Mom-of-four, 26, who 'quit her McDonald's job to care for disabled child' is one of three $564.1m Powerball winners

Sad follow up to great North Carolina lottery winner story

In February, we wrote about Marie Holmes, 26, from Shallotte, North Carolina, who was one of three winners for the Powerball $564.1 million prize, the fifth largest ever in America. Her original lottery story is here.

Marie had previously work at a local McDonald’s before quitting to take full time care of her children, one of whom was disabled.

It was a wonderful feel good story.

Well, it seems every silver cloud has a gray lining.

Just last night, Brunswick County Sheriff’s deputies cited Ms. Holmes with possession of marijuana, having a half ounce or less of marijuana and drug paraphernalia at her home.

O.K., to many this may not be a big deal since marijuana is gradually becoming legal in more U.S. states. And it’s not like she’s selling it. And from the details of the story, it could be the the pot and a gun also present belong to another individual.

But jeeze, there are kids in the home. And it’s not exactly consistent with her quote at the time she won the lottery that she was going to buy a house and set up college funds for her children, though the first thing she was going to do is tithe to the church.

As they say in the U.S., that sucks.

Here something that doesn’t suck: FreeLotto. Play six games, every day, and you could win millions. People win all the time.


How to Win Texas Lottery Scratch-Off Games


5 strategies for winning TX Lottery’s popular instant-win games


The Texas lottery instant games have been some of the most popular scratch-off games in the U.S. since their debut in May 29, 1992.

The instant ticket games change frequently and cost anywhere from $1 to $50. Texas is the only state to offer a $50 scratch-off game. As of July, 2015, the TX Lottery offers 64 instant games to play.

However, the Texas Lottery has been criticized for continuing to sell tickets to games where the top prizes have already been won – tickets remain on sale until 90% are sold. And just last year, the Texas Lottery Commission was charged with misleading its players after dozens of scratch-off game players who thought they had won were told they were losers.

But just like with any scratch-off game, it pays to play smart. If you really want to win, always check the website first to see which games have a number of unclaimed top prizes and follow our strategies in this story to increase your odds.

The Texas Lottery offers the typical games of pure chance, like the Lotto Texas, Texas Two Step, All or Nothing, Pick 3, Daily 4, Cash 5, and the multi-state Powerball and Mega Millions.

The only way to really increase your odds of winning these lottery jackpots is to buy more tickets. The more lottery tickets you have, the better your chances of winning.

The Texas Lottery scratch-off games are different. None of these games are truly games of chance.

To be clear: The Texas Lottery drawings are a game of chance because the numbers are drawn at random. The Texas Lottery Scratch-Off Games are not like the lottery drawings because a lottery official must decide the number of total tickets to print, the number and amounts of winning tickets, and where the winning tickets are sold across the state. The purpose of each decision is to make the game more appealing and keep players coming back.

Even how winning tickets are dispersed in a given roll is often not random to make sure there’s not a long list of losers.

And the Instant Game tickets themselves are carefully crafted, and not random.

“Near winners” are produced, where a ticket will have nearly all of the matching numbers or symbols needed to win, to entice players to keep playing.

So, yes, the Texas Lottery Instant Games have a method to their madness. The challenge is to figure it out.

January-coverA story in Wired Magazine explains how a geological statistician living in Toronto, Mohan Srivastava, discovered a pattern to how the tickets were printed.

“The tickets are clearly mass-produced, which means there must be some computer program that lays down the numbers,” Mr. Srivastava is quoted in Wired. “Of course, it would be really nice if the computer could just spit out random digits. But that’s not possible, since the lottery corporation needs to control the number of winning tickets [otherwise it could go bust]. The game can’t be truly random. Instead, it has to generate the illusion of randomness while actually being carefully determined.”

Mr. Srivastava’s discovery will no longer work on most (probably all) instant game tickets. However, the concept of “illusion of randomness” remains relevant.


Instant lottery scratch-off games best strategies


Here are 5 strategies to increase your odds of winning the Texas Lottery Instant Games:

1. Buy all your instant game tickets from the same roll at the same time.
lottery-tickets-rollYou can assume there are at least a few winners in every roll of tickets. Every time you get a losing ticket, you reduce your chances of losing by one ticket.

