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Am I normal?

41 replies. Last post 3 hours ago by fish40.

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Florida
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November 23, 2016
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Posted: November 23, 2016, 2:24 pm - IP Logged

Hello,

I just started playing scratch-offs about a year ago and since then my life has gone downhill. I was a good saver and had well over $20K saved up since 2009 but that's all gone now. The most I ever won was $1000 twice, and the most I ever lost in a single day is around $1500. Keep in mind I'm only 22 years old but have never had a gambling problem. I can spend $50 at the Hard Rock and be happy, but with scratch-offs I just keep going until I'm broke.

I'm curious if there is anybody else like me out here? If so, do you have some tips about how you stopped or slowed down with scratch-offs? I would say just in 2016 I've played well over $40K in tickets. Bash

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    Posted: November 23, 2016, 2:54 pm - IP Logged

    Hello,

    I just started playing scratch-offs about a year ago and since then my life has gone downhill. I was a good saver and had well over $20K saved up since 2009 but that's all gone now. The most I ever won was $1000 twice, and the most I ever lost in a single day is around $1500. Keep in mind I'm only 22 years old but have never had a gambling problem. I can spend $50 at the Hard Rock and be happy, but with scratch-offs I just keep going until I'm broke.

    I'm curious if there is anybody else like me out here? If so, do you have some tips about how you stopped or slowed down with scratch-offs? I would say just in 2016 I've played well over $40K in tickets. Bash

    Hi fish40,

     

    We sound alot alike. I've probably played through a comparable amount of tickets, and I've only been playing scratchoffs for a year. I got hooked after my uncle gave me some for Christmas last year. I'm also 24, so a similar age as you.

     

    My advice is to seek out your local Gambler's Anonymous club. I plan on attending the one in my area as well. There's no shame in going, you recognize that you have an addiction and that is a big step. I have the same addiction, and we sound very alike in our habits.

     

    Personally, I have to go "cold turkey". If I play at all, I tend to want to go through many tickets at a time. It is a compulsive playing style that ultimately leads to being in the negative. I was down about $15,000 for this year, but I got lucky and found a much bigger win that resulted in me being ahead. Still, I recognize this as an addiction. My recommendation is to seek out GA if you notice it is hurting your finances.

     

    Best,

    Dracos.

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      November 23, 2016
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      Posted: November 23, 2016, 3:32 pm - IP Logged

      Hi Dracos,

      Congrats on the $100K win I saw, I'm very happy for you that you're now ahead. The first scratcher I ever purchased was $1 and it paid out $20, I filled up my gas tank and never played again for months. One afternoon I went to grab a bite at Wendy's, after lunch I decided to buy a few $2 ones at 7/11. I did win $200 on one of them, this is what got me hooked. The reason I played again is because on that particular day work was very slow and I was not making any money.

      I would be in different 7/11's for hours at a time and felt embarrassed. My brother is in college and he always got mad at me when I played because he always needed money for different things (food, books, etc.). I'm down in West Palm Beach in case you were wondering. Starting fresh again will be hard because before I started playing I had a nice amount saved, I guess Greed got the best of me.

      Happy Thanksgiving!

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        San Francisco, CA
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        Posted: November 23, 2016, 7:14 pm - IP Logged

        I would say you're normal because what you described is overwhelmingly the consensus of most lotto players, at one point or another. Scratchers are fast, more engaging than drawing games, and have powerful marketing strategies. The ticket advertises itself and becomes branded into your mind, while the risk-taking effect alters your brain chemistry. They are spectacular ploys.

        Most of us are enticed by the prospect of being rich and "winning" our way through life. We accept the system because there aren't many others like it. Ultimately, it's irrational to believe that you can buy salvation by playing scratchers. You can  invest in the hope that you'll win, but remember the lotteries takes no chances in ensuring they are profitable. They do this on the guarantee that the average person will lose.

        Play for entertainment and don't let your emotions get in the way.

        Hate the lottery, but no one's gonna pity you for foolish behavior.

