Lottery Tickets Sold in Florida Could Have Warning Labels

We’ve heard of warning labels on cigarettes and alcohol, but now there may be warning labels on something else… Florida’s law-maker Jennifer Sullivan wants all lottery tickets sold in the state of Florida to carry warning labels.  This warning would be included in scratch-offs, draw-play games, and the Powerball and Mega Millions.

Sullivan argues that lottery tickets are a government-sponsored activity that may be addictive and should therefore bear the same warning found on cigarettes.

Sullivan’s label bill would also require stores that sell lottery tickets to post signs warning lottery players about the possibility of gambling addiction.  The Touring and Gaming Control Subcommittee of Florida agrees with the bill, but it has not been voted on yet.

If the bill does become a law, it would take effect on January 1, 2018.

What do you think about the new possible law?  Should the government put warning labels on lottery tickets?  Let us know by leaving your comments below!


Florida Judge wins $291 Million Powerball Jackpot and Brother Wins $7

James Stocklas, a retired judge, claimed his $291 Million prize this week, while his brother Bob Stocklas claimed $7 from the same drawing.  Talk about sibling rivalry!

James Stocklas played the Million Dollar Powerball lottery during a vacation to Florida.  Upon returning, he checked his ticket over breakfast at a diner in Pennsylvania. He was shocked at the win and purchased breakfast for the entire diner!

The judge bought the ticket with two other people and immediately took a private jet to Florida to claim the winnings.  Each person who participated in the purchase will receive $40 Million after taxes.

James Stocklas retired as a judge several years ago, but continues filling in at court. He says he’ll return to the bench next month.

Congratulations on your big win, James!  We hope you will be sharing some of the wealth with your brother.


Walmart May Start Selling Lottery Tickets

Walmart, one of the United States largest retail stores, which has taken a stance against selling lottery tickets, may change its mind.  Walmart has agreed to start a pilot program with the Florida Lottery. Walmart started testing its pilot lottery program in Florida on October 5th and it is still running today.  If it’s successful, the company plans to expand lottery ticket sales to Walmart super centers throughout the state.


A Florida Woman Wins $43 Million and Gives it All Away

Ruby Sorah, a 90-year-old woman in Florida, matched all six winning numbers in the February 17 Florida Lotto drawing.  Sorah became the lucky prize winner of the $43 Million jackpot!  She has decided to give away all of her winnings to family and doesn’t plan on doing anything for herself with the money.  Her neighbors report that Sorah and her husband, also 90, are a very sweet couple who live a simple life.  Congratulations to the Sorah family for their winnings and even more for their heartwarming generosity!


Win instant cash playing scratch off games

Here at FreeLotto, we love the idea of people winning instant cash by matching numbers in a lottery game. Which is why we’ve always been most interested in instant games, also called scratch-off games or scratchers, where players scratch off the UV ink on a game ticket to reveal the winning (or losing) numbers.

Two reasons why scratch offs games are fascinating:

1. People win money instantly. Big money.

  • Last week, a 24 year-old Michigan man hit the $4 million jackpot playing the Michigan Lottery $100,000,000 Diamonds instant game. He just walked into a Marathon gas station in Detroit, and asked the man in line in front of him what he should play. The man suggested the $100,000,000 Diamonds game, so he bought one $30 ticket. Instantly his life changed forever. With his winnings, the player plans to help his mother with her finances, buy a new home, a new car, and take a trip with his two young children.
  • Also last week, the North Carolina Lottery announced a Charlotte-area resident won a $1 million prize playing the Ultimate Millions scratch-off game. He purchased the ticket at a convenient store. (Ironically, the one he owns.) The winner took the lump-sum payout, and plans to buy a house and save for his daughter’s college fund, he told the NC lottery.
  • Just today Georgia Lottery officials announced that Rhonda Taylor of Grady County won $7 million playing the Georgia Lottery Max the Money scratch off game. This is the second time Ms. Taylor has won the GA Lottery. In 2009, she won $350,000 also playing an instant game.

2. There’s real strategy involved when playing instant games.

Unlike lottery draw games, there’s a very real science to increasing your odds of winning. We’ve written about these strategies a great deal on this site: How to win instant lottery scratch-off games.

In short, since the cash value of the ticket is determined at the time of printing, a strategic decision must be made by a person as to how many total tickets and winning tickets to print, and for what amounts, and how the winning tickets are placed into each roll and how the rolls are distributed, both in terms of timing and geography. All of these decisions must be made to ensure the game remains exciting while all the prizes are not won too early or before most of the tickets are sold.

