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Cracking the Scratch Lottery Code

Statistician figures out how to beat scratch lottery tickets.

Secret to Winning the Lottery?

Feb. 4, 2011— — Mohan Srivastava, a geological statistician living in Toronto, was working in his office in June 2003, waiting for some files to download onto his computer, when he discovered a couple of old lottery tickets buried under some paper on his desk. The tickets were cheap scratchers—a gag gift from his squash partner—and Srivastava found himself wondering if any of them were winners. He fished a coin out of a drawer and began scratching off the latex coating. “The first was a loser, and I felt pretty smug,” Srivastava says. “I thought, ‘This is exactly why I never play these dumb games.’”

The second ticket was a tic-tac-toe game. Its design was straightforward: On the right were eight tic-tac-toe boards, dense with different numbers. On the left was a box headlined “Your Numbers,” covered with a scratchable latex coating. The goal was to scrape off the latex and compare the numbers under it to the digits on the boards. If three of “Your Numbers” appeared on a board in a straight line, you’d won. Srivastava matched up each of his numbers with the digits on the boards, and much to his surprise, the ticket had a tic-tac-toe. Srivastava had won $3. “This is the smallest amount you can win, but I can’t tell you how excited it made me,” he says. “I felt like the king of the world.”

Delighted, he decided to take a lunchtime walk to the gas station to cash in his ticket. “On my way, I start looking at the tic-tac-toe game, and I begin to wonder how they make these things,” Srivastava says. “The tickets are clearly mass-produced, which means there must be some computer program that lays down the numbers. 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. The game can’t be truly random. Instead, it has to generate the illusion of randomness while actually being carefully determined.”

Srivastava speaks quietly, with a slight stammer. He has a neatly trimmed beard and a messy office. When he talks about a subject he’s interested in—and he’s interested in many things, from military encryption to freshwater fossils—his words start to run into each other.

As a trained statistician with degrees from MIT and Stanford University, Srivastava was intrigued by the technical problem posed by the lottery ticket. In fact, it reminded him a lot of his day job, which involves consulting for mining and oil companies. A typical assignment for Srivastava goes like this: A mining company has multiple samples from a potential gold mine. Each sample gives a different estimate of the amount of mineral underground. “My job is to make sense of those results,” he says. “The numbers might seem random, as if the gold has just been scattered, but they’re actually not random at all. There are fundamental geologic forces that created those numbers. If I know the forces, I can decipher the samples. I can figure out how much gold is underground.”

Srivastava realized that the same logic could be applied to the lottery. The apparent randomness of the scratch ticket was just a facade, a mathematical lie. And this meant that the lottery system might actually be solvable, just like those mining samples. “At the time, I had no intention of cracking the tickets,” he says. He was just curious about the algorithm that produced the numbers. Walking back from the gas station with the chips and coffee he’d bought with his winnings, he turned the problem over in his mind. By the time he reached the office, he was confident that he knew how the software might work, how it could precisely control the number of winners while still appearing random. “It wasn’t that hard,” Srivastava says. “I do the same kind of math all day long.”

That afternoon, he went back to work. The thrill of winning had worn off; he forgot about his lunchtime adventure. But then, as he walked by the gas station later that evening, something strange happened. “I swear I’m not the kind of guy who hears voices,” Srivastava says. “But that night, as I passed the station, I heard a little voice coming from the back of my head. I’ll never forget what it said: ‘If you do it that way, if you use that algorithm, there will be a flaw. The game will be flawed. You will be able to crack the ticket. You will be able to plunder the lottery.’”

The North American lottery system is a $70 billion-a-year business, an industry bigger than movie tickets, music, and porn combined. These tickets have a grand history: Lotteries were used to fund the American colonies and helped bankroll the young nation. In the 18th and 19th centuries, lotteries funded the expansion of Harvard and Yale and allowed the construction of railroads across the continent. Since 1964, when New Hampshire introduced the first modern state lottery, governments have come to rely on gaming revenue. (Forty-three states and every Canadian province currently run lotteries.) In some states, the lottery accounts for more than 5 percent of education funding.