Do not buy different games. If you buy a new ticket from a different roll, the pool of losing tickets is much larger and your chances of getting a winning ticket goes down.

2. Don’t play everyday. Rather buy in bulk.
Building on tip #1, the odds are better if instead of buying one ticket every day for a week, you spend the same amount and buy 7 tickets at one time. Better yet, purchase your monthly allotment of scratch offs during on visit. Buying 30 tickets at once is much better than buying one a day.

3. Let others buy the losing tickets.
If you’re able to and have the time, hang around and watch others play. If you see a prolonged losing streak from a specific roll, your chances of getting a winning ticket increase because scratch-off tickets are sold with a guaranteed number of winners and losers in each pack.

You could also make friends with the cashier who could keep track for you.

4. Have the retailer’s computer check your losing tickets.
This isn’t about improving your odds necessarily, except that after scratching off 10, 15, or 20 tickets, it’s easy to miss matching symbols or numbers.

5. Strategically plan your play using math and a spreadsheet

Most scratch-off games publish on their websites the odds for each instant cash game. Many will often post prizes that have already been won for each game.

If you do nothing else, at least be sure to check the appropriate website to see which games still have top prizes available.

freelotto-spreadsheetNow to really improve your odds, let’s do a little math (there’s a spreadsheet at the end to make it easy).

We start with a simple concept: When tickets are sold and prizes won, the odds of winning change.

For example, if a game has sold many tickets, all or nearly all the top prizes could have already been won, so the odds of you winning that $1 million went from very small to virtually zero to perhaps zero if all the top prizes have been claimed.

However, sometimes the odds swing in your favor.

Again, simplifying the math for the example, let’s say 50% of the tickets have been sold but only 25% of the prizes have been claimed. Naturally, your odds of winning have gone up, or swung in your favor, by 50%. This would be a game you should play.

In reality, the odds never swing this much. In fact, most of the time, the odds vary only slightly. But a slight move in your direction can help and a few times, you’ll find significant swings that can make a worthwhile difference.

We’ve created a spreadsheet you can use to do the math for you. All you need to do is check the game’s website and fill in the numbers.


Here’s how the spreadsheet works for a single game:

We used the Texas Lottery Money, Money Millionaire $20 game as an example.

You can find the numbers for the game here: http://www.txlottery.org/export/sites/lottery/Games/Scratch_Offs/details.html_252729490.html

In column A, we filled in the available prizes.

In column B, we filled in the odds, which are usually stated as “1 in X.” In the Money, Money Millionaire scratch-off game, only 2 odds are provided, which are printed on the back of the ticket. The overall odds are 1 in 2.9, but this includes break-even tickets sold and the specific odds for break-even tickets are not given. The odds for the top prize of $1 million is 1 in 1.2 million, so we can fill in the numbers we have and put 1,200,000 at the top in column B.

In column C, we filled in total available prizes. This is detailed on the website.

Column D automatically calculates the estimated number of tickets sold. The formula is:

Odds X Available Prizes = Printed Tickets

However, in this case, the Texas Lottery website tells us how many tickets have been printing with the kind of funny statement: “There are approximately 5,925,875 tickets in Money Money Millionaire.” We filled in that number in column C.

Column E automatically calculates your chances of winning. Your chances of winning $1 million is .00008%. Your chances of winning $50 is 12%. And yes, you’re reading it correctly that your chance of winning $25 is less at 4%, but the chance to win $20 goes back up to 16%. Look at the number of available prizes and you’ll see that there are a lot more $50 prizes available.

In column F, we filled in the claimed prizes as published on the website.

Column G automatically calculates the number of remaining prizes.

Column H is an important column. It estimates how many tickets have been sold. This is a number not provided by the website, but it’s critical in determining how the odds have changed.
To generate a reasonable estimate, the spreadsheet uses the estimated tickets sold of the lowest prize amount because this gives us the largest sample size and will be more accurate than the numbers with fewer prizes.

Column I automatically takes the estimated tickets sold and subtracts from total tickets printed to get the estimated remaining tickets.

Column J automatically adjusts the odds based on the new numbers.

Column K automatically adjusts your chances of winning based on the new numbers.

Column L automatically determines how much your chances of winning have changed. Sometimes in your favor, represented by a green bold number, and sometimes against you, represented by a red number.