Since we love the idea of people winning instant cash, we tried to create games that match the same fun and excitement. Hence, FreeLotto.

FreeLotto offers 6 ways to win big money every day. And you don’t have to even leave your home to play or even spend money on a ticket. You can play for free.

To date, we’ve awarded over $100,000,000 in cash prizes to contest and sweepstakes fans all over the world, including 4 $10 Million winners and 21 $1 Million winners. Hundreds have also won prizes of $10,000 to $100,000 and over 7 million have won $1.00 to $300.00 prizes.

If you like to play instant games, you’ll love playing FreeLotto.

Approximately 17,000 new people sign up to play every day. Why not you?

It’s free and it’s fun. And you can win up to $11 million today. It’s a better way to play #betterwaytoplay.


5 Tips to dramatically improve your odds of winning Florida Lottery Scratch-Offs


5 important strategies and 1 helpful spreadsheet to increase your odds of winning


Florida Lottery instant games offer some of the best payouts among all lottery games in the United States. Payouts range from 58% to almost 77% of sales, and the average game pays out 70%. Top prizes reach $10 million.

You can choose among more than 70 scratch-off games, with ticket prices starting at $1 and rising to $30.

While the Florida Lottery draw games are based entirely on luck and chance – with virtually nothing you can do to improve your odds of winning other than buying more tickets – FLA Lottery scratch-off games are different.

Scratch-off tickets of any kind are not random.

To repeat. Florida Lottery drawings are a game of chance because the numbers are drawn randomly – without any 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 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.”

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


Instant lottery scratch-off games best strategies


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 games.

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

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.

Florida Lottery Scratch-Off games latest winner

LYNN HAVEN WOMAN CLAIMS $1 MILLION PRIZE IN THE $5,000,000 MONOPOLY™ FLORIDA EDITION SCRATCH-OFF GAME

Gloria Kendrick, 67, of Lynn Haven, recently claimed a $1 million prize in the $5,000,000 MONOPOLY™ FLORIDA EDITION Scratch-Off game. She chose to receive her winnings as a one-time, lump-sum payment of $770,000.00. Kendrick purchased her winning ticket from Publix, located at 2310 South Highway 77 in Lynn Haven.

More Florida Lottery Scratch-Off Winners

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 $10,000,000 Florida Cash game (#1265) as an example.

You can find the numbers for the game here: http://www.flalottery.com/scratch-offsGameDetails?gameNumber=1265

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 our Florida Lottery example, the odds of winning $500 are 1 in 333.33. Put 333.33 in column B.

In column C, we filled in total available prizes. The $10,000,000 Florida Cash game is giving away 4 $10 million prizes and 46 $1 million prizes.

Column D automatically calculates the estimated number of tickets sold based on the odds and available prizes. The formula is:

Odds X Available Prizes = Printed Tickets

Florida Lottery example for $1 million: 704,347.83 (odds) X 46 (available prizes) = 32,400,00 (printed tickets)

You can run the same example for the $10 million prizes and get the same result of 32,400,000 tickets printed.

Since the number of printed tickets match, that number fills in for the rest of the column.

In fact, we can use this number to determine how many other prizes are available.

Column E automatically calculates your chances of winning. Your chances of winning $1 million is .00014%. Your chances of winning $25 is 15%.

FYI: This game offers much better odds than similar scratch-off games in other states.

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.

Unfortunately, the Florida Lottery only publishes remaining prizes for the highest amounts. So we can’t do too much more with the other prizes. And it renders a good portion of the spreadsheet unhelpful.

If you could find out the remaining prizes for the other amounts, here’s how the rest of the spreadsheet would work:

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.

You can use the spreadsheet to play other scratch-off games in other states that are more generous with their numbers.

For the Florida Lottery $10,000,000 Florida Cash Game, we know that the top prize of $10 million has seen a disproportionately high number of winners. 50% of the top prizes are gone. But only 32% of the $1 million prizes have been won.

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

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.


New Florida Lottery Scratch-Off Game Salutes Everyday Heroes

For over 30 years Guy Harvey, a marine wildlife artist and conservationist, has created beautiful depictions of sealife, especially of sportfish such as marlin, which are popular with sportfishermen and have been reproduced in prints, posters, T-shirts, jewelery, clothing, and other consumer items.

And now, Guy Harvey’s artwork will be on Florida Lottery scratch-off games.

