Lottery Experiment – An Itch to Scratch

Observation: Popularity of scratch-off lottery tickets remains high despite their low odds of winning. The attraction of exponentially increasing an “investment” of $1 with no skill involved draws people to these games.

Hypotheses: If a $1 scratch-off lottery game is played 100 times, the player is likely to lose money in the end. Most people playing the game will eventually lose money, only a few will gain.

Variations: A player can potentially win a large sum of money on the first play with some “luck” on their side.

Experiment: 100 Texas Lottery scratch-off “Amazing 8’s” games costing $1 each will be purchased. 20 games will be purchased from 5 seperate establishments. Amazing 8’s have odds of 1 in 4.65 games at least break even.

Step 1
I withdrew $100 in cash from an ATM and bought 20 Amazing 8’s from each of these five establishments: Albertson’s, Chevron, Diamond Shamrock and Exxon. The whole process took me an hour as some places I visited did not have Amazing 8’s.

Step 2
Counted and verified that I had exactly 100 Amazing 8’s scratch-off lottery tickets.

Step 3
Got my trusty tools ready: Two quarters. One is an American quarter and the other is a Canadian Quarter. I’ve found that Canadian quarters are much better for scratching mass amounts of lotto tickets!

Step 4
Start scratching! I would scratch and scratch until I found a winner, which would then be placed inside the “Winner$” basket.

Scratching 100 lottery tickets is NOT as exciting as I thought. It felt more like a boring job. Next time I do gambling experiments, I’m goin’ ta Vagas.

The “Winner$” basket.

Winner$ basket starting to fill up with $1 and $2 wins.

The real gem of the lot was this ticket which won $60! The chances of getting this are 1 in 1,500.

Step 5
Tabulate each amount won.

Losers were placed on the table, and the proud winners were put higher up on the stool (Just for a more dramatic metaphorical effect)

Step 6
Report the totals. I came out ahead with $102! A 2% return.

The proud winners in all their glory, especially our champion: Mr. $60!

After the experiment was completed, I went to the grocery store to cash in my $102. I then proceeded to the Bank of America ATM and deposited the cash directly back into my investment account. So I performed this experiment and MADE $2 and learned a little too!

Step 7
Conclusion. This “investment” of $100 was more of an experiment and should not be used as investment advice. Anyone who invests their money in the lottery for purposes other than mild thrills and entertainment is (according to the odds) just dreaming. The odds prove that if you play long enough, you will lose 75% or more of your money. Of course you can also win a lot of money, but it’s highly doubtful. I just happened to buy the right tickets at the right time for this particular experiment, but if I repeated the experiment again, I would most likely not make a profit or break even.

Hope you enjoyed the experiment, I sure did!

Blog posted on: March 23, 2005

170 comments on “Lottery Experiment – An Itch to Scratch

    1. Julie Rovner

      In honor of the huge payout to some lucky person, check out this site. Depressing…

  1. Fantonim

    2% on a day-worth investment????
    sure beats GICs!
    Cool blog, come visit mine, just starting out though.

  2. Neville

    Mrs. B, at least I can now tell all my friends “So, I spent $100 on lotto tickets today” :-)

    I’ve also got every major gas station and grocery store around me thinking I have a gambling problem!!

  3. Our Money Staff

    That’s hysterical. What would happen if a group of people pooled there money together in a similar experiment, this time each person would fork over $100 to the pot.

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  4. Neville

    Our Money Staff,

    The more money you spend doing this, the more of a chance your game will revert back to the mean. This means you will probably lose money and have 10 very mad people, that’s why I did this with only my OWN money!

    On the other hand, it would be exciting for 10 people in a room to scratch of 1,000 lottery tickets :)

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  5. Alpha

    That was a pretty cool experiment Neville!
    I kept checking your blog through-out the day for it to be updated.
    Any chance of doing a similar experiment?

  6. Neville

    Well, as always I will continue to post my (non-confidential) money adventures here

    If you have any wacky ideas for me to try out, let me know. I’m always looking to learn about new areas.

    One surprising outcome of this experiment: It completely turned me off from scratch-off lotto’s. Since I beat the average and broke even and then some, law of averages tells me not to touch them for a long time!