While approximately half of Americans buy at least one lottery ticket at some point, the vast majority of tickets are purchased by about 20 percent of the population. These high-frequency players tend to be poor and uneducated, which is why critics refer to lotteries as a regressive tax. (In a 2006 survey, 30 percent of people without a high school degree said that playing the lottery was a wealth-building strategy.) On average, households that make less than $12,400 a year spend 5 percent of their income on lotteries—a source of hope for just a few bucks a throw.

There was a time when scratch games all but sold themselves. But in the past two decades the competition for the gambling dollar has dramatically increased. As a result, many state lotteries have redesigned their tickets. One important strategy involves the use of what lottery designers call extended play. Although extended-play games—sometimes referred to as baited hooks—tend to look like miniature spreadsheets, they’ve proven extremely popular with consumers. Instead of just scratching off the latex and immediately discovering a loser, players have to spend time matching up the revealed numbers with the boards. Ticket designers fill the cards with near-misses (two-in-a-row matchups instead of the necessary three) and players spend tantalizing seconds looking for their win. No wonder players get hooked.

Srivastava had been hooked by a different sort of lure—that spooky voice, whispering to him about a flaw in the game. At first, he tried to brush it aside. “Like everyone else, I assumed that the lottery was unbreakable,” he says. “There’s no way there could be a flaw, and there’s no way I just happened to discover the flaw on my walk home.”

And yet, his inner voice refused to pipe down. “I remember telling myself that the Ontario Lottery is a multibillion-dollar-a- year business,” he says. “They must know what they’re doing, right?”

That night, however, he realized that the voice was right: The tic-tac-toe lottery was seriously flawed. It took a few hours of studying his tickets and some statistical sleuthing, but he discovered a defect in the game: The visible numbers turned out to reveal essential information about the digits hidden under the latex coating. Nothing needed to be scratched off—the ticket could be cracked if you knew the secret code.

The trick itself is ridiculously simple. (Srivastava would later teach it to his 8-year-old daughter.) Each ticket contained eight tic-tac-toe boards, and each space on those boards—72 in all—contained an exposed number from 1 to 39. As a result, some of these numbers were repeated multiple times. Perhaps the number 17 was repeated three times, and the number 38 was repeated twice. And a few numbers appeared only once on the entire card. Srivastava’s startling insight was that he could separate the winning tickets from the losing tickets by looking at the number of times each of the digits occurred on the tic-tac-toe boards. In other words, he didn’t look at the ticket as a sequence of 72 random digits. Instead, he categorized each number according to its frequency, counting how many times a given number showed up on a given ticket. “The numbers themselves couldn’t have been more meaningless,” he says. “But whether or not they were repeated told me nearly everything I needed to know.” Srivastava was looking for singletons, numbers that appear only a single time on the visible tic-tac-toe boards. He realized that the singletons were almost always repeated under the latex coating. If three singletons appeared in a row on one of the eight boards, that ticket was probably a winner.

The next day, on his way into work, he stopped at the gas station and bought a few more tickets. Sure enough, all of these tickets contained the telltale pattern. The day after that he picked up even more tickets from different stores. These were also breakable. After analyzing his results, Srivastava realized that the singleton trick worked about 90 percent of the time, allowing him to pick the winning tickets before they were scratched.

His next thought was utterly predictable: “I remember thinking, I’m gonna be rich! I’m gonna plunder the lottery!” he says. However, these grandiose dreams soon gave way to more practical concerns. “Once I worked out how much money I could make if this was my full-time job, I got a lot less excited,” Srivastava says. “I’d have to travel from store to store and spend 45 seconds cracking each card. I estimated that I could expect to make about $600 a day. That’s not bad. But to be honest, I make more as a consultant, and I find consulting to be a lot more interesting than scratch lottery tickets.”

Instead of secretly plundering the game, he decided to go to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Srivastava thought its top officials might want to know about his discovery. Who knows, maybe they’d even hire him to give them statistical advice. “People often assume that I must be some extremely moral person because I didn’t take advantage of the lottery,” he says. “I can assure you that that’s not the case. I’d simply done the math and concluded that beating the game wasn’t worth my time.”