In our example, you can see that the odds for most of the higher prize amounts have moved slightly in our favor, especially for the $5,000, $1,000, and $500 prizes. But the smaller prizes have swung in the opposite direction. The odds of winning $50 has decreased 0.6%. And our overall chances have gone down slightly.

What does all this mean?

If you’re looking to minimize your risk, don’t play this game given the odds for the smaller, more of the sure-win prizes are not in your favor.

However, if you’re looking to win greater jackpots, then this would be a good game to play because most of these odds are moving in your favor.

But don’t stop with just this game. Use this spreadsheet to compare games. Is the Texas Lottery Money Money Millionaire game better or worse than the 50X the Cash game? Currently, the Money Money Millionaire game is much better. In fact, don’t play 50X the Cash because most of the top prizes have been claimed.

Bottom line, don’t just walk into a store and purchase a few random tickets, unless you really don’t care and just want to have fun. But if you want to improve your odds, these strategies do help.


Download instant lottery scratch-off games spreadsheet


freelotto-spreadsheet-top

Click to view the spreadsheet: https://goo.gl/MbR9TO

To download the spreadsheet to your computer, click the menu File, then Download As.

Note, this is a Google Doc so you won’t risk getting viruses or other crap you get if you download strange files or those ending in .exe.

Let me know what you think below.

Topics: | Tags:

Euro Millions youngest lottery winner finds money can’t buy happiness.

It’s often been said that money can’t buy happiness. And now I know why. People don’t know how to shop for the right things.

Take for example Britain’s youngest lottery winner, Jane Park from Edinburgh, who last year won £1m playing the lottery when she was 17 years old.

Since then she’s splashed the cash on a Louis Vuitton handbag, a Chihuahua puppy, breast enhancement surgery, and a large, three bedroom house.

And she checked the box for maximum publicity, including allowing herself to be featured in the BBC show “Teenage Millionaire: The Year I Won the Lottery.”

As a result: She’s unhappy.

Mainly because people on Twitter were mean to her.

@LaurenBonnerx wrote: “This teenage millionaire programme is defo a benefits street spin off. Complete tramp.”

Other comments were more scathing: @Jessicapenning9 posted: “Watching teenage millionaire is killing me. That much money and you still look like a cheap bag of s***.”

She didn’t like living in her house alone because “It was hard work, stressful and just boring.”

Seriously what did she expect?

The best research in the world reinforces the fact that things – objects – don’t buy you happiness. Experiences do. And friends.

So to be happy, ditch the handbags and house and take your friends globe trotting to visit each of the 7 wonders of the world.

That’s how you shop for happiness.

If you want to win millions to take your friends around the world. Play FreeLotto. Six games, every day, and you could win millions. People win all the time.


Canadian lottery winner defies 1 in 2.6 trillion odds to win $1 million.

People often compare the odds of winning the lottery to being struck by lighting. Both are rare events.

Ever wonder what the odds are for winning the lottery and being struck by lighting?

How about the odds for winning the lottery and being struck by lighting and your daughter being struck by lighting during a different storm – and you both living to talk about it?

The odds, according to Sophie Leger, a mathematics professor at the Universite de Moncton, are an incredible 1 in 2.6 trillion.

Well, Canadian Peter McCathie beat those odds.

When McCathis was 14 years old, according to a report by Canadian TV, he was struck by lighting.

“We were out on a boat trip and when we got in, the water was pretty shallow so we locked it in the lake just off shore. I was trying to lock the boat up, it was a very sunny day, there was one big white cloud in the sky and the lightning bolt came through the trees and hit me,” McCathie told CTV.

Then just two years ago, his daughter was struck by lightning as well in a situation very similar to her father – while she was working as a wilderness guide in Manitoba, Canada.

“They had pulled off the lake due to the storm so she was locking all the canoes, making sure they weren’t going to get blown away, and she got hit by lightning,” the father explained.

The unlikely events kept coming into the McCathis’ lives.

Just this week, Peter McCathis defy the odds again and won the Atlantic Lottery $1 million jackpot.

Even more incredible, McCathis purchased the ticket from the store he owns! Therefore, he also collects the $10,000 awarded to the seller of the ticket.

You don’t have to be nearly so lucky to win money playing FreeLotto.

Play 6 games, every day, and you could win millions. People win all the time.