  7. Johnie

    Good job.
    Now you do realize that there is tax on gambling/lottery winnings. So your $2 x .75 [assuming 25% tax] = $1.50 after tax winnings
    Factor in gas cost to go out and purchase the tickets…

    But anyways, that was a fun experiment.

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  8. Cap

    lol. I kept scrolling down expecting to see a big fat RED and some negatives.. but u came out with 2 bux. albeit the time and other cost throws it off, but at least u didnt completely lose the $100.

  9. jim

    You should frame the $2 with a couple losing tickets so you have a story whenever someone asked you why you framed two sorry dollars. :)

    On a bright note, I saw you had GE long in your portfolio, they just raised Q1 profit forecasts… which is good for you. Better than $2 anyway… haha.

  10. Anonymous

    Did you see this news? You would have to depreciate your quarters against this much scratching – but it seems to pay more than the minimum…

    LONDON (AFP) – A global lottery syndicate based in the Philippines is the winner of a 16.6 million pound lotto jackpot, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.

    Overseas Subscribers Agents (OAS), which plays European and US lotteries on behalf of members worldwide, had bought up to 14,000 tickets for the January 2 draw, the sixth biggest in British lotto history.

    The tickets were purchased on behalf of OAS by a retired plastics technologist, Ken Jackson, to get around a rule that restricts the National Lottery to residents of Britain and visitors to the country.

  11. Anonymous

    BTW, I saw your blog in the UK weekend FT. Good luck with your ambitions, and respect for your approach. Unfortunately I could not seem to create an identity (kept refusing any username). Tim

  12. Anonymous


    I ran into a UK blog on this subject years ago, and now the site is in use by others. Alas, it too, was an informational/hobby site.

    He proposed to examine the thesis that the innumarate cling to in forlorn hope, to whit, ‘SOMEONE’S gotta win’. First he destroyed that propsition (which is a lie), and then he proposed a different examination of the lottery.

    He proposed rightly, that the lottery exists in time and space, and yet if the results are not available, it does not cease to exist, yet the results are just as unpredictable. To whit; In the abscence of anyone reading this to correctly recite any of the numbers used in 2002, 2003, or 2004, then they are as genuine as next weeks as yet undrawn number. More precisely, if you choose a strategy for next week, you can apply it to the past and measure its results as a reliable predicotr of the future.

    Here are the rules he used, and then documented.
    He would buy 10,000 Pounds of tickets for each 6 number drawing, and apply the same numbers throughout the last 100 weekly drawings. Expenditures, then, will be 1,000,000 Pounds, and winnings will add up to whatever happens. He took the official numbers from a time starting 1 year earlier, and began tabulating his winning 3,4,5, and 6 number winners.

    He won many 3s, several 4s, and a few 5s, and no 6 number jackpots, and I believe the total losses were about 650,000 Pounds.

    In conclusion, the Lottery is a ‘stupid tax’, and ‘a tax on hope, and innumeracy’, and in truth, just a tax. I am always primed to respond if I am asked about the lottery, “I don’t qualify.” I am always challenged, and I gladly point out that I am not stupid, (just brash) and therefore do not qualify. Further, the failure needed to exploit people is innumeracy, and since Governemnt educates people on the one hand, and also profits by controlling the Lottery that exploits their lack of education and lack of integrity, and character, I find it reprehensible, and self serving to exploit the masses the government misleads into playing an immoral, unethical, and otherwise illegal fraud.

    In view of your amazing 1500:1 hit, I suggest that in 15 experiments such as this, you will lose $700-800.

    As a short aside I also comment to those who bring up the lottery, that the chances are in the millions. The chances, however, of being struck by lightning are lower than being struck with the winning numbers, although the disasterous effects are often closely parallel, and many good studies on that have been made. In short, I hope you never win, and never meet anyone who has. It’s a disaster.

    I realy like the site, and I chanced to find it. Now, I shall examine it at length, I believe.

  13. crl826

    Nice. I run a website that tracks how many scratch off tickets have been sold and how many prizes have been won so our subscribers can get a real time picture on what game has the best odds. Its only for Texas scratch off games right now.

