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Old 10-30-2019, 06:25 PM
Jim Taggart is offline
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Anyone Play Scratch Off Lotteries ?


Does anyone play scratch off lotteries ?

I might have to make a new years resolution to scale back, been dropping 100-125 a week on them, maybe making back around 20.
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:28 PM
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Did you get $80-105 worth of enjoyment out of the activity?

If not, then yeah, find a better use for your money.
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:32 PM
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The first time I ever played one I won $50. After spending at least $50 on more tickets in about a week I decided not to bother anymore.

It could form a pattern for me, way back when they started the PA instant lottery I bought one ticket, and then won 2 more tickets from that ticket, and 2 more from both of those tickets, and eventually had a huge pile of tickets with not a single win. I tried a few more times, turns out the odds of winning new tickets was pretty high. The odds of winning money? Pretty low.
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:38 PM
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Do you have something you'd like to buy for yourself? Every time you think about buying a lottery ticket, drop the money into a jar instead. Eventually, you might actually "win" the prize you're after.
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Old 10-30-2019, 07:38 PM
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If you're playing with the end goal of making money, don't. The entire industry is predicated on the fact that doesn't work. If you're just buying for the thrill of the gamble, well, that's not the most expensive way to burn money. Just make sure to budget it so that you're okay even if you lose it all.
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Old 10-30-2019, 07:41 PM
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Man oh man that's a chunk of money to waste on tickets. Stop. Not good.
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Old 10-30-2019, 07:55 PM
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This may be obvious, but a hundred bucks a week means about $5,000 each year. That's a lot. It could be a nice vacation somewhere, or a good start on a savings account. Would it make any difference if you limited your spending to ten bucks a week?
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:03 AM
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Every time I look at lotto drawings or whatever, I remember that lottery tickets are kinda like a stupid tax: they're a tax on people who are bad at math.
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:15 AM
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No. Never. I buy a regular ticket on the day after a drawing and stick it to the fridge so I can dream for a few days. I wait to see if the Action Nine News Team has set up at my 7-11.
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:29 AM
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I hang out at a bar with a lot of bad examples: Lottery Addicts, guys who spend a hundred on Pull Tabs, and one dude who often loses over a thousand in one weekend betting on college and pro football.
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehorseshoe View Post
Every time I look at lotto drawings or whatever, I remember that lottery tickets are kinda like a stupid tax: they're a tax on people who are bad at math.
I had a chance to design billboards for our state lottery, but I was conflicted enough that I just had fun with the pitch. I mocked up billboards with headlines like "Just Think Of It As An Ignorance Tax", "Do You Have Too Much Money at The End of the Month?" and "For People Who Feel Like They're Not Paying Enough State Tax..."

Wish I'd thought of a tax on people who are bad at math.
  #11  
Old 10-31-2019, 05:17 AM
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I never gamble in the hope of winning. Which means I barely ever gamble. If I do, it's just for the fun of it - a bet on a big race, where I can take timer and pleasure pouring through the papers and choosing bets then watching it on TV, or taking part in the office sweepstake for the winner of the rugby world cup, where we get to banter about our winning potential for about 4 weeks.

I only ever buy a scratch card for fun, and usually as a daft present for someone. I do that maybe once every 3 years.

If you're doing it in the sincere hope of winning money, you should stop. And to be honest, it sounds like you need some help to get there.
  #12  
Old 10-31-2019, 08:03 AM
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I never play them. But I know a few folks who drop $40–$50 every morning on the dang things.

I don't think they've hit it big as they're still working and buying more and more each day.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:41 AM
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When there are Crossword scratchoffs available, I will occasionally buy two of them as part of a 4 mile walk. Sure the cost is at least $10 but the alternative is I might not be motivated to walk otherwise. And when I'm walking for exercise, my smart phone is too cumbersome to take with me for an alternate source of entertainment.

I don't play scratchoffs other than crosswords since they don't provide more than a minute or so of entertainment.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:44 AM
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Every once in a while, scratchies don't tickle my "what if I win" button.
Regular lotto is a $1 ticket a week.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:58 AM
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I play the Mega-Bucks lottery... mentally.
Once a week I pick numbers (if it's a busy week I write them down*), then I stay away from anywhere I could actually buy a ticket... Then I make sure I've got the TV on when they announce the winners.

And in eleven years of playing, I've never matched more than three numbers. It's usually none or only one. So, if I'd really been plunking down a couple of bucks at the gas station every week, I'd've made $38. And it only would have cost me over a thousand to do it!


*I really should mock up a Mega-Bucks slip, place the image in InDesign, and type my guesses in every week...

Idea: you could test the odds (or your "luck") immediately by picking a series of numbers and looking up an archive of past winning numbers from your chosen lottery.
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Old 10-31-2019, 10:04 AM
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I've read, but have not confirmed, that there are strategies to allow one to improve the odds in scratch-off games. For example, a given game might have 100,000 tickets with a million-dollar grand prize and I believe the state lottery websites list how many tickets remain and which prizes have been won. It may be that three-quarters of the tickets have already been sold but no one has yet won the grand prize. Or in another game, only a small number of tickets were sold but the grand prize has already been claimed. So if you're clever, you want to buy tickets for the former game but not the latter one.
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Old 10-31-2019, 10:22 AM
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Yeah, I've played them. I haven't done that in quite a while though.

I always lose. As a bit of info, I consider a $1 or $2 win, or a free ticket as losing.


