Georgia Man Wins $5M while Running Errands

Richard Britt was running errands when luck came his way.  “My wife asked me to go pick up a corn dog, and that’s when I bought a ticket.”

Britt played the Georgia lottery’s Millionaire Jumbo Bucks Scratcher and won the top prize: $5 Million!

After scratching the lucky ticket and realizing that he was a winner, Britt immediately left the store to call his wife. “Neither one of us could believe it. I’m still surprised that I won,” he said. As of now, Richard plans to use some of his winnings to travel, but we know there will be plenty left over!

Congratulations Richard – We wish you and your wife the best of luck!

**FreeLotto Pro Tip: When playing scratch-offs, it’s best to buy your tickets for a single game in bulk to maximize your chances of picking a winning ticket.  For more scratch-off tips, check out our blog.

Georgia is on Fire—Multiple Winners win Millions

Lottery Players in Georgia have been on fire with incredible winning streaks!  2 gas stations in Marietta, Georgia sold winning jackpot tickets worth $901,628.00 for the Fantasy 5 drawing.

Georgia native, Chester White, won $450,814.00 after purchasing his ticket at Marathon Marietta on Whitlock Avenue.

White, a 66-year-old communications major claimed his prize on Friday, January 27th.

“I didn’t think it was real, I triple-checked my ticket”, he said.

White says he plans to purchase a new television with his grand prize.

The second winner of the Fantasy 5 drawing has yet to come forward, but the luck continued!

Another Georgia man won a new car in the Georgia Cash4Life second-chance drawing, and the November $83 Mega Millions jackpot winners were also from Georgia.

Georgians, you’re on a hot streak! We hope you take advantage of your incredible luck!

*FreeLotto Pro-tip*

If you play the Georgia Fantasy 5 drawing, be sure to play odd and even numbers (3 odds and 2 evens, and vice versa).  Reports show that over a 5-year-period this combination yields 66% of wins!

$7.5 Million Lottery Mega Million Winner Waits 3 Months to Claim Prize

Christina Ford from Atlanta, Georgia was dumbfounded when she discovered that she was a Mega Millions winner.  Ford was one of two winners from the $15 million jackpot drawing on July 22nd.  She claimed her prize on Tuesday, October 25th.

“I thought it was a dream,” she said in disbelief.  “I kept saying, ‘Yeah, right. This can’t be true.’”  It IS true, and Ford is now a new millionaire!

She purchased the ticket at a Kroger on the Dallas Acworth Highway.

Ford claims she waited 3 months because she wanted to plan what to do with the money before claiming.  She decided to spend her prize money by helping her family with bills and taking a vacation.

Congratulations Christina!  You better believe that you’re a MILLIONAIRE.

Georgia Lottery Profit Increase Lead to $1 Billion for Education

According to Georgia governor, Nathan Deal, the state lottery will provide over $1 billion for education programs this year.  Part of the lottery profits will also go to Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally), which helps exemplary students pay for college.

This is the largest allocation of state funds to education since the lottery’s creation in 1992.  The increase in funding may be attributed to growing lottery revenue—officials report that lottery profits increased $117 Million in the last 12 months.

In addition, lottery prizes totaled a whopping $2.75 billion from July 2015 to June 2016.

It’s good to see that Georgia’s lottery system is paying it forward! All the more reason to keep playing your state lottery!

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:

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


Click to view the spreadsheet:

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.

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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.

Georgia Lottery awards $15K prize in second chance drawing

The Georgia Lottery has awarded a Decatur man a nice prize from a second chance drawing. Barry Hackett won a $15,000 prize from being selected as a grand prize winner in the Georgia Lottery’s Play It Again Reloaded Second Chance Promotion.

Georgia Lottery players with non-winning $1 and $2 instant tickets or non-winning Mega Millions and Powerball tickets can enter into the Georgia Lottery’s Play It Again Reloaded Second Chance Promotion.

Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $16.2 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. More than 1.7 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.3 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.

You don’t need to wait for your second chance to win big money. Play FreeLotto. The odds are similar to GA Lottery games and you can play right now.