Topics: |

How to Win Illinois Lottery Instant Games


Best strategies and helpful spreadsheet to determine best odds


The Illinois Lottery Daily games, like the Pick 3 and Pick 4, and the Jackpot games, like Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto and Lucky Day Lotto, are purely games of chance.

There are no “special” strategies you can use to pick numbers that will increase your odds – despite what you read online.

Check out Illinois Lottery Results

Find the latest results. See if your numbers won in past drawings. Calculate the odds for any game. View smart picks based on the most frequent ‘hot’ numbers.

Illinois Lottery Results

You can employ certain strategies to improve your share of the jackpot should you win. But you can bank on this: To improve your odds of winning the Illinois Lottery, you need to purchase more tickets. The more you buy, the better your chances.

The IL Lottery Instant Games, however, are much different.

Illinois’ scratch-off tickets are not random.

Let me be perfectly clear. Lottery drawings are a game of chance because the numbers are drawn randomly – without human intervention. Instant Game tickets are not random because a human being must determine how many total tickets to print, how many will be winning tickets and for what amounts, and how the winning tickets are dispersed geographically. All of these decisions are carefully crafted to maximize excitement and to draw players in and keep them playing.

Even the number of winning tickets in a roll is often pre-determined to avoid long losing streaks.

The scratch-off tickets themselves are anything but random.

A conscious effort is made to produce “almost win” tickets where, for example, a card will have three out of four of the matching symbols needed, which will encourage players to purchase another card or come back sooner to play again.

In short, there is a formula to scratch-off games. The challenge is to figure it out.

January-coverA story in Wired Magazine explains how a geological statistician living in Toronto, Mohan Srivastava, discovered a pattern to how the tickets were printed.

“The tickets are clearly mass-produced, which means there must be some computer program that lays down the numbers,” Mr. Srivastava is quoted in Wired. “Of course, it would be really nice if the computer could just spit out random digits. But that’s not possible, since the lottery corporation needs to control the number of winning tickets [otherwise it could go bust]. The game can’t be truly random. Instead, it has to generate the illusion of randomness while actually being carefully determined.”

Mr. Srivastava’s discovery will no longer work on most (probably all) instant game tickets. However, the concept of “illusion of randomness” remains relevant.


IL Lottery Instant Games best strategies


Here are 5 strategies to increase your odds of winning the Illinois Lottery Instant Games:

1. Buy all your instant game tickets from the same roll at the same time.
lottery-tickets-rollYou can assume there are at least a few winners in every roll of tickets. Every time you get a losing ticket, you reduce your chances of losing by one ticket.

Do not buy different games. If you buy a new ticket from a different roll, the pool of losing tickets is much larger and your chances of getting a winning ticket goes down.

2. Don’t play everyday. Rather buy in bulk.
Building on tip #1, the odds are better if instead of buying one ticket every day for a week, you spend the same amount and buy 7 tickets at one time. Better yet, purchase your monthly allotment of scratch offs during on visit. Buying 30 tickets at once is much better than buying one a day.

3. Let others buy the losing tickets.
If you’re able to and have the time, hang around and watch others play. If you see a prolonged losing streak from a specific roll, your chances of getting a winning ticket increase because scratch-off tickets are sold with a guaranteed number of winners and losers in each pack.

You could also make friends with the cashier who could keep track for you.

4. Have the retailer’s computer check your losing tickets.
This isn’t about improving your odds necessarily, except that after scratching off 10, 15, or 20 tickets, it’s easy to miss matching symbols or numbers.

5. Strategically plan your play using math and a spreadsheet

Most scratch-off games publish on their websites the odds for each instant cash game. Many will often post prizes that have already been won for each game.

If you do nothing else, at least be sure to check the appropriate website to see which games still have top prizes available.

freelotto-spreadsheetNow to really improve your odds, let’s do a little math (there’s a spreadsheet at the end to make it easy).

We start with a simple concept: When tickets are sold and prizes won, the odds of winning change.

For example, if a game has sold many tickets, all or nearly all the top prizes could have already been won, so the odds of you winning that $1 million went from very small to virtually zero to perhaps zero if all the top prizes have been claimed.

However, sometimes the odds swing in your favor.

Again, simplifying the math for the example, let’s say 50% of the tickets have been sold but only 25% of the prizes have been claimed. Naturally, your odds of winning have gone up, or swung in your favor, by 50%. This would be a game you should play.