    I hope this isn’t spam. I would love to talk about it more if there is any questions/interest.

  14. Tim MMF

    With all the driving around you did and time you spent, you definitely lost money. But it was a cool experiment anyway. :)

  15. Forex Basics

    Nice experiment. I play the lottery nearly everyday for fun, and I’ve actually noticed the same thing about Canadian quarters and their amazing scratch-off abilities. Haha, weird.


  16. Jehan-Pierre du Pont

    Played the Amazing 8’s in New York city, bought 50 tickets at same retailer a liquor store. Won $8,888.00 however the city and state and federal taxes took out the following:
    Federal $2,222.00
    State $ 684.00
    NYC 369.00
    Total award after taxes $5,586.00 from a $50.00 investment

  17. Anonymous

    very surpised you won anything man,

    here in ireland awhile back two teenagers had what they thought to be a great money making scheme,
    they scratched a whole roll(s?) of lottery tickets in a shop they worked in, thinking they’ll just pay for it with all the thousands they’d win, were they in for a surprise, there was MUCH MUCH less on them than the cost of the tickets, infact there was very little money on it at-all. but im glad it proved what a scam they are.

    the lotto is a pure rip-off, supposed to help people in need, be a bit of fun & create millionaires overnight,
    what a complete load of shite,
    first of all for some magical reason 90% of the time theres a roll-over on bank hoildays etc, i know someone still wins but so what its still rigged.
    before if you matched 3 numbers you win a grand total of 1 euro, but ohh no thats too much & then they add insult to injury, they give you a scabby 1 euro scratch card, so infact you win notting in most cases, that should be illegal, for four number you might get a tenner.
    i got FIVE numbers before, (4 and the bonus) all i got was 70euro mudaf*^(!~s i thought i won thousands, the bookies are much better, for that match i’d of won 25,000 for a 1 euro stake & its tax free, which i cant belive it is’nt in the states. or for 3 numbers 250euro with bonus ball 450euro with it inclued. 50 for 2 numbers thats reasonible, cause even 3 numbers is hard to get.

    they have since improved it, they’ve put up the price, added 3 extra numbers and very generiously upped the winnings to 3euro for a match 3 on the first and 2nd draw but not the 3rd???, i wish someone would set up a peoples lottey but theres no way they’d get a licence.

    scratch cards are even worse here, the most ive heard anyone ever was 50euro, theres 1, 3 and 6 euro scratch cards and all you ever get on them is a free, 2, 4 or if your really lucky 8 euros.

    its legal robbery is what it is.

    glad to get that mad rant of my chest.

    peace all & good luck

  18. Anonymous

    I bought 20 $5 scratchers, total cost $100, and won the merchandice prize, a leather suit case worth a reported $233.

  19. Anonymous

    The reason many people like myself play scratch-off tickets is because they can get a lot more play for their money than at a casino or any other form of gambling. It would be interesting to see how many tickets you would have gone thru if you kept reinvesting the money until your $100 was gone.If you had used a Lottery Mate scratch ticketplayer, your experiment would have been a lot more enjoyable for you!

  20. Anonymous

    I always find that losing $1000 hurts more than the joy of winning $1000. Thats why I don’t play lotto.

  21. Anonymous

    The best return (i.e. least negative return on lotto scratchers in Texas) comes from the most expensive tickets. You would have had more expected value had you bought 5 $20 scratchers (at a cost of higher volatility). Also, did you know that each pack of lotto tickets has a GUARANTEED payout? If you buy an entire pack and it performs below the guarantee, you can take it to the lottery commission and they will issue you a payment to bring your pack up to the guaranteed payout.

  22. Patrick

    I once played the CA Lotto version of Keno: Bulls-Eye!

    I always have beginners luck.

    The cheapest ticket was a buck, two numbers. I picked my birthday. 10-28. Hit the 10, bulls-eye on the 28.

    I flipped the ticket over and saw the odds of that are 1:166. I went to the bartender to claim my prize…

    …Nineteen bucks.