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Old 10-31-2019, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehorseshoe View Post
Every time I look at lotto drawings or whatever, I remember that lottery tickets are kinda like a stupid tax: they're a tax on people who are bad at math.
I won $50,000 on a $2 Powerball ticket. I'm thousands of dollars ahead of the game and will be for a long while. You can't win if you don't play.
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Old 10-31-2019, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racer72 View Post
I won $50,000 on a $2 Powerball ticket. I'm thousands of dollars ahead of the game and will be for a long while. You can't win if you don't play.
You also can't lose if you don't play.

Playing the lottery is not necessarily stupid. But some of the thoughts and attitudes held by some of the people who play are (e.g. "if I just keep playing long enough, I'll eventually come out ahead").
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Old 10-31-2019, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehorseshoe View Post
Every time I look at lotto drawings or whatever, I remember that lottery tickets are kinda like a stupid tax: they're a tax on people who are bad at math.
Frankly, I find this to be condescending and self-righteous.
Most of us will drop a few bucks now and then, because it's fun to buy into the fantasy of winning lots of money, even though we are quite aware it's not likely to happen. No need to be a judgmental curmudgeon about it.

And those who gamble more than they can afford to lose are addicts who need help, not scorn.
  #21  
Old 10-31-2019, 03:36 PM
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I was out driving around one day and took a notion to buy a $1 scratch ticket. It paid off $200. On the way home, my car broke down and needed $500 in repairs. So, no.
  #22  
Old 10-31-2019, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
Frankly, I find this to be condescending and self-righteous.
Most of us will drop a few bucks now and then, because it's fun to buy into the fantasy of winning lots of money, even though we are quite aware it's not likely to happen. No need to be a judgmental curmudgeon about it.

And those who gamble more than they can afford to lose are addicts who need help, not scorn.
Come now, we can recognize that they're addicts and scorn them. There's no need to limit ourselves.

As I understand it, when you buy a lottery ticket you're not buying a chance to win so much as the excitement and energy rush of thinking that you're about to win powerball money. It's an endorphin rush derived from your subconscious being bad at math - you might be well aware that your chance of winning is functionally zero, but your brain isn't on the same page and still gives you an exciting rush.

And that, theoretically, is worth money. Or to put it like the kids say nowadays, it's buying an experience rather than an object. When you go to a movie, you walk out of the theater with nothing more than popcorn butter on your chin, but despite gaining nothing many would say that's not a waste of money. Depending on the price of the movie ticket, of course.

So it comes down to how much you're spending versus the value of your experience. Now, while I don't buy lotto tickets I spend a hell of a lot of money on frivolous entertainments, and am not in a good position to mock people over burning their wad on transitory entertainment. But I need to mock somebody, so instead I focus on the people who are spending more on entertainment than they can afford. Doesn't matter if they're lotto tickets or legos or lamborghinis, if your budget is straining under the weight of your entertainments then I consider you messed up and mockworthy. Me being a shining example of maturity and good taste, and all.

I also consider it mockworthy if you worry about your actual win rate while buying lotto tickets, because being cognitively unaware that the odds aren't in your favor is to lack the most basic information about the games you're playing. That's just me punching down like an ass, though.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:57 PM
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I used to buy a scratcher (or two) when I would buy gas for my car. Now with "Pay at the pump", I seldom go into a gas station, unless for a beverage or comfort break.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:13 PM
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I was at an Army military occupational specialty school at Camp Grafton in North Dakota in 1997. Due to the Red River Flood, we had to be done with training and through the mess hall by 16:30, so the kitchen could be used to feed evacuees. This meant us travelling soldiers, staying in base housing, were usually in the enlisted club by 1700 every night for two weeks, drinking fifty cent beers and buying pull tabs, which I don't believe I'd ever seen before my trip to ND. I had flown in from Maine with another guy, and got to hanging around with two guys from the NY National Guard. Between the three of them, every night there would be a pile of pulled tabs on the table about a foot high. I think they were a dollar apiece. Someone would get a little win every once in a while. I never bought a single one, just watched them with mild amusement as they threw away money.

On the last night we were there, I broke down and bought 5 tickets at once. Three of them were winners, $100, $25 and $1. You'd have thought they'd have been happy for me, but I've never seen three grown men get irate so fast.

Last edited by KMS94; 11-06-2019 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:06 PM
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I think it was Hugh Jackman who's been buying the crew of his movies scratch off tickets for years. He's spend hundreds of thousands on them, and no one has ever won more than a few thousand.

I've had about a 50% payback on $20 scratchers. On $2 scratchers, it's been 0% payback. Not even a free ticket.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:53 PM
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Never bought a scratch-off. I don't find gambling exciting in a pleasurable sense. If one of the three lotteries we can "invest" in here in California has a big enough pot, I'll throw a buck at it. Maybe. It's been maybe a couple of years since I even did that.

I remember years ago when Powerball (I think) was really high, and a small group of Australians bought a million dollars worth of tickets. They didn't win anything. I laughed.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:32 AM
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A friend in school told of the time he and some friends pooled money for scratch off tickets. Five or six of them put in $20 each, for 100 to 120 tickets. They then spent some time scratching them off, having a rather good time. They took their winning (either money or free ticket) tickets in to get more tickets. They kept this up for most of an afternoon, until they ran out of money and new tickets. They seemed to enjoy themselves for a long time for only $20. He said that it was worth it.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:22 AM
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Nope.
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:14 PM
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That kind of money sounds like a car payment on a pretty decent car, so I personally can't imagine it...there are a lot of things I'd rather spend that kind of money on. Once every couple of years when the Powerball/MegaMillions jackpot is absolutely huge I'll drop maybe $5 on tickets. I commonly see very working-class people dropping $20 or $40 on scratch-off tickets at the gas station at 8am on a Tuesday and it's really foreign to me.
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:20 PM
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I’ll buy one here and there when the mood strikes but not that much.
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