When Srivastava reported his finding, he was referred to Rob Zufelt, a member of the lottery corporation’s security team. After failing to make contact for a few days, he began to get frustrated: Why wasn’t Zufelt taking his revelation more seriously? “I really got the feeling that he was brushing me off,” Srivastava says. “But then I realized that to him I must sound like a crazy person—like one of those people who claims that he can crack the lotto draw because last night’s number was his birthday spelled backward. No wonder they didn’t want to talk to me.” Instead of trying to get Zufelt to return his calls, Srivastava decided to send him a package. He bought 20 tic-tac-toe tickets and sorted them, unscratched, into piles of winners and losers. Then, he couriered the package to Zufelt along with the following note:

In the enclosed envelopes, I have sent you two groups of 10 TicTacToe tickets that I purchased from various outlets around Toronto in the past week… You go ahead and scratch off the cards. Maybe you can give one batch to your lottery ticket specialist. After you’ve scratched them off, you should have a pretty solid sense for whether or not there’s something fishy here.

The package was sent at 10 am. Two hours later, he received a call from Zufelt. Srivastava had correctly predicted 19 out of the 20 tickets. The next day, the tic-tac-toe game was pulled from stores.

Srivastava, meanwhile, was becoming even more interested in scratch tickets. “It got to the point where I knew I needed to get back to my real job,” he says. “But I found it hard to believe that only this tic-tac-toe game was flawed. What were the odds that I just happened to stumble upon the only breakable game the very first time I played the lottery? Of course, I knew it was possible that every other scratch game was totally secure. I just didn’t think it was very likely.”

He began by looking at other tic-tac-toe games in the US and Canada. Srivastava soon discovered that it wasn’t just an Ontario problem. At the time, one of his best friends was living in Colorado, and Srivastava asked him to send along a few tickets. It turned out that the same singleton trick also worked on the Colorado game, albeit with only a 70 percent level of accuracy. (Colorado Lottery officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment.)

Srivastava was even able to break a Super Bingo game (sold in Ontario in 2007), which also featured an elaborate baited hook. In this case, he says he could sort winners from losers with a 70 percent success rate. The Ontario Lottery says the Super Bingo game didn’t have the same flaw as the tic-tac-toe game but that it was pulled off the Ontario market in March 2007 as a precaution.

In North America, the vast majority of lottery tickets—everything from daily draw Pick 4-style games to small-stakes tic-tac-toe and bingo scratchers—are produced by a handful of companies like Scientific Games, Gtech Printing, and Pollard Banknote. These publicly traded firms oversee much of the development, algorithm design, and production of the different gambling games, and the state lotteries are largely dependent on their expertise. Ross Dalton is president of Gtech Printing, and he acknowledges that the “breakability” of tickets is a constant concern. (Several other printing companies declined to comment.) “Every lottery knows that it’s one scandal away from being shut down,” Dalton says. “It’s a constant race to stay ahead of the bad guys.” In recent years, Dalton says, the printers have become increasingly worried about forensic breaking, the possibility of criminals using sophisticated imaging technology to see underneath the latex. (Previous forensic hacks have included vodka, which swelled the hidden ink, and the careful use of X-Acto knives.) The printers have also become concerned about the barcodes on the tickets, since the data often contains information about payouts. “We’re always looking at new methods of encryption and protection,” Dalton says. “There’s a lot of money at stake in these games.”

While the printers insist that all of their tickets are secure—”We’ve learned from our past security breaches,” Dalton says—there is suggestive evidence that some state lotteries have been gamed. Consider 2003 payout statistics from Washington and Virginia, which Srivastava calculated. (Many lotteries disclose claimed prizes on their websites.) In both states, certain scratch games generated payout anomalies that should be extremely rare. The anomalies are always the same: Break-even tickets—where the payout is equal to the cost—are significantly underredeemed while certain types of winning tickets are vastly overredeemed. Take a blackjack scratch ticket sold by Virginia: While there were far too few $2 break-even winners redeemed, there were far too many $4, $6, $10, and $20 winners. In fact, the majority of scratch games with baited hooks in Washington and Virginia displayed this same irregularity. It’s as if people had a knack for buying only tickets that paid out more than they cost.

According to Srivastava, that could well be what’s happening. (The state lotteries insist that people simply forget to redeem break-even tickets, although it remains unclear why only some games show the anomaly.) “Just imagine if there were people who made a living off plundering the lottery,” he says. “The first thing you’d want to do is avoid the losing or break-even tickets, which is why they’re underreported. They’re a waste of time. Instead, you’d want to buy only the tickets that made money. If there were people doing this, if there were people who could sort the winners from the losers, then what you’d see on the payout statistics is exactly what we see. This is what a plundered game looks like.”