    In Vegas, a 1:166 bet would pay out somewhere in the neighborhood of $145 to $160. I got nineteen bucks.

    The lotto is a rip-off.


  23. Anonymous

    I appreciated the step-by-step analysis to lead through your experiment, Neville! (Especially the photo placing the winners up on the stool for effect, very nice work.) I know a guy in Boston who won the downpayment on his house playing Lotto… and he continues to play to this day. Somehow, people think that because one person got incredibly lucky on one day, that they have some insurance it will happen to them, too. Yikes.

  24. David

    it seems like here in Belgium we don’t need to do all these experiments … for all the official scratch lotteries that exist you can find the exact division of winning tickets on the official lottery site.

    They say f.e. that 70% of the revenues will go back to the winners. And then they give an overview of all tickets, like this :
    For each 1.000.000 tickets there are :
    1 winners of 25.000 euro
    10 winners of 5.000 euro

    20.000 winners of 1 euro.

    Total revenue : 1.000.000 euro
    Total pay-out : 700.000 euro

    This means that you are guaranteed to lose 30% if you could buy all the tickets.

    But that’s the game and you know it, the happy few win, the rest had a nice dream for a few moments.

    The only way to win is if you could have your tickets for free … and that’s exactly how I play my lottery.

  25. The Masked Millionaire

    I won $350 million dollars in the lottery. I didn’t have any fancy system. I’m not that smart. I was a truck driver and now I’m rich. All from buying just one lottery ticket.

    I started a blog so that other people can follow my story.

    The Masked Millionaire

  26. Anonymous

    There are some things to consider when purchasing scratch off tickets. When the tickets are brand new to the system, there are usually a lot more winners. The state does this because people see a new game and they give it a try. They then see they win 2 or 3 times in a set of 5 tickets, so they keep buying more and more. Their odds slowly dwindling. Also, fresh rolls, where the ticket number is 1-10…

  27. Brad

    Good job…you can have done better if you bought DIFFERENT scratcher tickets…for example…generally, the $2, $3 games have better odds than the $1 games…

    That’s because the more expensive the tickets, the BETTER the odds of winning…

    So if you spent $100 in more expensive tickets, you could have gotten a better return on investment.

    But $102 is still pretty darn good! Good job!

    You can find more tips on how to win in the scratchers game at my website.


  28. rockstar johnson

    I guess everybody is hurting terribly due to the economy so a dollar for a little hope doesn’t seem like a bad deal. It’s always a bad deal.

    Here in New York there’s the “Take 5 scratch off game” which is congruous with the nightly drawing of the same name. The scratch off odds are better than any other game NY lottery has to offer. Or so it would seem.

    The odds of winning the scratch off game are much higher than that of the nightly drawing, but the usual prize for the scratch off game is 3 matching “Take 5″ symbols which earns you a free play in the nightly drawing. You cash in the card and receive a quick pick for the drawing.

    Another common win is usually 1 or 2 dollars, meaning you’ll win your dollar back and then the odds are against YOU. What would you do with those dollars? Buy another couple of tickets or take a shot at another game of chance of course!

    If you match 2 numbers of the 5 picked in the nightly drawing, you win! What do you win? Another free play! Meaning you break even.

    And the circle of you breaking even draws you into wasting your money on a game continues.

  29. John Faulkner

    You were just one card away from losing $58. Your $60 win was very lucky and as you point out the odds against getting such a card are high.

    I have done similar experiments by recording many horse race bets and found that a high-priced winner, say 30/1, was the difference between a losing sequence and a winning one.


    I might have to start doing that as a full time job. 2% returns! You can get better than that in a WaMu savings account now but you don’t get the thrill of scratching pieces of paper and the risk of losing it all.

  31. Dave

    Interesting experiment that, I would love to do it myself, however I dont think I would have the same level of success as you.
    well done though.

  32. Robert

    Cool experiment but…

    Winning consistently at random games like lotto is statistically improbable to the point of impossibility.

    If we analyzed the problem from a business standpoint, we would never play the lotto as a business opportunity, but as sheer entertainment.