Beginning August 11, FLA Lottery will begin selling scratch-off tickets in hopes of generating close to $4 million for the Florida education system, according to Lottery officials.

The game will cost $2 to play and feature $13.5 million in total cash prizes, with 2.3 million winning tickets and 12 top prizes of $50,000, says the Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell, who expects to sell out of the 10 million tickets quickly.

The artwork will celebrate everyday heroes in education and mix individuals with the design of Florida’s state fish, the sailfish, and the American flag.

Florida Lottery Secretary O’Connell explained, “We want people to enjoy the experience of winning — but winning with Guy Harvey.”

Guy suggested an initial focus will be on coaches. “One very important part of the educational formula is coaches, because sports is such a vibrant part of school and university life and engineering the mentality of how people can work better together in a group,” he said. “I always root for the coaches, as well as teachers, because they have thankless jobs, they’re behind the scenes, but they all play — the teachers, coaches, janitors.”

Sounds like you have a sporting chance of winning some cash.

If you like scratch-off games and want to win really big cash, here’s an even better way to play. Play FreeLotto. You can play up to 6 games every day for free and win up to $11 million. People win money all the time.

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South Florida residents wondering who won $80 million Powerball prize

If you live in South Florida, look around. You may be staring at Florida Lottery’s newest Powerball winner who’s now worth $80 million.

The quick-pick winner purchased the lottery ticket at the Best Value in Plantation, FL.

It’s the 10th winning Powerball ticket sold in Florida since the Florida Lottery added Powerball to its game offerings in January, 2009.

Winners have 180 days to claim their prizes (60 if they want a lump sum).

Most winners of such large amounts keep quiet while assembling a team of legal and financial advisers.

$80 million will not only change the life of the winner, but if planned properly, will set up their grandchildren for life as well.

Of course even a few million dollars would be nice. Here’s an easy way to try your luck: Play FreeLotto. You can play up to 6 games every day for free.

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State lottery sales plummet 30% in early 2015

Are you suffering from jackpot fatigue?

If you are, you’re not alone.

Ticket sales for Mega Millions and Powerball games were down 30% for the first quarter, 2015.

Imagine what that’s doing to state budgets!?!

States are responding to falling lottery ticket sales by pumping up the jackpot amounts in hopes of luring back the casual player who buys lotto tickets only when the prize becomes enormous.

An interesting catch is that when fewer people play, it becomes hard to reach the ginormous prizes, for example going from $100 million to $300 million

People once impressed with a $100 million payout shrug until it reaches $300 million. Then fewer people play, so it takes longer to get to staggering prizes.

What are people playing? FreeLotto. More and more gamers are flocking to FreeLotto – the world’s largest online lottery style sweepstakes – because they realize it’s free, easy to play, and the odds are similar to state lotteries.

Check it out for yourself. Play right now.


How to increase your chances of winning Florida Lottery scratch-off games

Are you playing Florida Lottery’s Monopoly Millionaire game? Well, you may want to play something else. The game will cost you $10 – and there are plenty of people playing and hoping to win the top prize – but all the top prizes are already gone.

That’s right. Check the Florida Lottery website. Click here for FLA Lottery remaining prizes.

You’ll find about 10% of the scratch-off games have no top prizes left.

Here’s another tip:

LUCKY RED 7’S, where you can win $250,000, has only 1 of 16 remaining jackpots available.

What should you play? QUICK BUCKS. 44 of 50 top prizes of $5,000 still remain to be won.

By checking how many top prizes have been won, you can determine which games give you better odds of winning.

Here’s another tip: Play FreeLotto. The odds are similar to Florida Lottery games and you can play right now.


Florida Lottery produces 2 winners in 1 month in Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County, Florida, has beautiful sunshine and 2 very lucky ladies.

Two times this month, a Palm Beach resident won big in the Florida Lottery.

Tammy Smith, 40, won the $3 million top prize in the $600,000,000 GOLD RUSH Scratch-Off game offered by the Florida Lottery.

Ms. Smith claimed the prize at Florida Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee. Smith chose to receive her winnings in annual installments of $120,000 over the next 25 years, according to a press release from the Florida Lottery.

Smith purchased her winning ticket from Cumberland Farms, located at 7228 North Military Trail in Palm Beach Gardens.

The $20 Scratch-Off game, $600,000,000 GOLD RUSH launched in September 2014, according to FLA lottery officials.