I then ask Srivastava how a criminal organization might plunder the lottery. He lays out a surprisingly practical plan for what he would do: “At first glance, the whole problem with plundering is one of scale,” he says. “I probably couldn’t sort enough tickets while standing at the counter of the mini-mart. So I’d probably want to invent some sort of scanning device that could quickly sort the tickets for me.” Of course, Srivastava might look a little suspicious if he started bringing a scanner and his laptop into corner stores. But that may not be an insurmountable problem. “Lots of people buy lottery tickets in bulk to give away as prizes for contests,” he says. He asked several Toronto retailers if they would object to him buying tickets and then exchanging the unused, unscratched tickets. “Everybody said that would be totally fine. Nobody was even a tiny bit suspicious,” he says. “Why not? Because they all assumed the games are unbreakable. So what I would try to do is buy up lots of tickets, run them through my scanning machine, and then try to return the unscratched losers. Of course, you could also just find a retailer willing to cooperate or take a bribe. That might be easier.” The scam would involve getting access to opened but unsold books of tickets. A potential plunderer would need to sort through these tickets and selectively pick the winners. The losers would be sold to unwitting customers—or returned to the lottery after the game was taken off the market.

At the moment, Srivastava’s suspicions remain entirely hypothetical; there is no direct evidence that anybody has plundered a game. Nevertheless, there’s a disturbing body of anecdotal evidence (in addition to those anomalous statistics) that suggests that the games aren’t perfect. Consider a series of reports by the Massachusetts state auditor. The reports describe a long list of troubling findings, such as the fact that one person cashed in 1,588 winning tickets between 2002 and 2004 for a grand total of $2.84 million. (The report does not provide the name of the lucky winner.) A 1999 audit found that another person cashed in 149 tickets worth $237,000, while the top 10 multiple-prize winners had won 842 times for a total of $1.8 million. Since only six out of every 100,000 tickets yield a prize between $1,000 and $5,000, the auditor dryly observed that these “fortunate” players would have needed to buy “hundreds of thousands to millions of tickets.” (The report also noted that the auditor’s team found that full and partial ticket books were being abandoned at lottery headquarters in plastic bags.)

According to Massachusetts State Lottery officials, the auditor’s reports have led to important reforms, such as requiring everyone who claims a prize over $600 to present government-issued identification. The auditor attributed the high number of payouts going to single individuals to professional cashers. These cashers turn in others’ winning tickets—they are paid a small percentage—so the real winners can avoid taxes. But if those cashers were getting prepicked winners, that could be hard to uncover. “There’ve been quite a bit of improvements since we started identifying these issues,” says Glenn Briere, a spokesperson for Massachusetts auditor Joe DeNucci. “The problem is that when there’s a lot of money involved, unscrupulous people are always going to be looking for new ways to game the system, or worse.”

Furthermore, the Massachusetts lottery has a history of dispensing large payouts to suspected criminals, at least in one Mass Millions game. In 1991, James “Whitey” Bulger, a notorious South Boston mob boss currently on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list—he’s thought to be the inspiration for the Frank Costello character in The Departed—and three others cashed in a winning lottery ticket worth $14.3 million. He collected more than $350,000 before his indictment.

At the time, authorities thought Bulger was using the lottery to launder money: take illicit profits, buy a share in a winning lottery ticket, redeem it, and end up with clean cash. In this respect, the lottery system seems purpose-built for organized crime, says Michael Plichta, unit chief of the FBI’s organized crime section. “When I was working in Puerto Rico, I watched all these criminals use traditional lottery games to clean their money,” he remembers. “You’d bring these drug guys in, and you’d ask them where their income came from, how they could afford their mansion even though they didn’t have a job, and they’d produce all these winning lottery tickets. That’s when I began to realize that they were using the games to launder cash.”

