Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 5, 2016, 9:28 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Sign the petition - eliminate computerized drawings!

Topic closed. 338 replies. Last post 10 years ago by rdc137.

Page 14 of 23
53
PrintE-mailLink
LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
Tennessee
United States
Member #7853
October 15, 2004
11338 Posts
Offline
Posted: June 18, 2005, 1:29 am - IP Logged

i think there are several different reasons people prefer balls

1-they want to witness a live drawing as the balls are drawn

2-they think its fun to watch the drawings

3-computerized draws are boring

4-a lot of people think its unfair to let a computer pick the numbers

5-people think the computers can be manipulated

    bobby623's avatar - abstract
    San Angelo, Texas
    United States
    Member #1097
    January 31, 2003
    1394 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: June 18, 2005, 1:24 pm - IP Logged

     

    Some additional comments against computer drawings:

    Lotteries exist to make money for politicians.

    Lottery directors are under constant pressure to increase profits. One way to increase profits
    is to find ways to minimize prize pay outs.

    While not perfect, mechanical ball machines do provide random winning numbers that are acceptable to players.
    These machines can't be manipulated to provide predetermined winning combinations.

    The advent of computers has given lottery directors a behind the scene means to manage lotteries.
    Using computers with secret programming, there are numerous ways lottery directors can minimize prize payouts.

    One method is the use of wireless ports to tie computers used to generate winning combinations to a distant computer mainframe containing combinations that have been sold. In a flash, these computers can generate the combinations that ensure jackpot rollovers and smaller prize payouts.

    Would lottery directors use drawing computers to manipulate lottery games? Of course they would.

    I've read a lot about computer drawings at this forum and elsewhere.

    While much is said about security, how the programs are 'burned' on disks, etc, there is one question that is never addressed: Do these computers  have wireless capabilities, or other means, whereby a lottery employee can manage the results?

    It would really be refreshing for someone familiar with computers used for drawing winning numbers to state, categorically, that such devices can't be manipulated in any way whatever by someone trying to minimize prize payouts.

     




     

      four4me's avatar - gate1
      MD
      United States
      Member #1701
      June 18, 2003
      8360 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: June 18, 2005, 1:37 pm - IP Logged

      bobby623 thank you for writing that saved me from doing it for the umptheenth time. These computer programers think because they wrote some program that the general plblic is unaware that code can be transmitted this way, by air. I have all kinds of wireless junk. So it's quite possible they do too.  

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #1
        May 31, 2000
        23260 Posts
        Online
        Posted: June 18, 2005, 1:50 pm - IP Logged

        Well, to address your viewership question, studies have shown that people want the drawings shown on live TV, even if they don't watch them.  They want to know they're there, because then they know it's true and fair.  That should totally clarify that point.

        But why would a TV station air the draws if no one is going to watch them?  TV stations make money by selling their time.  You are saying that the lottery should be paying for something that no one watches, regardless of how the numbers are generated.  It reminds me of the Flintstones episode where Fred and Barney start a restaurant and have to order a ton of parsley for the patrons to throw away.

        As for why they mimic a draw machine in the animation (which is not a computerized draw, btw, as they use animation of ball draws in some places as well) is because that is what the Lottery's marketing department thought would look good.  I have seen demonstrations of all kinds of different animation processes.  Basically, the animator uses CGI and superimposes the draw results, which can come from any source.  But I wax technical again.

        I must admit this is a fascinating topic.  I just read in another post that someone actually wants the balls because they are unfair.  The statement was:

        With more state lottery games switching to faking draws in a computer [we] cannot recommend playing such lottery games except for fun.  You simply cannot predict winning numbers drawn in a computer random number generator setup to insure total randomness in drawings.

        And after all the work I did to eliminate bias in the systems Smile.  Honestly, I never knew this was a factor, but given this is the desire, doesn't that now make what happened in California and what might be happening in Indiana a good thing?  I read in a news article about California that players were already aware of the glitch there and using it to their advantage.  If Indiana has a problem, shouldn't it make it more interesting to be looking for it?

