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Are Lotteries Rigged

Topic closed. 169 replies. Last post 12 years ago by CASH Only.

Page 2 of 12

Do you honestly believe Lotteries are Rigged

Absolutely [ 34 ]  [19.21%]
Yes [ 27 ]  [15.25%]
Maybe [ 40 ]  [22.60%]
no [ 38 ]  [21.47%]
Absolutely not, otherwise I wouldn't play [ 31 ]  [17.51%]
Who cares I play for fun [ 7 ]  [3.95%]
Total Valid Votes [ 177 ]  
Discarded Votes [ 26 ]  
Columbia City, Indiana
United States
Member #2978
December 9, 2003
381 Posts
Posted: December 11, 2003, 3:13 am - IP Logged

Well, where should I start? I believe that, for the most part, state-run lotteries are honest games but, like any other industry that generates hundreds of millions of dollars, they're subject to an element of deception, fraud and corruption. 

I live in Indiana (not on purpose; my wife is from here), and I've played almost every online game they offer at one time or another. I bought an expensive Pick-4 system last year and used it religiously every day for several months, without a single hit. When I added up my losing tickets, I discovered that I had spent over $10,000.00 on Pick-4 tickets with absolutely no return. (I'll pause here to let the laughter die down a bit.)

I emailed the company and threatened to sue, but the most I could recover would have been the $495.00 purchase price, and the attorney wanted a $500.00 retainer, so I let it go.

While I realize that no one can win every day, it stands to reason that no one can lose every day, either. So, I began to look into the Hoosier Lottery and their methods. Here's what I found out: The Hoosier Lottery did away with ping-pong balls and began using a computerized electronic random number generator for all their online games sometime in 2000, but they won't say when this change was made, and they didn't bother to inform the public about the switch. In addition, at about this same time, they stopped airing live drawings, as required by Indiana law (IC4-30-3-7 (4)), citing "broadcasting conflicts."

On the back of any Indiana Daily Game bet slip there is a disclaimer which states, "The Hoosier Lottery reserves the right to limit the selection of certain numbers." I asked a regional sales manager how they would know which numbers I've played and she told me, "Our central computer keeps track of all that. If a certain dollar amount is bet on a certain number, then that number is red-flagged." "So," I asked, "you know which numbers I've played and how much I've bet on each number, and you have this information before the drawing?" She replied, "Yes; we even know where you bought your tickets." Every state surrounding us has pre-published liability limits in place. For example, Michigan won't pay more than $1.5M for a single hit in their daily games. This protects them from losing money on an over-played number. Indiana, however, prefers to track player selections in the interest of "...fiscal responsibility. If too much money is bet on a certain number, and that number hits, we might end up paying out more than we took in, as happened in New York on 9/11/02." The way I see it, when I buy a Pick-4 ticket, the odds are 10,000 to 1 against me; that's the chance I take. Without liability limits in place, if they have to pay out more than they took in, that's the chance THEY take. They have no business with that information. No one has been able to convince me that an RNG can guarantee the same odds as three or four bins of ping-pong balls. Oddly, they do broadcast the drawing at least 42 minutes after it takes place, and the program is animated to look like ping-pong balls. Consequently, of the hundred or so people I spoke with, every one of them believes the drawing is still done using ping-pong balls. They're certain of this, because they've watched it on TV.

I chased a number for almost three weeks. On the first night I didn't play $10.00 on 3557, it hit. Three friends of mine from two different nearby cities had the same thing happen to them. "Beth" (names are changed) played $10.00 on the same Pick-4 number for a week, then reduced her bet to $5.00 for five days. On the sixth day, she went home with a migraine headache and neglected to buy her ticket. Her number hit that night. "Mary" was playing all the triples in Indiana's Midday Pick-3 game, for ten dollars each ($100.00). On July 1st, she went to buy her tickets, but couldn't get the machine to print a ticket for "333." When the attendant ran her bet slip through, she got a message saying, "Selection Refused." She paid her $90.00 and went home. That night when she checked her numbers, you guessed it, 333 had hit that afternoon. 