    However, if you want a means to generate a consistent revenue, take a calculated risk and check out

  33. Rich

    Thanks for the experiment. I like the fact that you pointed out that this was an experiement only and not recommended as an investment. Indeed, it sounds like you knew the odds were against you to break even.

    I was thinking the long term results of this experimentt would be similar to if you did not get the $60 winner. If roughly 1 in 4 (or so) are winners, then you would be left with about $40.

  34. Vital Edge Financial

    I’ve fallen into some periods of scratcher-addiction myself, and over the long-haul I’ve found that you generally lose about 1/2 of your investment over time. The best way IMO to play the scratch-offs is buying tickets randomly and hope to get lucky. Thanks for sharing

  35. Sheila

    O.K. I’m baccccccck, as Arnold says/said – “I WILL BE BACK” Anywhoo-
    Your Blog Nev, makes me smile!

    Congratulations, on your mighty BIG Win! and what you say on Casino wins and LOTTERY TICKETS! The winning does happen, I know a few from Lottery Tickets – Megabucks/etc.

    Stay Positive!

    I want to write blogs like these, I shall try SOMEDAY lol

    Blessings and (Spiritual) Hugs, Warrior Purple Lady SHEExooo
    Pss…Scratch Tickets are addicting and sometimes, not life fulfilling! as we be a wishing, as we continue surviving…

  36. Brad


    Interesting experiment…

    I’m an actual lottery retailer and have sold 1000’s of scratcher tickets.

    In my opinion, you got quite lucky because most people who buy a whole roll of scratchers end up losing MORE money than they purchased…

    here’s a cool experiment you should try next time…

    try comparing a whole roll of $1, $2, $5 games…

    find out which one wins more…

    the answer is the $5…generally, the more expensive the scratcher game, the BETTER the odds of winning…

    also…NEVER EVER buy a whole roll of scratchers…because you are bound to lose…

    the lottery makes sure they make money off of this so they make sure there are MORE losers than winners…

    obviously, some cases, there is that ONE really big winner here and there…but that doesn’t come in every roll…

    you can find more tips on my blog and website…


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  37. estrazioni lotto

    In the scratch off lottery the math used to create the combinations is the probability and I am sure it’s pretty hard to win this game.

  38. George185

    I believe that your experiment (Hilarious) was unfortunately just a test of your luck, which seems to be about 2x as much as anyone else's. When buying scratch-offs you will generally make .50 dollars for every dollar spent. This is how the state makes money. Congrats on your winnings though.

    Online Lottery Strategy.

  39. george

    Very Cool. I have been practicing a dowsing technique to pick lottery tickets. I have gotten pretty good standing in front of a lottery machine and rubbing my index and thumb together as I focus on each type of lottery ticket available. When the fingers stick a little I stop my scan and buy my tickets. I am doing better than statistically average. I got started with a book I found called dowsing the lottery.

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    Nice experiment. I play the Lottery nearly everyday for fun, and I've actually noticed the same thing about Canadian quarters and their amazing scratch-off abilities.

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  42. Anonymous

    Two things I love about the clowns you see on TV buying scratchers:

    1) the derelicts who say they only buy tickets when the jackpot is over $100 million dollars (99 mil wouldn't be worth messing with, I guess)

    2) the same sort of scum who, when asked why they're buying ticket, say "I'm feeling lucky today."

    Did you ever hear Warren Buffett explain a business deal with, "I'm feeling lucky today," or "I have a hunch."

    Some people, Neville, are just wired up wrong.

  43. Anonymous

    More to my post above:

    3) When powerball gets huge in a nearby state, some idiots skip work to buy tickets there. Interviewed on TV, they express satisfaction with their chances of winning, yet they show they're oblivious to the high odds their boss will see them on TV and fire them!

    4) Knew someone (dirt poor) who drove every week 20 miles across the state line to buy a few higher stakes tickets. Imagine the gas cost and risk of a car wreck. I asked her why she didn't make that trip once a month instead and buy four times more tickets. All I got was a blank look!

  44. Zach

    Hey Nev, thanks for the comment on my blog. Next time, I’m gonna try planning the odds by getting online and seeing what scratch cards have already paid out loads and by those that have higher chances of winning. If other readers want to try this out, go to for links to useful sites.