The problem for the criminals, of course, is that unless cracked, most lotteries return only about 53 cents on the dollar, which means that they’d be forfeiting a significant share of their earnings. But what if criminals aren’t playing the lottery straight? What if they have a method that, like Srivastava’s frequency-of-occurrence trick, can dramatically increase the odds of winning? As Srivastava notes, if organized crime had a system that could identify winning tickets more than 65 percent of the time, then the state-run lottery could be turned into a profitable form of money laundering. “You’ve got to realize that, for people in organized crime, making piles of money is one of their biggest problems,” says Charles Johnston, a supervisory special agent in the organized crime section of the FBI. “If they could find a way to safely launder money without taking too big a loss, then I can guarantee you they’d start doing it in a heartbeat.” There is no direct evidence that criminals are actually using these government-run gambling games to hide their crimes. But the circumstantial evidence, as noted by the FBI, is certainly troubling.

And then there’s Joan Ginther, who has won more than $1 million from the Texas Lottery on four different occasions. She bought two of the winners from the same store in Bishop, Texas. What’s strangest of all, perhaps, is that three of Ginther’s wins came from scratch tickets with baited hooks and not from Mega Millions or Powerball. Last June, Ginther won $10 million from a $50 ticket, which is the largest scratch prize ever awarded by the Texas Lottery.

Perhaps Ginther is simply the luckiest person on earth. (She has refused almost all requests from journalists for comment.) While the lotteries are extremely rigorous about various aspects of security, from the integrity of the latex to the cashing of tickets at stores, the industry appears to have not considered the possibility of plundering the games using the visible numbers on the ticket. For instance, when I contacted the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, their security experts couldn’t recall having heard of Mohan Srivastava or the broken Ontario games. This is one of the largest trade associations of lotteries in the world, and it had no recollection that at least a few of its games had been proven to be fatally flawed.

And this is why the story of the crackable tic-tac-toe tickets has larger significance. “The lottery corporations all insist that their games are safe because they are vetted by outside companies,” Srivastava says. “Well, they had an outside auditor approve the tic-tac-toe game. They said it couldn’t be broken. But it could.” Fundamentally, he believes that creating impregnable tickets is extremely difficult, if not impossible. “There is nothing random about the lottery,” he says. “In reality, everything about the game has been carefully designed to control payouts and entice the consumer.” Of course, these elaborate design elements mean that the ticket can be undesigned, that the algorithm can be reverse-engineered. The veneer of chance can be peeled away.

What’s most disturbing, perhaps, is that even though Srivastava first brought these flaws to the attention of the authorities in 2003, they continue to appear. A few months ago, Srivastava bought some scratch tickets at convenience stores in Toronto. He started out with a Bingo ticket, which featured an elaborate hook. After a day of statistical analysis, Srivastava was able to double his chances of choosing a winning ticket. (Normally, 30 percent of the tickets feature a payout—he was able to select winners approximately 60 percent of the time.) “That might not sound very impressive, since I’m still going to buy plenty of losers,” Srivastava says. “But it’s a high enough percentage that one could launder money effectively.” In one of his most recent trials, conducted at the request of Wired, Srivastava identified six unscratched tickets as probable winners out of a set of 20 cards. If the tickets were uncrackable, approximately two of them should have been winners. Instead, Srivastava ended up with four. The odds of this happening by chance are approximately one in 50. And yet he’s done it multiple times with a variety of Bingo and Super Bingo games. (An Ontario Lottery spokesperson says they’re unaware of the issue.)

How did he do it? He used a version of the frequency trick. The number of times a digit appeared on the baited hook revealed crucial information about the bingo numbers underneath the latex coating. Srivastava could tilt the odds in his favor, like a gambler counting cards in a casino.

The fact that these games can be manipulated, that a geological statistician can defeat their algorithm, seems to undercut a crucial part of the lottery’s appeal. Everybody knows that the chances of winning a big payday are minuscule, a tiny 1 in front of an awful lot of zeros. But we play anyway, because hope is an irrational hunch. We assume that, even if the odds are stacked against us, we might get lucky. Today might be the day. And then, when the latex reveals a stack of losers, when we’ve lost our money yet again, we blame the fickleness of fate. But maybe our bad luck isn’t the problem. Maybe we never win because someone else has broken the game.

Statistician figures out how to beat scratch lottery tickets.