        When I first read your comment "it has nothing at all to do with technology", I thought, "then why all the technological arguments?"  However, I think I am starting to understand your point.  You actually want a chance at the unfairness of the ball draws.  Since no one knows exactly where the bias is, the game still appears fair, but with lots of hard work, you can find the subtle fluctuations and potentially take advantage of them.

        I hope that doesn't sound sarcastic, because I do not mean it to be.  For over 20 years I have been involved with gaming, primarily as a programmer, but also as a mathematician who reviews games to insure they meet specific criteria regarding fairness and liability issues.  There has always been an acceptance that some bias might be present in ball draws, but whenever the bias was measurable, even if only theoretically, the balls would be retired and a new set installed.  That is why when computerized draws were proposed, they were designed to meet the strictest possible standards of fairness.

        Todd, I really do want to understand this topic from a player's perspective.  I am enjoying the forums very much and kudos for what must be a lot of hard work.

        Thanks!

        I have a couple of comments on your reply:

        • It is not up to me or any other player to figure out HOW to get the drawings televised.  It is the job of the state lottery.  If they have to PAY to get them televised, then so be it.  That's the "price of doing business".  Frankly, there have been a lot of very good suggestions here on Lottery Post about how to do it in a very cost-effective manner, but I guess the lotteries feel that they shouldn't stoop to listening to players about how to save money.
        • I cannot be responsible for everyone's comments on Lottery Post, only my own.  So if someone said that lottery balls make the game biased in some way, well, then that's their opinion.  That's not a valid way to argue my points.  However, feel free to bring up anything that I've said when arguing against one of my points.  (By the way, I do not agree with the person who made the statement you quoted.)
        • I am going to discount all the things you're saying about "unfairness" (or whatever your point is), because they're all based on one person's opinion, not a series of facts, like my arguments are.
        • No matter how many years you spend trying to make computerized drawings "fair" (your words), you can never totally achieve the goal you seek, because computers are predictable, unrandom machines, and you are simulating something, not becoming something.  Your computer programs and methods deal with theory, rather than dwelling entirely in reality.  The bottom line is that when all the arguments are boiled down, there is not one single good reason to have a computer pick lottery numbers, rather than using a real lottery ball machine.  There is no reason to use a computer to do something that is achieved in a much better manner (and I might add "easier") using a real lottery drawing machine.

         

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

         

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

          MathWizard's avatar - moon
          New Member
          Kamloops, BC
          Canada
          Member #17371
          June 17, 2005
          13 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: June 18, 2005, 7:20 pm - IP Logged

          Todd, I just noticed that you are in New Jersey.  Did you know that Smartplay is in your neighborhood?  They are the company that builds most of the ball machines used by lotteries and have recently built the Origin system, which is basically an RNG.  I really think if you can, you should go and talk to them about the computer process they use.  I would love to check it out myself.

          You keep saying they are not "random".  The fact is they are no less random than ball machines.  I believe Smartplay even has a list of laboratories and such that have reviewed it and attest to that fact.  If you can, go down and talk to them about how their machines work ... check them out for yourself.  Personally, I would love to hear what you have to say about them pro or con.

           

          They are located at:

          One Linda Lane, Suite B
          Southampton, New Jersey 08088 USA

          Phone: 609 859-1133
          Fax: 609 859-1885

          These are the guys who build the ball machines too, so they pretty much know everything there is to know about lottery draws.  If I remember correctly, they service around 100 lotteries world wide.

          As for "one good reason" the only one that ever matters is money.  Of course, as a programmer, I am not the person who makes that decision, but ultimately that is what fuels a lotteries interest in this technology in the first place.  When governments are clamoring for lotteries to return a larger bottom line, that is what makes them consider every possible cost saving item out there.  And we are not talking about a few dollars for a set of ping pong balls either.  The constant weighing, measuring, handling etc that all the balls require is often a multiple person job.  Staff costs alone are in the area of $100,000 per year or more.  In the year we first built one of these, the cost savings was estimated at $250,000.  Over 16 years, that is $4 million more that has gone to the government.  And that is only one lottery.  According to your Report card, there are something like 25 lotteries doing this now.  (BTW: you missed Texas.)  I know it does not sound right, but as much as some lottery players want ball machines, the public at large wants lower taxes.  Ultimately, all the nuances aside, I think this is the point that is going to be the biggest hurdle for your petition.