  45. Marwin So a group of us friends got together yesterday and went and bought a hundred 1$ scratchers as our own way of celebrating 420.(I’m gonna tell you know that we ended up losing so that you don’t read the whole thing and get disappointed for all the suspense, but read on if you want to know how it happened.) At first we were trying to get as many people to throw in the pot so each of us could have less share and not be so butthurt about losing our money if we did. This was easy because all we had to tell ourselves was “if we lose our money, all we need to give up is eating out this weekend.” We wanted to buy the 2$ or 3$ scratchers because we felt that the odds of profit or at least getting are money back were higher. But we ended up with only 4 people in the pot and we didn’t want to pitch in 50$ each and lose our 50$. So we decided to get 100 scratchers for a hundred dollars; each of us pitched in 25$ each. We just wanted to see what would happen, we weren’t in it to win. When we got to the liquor store we asked the clerk if he had a fresh roll of unopened scratchers that wasn’t on the reel yet. This was actually the second store went to because the other one didn’t have a whole roll. We thought there were a hundred in a roll but we found out that there were 250.(lack of research). We were thinking about backing out when we found this out because our main theory was primarily urging us to see if there was at least one big winner in a fresh roll of unopened scratchers that hadn’t been displayed/bought yet. We already went there and didn’t want to back down so we went and just bought a hundred of the scratchers of the cherry doubler 1$ game. After counting it in the car I found only ninety scratchers and we went back and the clerk apologized and gave us the 10 scratchers we didn’t get. Okay-post agreement. “we each split 25 scratchers each sit in the car and start scratching at 11:11p.m. parked in a nicely lit subsidized friendly neighborhood that was most likely not to get us in a hold up with a gun to our faces for our 100 scratchers. We agreed that with those 25 scratchers whatever we win is our own if it was to win our 25 back. If one of us was to get 100$ winning ticket we would automatically split it up to get all our money back-experiment closed. It got really interesting, suspenseful and we had a really good time gambling away. I got 18 dollars cash back most of it consisting of 2$ ticket wins. The biggest win was a 6$ win and a few Cherries where if u scratch a cherry u automatically win the prize-it was mostly an automatic ticket redemption or a double cherry which meant u get 4X that prize which was always a dollar that turned into 4$. 18 for me/my other friend got 18 too/11 for the third/and 9 for our last. So in total we ended up losing half our money. 56 dollars total. What we learned: Around every 8 or 9 scratch-offs there was always a cash prize whether it be big or small. Its written on the back “odds of winning any prize 1:4.97; cash prize 1;9.89.” That means u have 25% chance u’ll win your money back and even lower chance of getting the cash prizes. So what happens if you buy all 250 tickets? will it be the same? Would the same pattern roll through and which means we would get around 125$/250 tickets. What if we bought the 2$ tickets instead where the probability is better? We’re gonna ask the store clerk if anyone won anything big after he sells the remaining 150 scratch-offs we didn’t buy. If no one wins anything big then we learned something on an even larger scale. There are odds for each liquor/convenient to have a winning pack of lotto scratchers too. Maybe 1 in every 10 stores has a big winner. If you think about it the companies must be smart to put the no win tickets in the largely occupied stores and the winning tickets in the smaller less populated. They wouldn’t put big winners in two stores only three blocks away from each other? How do they control where the winning tickets go and where they don’t. What do you guys think? There will always be big prizes somewhere because the companies will want the customers to keep buying thinking that they’ll have a chance.

    1. Neville Post author

      Marwin, AWESOME comment!!

      Sounds like a fun way to celebrate 4-20!

      I might have to try that….buying the WHOLE damn roll of tickets, now THAT would be interestingly. Thanks for the great comment, it was like a mini-experiment on its own :-)

  46. youdidwhat

    Buying a hole roll of tickets is not the way to play this game! I would buy 5 tickets from each store and hope I would win something! second I would not spend my money on $1 tickets I would go for the $2-$5 tickets.

  47. eze

    Am sure your readers can use more winnings. producede more than 100 winnings in one month.