We all stopped playing the Indiana games, and I decided I had nothing to lose by trying the system I was using in Ohio. I printed out their past results and entered them into the grids. I had about $100.00 invested over five days, and on the sixth day, I won $6,800.00. I had bet $30.00 and had only played two numbers. Due to handing an attendant the wrong bet slip, I had $17.00 on one number and $13.00 on the other.  

We recently had a Lotto jackpot over $28M. This pool built up over several weeks, as our lotto rolls over in increments of only $500k. Ours is a 6/48 game, so the odds are 1:12,271,512. With ticket sales of $20M per draw (a conservative estimate since we have four border states), this means that 16 million more losing tickets were sold each week, for two or three months, than the twelve million possible combinations, without producing a jackpot winner! I'm not saying it's impossible but, mathematically, it's very unlikely that the jackpot in an honest 6/48 game would reach a level much above $10M.

The Hoosier Lottery is not a state-run game. IC4-30-1-2(2) states: "In construing this article it is the intent of the general assembly that the following policies be carried out: (1) "That the lottery games be operated by the state lottery commission, which is created by IC4-30-3 as a separate body politic and corporate from state government and should function as much as possible as an entrepreneurial business enterprise." Can you say WorldCom... or Tyco...or Enron???

Now, my final point: Since the law (IC4-30-3-7(4)) states that "...the drawing must be public," I called the Hoosier Lottery and told them that I would like to watch a live drawing. My request was summarily refused. When I asked why, I was told, "It's a closed set." I'm no genius, but I know that if something is computerized, it uses a PROM chip or an EPROM chip, which means that it can be programmed. Consider this: If the Hoosier Lottery has their little "computerized electronic random number generator" tied into their "central computer," which tracks players' selections and wager amounts, they can easily minimize payouts on their daily games and, at the same time, build their Lotto jackpot at will (bigger jackpots = more ticket sales), and who would know?

In the poll at the top of this page, there is one choice missing: "Some are; some aren't." Indiana will not get even one more of my "voluntary tax" dollars. It's just a shame that I had to recoup some of my losses from Ohio which, in my opinion, is an honest game. I will say this, and I challenge the state of Indiana, and/or the Indiana lottery commission, to sue me for it: The Hoosier Lottery is rigged against the players. If you live in or near Indiana and you've read this, and you continue to play their online games (I have nothing to say about their scratch-off tickets, because I don't play those, either), you might as well play the foreign lotteries; your chances of winning are just as good.

Before I get flamed by some Indiana player who has won $200 to $1,000 on a few box bets, keep in mind that my position is not that nobody ever wins, but that the Hoosier Lottery will minimize their payouts by programming their RNG to recognize the number which has the least amount of money wagered on it, and then to generate that number in the drawing. It's not in my interest to keep people from playing the lottery; I just want as many people as possible to be aware of what's going on in Indiana. I haven't posted anything here that can't be verified, and it would be naive to think that a state lottery is exempt from criminal activity. Even if I'm wrong about this, even if all of these dvents prove to be an unlikely coincidence, the mere fact that the possibility of corruption and fraud exists is unacceptable. Why change from the ping-pong ball method? It doesn't save any money, since they still pay the woman to read the numbers as they're drawn. They won't tell me why; they no longer answer my emails or take my phone calls (as soon as I identify myself, I'm mysteriously disconnected).  

If anyone else out there has had a similar experience with the Hoosier Lottery games, please post a reply. I would love to hear it.

Continued good luck to all of you.

    Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
    Chief Bottle Washer
    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #1
    May 31, 2000
    23277 Posts
    Posted: December 11, 2003, 7:42 am - IP Logged

    I agree on your points about the "closed set" (lack of public access) and computerized drawings.  I think both practices should be banned because of possiblility of fraud.

    I don't know why you're surprised that the lottery knows all the numbers being played, and where the tickets were sold.  I should hope they know all that - if they didn't we'd all be in trouble.

    It is also a common practice in states with fixed payouts (as opposed to pari-mutuel) that they will limit the number of tickets that can be bought for a particular combination.  They don't want 10 million people to all hit 1-2-3 and bankrupt the lottery.