In reality, the odds never swing this much. In fact, most of the time, the odds vary only slightly. But a slight move in your direction can help and a few times, you’ll find significant swings that can make a worthwhile difference.

We’ve created a spreadsheet you can use to do the math for you. All you need to do is check the game’s website and fill in the numbers.


Here’s how the spreadsheet works for a single game:

We used the Illinois Lottery World Class Millions Instant Game as an example.
The World Class Millions scratch-off game is giving out more than $140 million in prizes with the Grand Prize being $15 million. It’s the highest instant game payout in Illinois Lottery history. You have a 34% of winning something every time you play.

You can find the rules for the game here: http://www.illinoislottery.com/en-us/10-to-30-dollar-instant-games/worldclassmillions.html

And you can find the number of prizes available and remaining prizes here:
http://www.illinoislottery.com/content/dam/ill/documents/subsections/UnclaimedLotteryPrizes.pdf

In column A, we filled in the available prizes.

In column B, we filled in the odds, which are usually stated as “1 in X.”.

In column C, we filled in total available prizes.

Column D automatically calculates the estimated number of tickets sold. The formula is:

Odds X Available Prizes = Printed Tickets

The estimates may vary per prize based on rounding.

Column E automatically calculates your chances of winning.

In column F, we filled in the claimed prizes as published on the website.

Column G automatically calculates the number of remaining prizes.

Column H is an important column. It estimates how many tickets have been sold. This is a number not provided by the website, but it’s critical in determining how the odds have changed.
To generate a reasonable estimate, the spreadsheet uses the estimated tickets sold of the lowest prize amount because this gives us the largest sample size and will be more accurate than the numbers with fewer prizes.

Column I automatically takes the estimated tickets sold and subtracts from total tickets printed to get the estimated remaining tickets.

Column J automatically adjusts the odds based on the new numbers.

Column K automatically adjusts your chances of winning based on the new numbers.

Column L automatically determines how much your chances of winning have changed. Sometimes in your favor, represented by a green bold number, and sometimes against you, represented by a red number.

In our example, you can see that the odds for most of the higher prize amounts have moved slightly in our favor, especially for the $1,000, $500, and $40 prizes. But the $20 and $25 prizes have swung in the opposite direction. The odds of winning $20 has decreased 0.5%. And our overall chances have gone down 0.1%.

Bottom line, don’t just walk into a store and purchase a few random tickets, unless you really don’t care and just want to have fun. But if you want to improve your odds, these strategies do help.


Download instant lottery scratch-off games spreadsheet


freelotto-spreadsheet-top

Click to view the spreadsheet: https://goo.gl/VehFVv

To download the spreadsheet to your computer, click the menu File, then Download As.

Note, this is a Google Doc so you won’t risk getting viruses or other crap you get if you download strange files or those ending in .exe.

Let me know what you think below.

Topics: | Tags:

How to Win Georgia Lottery Instant Games


Increase your odds of winning Georgia scratch off tickets by following these 5 strategies


The Georgia lottery games, like Cash 3, Cash 4, Georgia 5, and of course the multistate Powerball and Mega Millions, are all games of chance.

The only way to really increase your odds of winning the lottery jackpot is to purchase more tickets. The more lottery tickets you buy, the better your chances of winning.

The Georgia Lottery Instant Games, also known as scratch offs, are different.

The GA Lottery offers dozens of instant games at any one time. And the types of games, ranging from $1 to $30, change often.

For example, the newest games are the $1 Million Super Cash, Fat Cat/Lucky Dog, Lady Luck 7, and Summer Cash.

None of these games are truly games of chance.

To emphasize this point: The Georgia Lottery drawings are a game of chance because the numbers are drawn randomly – without human intervention. The Georgia Lottery Instant Games are not like the lottery drawings because a lottery official must decide the number of total tickets to print, the number and amounts of winning tickets, and where the winning tickets are sold across the state. The purpose of each decision is to make the game more appealing and keep players coming back.

Even how winning tickets are dispersed in a given roll is often not random to make sure there’s not a long list of losers.

And the Instant Game tickets themselves are carefully crafted, and not random.

“Near winners” are produced, where a ticket will have nearly all of the matching numbers or symbols needed to win, to entice players to keep playing.