         

        Casual players stop when the experience becomes uncomfortable and the entertainment aspect dissipates (or they never get to that stage).

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          Posted: November 24, 2016, 7:16 am - IP Logged

          I would say you're normal because what you described is overwhelmingly the consensus of most lotto players, at one point or another. Scratchers are fast, more engaging than drawing games, and have powerful marketing strategies. The ticket advertises itself and becomes branded into your mind, while the risk-taking effect alters your brain chemistry. They are spectacular ploys.

          Most of us are enticed by the prospect of being rich and "winning" our way through life. We accept the system because there aren't many others like it. Ultimately, it's irrational to believe that you can buy salvation by playing scratchers. You can  invest in the hope that you'll win, but remember the lotteries takes no chances in ensuring they are profitable. They do this on the guarantee that the average person will lose.

          Play for entertainment and don't let your emotions get in the way.

          Hate the lottery, but no one's gonna pity you for foolish behavior.

           

          Casual players stop when the experience becomes uncomfortable and the entertainment aspect dissipates (or they never get to that stage).

          Well said Dragon. 

           

          @ Fish, ah cool! I was just down in South, FL for work and spend a couple months down in Broward area but drove up to West Palm Beach alot. Every gambling story starts off with the person finding some type of big win. Are you a gamer? I'm a gamer, and I've noticed that gamers can sometimes be hooked quickly on lotteries. Fortunately, we have some very amazing people who use this forum who are swift to give good advice.

          The best advice I've received is to cut back, and find some type of strategy to play in moderation. You probably hear about so many stories where someone won a jackpot buying just one or two ticket. We may have tendencies to chase or buy large numbers of tickets, but we need to keep in mind that this only increases our likelihood of being in the negative. 

           

          Scratchoffs can be fun, and exciting when a person wins a good amount of money buying one or two at a time randomly. Heck, even a budget of $50/week on lottery can be justified. What we're currently doing, however, needs to stop or be reduced to reasonable play. Try walking into a store with only $20 in your pocket to force yourself to only buy one ticket at a time and then leave.

           

          We live and we learn. While you may feel bad about going through alot of your savings, take this as a learning experience. You're only 22, so you are very young and have your entire life in front of you. I felt bad about going through my savings at 24, but at our age consider this our "dumb 20s mistake" and come up with a new plan to ensure you're saving ample money and moderating your play if you still continue.

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            Posted: November 24, 2016, 10:50 am - IP Logged

            Thanks Dragon for that sound advice.

            I am not a gamer, the only person I know who has a gambling problem is my step brother. I have heard of those stories, one ticket is all you need to win and buying packs or being compulsive will not increase my odds. I am not rich or well off by any means, I scratched away money that was saved for starting my own business and now I cannot do that. Every time I won $500 or $100 but spent $600 or $150, I'd just buy more and end up loosing it all. The drive back home after loosing was horrible. 

            But hey, this thread is not meant to bash the lottery. This was MY mistake, no one forced me to play and like Dragon said, no one will pity me for what I've done. I hope all of you guys have a great thanksgiving. They're are some people out there who have outplayed us...

             

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              Posted: November 24, 2016, 11:05 am - IP Logged

              Thanks Dragon for that sound advice.

              I am not a gamer, the only person I know who has a gambling problem is my step brother. I have heard of those stories, one ticket is all you need to win and buying packs or being compulsive will not increase my odds. I am not rich or well off by any means, I scratched away money that was saved for starting my own business and now I cannot do that. Every time I won $500 or $100 but spent $600 or $150, I'd just buy more and end up loosing it all. The drive back home after loosing was horrible. 

              But hey, this thread is not meant to bash the lottery. This was MY mistake, no one forced me to play and like Dragon said, no one will pity me for what I've done. I hope all of you guys have a great thanksgiving. They're are some people out there who have outplayed us...

               

              You're very reflective, and extremely intelligent. I know you're going to be fine. 