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  50. stuart

    There is 2 balances that govern your life:- individual balance and global balance. Both of these balances share 1 thing in common they started the same time they finished, time is irreverent. If you start looking at balances in detail and then stop thinking and start feeling you will feel your balance and global balance luck doe not exists. You can sometimes feel when you are going to win or lose in life. Just dont think feel. Its not as easy as it sounds but its right. Try exploring this for a new project

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    I was lounging in poverty,picking numbers everyday, but I kept on failing… But I was hopeful,I kept on believing that there is light at the end of the tunnel… Months later,after serious heart break and frustration… I came across a blog. Testimony about a woman who won lotto after consulting with a particular spellcaster… I contacted her,and told her my problems… To cut my long story short. She gave me some numbers to pick.. Truthfully, my life took a U turn,I won the lotto,made money,moved out of my old house… And now I am good.. You can contact me on felicevondutch @ gmail .com if you want to contact her… Goodluck

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  54. Tommy Pressley

    Just to give you an idea of how “unlucky” I am – I’m 43 and have played approximately $20 per day for almost 22 years – many times more than $20. I usually buy $3 or $5 dollar tickets from the TX Lottery. I have won $100 only 3 times and $50 7 times over a 22 year period. I’m grateful the money is “supposed” to support TX Education, however, from the information on the news nearly EVERY day somebody is not doing the right thing with the money. I will FOREVER be grateful to move to Florida and not give the state of TX another red cent!

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    1. A

      Has anyone used the unclaimed top prize report on state lottery websites as a method of strategy? I was thinking about using the list that’s updated weekly and going for the $2 – $10 scratchoffs that have the greatest amount of tickets left. For example, ($10 game)Triple Million, which has a 1st prize of $3,000,000 but has 3 winners left and 2nd prize is $25,000 has 64 winners left. I want to play this but I’m more interested in 2nd prize winners because I’m happy if I can win any additional money at all even if its small amounts. So I’m more interested in games with odds like a game like these next 2. ($5)Match & Win, 1st prize is $1,000,000 with 3 winners left and 2nd prize $500 which has 435 winners left. ($1)Instant Take 5, 1st prize is $5,555 with 332 winners left and 2nd prize is $500 with 1,949 winners left. So I would probably play the Match & Win and Instant Take 5 more so than the Triple Million, which would hopefully increase my odds. Has anyone else tried this with any success? Thanks.

      1. yes

        I have been contemplating the very same thing. I was even thinking about using the information on the lotto sites about already cashed in winners to find games with a statistically favorable chance of winning.

        I think of it like this: If there were 100 tickets in a lottery total, and one of them payed out 100 dollars and the rest 0, once even one ticket has been sold and deemed a loser, it makes sense to buy all remaining 99 tickets, because you have a guarantee of winning (only $1 but still, a guaranteed $1).

        My problem has been finding info on how many lottery tickets there are to start with in certain games. I have also come to realize it is impossible to know how many actual tickets remain, but I’m still brainstorming ideas like this.

        Any ideas???

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  57. Lottery Guy

    A marvellous experiment, even if the result will only serve to encourage people to ignore the actual conclusion ;-)

    I think I’ll have to repeat your experiement and blog the results too. I’ll let you know if I beat your $2 win, or manage to blow the whole lot.

    1. mik

      my group has spent about $9 grand in the last 3 months on Mega Millions, if we add 4 more members we will be spending $1000 per week, its crazy

    1. mik


      We are looking for 3 players to join our group so we can have 20 total members.
      Currently we have been playing for 5 months and spend $3000 + per month.
      All members have signed a legal contract and the weekly tickets are scanned and distributed by email.
      Transactions are done through Paypal, so everything can be financially tracked.
      I’m fairly confident that we are the largest lotto group in California as far as spending power is concerned.

  58. BradK

    It would have been interesting to see how you would have handled this experiment (and your purchase behavior) had your winnings been more significant such as an additional $100 profit or more. Would your profit parlayed the decision then to purchase 100 $2 dollar games??

