just cannot get enough of, they will fly off the shelves so quickly that the grand prizes will indeed get claimed quickly. This happened in Mass recently with a Halloween themed ticket. Mass does a limited run on seasonal tickets like these (25 million printed) and folks went nuts for them a few years back and they actually had to pull the remaining books of tickets BEFORE Halloween because due to their popularity, the top prizes went fast.

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                    Posted: October 23, 2015, 11:50 am - IP Logged

                    If it's supposed to be random then it should be random. If that means the grand prize winners are all in the first couple of months then that's fine. Also it could go the other way to all the winners at the end of the game. But I think we could all agree that scratch tickets are a rip they payless every year. May have bigger prizes but come on might as well play the powerball.

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                      FLORIDA
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                      Posted: October 23, 2015, 1:10 pm - IP Logged

                      yes when thy print 30 million tickets ant 22 million are losers they will make money, they arent there to give it away even though many of us would want it that way

                      biggest hit 10k, Jubilee, 5K Miami Heat, 2K Emerald 8s, 1k jubilee, 1k GRT, 1k heat wave, multiple 500's

                      good luck in the chase 2013 wins, maybe 4 500's


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                        Posted: November 18, 2015, 8:50 am - IP Logged

                        On my youtube channel I scratch only the big tickets that new york offers. and for the amount that i scratch i feel there should be a better chance of hitting something. If you want to get a good idea of the odds with New york tickets then stop by the channel and see. Every night I scratch at least two tickets  and you would think I would have had more winners then I had.

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                          Missouri
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                          Posted: December 1, 2015, 12:07 pm - IP Logged

                          I have no doubt that it isn't random just like any lottery in any State.

                          I live in Missouri and I go on the Lottery website to look at the top prizes still out there and that tells you they do it in waves. There are scratch-offs a year old that still hasn't gotten a winner on top prizes. I found that always an odd thing, but then again they don't want you to win anyway, or rather make it an easy task. If it was then, well everyone would be winning.

                           

                          I also believe they placed in certain areas. There was a person who hit $100,000 here in my town on a $5 scratch off last year.  There was also a $10,000 winner on a $20 ticket which happened to be my cousin.

                          But I guess it comes down to the old cliche' if you don't play you don't win. Well, sometimes you do...but the top prize is very elusive.

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                            Posted: December 2, 2015, 9:14 am - IP Logged

                            I believe the amount of turnover increases chances of a win. I live in a small town that's seen a 20k and 1M winner. People in small town want to move out of their snippy lives, so they gamble life savings away, forcing retailers to keep ordering books that could have gone to NYC or a casino.

                            2 - super scunion | 1 - quad scunion | few - triple scunion | 1 - super funion | some - double scunion | 1 - triple funion | lost count - scunion/funion

                            $1 - FTY | $2 - HUN | $3 - ZSA | $5/ $10 - FVH | $20 - UKA (playbook - HUN) | $25 - OQA | $30 ???