          I know you say that the introduction of the computers results in a reduction in play, but honestly in BC, we never saw that.  The sales increased every year regardless of the draw methods used.

          As for listening to your (lottery players') ideas, I know that in BC there is a customer service line and every call is logged and reports are generated with the comments reviewed.  I used to receive some of the questions (usually those related to math) so I do know that they take those calls seriously.  I cannot say if that happens at every lottery, but I would expect there would be something similar.

          Cheers.

            time*treat's avatar - radar

            United States
            Member #13130
            March 30, 2005
            2171 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: June 18, 2005, 10:34 pm - IP Logged

            "computer drawings are fair"

            is about as comforting as

            "she's got a great personality and a pretty face"

            Scared

             

            In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
            Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

              Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
              Chief Bottle Washer
              New Jersey
              United States
              Member #1
              May 31, 2000
              23260 Posts
              Online
              Posted: June 18, 2005, 11:08 pm - IP Logged

              Todd, I just noticed that you are in New Jersey.  Did you know that Smartplay is in your neighborhood?  They are the company that builds most of the ball machines used by lotteries and have recently built the Origin system, which is basically an RNG.  I really think if you can, you should go and talk to them about the computer process they use.  I would love to check it out myself.

              You keep saying they are not "random".  The fact is they are no less random than ball machines.  I believe Smartplay even has a list of laboratories and such that have reviewed it and attest to that fact.  If you can, go down and talk to them about how their machines work ... check them out for yourself.  Personally, I would love to hear what you have to say about them pro or con.

               

              They are located at:

              One Linda Lane, Suite B
              Southampton, New Jersey 08088 USA

              Phone: 609 859-1133
              Fax: 609 859-1885

              These are the guys who build the ball machines too, so they pretty much know everything there is to know about lottery draws.  If I remember correctly, they service around 100 lotteries world wide.

              As for "one good reason" the only one that ever matters is money.  Of course, as a programmer, I am not the person who makes that decision, but ultimately that is what fuels a lotteries interest in this technology in the first place.  When governments are clamoring for lotteries to return a larger bottom line, that is what makes them consider every possible cost saving item out there.  And we are not talking about a few dollars for a set of ping pong balls either.  The constant weighing, measuring, handling etc that all the balls require is often a multiple person job.  Staff costs alone are in the area of $100,000 per year or more.  In the year we first built one of these, the cost savings was estimated at $250,000.  Over 16 years, that is $4 million more that has gone to the government.  And that is only one lottery.  According to your Report card, there are something like 25 lotteries doing this now.  (BTW: you missed Texas.)  I know it does not sound right, but as much as some lottery players want ball machines, the public at large wants lower taxes.  Ultimately, all the nuances aside, I think this is the point that is going to be the biggest hurdle for your petition.

              I know you say that the introduction of the computers results in a reduction in play, but honestly in BC, we never saw that.  The sales increased every year regardless of the draw methods used.

              As for listening to your (lottery players') ideas, I know that in BC there is a customer service line and every call is logged and reports are generated with the comments reviewed.  I used to receive some of the questions (usually those related to math) so I do know that they take those calls seriously.  I cannot say if that happens at every lottery, but I would expect there would be something similar.

              Cheers.

              I guess we have a different definition of the word "fact".  You're saying it's a "fact" that computers are as random as a ball machine?  That's the argument that says if it quacks like a duck, then it is a duck.  However, I don't think the common (read: non-scientific) citizen cares that a scientific formula was used to prove that a computer can simulate the randomness of a ball machine.  They care much more about real drawings.

              Being in the position that I am (not merely a programmer, although that is one of my duties) I have done research for several years in areas that you are just now exploring.  Thus, you are making some arguments for computerized drawings that have been covered before in news stories and discussions here.  You are making statements of fact which are not supported by reality.  For example, which jurisdictions' sales figures have you studied?  Do you look at the rate of growth, or just raw dollars?  Do you understand the political climate in each jurisdiction that is driving the situation?  I'd suggest some more time and research on your part.  (And please do not answer that politics has nothing to do with it, because that is very J.V.)