  59. mike

    Actually, if you play Scratch-Off games in Texas all of the game data is published including something very important, the win amount per pack for every game. This means every player knows exactly what the minimum dollar value you will win if you buy the entire pack of tickets.

    Not to plug my iPhone app, but to illustrate the point of what can be done just download the free version and see how the current odds can be calculated against the published game odds.

    Playing Scratch-Off Lottery games actually can pretty good odds to win over draw lotteries at certain times. You just need analyze the published play data and choose the target games.

    It’s just too bad other states don’t publish the same Scratch-Off game data as Texas, otherwise I could help more people improve their chances to win.

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  61. Alessia

    Nice Post. I watched a similar experiment on youtube where a guy did the exact thing and lost. It was grueling to witness him scratch every card and at the end to see him loose majority of his cash.

  62. Lottery System Winning

    Seems like most tickets I buy lose. If they do win it’s usual just a buck or two. I was told by someone years ago that one in seven scratch tickets on the same roll is a winner. Not sure how accurate that is.

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  64. Anonymous

    hello neville
    i am writing regarding the email that was written below and was wondering if you might be able to help
    i have tried to email the person that is recommended but it seems to be an incorrect address
    i realise the post is a year and a half old but was wondering if you have any contact details for this person
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    Hi,first,how do I pay her for helping me,this is my story.this might help anyone of you who is into gambling like me,lotto,black jack,dice etc…
    I was lounging in poverty,picking numbers everyday, but I kept on failing… But I was hopeful,I kept on believing that there is light at the end of the tunnel… Months later,after serious heart break and frustration… I came across a blog. Testimony about a woman who won lotto after consulting with a particular spellcaster… I contacted her,and told her my problems… To cut my long story short. She gave me some numbers to pick.. Truthfully, my life took a U turn,I won the lotto,made money,moved out of my old house… And now I am good.. You can contact me on felicevondutch @ gmail .com if you want to contact her… Goodluck

  65. Lucky

    Scratch tickets are rigged.
    Here’s some things you may, or may not know.
    Scrath tickets are generated to automatically have set winners. That is once they leave the warehouse that distributes them.
    Lets say that your state has 100 locations that sell tickets. They can only distribute these scratch tickets as they sell. The winners may stay in the warehouse never to see the light of day. Also because the tickets are on a deadline to turn in winning tickets some won’t be bought. Those odds they give you don’t mean much if they are hiding the winners.

    I’ve done the same experiment only to come out ahead by $100+, not really woth it when you factor in your time & transportation.

    Don’t believe me…check your local state scratch game after the last day of the winning deadline there’s usually still jackpots that are not won.
    It gets even worst when you start tracking all the areas that have winning tickets and you start seeing that the distribution of the tickets biggest jackpots are in focused areas while some areas never win. Imagine having 100,000 tickets with 1 being the jackpot, but it never makes it out to be sold. That’s why it’s a rigged game.

  66. Maria Allen

    Ha Ha i really enjoyed reading that! I really think its just luck although I’ve often wondered if there was a good chance of winning a decent amount of money if you bought a big amount of tickets and that answered my question. Thanks!


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    “Godday.” I am aleem iqbal am from UK I have been playing euromillion since i was 15 and i have never won i but instead i waste my money in buying ticket. One day i saw a friend who told me that there is a spellcaster in Africa that can help win this lottery he was so sure of it but what keep him wondering is that he was not sure if he can make me win big, I say let me give a try cause i was so curious in becoming a millionaire so that flunt round bitches. so i give a try and he assure me in 3days i will get result and immediately i went to buy ticket with the number he sent me and i did just that so for sure in 3days time result was out and i was a winner of £22million. I could not rejoice too much cause i was expecting this but was not sure if it really work but now that i have tested it and it work i will be forever grateful to this spell caster and my friend. The most surprising story was that when i came back to show my appreciation of how grateful i am he told me to keep the money to my self that he can not collect money from me cause he was sent to help people across the world and he is not spending much time on the internet for he came on a mission to help people. The offer to show appreciation to this man is to spread his name across the world so that people will be helped, so that what am doing online. Do not waste time the email is ( NAME is (Dr. Soula) he is the only help you need.

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