So, yes, the Georgia Lottery Instant Games have a method to their madness. The challenge is to figure it out.

January-coverA story in Wired Magazine explains how a geological statistician living in Toronto, Mohan Srivastava, discovered a pattern to how the tickets were printed.

“The tickets are clearly mass-produced, which means there must be some computer program that lays down the numbers,” Mr. Srivastava is quoted in Wired. “Of course, it would be really nice if the computer could just spit out random digits. But that’s not possible, since the lottery corporation needs to control the number of winning tickets [otherwise it could go bust]. The game can’t be truly random. Instead, it has to generate the illusion of randomness while actually being carefully determined.”

Mr. Srivastava’s discovery will no longer work on most (probably all) instant game tickets. However, the concept of “illusion of randomness” remains relevant.


Instant lottery scratch-off games best strategies


Here are 5 strategies to increase your odds of winning the Georgia Lottery Instant Games:

1. Buy all your instant game tickets from the same roll at the same time.
lottery-tickets-rollYou can assume there are at least a few winners in every roll of tickets. Every time you get a losing ticket, you reduce your chances of losing by one ticket.

Do not buy different games. If you buy a new ticket from a different roll, the pool of losing tickets is much larger and your chances of getting a winning ticket goes down.

2. Don’t play everyday. Rather buy in bulk.
Building on tip #1, the odds are better if instead of buying one ticket every day for a week, you spend the same amount and buy 7 tickets at one time. Better yet, purchase your monthly allotment of scratch offs during on visit. Buying 30 tickets at once is much better than buying one a day.

3. Let others buy the losing tickets.
If you’re able to and have the time, hang around and watch others play. If you see a prolonged losing streak from a specific roll, your chances of getting a winning ticket increase because scratch-off tickets are sold with a guaranteed number of winners and losers in each pack.

You could also make friends with the cashier who could keep track for you.

4. Have the retailer’s computer check your losing tickets.
This isn’t about improving your odds necessarily, except that after scratching off 10, 15, or 20 tickets, it’s easy to miss matching symbols or numbers.

5. Strategically plan your play using math and a spreadsheet

Most scratch-off games publish on their websites the odds for each instant cash game. Many will often post prizes that have already been won for each game.

If you do nothing else, at least be sure to check the appropriate website to see which games still have top prizes available.

freelotto-spreadsheetNow to really improve your odds, let’s do a little math (there’s a spreadsheet at the end to make it easy).

We start with a simple concept: When tickets are sold and prizes won, the odds of winning change.

For example, if a game has sold many tickets, all or nearly all the top prizes could have already been won, so the odds of you winning that $1 million went from very small to virtually zero to perhaps zero if all the top prizes have been claimed.

However, sometimes the odds swing in your favor.

Again, simplifying the math for the example, let’s say 50% of the tickets have been sold but only 25% of the prizes have been claimed. Naturally, your odds of winning have gone up, or swung in your favor, by 50%. This would be a game you should play.

In reality, the odds never swing this much. In fact, most of the time, the odds vary only slightly. But a slight move in your direction can help and a few times, you’ll find significant swings that can make a worthwhile difference.

We’ve created a spreadsheet you can use to do the math for you. All you need to do is check the game’s website and fill in the numbers.


Here’s how the spreadsheet works for a single game:

Unfortunately, Georgia is not very forthcoming with its odds.

The Georgia Lottery website publishes the odds for all its games. But it only publishes how many of its top prizes have been won. (Other states, like the California Lottery website provides a great deal more information.)

But we can still determine some additional odds.

We used the Georgia Lottery Fast Bucks $20 game as an example.

You can find the numbers for the game here: https://www.galottery.com/games/instant-games/instant-games/34233-fast-bucks-1163

We plugged the numbers we know into the spreadsheet, which is really just column A and B.

Since we know 1 of 2 top prizes have been won, the spreadsheet will calculate automatically the rest for columns C, D, and E. And this tells the odds of winning $50 (6%), $40 (10%), $30 (6%), $20 (10%) – yes, the Georgia Lottery officials made it easier to win $40 than $30.

Unfortunately, the rest of the spreadsheet isn’t very helpful without knowing more information like how many of the other prizes have been claimed.

You can use the spreadsheet for other games.