               

              Wow, I haven't seen that video before. Now that's an insane amount to spend on scratch tickets! Did he hit big, or did he just use all of his disposable income to keep buying tickets?

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                Posted: November 24, 2016, 11:14 am - IP Logged

                He was a store owner, his biggest hit was $50K but then he ended up loosing a lot more. This was part of a documentary I watched about the state lotteries, a good flick if you have some spare time.

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                  Posted: November 29, 2016, 4:12 pm - IP Logged

                  Sorry guys but I did it again. Yesterday, after paying my FPL bill I ended up burning over $500 on scratchers. Now I am stuck with no money until my next check which isn't for another week or so. The casino never did this to me, I could last a few hours in a casino with $30-50 and have a great time but with the lottery I am just loosing so much in so little time! I keep telling myself that one day they will pay me back everything that I've lost which is well over $20K but it looks like I am just a sucker caught in their net.

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                    Posted: November 29, 2016, 7:28 pm - IP Logged

                    Sorry guys but I did it again. Yesterday, after paying my FPL bill I ended up burning over $500 on scratchers. Now I am stuck with no money until my next check which isn't for another week or so. The casino never did this to me, I could last a few hours in a casino with $30-50 and have a great time but with the lottery I am just loosing so much in so little time! I keep telling myself that one day they will pay me back everything that I've lost which is well over $20K but it looks like I am just a sucker caught in their net.

                    Not sure if this will help you, but I will give a suggestion. I'm a compulsive gambler, I can spend a ton of money on BlackJack, Poker, or Scratch Tickets on a whim. The way I can control myself is gamble with a friend or family member. I know this sounds weird, but it usually keeps me in line and not wanting to do stupid things in front of them. For example, I won't make $50 bets at the Blackjack table, I won't go on tilt in Poker and put $100 in a real hand on top pair, and most importantly, if I'm losing on scratch tickets, gambling with a friend or family member will make me not buy out a roll and "chase" a big winner. It's my way of not wanting to look bad in front of the ones I care about and care about me. It may or may not work for you, but if anyone is a recreational gambler in your family, I suggest gambling with them in spurts, and it should slow down your habit quite a bit.

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                      Posted: November 29, 2016, 7:54 pm - IP Logged

                      Sorry guys but I did it again. Yesterday, after paying my FPL bill I ended up burning over $500 on scratchers. Now I am stuck with no money until my next check which isn't for another week or so. The casino never did this to me, I could last a few hours in a casino with $30-50 and have a great time but with the lottery I am just loosing so much in so little time! I keep telling myself that one day they will pay me back everything that I've lost which is well over $20K but it looks like I am just a sucker caught in their net.

                      Also, to add to my original reply, I'm now over $1600 ahead at the casino this year now that I play with my Dad, $350 ahead this year on scratchers since playing with my Mom occasionally, and $340 ahead on Daily and yearly fantasy sports now that I play with two of my best friends every year. It helps not go on tilt and have a lot of fun with people I care about. I don't know if this would help you relax, but I would suggest this. I think playing with friends and family keeps you from snapping and spending the paycheck. It has for me this year, and I'm better off for it.

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                        Posted: November 29, 2016, 8:06 pm - IP Logged

                        Sorry guys but I did it again. Yesterday, after paying my FPL bill I ended up burning over $500 on scratchers. Now I am stuck with no money until my next check which isn't for another week or so. The casino never did this to me, I could last a few hours in a casino with $30-50 and have a great time but with the lottery I am just loosing so much in so little time! I keep telling myself that one day they will pay me back everything that I've lost which is well over $20K but it looks like I am just a sucker caught in their net.

                        dear Fish40 I am sorry to be the one to tell you this it but there is another reason to your gambling problem and you are blaming it on the lottery. Another thing is you have to believe in yourself and know you are strong enough to walk away the reason you are not winning is because you are stressing yourself and putting yourself in worse place by spending your money. The more negative feelings you have the more you lose money. You need help you need to join and get back on track you need to be stronger than this only you have the power to control your self. Remember you can do it.