    As for your lottery numbers coming up on the one drawing that you don't play them, well, welcome to the club.


    Check the State Lottery Report Card
    What grade did your lottery earn?


    Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
    Help eliminate computerized drawings!

      Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg
      FEMA Region V Camp #21
      United States
      Member #520
      July 27, 2002
      5699 Posts
      Posted: December 11, 2003, 9:05 am - IP Logged

      Bryan, you are right about the "extra" game and the lottery answered you truthfully on that one....it's the equivalent of a scratch off ticket.  It is not random.

      With regards to the other points mentioned in this thread, in 99.999% of the cases your state's lottery is not rigged in any way.  It has only been proven to happen once in the past 20 years (PA, pick 3, many years ago) to the best of my knowledge.

      I don't know how other states conduct their lotteries, but in IL their are 15 machines for the P-3 and 4.  They are chosen in a separate random drawing to determine which machines to use.  The machines are individually tested many times before the drawing by an independent accounting company.  The whole process takes a couple of hours and is very dilligently done.  Also each ball is weighed with a very slim margin of variance allowed.  I would think the probability of "rigging" is almost nil.  Why would the state take a chance of ruining its cash cow.  They are already getting 50% of the take so there is no motive for them.  Individuals might try to manipulate the game, but if they are caught you can bet your state will go after them with a vengeance.

      Computer derived picks are a whole 'nuther story.  There is a wide open arena for dishonesty and if my state goes to that method I will stop playing.

      Posted 4/6:  IL Pick 3 midday and evening until they hit:  555, 347 (str8).

        megamillionaire's avatar - Sphere animated_small_ neg2.gif
        Queens, NY
        United States
        Member #245
        April 15, 2002
        451 Posts
        Posted: December 11, 2003, 9:09 am - IP Logged

        New York also limits the playing of certain numbers, for example 777 seems to be a popular number and I've seen many players being told that the number is closed for the day. Numbers with significance, like crashed airplanes, disaster dates are closed if too many people try to play them. As Todd said, to many winners could bankrupt the system. I remember when the mob run numbers (which paid better than the government does and you could play as little as a penny) would also stop taking certain numbers.


        Time is a wonderful teacher, but it kills all its students.

        A man must consider what a rich realm he leaves when he becomes a conformist.

          lottoshlep's avatar - super 7-top-over.jpg
          Member #2120
          August 19, 2003
          258 Posts
          Posted: December 11, 2003, 9:37 am - IP Logged
          Quote: O

          if at first you don't succeed ... destroy all evidence you ever tried  Cool 

            johnph77's avatar - avatar
            United States
            Member #2987
            December 10, 2003
            832 Posts
            Posted: December 11, 2003, 4:47 pm - IP Logged

            Any lottery can be manipulated. Period. Anyone who says they've invented a foolproof system of any sort hasn't fully taken into consideration the fools who run it. Given certain pre-existing conditions, balls can be weighed; random number generators can be programmed or predicted.

            But this thread seems to have divided itself into two different parts - the daily games and the jackpot drawings. As far as the daily games go, I'm a little surprised at any jurisdiction that would limit sales of a particular number, like 777. Are the players who select these numbers then playing other numbers or are they refusing to buy tickets to that game at all, thereby lowering the the total take? Is the jurisdiction working on that thin a float? Having to pay out on a number like 777 is a once-almost-every-three-year aberration. The number loses on a straight ticket the rest of the time no matter how many players select it. Over that three-year period after most of the rest of the numbers have come out the state is still going to get their designated cut.

            Large jackpot games can also be manipulated, whether by the above means or by non-random number selection by any other means. But what's the point? Almost all of the larger payouts in state-owned lotteries are paid on a pari-mutuel basis. The player is taking all the risk, The state is going to get their cut no matter what numbers are drawn or how many winning tickets are sold. And, since the larger payouts are paid on an annuity basis, the prize is reduced by economic inflation and by the state earning interest on (or by otherwise utilizing) the escrowed money.