Here are the complete directions for using the How To Win Scratch Offs spreadsheet.

Bottom line, don’t just walk into a store and purchase a few random tickets, unless you really don’t care and just want to have fun. But if you want to improve your odds, these strategies do help.


Download instant lottery scratch-off games spreadsheet


freelotto-spreadsheet-top

Click to view the spreadsheet: https://goo.gl/EVnhC1

To download the spreadsheet to your computer, click the menu File, then Download As.

Note, this is a Google Doc so you won’t risk getting viruses or other crap you get if you download strange files or those ending in .exe.

Let me know what you think below.

Topics: |

Efren Jimenez

Congratulations to Efren Jimenez, from Hayward, CA, United States.

celebration

Efren won $300. Sorry, but no picture was provided. It’s not required you provide an image if you win.

Would you like to win money instantly? Play FreeLotto. It’s convenient. It’s fun. There are 6 games to play every day. And the odds are similar to other popular lotteries.

Topics: |

How to Win Instant Lottery Scratch-Off Games


5 strategies and 1 spreadsheet to dramatically improve your odds of winning.


Despite what your great aunt tells you about using “special” strategies to pick lucky numbers, the lottery is a game of pure chance.

Sure, there are small things you can do to slightly improve your odds of winning the lottery jackpot. But in general, the only real way to improve your chances is to purchase more tickets. The more lottery tickets you possess, the better your chances of becoming rich.

Instant lottery scratch-off games, also known as scratchers, are different.

Scratch-off tickets are not random.

Let me repeat. Lottery drawings are a game of chance because the numbers are drawn randomly – without human intervention. Scratch-off tickets are not random because a real person must determine how many total tickets to print, how many will be winning tickets and for what amounts, and how the winning tickets are dispersed geographically. All of these decisions are carefully crafted to maximize excitement and to draw players in and keep them playing.

Even the number of winning tickets in a roll is often pre-determined to avoid long losing streaks.

The scratch-off tickets themselves are anything but random.

A conscious effort is made to produce “almost win” tickets where, for example, a card will have three out of four of the matching symbols needed, which will encourage players to purchase another card or come back sooner to play again.

In short, there is a formula to scratch-off games. The challenge is to figure out the formula.

January-coverA famous article in Wired Magazine details how Mohan Srivastava, a geological statistician living in Toronto, figured out one of the formulas.

“The tickets are clearly mass-produced, which means there must be some computer program that lays down the numbers,” Mr. Srivastava is quoted in Wired. “Of course, it would be really nice if the computer could just spit out random digits. But that’s not possible, since the lottery corporation needs to control the number of winning tickets [otherwise it could go bust]. The game can’t be truly random. Instead, it has to generate the illusion of randomness while actually being carefully determined.”

The article goes on to describe his approach. Although his particular method will no longer work on most (probably all) scratch-off tickets, the “illusion of randomness” principle does still apply.

We can’t tell you the exact formula for your favorite scratch-off games, but we can offer strategies for dramatically improving your odds for winning money when playing instant cash tickets.


Instant lottery scratch-off games best strategies


If you really want to win more when playing instant lottery scratch-off games, start with the following:

1. Buy all your scratch-off tickets from the same roll at the same time.
lottery-tickets-rollYou can assume there are at least a few winners in every roll of tickets. Every time you get a losing ticket, you reduce your chances of losing by one ticket.

Do not buy different games. If you buy a new ticket from a different roll, the pool of losing tickets is much larger and your chances of getting a winning ticket goes down.

2. Don’t play everyday. Rather buy in bulk.
Building on tip #1, the odds are better if instead of buying one ticket every day for a week, you spend the same amount and buy 7 tickets at one time. Better yet, purchase your monthly allotment of scratch offs during on visit. Buying 30 tickets at once is much better than buying one a day.

3. Let others buy the losing tickets.
If you’re able to and have the time, hang around and watch others play. If you see a prolonged losing streak from a specific roll, your chances of getting a winning ticket increase because scratch-off tickets are sold with a guaranteed number of winners and losers in each pack.

You could also make friends with the cashier who could keep track for you.

4. Have the retailer’s computer check your losing tickets.
This isn’t about improving your odds necessarily, except that after scratching off 10, 15, or 20 tickets, it’s easy to miss matching symbols or numbers.