Tag: scratch codes Georgia Lottery Scratch Off Codes REVEALED REVEALED! WV Lottery Scratch Off Codes Oklahoma Lottery Scratch Off Codes REVEALED! New ]]>


south carolina ed lottery

SC Lottery to refund some Powerball and Mega Millions tickets purchased amid game changes

Posted: Apr 8, 2020 / 03:56 PM EDT / Updated: Apr 8, 2020 / 04:00 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – The cost of some multi-draw Powerball and Mega Millions tickets will be refunded, South Carolina Education Lottery officials said.

Tickets purchased prior to game changes announced last week will be eligible for a refund.

Going forward, the starting jackpot amounts for Powerball and Mega Millions will no longer begin at $40 million. The starting jackpot amounts and minimum jackpot increases will be announced after each jackpot is won.

Increases in the jackpot from draw to draw will be based on game sales and interest rates.

Since some players purchased tickets before these changes went into effect, the Lottery is offering a one-time refund to those affected.

Powerball players who purchased a multi-draw ticket on or before Thursday, April 2, 2020, are eligible for a refund for drawings held on or after Saturday, April 11, 2020, through the expiration of their multi-draw plays.

Mega Millions players who purchased their multi-draw ticket on or before Friday, April 3, 2020, are eligible for a refund for drawings held on or after April 10, 2020 through the expiration of their plays.

Players seeking a refund should hang on to their original ticket. Powerball and Mega Millions tickets cannot be canceled, meaning tickets eligible for a refund are still valid to win a prize in the drawing for which they were purchased.

To claim a refund, players must attach a copy of their multi-draw ticket as proof of purchase (do not send an original ticket) to a completed Refund Claim Form available at the SC Education Lottery website here and mail to: Multi-Draw Refund, South Carolina Education Lottery, Post Office Box 11949, Columbia, SC 29211.

The deadline for a refund is Thursday, July 30, 2020. Any duplicate copy submitted after a refund has been issued will not be accepted.

Powerball and Mega Millions tickets cost $2 per play. The purchase of the PowerPlay or Megaplier option for an additional $1 will not be refunded. As of April 8, 2020, the Powerball jackpot is $190 million (annuitized value) and the Mega Millions jackpot is $136 million (annuitized value).

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The cost of some multi-draw Powerball and Mega Millions tickets will be refunded, South Carolina Education Lottery officials said. ]]>


ca lottery hotspot

CA. Hotspot Draw Lottery

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It is 1 in 656 of getting 3 equal numbers out of 5 drawings. So, with 300 drawing a day, you should see this about every other day, on average.

For 1 specific number, the probability is (1/80)^3*(79/80)^2*combin(5,3). This is the binomial distribution.

For any number, multiply those results by 80.

If you look at past results and see something like this, it’s probably just a coincidence. See if the same thing happens again in the future (i.e. the next 5 days). If it happens again, then I would say there is a good chance that the game is not drawing numbers randomly.

If you post this question on you will get a bunch of replies from people who think that lottery drawings have patterns. Don’t bother asking them what the probability of that happening is because all of them (except me) have absolutely no concept of probability. I visit that forum occasionally just for kicks to see what idiotic things people are saying. Some of them spend hours on spreadsheets trying to predict lottery numbers LOL

First, I had some trouble understanding the rules based on the OP, so found them on the California Lottery web site:

However, for the question at hand, as I understand it, the only pertinent rules are:

1. There are 80 balls.
2. The game will draw one “hot spot” ball per drawing.
3. There are 300 drawings per day.

The question is what is the probability that same number is drawn at the same time in 3 out of 5 consecutive days. I shall work on the answer.

I get an answer of 36.71%. The is the probability of at least one of the 300 drawing times over 5 days having exactly three of the days matching Hot Spot balls.

For any given drawing time, the probability of exactly 3 of the days having the same number is combin(5,3)*(1/80)^2*(79/80)^2 = 0.001523682.

The probability of anything else is 1 – 0.001523682 = 0.998476318.

The probability of not having 3 out 5 of matches over 300 drawings is 0.998476318^300 = 63.29%.

Thus, the probability of at least one drawing time having 3 out of 5 Hot Spot matches is 1 – 63.29% = 36.71%.

Anyone agree or disagree?