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                          Posted: November 29, 2016, 8:23 pm - IP Logged

                          Hello,

                          I just started playing scratch-offs about a year ago and since then my life has gone downhill. I was a good saver and had well over $20K saved up since 2009 but that's all gone now. The most I ever won was $1000 twice, and the most I ever lost in a single day is around $1500. Keep in mind I'm only 22 years old but have never had a gambling problem. I can spend $50 at the Hard Rock and be happy, but with scratch-offs I just keep going until I'm broke.

                          I'm curious if there is anybody else like me out here? If so, do you have some tips about how you stopped or slowed down with scratch-offs? I would say just in 2016 I've played well over $40K in tickets. Bash

                          Everybody's giving you strong advice. No you are not normal. There's an old school player here who says something like this, small frequent wins is the way to play and make money, etc etc. I'm paraphrasing. You'll never win by losing large amounts. Think how hard it is to just get a little at times. So you see where I'm going. Put your mind on something else that you decided wasn't important because of scratching. Decide that's what you want to think about instead. You'll get over it. Trust me I was there once too. Until you realize that a $5 win or $50 win is nothing compared to the aggravation of not winning, you'll never see the big picture. And that is those games are meant for just play, meaning fun. Or at least set a budget if that's what's bothering you. 

                          The average payout on a book of scratch it tickets is less than 50%. Do you buy whole books? I used to. It sucks when you start with $1000 and you end up with $250 and you still ain't had enough. Blaming yourself instead of seeing the picture clearly. Yeah you get a little back, but at 40K well I think you'd have to wash the tips of your fingers pretty well. And I'm not sure that it's worth it. Those things aggravate everyone that plays them. And most of the time they just give you your money back. Once again they're meant for just fun

                          You're young dude. 40K disposable income should be used to build your life for the future, for the things you need in the future. You don't need a bunch of garbage around you, do you? Take your time, you're just not seeing that it's really not much to think about. I hope you decide to go back uphill from here.

                          The having money one second and then not having it the next, and realizing that I've spent a whole bunch of greenbacks and gotten absolutely nothing back in return was enough to slow me down. And plus, my girl didn't really approve either. How am I gonna tell my girl she's important if I'm spending money on scratchers and spending time scratching instead of spending time with her. Come on now.

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                            Posted: November 29, 2016, 9:34 pm - IP Logged

                            Thank you for the replies. I know my problem is not because of the lottery but it doesn't help when I buy gas or milk, or even go to the mall and there's a bin full of scratchers. $200 cost me over $20K, $40K was the amount of tickets I've probably scratched in total. I've only purchased two books, the first one was around $545 out of $600 back and the second was $350 out of $600. These were $20 cards, the old and new Gold Rush series.

                            I used to be a real good saver/penny pincher, my goal was to win enough to buy a small house in full which in my area is around $150K. This $20K really hurt me and I'm not sure what to tell my brain when it asks "Which ticket will be the one that gets me back in the black?". Back to work I go!

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                              Posted: November 29, 2016, 10:35 pm - IP Logged

                              About a decade ago I would go out to lunch with a co-worker, and after lunch he'd stop by the local grocery store to pick up a few scratch-off tickets. At the time I had no idea what they were or how to play but I went ahead and bought a few as well.

                              Eventually it became a habit with the two of us and we'd even go to other boroughs after work to buy the 'hot' tickets. Neither of us ever won big. We also never spent big.

                              I eventually left that job and started to buy tickets on my own and now, all of these years later have spent a great deal of money on those tickets but have also gotten some back in return, although nowhere near what was spent.

                              Which is ok. Two things to always remember and never forget when playing scratch-offs: Always play in moderation and always play for the entertainment value and not with the hopes or expectations of winning a big prize or THE big prize.

                              If you hit a big prize, congratulations! But it shouldn't be that all the winnings are re-invested in gambling. Is that really the point of winning big?

                              I get that it's all about the chase but there has to come a point where you have to stop the chase. It gets tiring after a while.

                              Play the game, don't ever let it play you.