On April 23, Tequesta resident Carol Drew claimed a $1 million prize in the $10,000,000 FLORIDA CASH Scratch-Off game at Florida Lottery.

Ms. Drew chose to receive her winnings as a one-time, lump-sum payment of $764,268.15.

Ms. Drew purchased her winning ticket from Tropical Wine and Spirits, 243-B South U.S. Highway 1 in Tequesta.

The retailer receives a $2,000 bonus commission for selling the winning Scratch-Off ticket, according to FLA lottery officials.

But you know, there’s a better way to play. FreeLotto: It’s free. You can play from home every day. And the odds are similar.


No fooling! April 1 Winner Hits The Florida Lottery Jackpot

On April 1st Jonathan Kelso got a big surprise, and it wasn’t a joke! Kelso purchased a scratch off ticket with a $5 bill he happened to find on the ground, only his luck didn’t stop there. $5 turned into $500,000 when he scratched the lucky ticket to reveal a set of matching numbers. Kelso recalls rushing home to tell his wife the good news, but there was catch, “The hardest part was convincing my wife that we had won because it happened on April Fool’s Day!” The Florida couple is still deciding what they’d like to do with the money, but we bet there will be more scratch off tickets in their future!


Florida Lottery winner's money still making a difference 26 years later

Florida Lottery winner’s money still making a difference 26 years later

Most people who play the lottery dream about all the different ways they would spend all that cash.

However, there’s one multimillion-dollar lottery winner who wasn’t interested in buying the biggest and most expensive items.

Sheelah Ryan was a Seminole County real estate agent in 1988. Then she hit it big time.

Ryan won the Florida Lottery back in 1988, with winnings more than $55 million. At the time, it was the largest payout to an individual winner in U.S. history. She died just five years after she won, but the charity she founded, the Ryan Foundation, lives on and continues to help others.

At the time of Ryan’s win, she was a widow and decided the money would be best spent on others rather than buying baubles and big cars for herself.

Ryan wanted to start a charity and got her friend, Pamela O’Hab, who was an accountant, to help.

“I knew her before she won the lottery, and she was one of the greatest people I’ve ever known,” O’Hab said.

O’Hab now sits on the Ryan Foundation’s board of directors. The charity focuses on the community.

“We do a lot with education,” O’Hab said. “We give to Seminole County Public Schools, we support backpack programs, we work with women’s rights and organizations like Safe House of Seminole County.”

The foundation still survives off Ryan’s winnings that were left behind almost three decades ago. O’Hab said it’s the legacy of helping others that Ryan lived for and it’s what she wants to preserve for her.

What you do if you were to win? Tell us in the comments below.


Florida’s Biggest Jackpot of the Year

Carolyn Bell, 64, recently claimed a $48 Million jackpot from the Florida Lottery. The jackpot was the biggest for the Florida Lottery in 2014. Bell is not a Florida resident but plays the Florida Lottery whenever she visits from her home state of Alabama. Luckily for Bell there are no rules stating that non-residents are ineligible to play and win. She has opted to receive her winnings as a one-time, lump-sum payment of $32,609,501.60.

Bell and her husband have decided to retire now that they are free of financial worries. They say they don’t plan on changing their lifestyle too much but they will enjoy their free time and worry less.

The winning ticket was purchased at Stateline Liquors. The store will receive a $210,000 commission from the lottery for selling the winning ticket.


Florida Lottery winner’s change of Luck

blog2Things haven’t always come easy for Jeff LaBar. LaBar started out in the Navy and after his stint in the military became addicted to drugs, which ultimately landed him in jail. After being released from jail, all he had left was his family. Just as LaBar was turning his life around, he started working as a lineman for an electric company in Florida and was injured on the job. He was eventually let go from the position despite having made a full recovery.

Soon after, LeBar began to raise chickens. Unfortunately the Florida farm didn’t provide enough income to cover his mortgage payments so he faced foreclosure on his house. To make ends meet, the fifty-three year old LaBar took another job at a Lime plant. LaBar’s wife also works on the farm and has a side business re-upholstering truck benches, car seats or anything else that customers bring to her.

All of his unfortunate luck changed however in May, after LaBar purchased a winning Florida Lottery Lotto 47 ticket and won the $3.3 million jackpot!

The LaBars aren’t planning any large purchases or life-changing moves. They did however purchase a golf cart to make farm chores easier and took a trip to visit family in Florida. When asked, Jeff LaBar doesn’t immediately plan on quitting the second job, but wants to save as much as possible for retirement.

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