Georgia lottery winner has quite a reaction to winning jackpot

On April 5, Dan Casteel from Douglasville, Georgia, matched all five winning numbers from the GA Lottery Fantasy 5 drawing, winning the $488,279 jackpot prize.

The lotto winning numbers were: 3-14-33-38-39.

So how did Mr. Casteel rank this windfall among his life’s events? (Did I mention he won $488,279? )

“This is one of the biggest events of my life,” Casteel said to the Georgia Lottery Corporation.

“One of”?

OK. So, it’s not the same reaction as sleeping, but apparently, Mr. Casteel has lived quite an eventful life.

Just curious how many events rank higher?

I’m thinking if I had won that kind of lottery prize, my reaction would be more like Georgian Rachael Leonard who won a $30,000 top prize playing GA Lottery’s new instant game Jumbo Bucks – Lotto Edition.

“I was jumping around. No one was in the store, so I had enough room to just jump and jump and jump,” she recalled.

Exactly what I would do.

Except you don’t have to go anywhere to play the lottery because you can enjoy all the fun, excitement and chance of winning millions right at home when you play FreeLotto.

GA Lottery Jumbo Bucks Lotto offers great fun, but you have to be in Georgia

First the good news: The Georgia Lottery’s new Jumbo Bucks Lotto with Ca$h Match combines a classic lotto draw game with an instant-win component. The game is great fun and the odds are pretty good at approximately 1 in 47.56. Of course the odds of winning the jackpot prize are approximately 1 in 10.7 million, but who’s counting

Now the bad news: The lotto game is available only in Georgia.

Debbie Dlugolenski Alford, the lottery’s president and CEO since 2012, said they decided to make it available only in Georgia because they don’t like anyone other than Georgians. (Just kidding, only making sure you were paying attention.)

Jumbo Bucks Lotto with Ca$h Match offers jackpots starts at $1 million. The jackpot continues to grow until there is a jackpot winner.

The good part: players can select Ca$h Match for a chance to win up to $500 instantly.

Drawings are held at 11 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. Tickets are $1 per play. The Ca$h Match option costs an additional $1 per play. Players must pick six numbers from one to 47. Win the jackpot prize by matching the six numbers drawn. The game offers three additional lotto prizes from $5 to $500.

I’ve thought about playing many times because it seems like a lot of fun. But then I realized there’s an even better way to play: FreeLotto. It’s free and you ca play every day from your home, your bedroom, your basement. You can even play from your living room. It’s that kind of game. Play FreeLotto. It’s a better way to play.

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GA Lottery about to be big losers if Alabama has its way.

There’s an adage: You should only play the lotteries if you have the money to lose (or play FreeLotto where you never lose money – I think this is part of the adage as well).

Well, tell that to the state of Alabama.

Alabama state government is broke. It faces an intractable $200-300 million shortfall — a $700 million shortfall if all the borrowed money is thrown into the calculation.

So how does it plan to cover the shortfall? For years, it has used loans, savings and one-time windfalls to balance its budget.

“We knew this day was going to come. We knew this crisis was going to take place, and it’s here,” Gov. Robert Bentley said in a speech Monday morning.

Democrats in the state have come up with a brilliant solution. A lottery, argues Rep. Craig Ford, could put a huge dent in the state’s budget problems — bringing in perhaps $280 million a year. Alabama Democrats have been proposing lottery legislation for years, but this time is different. The situation in Alabama is dire enough that a top Republican has added his name to the bill as well.

If Alabama institutes a state lottery, do you know who stands to lose? The Georgia Lottery. You don’t think the good people from Alabama are crossing state lines to play the GA Lottery in hopes that tomorrow might be much happier than today? A lottery ticket is a cheap dose of hope.

Although, I have a much better approach – one that’s much more convenient (play from home), less expensive (it’s free), and similar chances of winning the big jackpot. Play FreeLotto.

GA Lottery winners keep it all in the family

They say in Georgia, nothing is stronger than family. So when three Cobb County siblings teamed up to win an instant prize from the Georgia Lottery, you knew where the money would go – or rather stay.

All in the family.

Vicki Faulk of Kennesaw and her brothers James and Rodney Hewatt won a $250,000 prize playing the instant game 21 Black Series.