              You like a sound smart person, and I'm sure in life we would agree on many things, but obviously not this one.  At this point, I would feel a bit like "going backwards" by covering the same financial arguments, etc., becuase all of that has been covered before in other posts.  Rather than beating a dead horse, let's just leave it as a disagreement, and if you have some new information to pass along, I would be interested to see it.

              Maybe you should interview in your company's sales or marketing department, as it sounds like you have a passioned belief in computerized drawings, and you are obviously proud of your company's products.

              BTW, not sure what you mean by "missed Texas".  It's in the Report Card.

               

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

               

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

                MathWizard's avatar - moon
                New Member
                Kamloops, BC
                Canada
                Member #17371
                June 17, 2005
                13 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: June 19, 2005, 1:34 am - IP Logged

                When I go to the bank, I have a choice of using the ATM or standing in line and talking to a teller.  I admit, that if the teller line is short (or if there is a long line at the ATM, as I have seen that happen lots) I prefer to talk to a teller about my banking.  Moving funds, paying bills, whatever.  I am totally capable of using the ATM, I am not afraid of the ATM, and I trust the ATM to get it right.  I just like talking to the tellers.  (Not to mention the added bonus that most of them are quite cute.)  Forgive me if I am over-simplifying the discussion, but I think I see our debate kind of like this.  You like tellers (real draws) and I like ATMs (computer draws).  Of course, if every lottery converts to computerized draws, then there will not be a choice any longer.

                As for sales growth at the BC lottery from 1990 on, I am only talking about total lottery sales.  BC lottery went to computerized draw machines in 1990.  I worked on the systems then.  Right through the 90's sales increased every year although I do not know if the growth rate changed.  As you point out, I am not in marketing, so I do not know if there were other trends involved.

                By "missed Texas" I only meant that it has computerized draws too.  I do not believe your report card mentioned that.

                By all means I "agree to disagree" on the issue.  If you are interested, I have a wealth of information on how many of the RNGs work that is considerably different from what has been mentioned on the forums, but as I said initially, this might not be the place for that, but if anyone does have a specific question, I would be happy to try to answer it.  For example, I read someone say that the computers could be affected by wireless communication.  In fact, none of the RNGs I have seen have any ability to communicate with any kind of network, wi-fi or otherwise.  That is just a fact.  There needs to be special hardware and software on a computer to do that, and none of them have it.  Of course, I have only seen maybe 25% of all the RNGs out there.

                Cheers!

                  Bryan's avatar - Lottery-002.jpg
                  Mid-Missouri
                  United States
                  Member #644
                  August 31, 2002
                  4271 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: June 19, 2005, 3:27 am - IP Logged

                  Unless Texas has changed something they do not use computers to draw their numbers.

                  http://txlottery.org/online/drawproc.cfm

                  pertinent information from link


                  For each drawing, the Lotto Texas balls are mixed by four acrylic mixing paddles rotating clockwise. High speed is used for mixing and low speed for ball selection. As each ball is selected, it rolls down a chute into an official number display area. The Pick 3, Cash Five and Texas Two Step balls are selected using air-driven machines. These machines use compressed air to mix and select each ball.

                  The Lotto Texas primary and bonus ball sets are manufactured in France. The Lotto Texas balls are made of a natural rubber. A primary and a bonus ball set are used for each Lotto Texas Drawing. The balls are weighed externally every six months, internally every 3 months, and the process is observed by the independent accounting firm. Each ball must weigh +/- 1 gram of the average weight of the balls or the entire set will be disqualified.

                  Garron Lottery Products Inc. manufactures the balls for Texas Two Step, Cash Five, and Pick 3. The Cash Five, Pick 3, and Texas Two Step balls are very similar to ping pong balls. They weigh approximately 2.6 grams apiece. This is about the same weight as a penny. These balls are weighed internally and checked routinely for roundness.

