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New to Scratch-off games, had some questions

Topic closed. 7 replies. Last post 9 months ago by rgse90.

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California
United States
Member #173360
February 28, 2016
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Posted: February 28, 2016, 4:40 am - IP Logged

Just started playing some scratch off games recently (am in california) and had some questions:

1) So far I've bought about $300 worth of Scratchers and won around $100 back. Is that normal, or am I lucky/unlucky so far?

2) Is it better to buy from one of those automatic machines than from a person behind a counter? or does that not matter?

3) Is it better to buy from big chains or from mom-and-pop stores?

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    Florida
    United States
    Member #172872
    February 7, 2016
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    Posted: February 28, 2016, 8:48 am - IP Logged

    Just started playing some scratch off games recently (am in california) and had some questions:

    1) So far I've bought about $300 worth of Scratchers and won around $100 back. Is that normal, or am I lucky/unlucky so far?

    2) Is it better to buy from one of those automatic machines than from a person behind a counter? or does that not matter?

    3) Is it better to buy from big chains or from mom-and-pop stores?

    1. Which types of tickets did you play? ($5, $10, $20, a combination)? I haven't played California Lottery, but here in Florida I'd say that's a bad (but average return). I've spent $300 on tickets only to get $50 back while purchasing $20-$25 tickets. I've also spent $200, and won $1000 before. Timing is everything. 
    2. Machines vs customer service counters don't matter. The machines normally go through a roll of tickets much faster.
    3. There are big winners found at both, truthfully and randomly. Typically, stores that sell the largest number of tickets see more winners simply due to those stores reordering larger quantities. For example, in my state Publix has been known to be a store to yield a fairly large number of winners.

    Some scratchers have different rules they follow. Personally, I never like buying the first and last ticket of a roll because they always tend to be losers. I tend to win the most when I buy tickets in the ranges 6-13, 18-25. Usually whenever I buy outside of those ranges I get "rekt", haha. 

    These are my observations from playing the Florida Lottery. With any lottery, timing and place is crucial. You can buy $500 worth of tickets and lose $400. A person can come in right behind you and buy 1 ticket from the same pile and win $1000. I've seen such things happen before.

      woody4591's avatar - woodywoodpecker
      Morristown, NJ
      United States
      Member #172032
      January 14, 2016
      57 Posts
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      Posted: February 28, 2016, 1:36 pm - IP Logged

      1) I don't recommend buying scratch offs at all. That same $300 would have purchased 600 quick pick 4's (boxed) which may have given you far more than a $100 return. Typically a scratch game pays back anywhere from 50% to 75%  with the higher priced tickets giving bigger returns. That being said a $300 book of tickets should return you $150 to $225.

      2) Doesn't matter although the the machines sometimes mess up and it's a hassle to get refunded.

      3) Big stores are better because the lottery knows where the big winners are going beforehand, and will generate more sales from a big chain winner.

       

      Hope this helps

      If its the instant return that you fancy, just buy your quick 4 tickets 5 min before drawing.

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        South Carolina
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        July 9, 2005
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        Posted: February 28, 2016, 3:47 pm - IP Logged

        Just started playing some scratch off games recently (am in california) and had some questions:

        1) So far I've bought about $300 worth of Scratchers and won around $100 back. Is that normal, or am I lucky/unlucky so far?

        2) Is it better to buy from one of those automatic machines than from a person behind a counter? or does that not matter?

        3) Is it better to buy from big chains or from mom-and-pop stores?

        1) Perfectly normal return.  Expect to lose more than you win, especially if you're wasting money on $1 /$2 scratch offs.  In general, scratch offs are a waste of money.  But if you insist on spending your money like this, purchase the $5 /$10 / $20 scratch offs instead, b/c you will usually have a better chance at winning a more significant amount of $$$.

        2) Automatic machines sometimes screw up, and eat your money, instead of spitting out a scratch off ticket.

        3) Big chains vs. Mom & Pop stores - doesn't really matter. Some people claim to have better luck winning at Mom & Pop stores.  You should definitely cash your ticket [if less than $500] at a Big Chain store, b/c they are more likely to have sufficient money on hand to pay you. Mom & Pop stores always claim that they don't have the money to spare to pay for your winning ticket.

        4) Best Advice - Stop wasting money on scratch offs, and concentrate on Pick 4 instead. Pick 4 should be everyone's Game of Choice.

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          Jacksonville
          United States
          Member #153806
          March 26, 2014
          345 Posts
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          Posted: February 28, 2016, 8:46 pm - IP Logged

          1) Most states have a roughly 50% rate of return on scratch-off tickets.  Some people here will tell you it's better to play the pick 4 or 5 drawing games, etc.  It all depends on what you want.  The pick 4 games will have better lower tier payouts, but the money is not life-changing so I don't care to spend the money.  I play $10 to $20 scratch-off tickets because I hope that if all the stars align properly, I can hit one of the $1M or $2M prizes which would be life changing money.  Although the lotto, Powerball and MegaMillions have large jackpots, you will never win them, ever

          2)  It does not matter where you buy the tickets.  Nobody can tell you where the winners are.  The only reason that large grocery store chains have more top prize winners is because they sell more tickets.  Their share of top prize winners is no greater than anyone else.

          3)  It does not matter.  Buy where you feel luckier. 

          If you do continue to play, you should decide whether you want to play the $1/$2/$5 games or go for the $10/$20/$25 games.  The higher price points typically have better overall payouts, but you can lose money a lot faster because the tickets are more expensive. 

          As with anything, stay within your means.  The only other meaningful advice I can give you is that if you do get a big win (e.g., $500 or more), keep the cash.  You are going to feel the overwhelming desire to buy more tickets thinking you are going to repeat your success.  But it almost never happens and when you realize it, you will have spent more than half of your big win trying to chase the next one.

          In any event, good luck and I hope you hit a big one.

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            California
            United States
            Member #173360
            February 28, 2016
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            Posted: February 29, 2016, 12:40 am - IP Logged

            Thanks for the answers so far,

            I buy mostly $10 scratchers, sometimes $5 and $20. I realize less I shouldnt buy any tickets less then $5.

            Another thing I've been reading a lot on the forums is that I should be looking in the series number  ( or book/roll number? not sure what the term is)  of the tickets like if I buy a ticket and it's the first or end of the series (like #1 or #50) I shouldn't buy anymore since those tickets are duds and should instead go to a different store/machine and buy tickets in middle of roll(like #25) is there any truth to that? Will the jackpot never be in the first or last tickets of a roll? Also how do you k now how many tickets are in a roll?

              woody4591's avatar - woodywoodpecker
              Morristown, NJ
              United States
              Member #172032
              January 14, 2016
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              Posted: February 29, 2016, 1:20 pm - IP Logged

              Here in New Jersey, each book has a value of $300 so divide the 300 by the face value to see how many in book. I personally don't think it matters what the ticket number is. If buying multiple tickets at a time however I suggest buying all from the same roll as apposed to different rolls. My reasoning and experience is that you more likely to have 4 losers from 4 different rolls than one winner from 4 of the same roll. Then use that winner to buy from different roll.

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                ozone park
                United States
                Member #57042
                December 15, 2007
                274 Posts
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                Posted: February 29, 2016, 6:11 pm - IP Logged

                There is no edge no way to play no secret sauce so to speak no way to gain the edge. If it is meant ot be you will hit that is the facts. Play for fun. Play for the thrill play for the happiness. If your first and only thought is to win stop playing. You will win if it is meant to be and that is the fact.