The trio, who claimed April 16 at the Georgia Lottery District Office in Dalton, will share the quarter-million-dollar prize.

RaceTrac #2359, 4331 Bells Ferry Road in Kennesaw, sold the winning ticket.

“We saw this guy buy one, so we went and bought one, too,” explained Faulk, 53. “We were at my house when we scratched it. We couldn’t believe it.”

Faulk, an accountant, considers the windfall exciting.

She and her husband, Kip, have two adult children and three grandchildren. She plans to save her portion.

James Hewatt Jr., 55, of Marietta plans to buy his wife a new car; and Rodney Hewatt, 50, of Acworth intends to finance his daughter’s wedding.

“We’re all very close,” Faulk explained.

Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $16.2 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. More than 1.7 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.3 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.

Here’s how you can keep it all in the family and promote domestic tranquility as well. Play FreeLotto. You can win a million dollars, the odds are similar to other lotteries, and it won’t cost you a thing. There’s no better way to play.

Georgia Lottery winner takes home $500,000 from The Big $5 Ticket

Wilton Andrews, Jr.,from Pooler, Georgia, won a cool half-million dollar prize playing The Big $5 Ticket instant game from the Georgia Lottery.

“I rode around with a bunch of tickets,” Andrews said. “I’d put them in the sun visor. When it got full, I pulled them down.”

Andrews, unknowingly, had the ticket for about two weeks before claiming his prize March 27 at the Georgia Lottery District Office in Savannah.

“I was at my lunch break at work when I scratched it,” Andrews said.

Gate Store #209, 418 E. Highway 80 in Pooler, sold the winning ticket.

A food processing plant employee, Andrews has no plans at the moment for his windfall.

Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $16 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program.

Don’t wait to play the lottery. Click below to play for free.

Georgia Man Wins $3 Million Taxes Paid

article2_20141010When Plains, Georgia truck driver Kenneth Mooney, 57, went into a local gas station to buy a lottery ticket the clerk nicknamed him “Big Money,” most likely a play on his last name. The nickname turned out to be rather fitting when Mooney won $3 million on a Georgia Lottery Scratch Off Ticket. The best part about this particular winning ticket is that Mooney won’t have to pay taxes on the $3 million because he won it on a game called $3,000,000 Taxes Paid where the lottery pays the taxes. On all big lottery wins, the United States federal government taxes 25% and the state of Georgia also takes 6% of the win. Not having to pay taxes is like a second win for Mooney.

Mooney and his wife, Debbie, have four grown children and nine grandchildren. Mooney plans to use the winnings to buy a new home and new pickup truck. He also plans to put money into a trust for his grandchildren. He hopes to take a hunting vacation in South Texas soon.

Winning Ticket Found

winningticketNeed to motivate your kids to keep a clean room? Tell them the story of Gregory Jarrett.

Gregory Jarrett, from Decatur, Georgia recently cleaned his room and found a winning Powerball ticket! The original drawing was held earlier this year and luckily for Jarrett, he found his ticket in time to claim his prize.

His winning numbers, 7-8-9-24-29, were worth $1,000,000. These lucky numbers hold a special meaning to him; they are his siblings’ birth dates.

In disbelief, he had to ask his mom to help verify the numbers. Jarrett plans on paying off bills with his winnings.

Each year, it is estimated that over $800 million in prize money is left unclaimed. Although some of these are small prizes, others are larger sums and could even be worth $1,000,000!

Tennessee Resident Wins $250K from Georgia Lottery

thumbnailLiving near the Georgia/Tennessee border has its perks. Timothy Byrd, a native Tennessean and avid lottery fan, often buys scratchers from both the Georgia Lottery and the Tennessee Lottery. A few weeks ago, he happened to be on the Georgia side of the border when he decided to purchase a Millionaire Jumbo Bucks scratch off ticket. Byrd didn’t have his reading glasses with him and was unable to see that he had won $250,000. It wasn’t until he asked the clerk to check the ticket for him that he realized he had won a big prize.

Byrd plans to use his winnings to pay off his bills and buy a new truck.

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