Now the really big one:

5. Strategically plan your play using math and a spreadsheet

Most scratch-off games publish on their websites the odds for each instant cash game. Many will often post prizes that have already been won for each game.

If you do nothing else, at least be sure to check the appropriate website to see which games still have top prizes available.

freelotto-spreadsheetNow to really improve your odds, let’s do a little math (there’s a spreadsheet at the end to make it easy).

We start with a simple concept: When tickets are sold and prizes won, the odds of winning change.

For example, if a game has sold many tickets, all or nearly all the top prizes could have already been won, so the odds of you winning that $1 million went from very small to virtually zero to perhaps zero if all the top prizes have been claimed.

However, sometimes the odds swing in your favor.

Again, simplifying the math for the example, let’s say 50% of the tickets have been sold but only 25% of the prizes have been claimed. Naturally, your odds of winning have gone up, or swung in your favor, by 50%. This would be a game you should play.

In reality, the odds never swing this much. In fact, most of the time, the odds vary only slightly. But a slight move in your direction can help and a few times, you’ll find significant swings that can make a worthwhile difference.

We’ve created a spreadsheet you can use to do the math for you. All you need to do is check the game’s website and fill in the numbers.


Here’s how the spreadsheet works for a single game:

To follow along, you may first want to view the spreadsheet at the end of this article.

We used the California Lottery Deluxe 7s Playbook game as an example.

You can find the numbers for the game here:
http://www.calottery.com/play/scratchers-games/$20-scratchers/deluxe-7s-playbook-1175

freelotto-spreadsheet-column-a-bIn column A, we filled in the available prizes (see image on right).

In column B, we filled in the odds, which are usually stated as “1 in X.” In our California example, the odds of winning $500 are 1 in 664. Put 664 in column B.

In column C, we filled in total available prizes. The California game has 18,300 prizes for $500.

Column D automatically calculates the estimated number of tickets available. The formula to estimate number of tickets available is:

Odds X Available Prizes = Printed Tickets

CA Lottery example: 664 (odds) X 18,300 (available prizes) = 12,151,200 (printed tickets)

The estimates may vary per prize based on rounding and inconsistencies by the state.

Column E automatically calculates your chances of winning. Your chances of winning $1 million is .00008%. Your chances of winning $25 is 11%.

In column F, we filled in the claimed prizes as published on the website.

Column G automatically calculates the number of remaining prizes.

Column H is an important column. It estimates how many tickets have been sold. This is a number not provided by the website, but it’s critical in determining how the odds have changed. To generate a reasonable estimate, the spreadsheet uses the estimated tickets sold of the lowest prize amount because this gives us the largest sample size and will be more accurate than the numbers with fewer prizes.

Column I automatically takes the estimated tickets sold and subtracts from total tickets printed to get the estimated remaining tickets.

Column J automatically adjusts the odds based on the new numbers.

Column K automatically adjusts your chances of winning based on the new numbers.

Column L provides your answer. It automatically determines how much your chances of winning have changed. Sometimes in your favor, represented by a green bold number, and sometimes against you, represented by a red number.

In our example, you can see that the odds for most of the higher prize amounts have moved slightly in your favor, especially for the $1,000, $500, and $40 prizes. But the $20 and $25 prizes have swung in the opposite direction. The odds of winning $20 has decreased 0.5%. And your overall chances have gone down 0.1%.

What does all this mean?

If you’re looking to minimize your risk, don’t play this game given the odds for the smaller, more of the sure-win prizes, are not in your favor.

However, if you’re looking to win greater jackpots, then this would be a good game to play because most of these odds are moving in your favor.

But don’t stop with just this game. Use this spreadsheet to compare games. Is the California Lottery Deluxe 7s Playbook game better or worse than the Million $$ Match game? Currently, the Deluxe game is better, but this could change.

Bottom line, don’t just walk into a store and purchase a few random tickets, unless you really don’t care and just want to have fun. But if you want to improve your odds, these strategies do help.


Download instant lottery scratch-off games spreadsheet


freelotto-spreadsheet-top

Click to view the spreadsheet: https://goo.gl/scALau

To download the spreadsheet to your computer, click the menu File, then Download As.

Note, this is a Google Doc so you won’t risk getting viruses or other crap you get if you download strange files or those ending in .exe.

Let me know what you think below.