I get an answer of 36.71%. The is the probability of at least one of the 300 drawing times over 5 days having exactly three of the days matching Hot Spot balls.

For any given drawing time, the probability of exactly 3 of the days having the same number is combin(5,3)*(1/80)^2*(79/80)^2 = 0.001523682.

Anyone agree or disagree?

Disagree. It’s (5)C(3) x (1/80) 3 x (79/80) 2 , or about 1 / 52,504.
The probability of it not happening at all in 300 chances is (1 – 1 / 52,504) 300 = about 1 / 175.5135.

Some quick simulation gets the same result.

Note that if you are looking for three or more Hot Spot matches at the same time, the first number is:
( (5)C(3) x (1/80) 3 x (79/80) 2 + (5)C(4) x (1/80) 4 x (79/80) + (5)C(5) x (1/80) 5 )
= (10 x 79 x 79 + 5 x 79 + 1) / 80 5 = about 1 / 52,173
and the probability of this not happening in 300 plays per day is 1 – (1 – (1 / 52,173)) 300 = about 1 / 174.41

This question may have been asked and answered already, but I could not find it! In CA. we have a Keno lottery game called Hotspot. So, as in Keno, there… ]]>


tn lottery headquarters

Tennessee Lottery temporarily closes in-person prize claim centers, offers alternatives due to COVID-19

For answers to frequently asked questions about the coronavirus, click here.

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Lottery is temporarily closing its in-person prize claim centers at its Nashville headquarters as well as its district offices across the state amid the COVID-19 crisis.

But winners of less than $600 can still claim their cash prizes at retailer locations, officials said.

And anyone who wins $600 or more isn’t entirely out of luck when it comes to claiming a prize, although it will take longer: Lottery officials say those winners can mail those winning tickets to the lottery headerquarters. The same applies to those winning prizes less than $600, as well.

Tennessee Education Lottery CEO Rebecca Hargrove said the move stems from general provisions in Gov. Bill Lee’s Executive Order 17, as well as in directives issued by Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper.

District offices are are tentatively scheduled to resume normal business operations on April 6.

“The most important thing right now is for all our players to take the appropriate precautions to stay safe and healthy,” Hargrove said in a news release. “Players with winning tickets can rest assured their prizes will be paid if postmarked prior to the end of the claim expiration period.”

Players should remember to sign the back of their tickets. And lottery officials also suggest winners may want to use registered mail when mailing claims.

Winners mailing in claims for draw-style games must have them postmarked within 180 days of the official winning draw date for that ticket.

Mail-in claims for instant games must be postmarked within 90 days of the announced instant game end date. Players should visit for additional details.

Drawings will continue as scheduled, and instant ticket games will continue to be delivered to retailer locations. By law, the prize expiration date cannot be extended.

A claim form is not required for claims of prizes less than $600 made by mail. Players should sign the back of the ticket and include their name and address either on the ticket or on a separate piece of paper, lottery officials say.

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Lottery is temporarily closing its in-person prize claim centers at its Nashville headquarters as well as its district offices across the state amid the COVID-19 crisis. ]]>

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Eurojackpot ist die europäische Lotterie von Lotto Brandenburg. Du kannst bis zu 90 Mio. Euro gewinnen. Die Ziehung der Gewinnzahlen findet immer Freitagabends statt.

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LottoLand Winners

They’ve only been going for a few years yet online lottery company LottoLand can already claim some really nice winners stories.

17th May 2019 – Keno

Mr S from Yorkshire, UK wins £1 Million on Keno 24/7 (based on the New York Keno). He only bet £1 and matched all 10 numbers.

23rd February 2019 – Spiel77 Extra

A German winner from Lower Saxony, picked up a huge win of €5,877,877.00 on the Spiel77 Extra game. He’d actually been betting on the same numbers for 3 years before he won, but he didn’t mind waiting. He learnt of his big win when LottoLand called him whilst he was waiting at the airport to fly out on his honeymoon!

30th November 2018 – Online Scratchcard

Mrs Fox from Scotland thought she had won a very nice £1,000, which she told the LottoLand caller would help a lot towards Christmas expenses. That was when they broke the news that it wasn’t £1,000 she had won, it was actually £1 Million. Merry Christmas Mrs Fox.