            Some exceptions exist. In Indiana, the Hoosier Lottery has pari-mutuel payouts for the top prizes. The Cash 5, though, is a straight cash payout game with set payouts at each prize level. But the payout percentage on Cash 5 is only 50.37%. It's a cash cow. There is no reason for any number manipulation except for individual gain, and that would have to be done by someone familiar with, and involved in the operation of, that game. Over the long term, Indiana will still receive 49.63% of all the money the players bet. They'd have to be damned fools to violate a bettor's trust. I realize stranger things have happened, though.....

            I was unable to find a game called "Xtra" except in the United Kingdom. Where is it played? I'd like to get the game information to post on my page.



              LaurainMass's avatar - strawberry
              United States
              Member #2924
              December 2, 2003
              65 Posts
              Posted: December 11, 2003, 5:52 pm - IP Logged

              I cannot speak for the rest of the Country ( of course not telling you nothing new) But Massachusetts and New Hampshire has had it's ups and downs.Any cheers for fate?


                Columbia City, Indiana
                United States
                Member #2978
                December 9, 2003
                381 Posts
                Posted: December 11, 2003, 9:43 pm - IP Logged

                To johnph77:

                Of course you're right about parimutuel payouts on lower-tiered prizes in the Pick-5 daily game and the Hoosier Lotto, the only two games in Indiana which offer a parimutuel payout. However, the state's cut of the ticket sales is NOT always the 49.63% they would have us believe. For example, if they sell 20M tickets for one drawing and there is no winner, the prize pool only increases by $500,000.00. The other $19.5M goes right into the state coffers. If they sell 50M tickets, or 100M tickets, the jackpot still increases by only $500k.

                If this were the only issue here, it would be easy enough to laugh it off, forget about it and continue playing. But when you consider that they don't air the drawing live (again, as required by state law); that they have no published liability limits; that they know, prior to each drawing, which numbers have been played most heavily; that they don't air the drawing for a minimum of 42 minutes AFTER it takes place; that they obviously didn't want the public to know that they changed the drawing method from ping-pong balls to an RNG, and given the current state deficit, these "games" begin to take on a rather sinister air.

                I can find nothing to indicate that the commission would not feel completely safe in manipulating these online games. Who would know? Lottery players are more accustomed to losing than winning, so why would anyone even question it? Strangely, the Hoosier Lottery isn't even part of our state government. According to IC4-30-1-2 Sec. 2. "In construing this article it is the intent of the general assembly that the following policies be carried out: (1) That the lottery games be operated by the state lottery commission, which is created by IC4-30-3 as a separate body politic and corporate from state government, and should function as much as possible as an entrepreneurial business enterprise." The Indiana State Ethics Commission was created specifically to govern the Indiana lottery commission, but it's a joke. Their rules are laid down by Title 65 of the Indiana Code. 65 IAC 1-4-1(c) defines "Conflict of Interest: A situation in which a person's private interest, usually of a financial or economic nature, may influence the person's judgment in the performance of the person's public duty." However, 65 IAC 1-4-3 Sec. 3. (a) states, "Conflict of Interest: Any conduct that would lead a reasonable person, knowing all the circumstances, to a conclusion that a member, officer or employee has a conflict of interest or is biased is unacceptable." On the last page, we find 65 IAC 1-4-9 Sec 9., Consequences of Violation, "Violation of this rule may (italics are mine) constitute cause for removal of a member from the commission, or result in disciplinary action, including termination, for an officer or employee (Notice the omission of the word "member"). The commission may waive  a violation of the terms of this rule if it determines that the conduct involved does not violate the purpose of this rule. Violation of this rule does not create a private cause of action in favor of any person." How can any violation of this rule not violate its purpose???

                In other words, if someone who works for the lottery commission (officer or employee) violates the Conflict of Interest Rule, he or she might be fired, or not. In addition, if you catch an officer or employee violating this rule, you have no cause to sue over it, because the law says so. If you catch a commission member violating this rule, well, that member might be removed from the commission, or not. It seems to me they've covered themselves almost too well.