                  The Lottery uses five primary ball sets for Lotto Texas, with one set held in reserve. The Lottery also uses five bonus ball sets for Lotto Texas, with one set held in reserve. There are five ball sets for Texas Two Step, with one set held in reserve. There are five ball sets for Cash Five, with one set held in reserve. There are 12 ball sets used for Pick 3, with three sets held in reserve.

                  Prior to each drawing an air driven machine is utilized for the selection process. Ping pong style balls with numbers are used to represent each ball set available for the draw. In the presence of the Independent Auditor, the ball sets to be used that evening are selected at random. In addition, the ball sets to be used for the next day's Pick 3 Day drawing are also selected at this time. There is no way to know which ball sets will be used before this time.

                  Bryan  :)

                    Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                    Chief Bottle Washer
                    New Jersey
                    United States
                    Member #1
                    May 31, 2000
                    23260 Posts
                    Online
                    Posted: June 19, 2005, 8:49 am - IP Logged

                    Bryan, I agree.  I'm not sure what games MathWizard thinks are computerized.  In fact, Texas look at computerized drawings, and they have not done anything so far, most likely because of the feared backlash from angry players, and eventual lost sales.

                     

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

                     

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

                      bobby623's avatar - abstract
                      San Angelo, Texas
                      United States
                      Member #1097
                      January 31, 2003
                      1394 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: June 19, 2005, 9:57 am - IP Logged

                       

                      I think MathWizard is referring to the computer RNG Texas uses to generate quick picks.

                      The RNG is not a good one. In fact, I believe many players have opted to pick their own rather
                      than rely on a computer that isn't very random.

                      Some players have reported getting the same combination twice on one ticket.

                      Back when Texas had a pick 6 game, some jackpot winners had to share because the RNG gave same
                      combinations to two or more players.

                      An aside, I believe this guy recently appeared before the Texas Lottery Commission and attempted to sway commissioners on the value of computers - his computers.

                       

                        time*treat's avatar - radar

                        United States
                        Member #13130
                        March 30, 2005
                        2171 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: June 19, 2005, 6:53 pm - IP Logged

                        Tellers (cute or otherwise) issue receipts for the transaction. It is easy to note when you deposit $20 and your receipt says $10. You can have that corrected on the spot. ATM errors take longer to correct. There is no such transparency on a computer draw.

                        In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
                        Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

                          Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                          Chief Bottle Washer
                          New Jersey
                          United States
                          Member #1
                          May 31, 2000
                          23260 Posts
                          Online
                          Posted: June 19, 2005, 11:30 pm - IP Logged

                           

                          I think MathWizard is referring to the computer RNG Texas uses to generate quick picks.

                          The RNG is not a good one. In fact, I believe many players have opted to pick their own rather
                          than rely on a computer that isn't very random.

                          Some players have reported getting the same combination twice on one ticket.

                          Back when Texas had a pick 6 game, some jackpot winners had to share because the RNG gave same
                          combinations to two or more players.

                          An aside, I believe this guy recently appeared before the Texas Lottery Commission and attempted to sway commissioners on the value of computers - his computers.

                           

                          Actually, I think MathWizard is just under the misconception that Texas uses a RNG for drawings.  ALL states have Quick Picks of some sort in their lottery ticket machines, so I don't think that's what he meant.

                          However, I agree that the RNG in most lottery machines is pretty bad. 

                           

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

                           

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

                            Bryan's avatar - Lottery-002.jpg
                            Mid-Missouri
                            United States
                            Member #644
                            August 31, 2002
                            4271 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: June 20, 2005, 12:00 am - IP Logged

                            I'm pretty sure this is the story that threw him.

                            http://www.lotterypost.com/news/114923.htm

                            Good Luck All,

                            Bryan  :)

                              Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                              Chief Bottle Washer
                              New Jersey
                              United States
                              Member #1
                              May 31, 2000
                              23260 Posts
                              Online
                              Posted: June 20, 2005, 7:38 am - IP Logged

                              He thought that because the Megaplier is selected using a computer, that Texas could be considered a computerized state.  As we all know, the Megaplier is not a game or even a drawing, so Texas is not considered a computerized state.

                               

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

                               

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

                                 
                                Page 14 of 23