                Only time will tell if my suspicions are correct. In the meantime, I'm going to keep digging. For me, as for most of you, it's really not about the money; it's about overcoming insurmountable odds and beating the game. Keep in mind that the lottery games are not comparable to casino games; the state lotteries can't just arbitrarily engineer an additional house edge whenever or however they want, such as barring card-counters from the blackjack tables. Facing odds of 1,000 to 1 or 10,000 to 1 is daunting enough, but when the odds are stacked hopelessly in their favor, what's the point of playing at all? Why not just write a check every month and send it to the state lottery? No, that's no answer for any serious systems player. I'll still play in Ohio and Michigan, and I'll more than likely lose more often than I win, but Indiana won't benefit from my losses.

                When I have more information, I'll post it here, unless you guys are sick of hearing about it.

                  visiondude's avatar - eye3logo
                  light on my feet
                  United States
                  Member #356
                  May 20, 2002
                  2744 Posts
                  Posted: December 11, 2003, 10:40 pm - IP Logged
                  Quote: O

                              "i am .........."meant to"       

                  P.S.,  that RJoH  is a stand up guy.  thanks,  vision

                           until further notice,  it's  france everyday

                    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                    United States
                    Member #9
                    March 24, 2001
                    19831 Posts
                    Posted: December 12, 2003, 12:15 am - IP Logged
                    Quote: Originally posted by johnph77 on December 11, 2003

                    Anyone who says they've invented a foolproof system of any sort hasn't fully taken into consideration the fools who run it. 

                    I certainly agree with that. Some years ago, Ohio lottery had a drawing for losers in which they were going to award the unclaimed prize money to losers who mailed in their losing tickets. Each ticket was to be placed in an envelope and mailed to Cleveland lottery headquarters.  It turned out that 40% the winners worked in the Cleveland post office because the postal workers put their envelopes in the top of the mail bags and the people at the lottery place would open the mail bags pick a few envelopes from the top thinking the mail bags were mixed and dump the rest.  They got suspicious when several postal workers won several large prizes, the distribution of the prizes weren't equal state wide.  The lottery didn't blame any of its lazy employees, but blamed the postal workers and filed criminal charges against them.


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

                      johnph77's avatar - avatar
                      United States
                      Member #2987
                      December 10, 2003
                      832 Posts
                      Posted: December 12, 2003, 2:29 am - IP Logged

                      Jim, political discussions, even about lottery oversight, are probably outside the scope of this furum, but I'd be interested in what yuo should find and accomplish.

                      FYI, I ran some of the information provided by the Indiana Lottery website on the Hoosier Lottery through my software and was mildly surprised. Given the average quoted pari-mutuel payouts, the payout percentage for the game with the base million dollar jackpot is a paltry 33.62%. The million dollar jackpot constitutes 24.24% of the prize pool and 8.15% of the income should all possible tickets be sold. Is there a minimum payout percentage mandated by the commission or state law?



                        beltsville, md
                        United States
                        Member #2846
                        November 21, 2003
                        15 Posts
                        Posted: December 12, 2003, 3:21 am - IP Logged

                        dear players,

                        i have been following this thread for sometime now but can't help to think the following: the states wouldn't risk messing with the games simply because any current employee involved in a scandal of that nature is a potential whisle blower waiting to go off.  most, if not all, of the corporate scandals we have seen in recent years have been brought to public attention by some former employee who was unhabby with their employer over something or another.  if a lottery scandal of the enron scale were to break out the entire system would collapse as players refuse to be suckered into a system that was rigged to snow them on every drawing.

                        cheers, hitchaser...

                          Columbia City, Indiana
                          United States
                          Member #2978
                          December 9, 2003
                          381 Posts
                          Posted: December 12, 2003, 8:56 am - IP Logged

                          To johnph77:

                          No, there is no mandated minimum payout for any of our games. Thanks for doing the math on the payouts, though. This is valuable information that I can use in my little crusade. I don't necessarily agree that this discussion is outside the scope of this forum (after all, the header reads, "Are Lotteries Rigged?"), but I certainly don't want to offend anyone here, so this will be my last post on the matter. This is my battle and I had no right to involve any of you in it. Actually, I was hoping to find other Indiana players who have had similar experiences with the Indiana games, and to let them know that the drawings are no longer conducted using ping-pong balls, as most people seem to believe. I'll continue to post on other areas of this site and, when this is all over, I'll let you know how it comes out.

                          To laurajean:  Fate: Yippee.

                          To hitchaser:

                          Yes, I agree; the states probably wouldn't risk manipulating the games, simply because most politicians live their lives under the media microscope. However, as I pointed out in my last post, no politicians are involved in the operation of the lottery. It runs as a seperate and private business enterprise and therefore is not subject to state accounting rules and regulations. An annual report is given to the governor every February but, if he's happy with the numbers, he probably won't care how they got them. As for whistleblowers, the Indiana lottery commission is made up of five appointed members who get large salaries, free cars, expense accounts and other perks. This is justified by the fact that anyone who works for the lottery is not allowed to play. So unless one or more of them gets greedy and tries to screw the others, the chance that any of them would go public is slim. No one involved in any criminal activity thinks they'll be caught until they find themselves in handcuffs, no matter how large the entity. Look at Enron, Worldcom, Tyco, Merrill-Lynch, Arthur Anderson... the list is practically endless, but do you honestly believe that even one of these people thought they would ever be found out? I'll point out once more that I realize I could be wrong about this entire situation. The evidence I have indicates otherwise, but I'm not foolish enough to believe that these two folders contain every shred of information on this scenario. I would like nothing more than to hear their side of the story, but they're not exactly forthcoming with information; they stopped talking to me when I asked them about published liability limits. I'm only trying to gather verifiable information to prove or disprove my suspicions. If I'm wrong, I'll gladly admit it and apologize. But if I'm right, well, maybe I can save a few players some money. Either way, I won't play in Indiana as long as they're drawing the numbers with an RNG.

                          I'll wrap this up with an anecdote: Every Thursday, a man went to a local tavern for the regular poker game, in which the house took a ten percent cut of every pot. He never won, and one night he told his wife, "You know honey, I think those guys are cheating me." "Well, then," she told him, "don't play there anymore; find another game." The man agreed to try, but at midnight on the following Thursday, he came home with empty pockets. "Let me guess," his wife said, "you've been playing poker at the tavern again." "Well, yeah," he replied, "but there's nothing I can do." "Why don't you just find an honest game?" she asked. "That's just it," he said, "I know the game is crooked, but it's the only game in town!"


                            United States
                            Member #2460
                            October 7, 2003
                            766 Posts
                            Posted: December 12, 2003, 12:40 pm - IP Logged

                            You can all say anything that you want, but i have taken a good hard look at the numbers and more often than not, they do seem to be anything but random.

                            I don't care how hard, or even impossible something might seem to be, if it has to do with with lotts of money, there is always a way. Proof? What proof ?

                            "THE PROOF IS IN THE NUMBERS THEMSELVES"

                            "NUMBERS DON'T LIE" DO THEY?

                            But none, of these is true, it is just my opinion , there are as many points of view as there are people, it does not matter what others think, but what you think.

                            They might not be rigged, but i find, a combination of both random, not random logical and something that I can only call man-made crazyness this is by taking a good look at the pick3 game here on Texas, but again, I have always been very paranoid about the lottery , but this is because I have always believed that random, should be random, and they appear to be a mix of random and man-made random.

                            Maybe I am crazy?

                            Believe it or not , "RANDOM" IS NOT" RANDOM" It follows what we might call,

                            "Random Patterns" There is logic, to the ilogic, so to speak.

                            Everything, has to follow and obey predefined physical and mathematical laws, In truth there is no such thing as random or chance, we made these terms, because we don't know, no better, monkeys, will always be monkeys?

                            Anyhow , we can talk about this all day and we are not going to get anywhere.

                            There is no proof that we can take to court, so the point is moot, or whatever.

                            And the oppinions on this are about 50/50 more or less, so it does not matter what the truth is, 50% say Yes and 50% say NO.

                            Maybe, half of us are a littlebit paranoid?

                              United States
                              Member #3004
                              December 11, 2003
                              248 Posts
                              Posted: December 12, 2003, 6:05 pm - IP Logged

                              thanks eacaliber. seems like some of yall are beinning to see the light at the end of the tunnel

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