21st December 2017 – Oz Lotto

Not a huge win, but Mr S. from Rugby, England is not complaining. He collects £7,251.28 from betting on the Oz Lotto – on his birthday.

2nd March 2017 – Online Scratchcard

Michael from Germany becomes an instant millionaire thanks to a €1 Million win on a LottoLand scratchcard. He’s only 23 and this was only the 3rd scratcher that he’d bought! Now he’s going to pay off his parents house, buy one for himself and get a new car of course.

23rd December 2016 – EuroMillions

Siblings Joe and Sarah who live in Hampshire, UK pick up £343,284.60 from betting on EuroMillions (second tier prize) with LottoLand.

22nd December 2016 – El Gordo

Jack, West Midland, UK receives £421,004.00 after hitting a second tier prize from the Christmas El Gordo. He also used the ‘DoubleJackpot’ feature so his prize was actually doubled.

8th June 2016 – US Powerball

Repeating Gary’s luck from just last week Geoff Walker of Leicester, UK wins £34,000.

1st June 2016 – US Powerball

Gary Fletcher had been playing the UK Lotto for many years – but the best he’d done was ‘a couple of tenners’. His first time betting on the US Powerball with LottoLand and he collects £34,685.35.

30th April 2016 – German Lottery (6aus49)

Another jackpot win. This time for Matthias from Berlin, Germany. He collects €22 Million. So far Matthias remains the biggest single LottoLand winner. His plans include quitting his job, lots more family time, some charitable donations. Oh, and a nice Ferrari for him ;-).

9th March 2016 – German Lottery (6aus49)

A serious jackpot win of €14.04 Million for Michael from Dresden, Germany betting on the German 6aus49.

13nd January 2016 – US Powerball

An unnamed player wins USD$2 Million from a second tier prize after bettin on the record-breaking jackpot draw for Powerball.

22nd December 2015 – El Gordo Winners

Five players formed their own sydicate and played together by betting on the big El Gordo Christmas draw. Their group shared a prize of £2.8 Million, paying them around £560,000 each.

“I received Lottoland’s email and then I double checked it on the website – then I felt a little queasy. I couldn’t believe it!”

2nd October 2015 – Polish Lotto

Adam S., a truck driver from the Midlands, UK collects a huge £1,840,084.71 cheque from LottoLand representative Chris Tarrant after a bet on the Polish Lotto. As featured in The Mirror newspaper.

More Information:-

LottoLand Offices – watch a short video featuring the CEO at their offices based in Gibraltar.
LottoLand TV Advert – people in the UK you will know this ad. For anyone that doesn’t here it is.

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They’ve only been going for a few years yet online lottery company LottoLand can already claim some really nice big winners. Read more about them here. ]]>


what was the powerball multiplier

Should You Play Powerball? Science Solves The Mystery

Record sales drove up the largest jackpot in U.S. history to a whopping $1.5 billion as people . [+] dreaming of riches flocked across state lines and international borders to buy tickets. (Credit: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images)

Playing the lottery is the ultimate low-risk, high-reward scenario. If you lose, you’re only out a few dollars: the cost of your bet. But if you win, even though the odds are stacked against you, the payoff is a lifetime of easy living. This evening, Wednesday, January 13th, will mark the richest lottery jackpot in history, with the current Powerball jackpot at a whopping $1.5 billion, a new record in lottery games worldwide.

Less than 24 hours from the record Powerball drawing. (Credit:

In order to win, you need to match five normal lottery numbers — white balls numbered 1-through-69 — plus the Powerball: a red ball numbered 1-through-26. Each Powerball ticket costs $2, plus you have the option to pay an extra $1 to activate the power play , a multiplier that increases your payout for non-jackpot prizes.

Dozens of people lined up outside of Kavanagh Liquors in San Lorenzo, Calif., a store that has had . [+] several multi-million dollar winners. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

But what does mathematics have to say about this? In particular:

    What are your odds of winning each individual combination?

The idea of “worth it” is a subjective one to most people, but from a scientific/mathematical standpoint, it has a very particular meaning. It means that the amount you can expect to win, on average, is greater than the amount you have to bet in order to play. If a lottery ticket costs $1, for example, it would be worth it if:

  • You had a 51% chance of winning $2.
  • Or, you had a 0.1% chance of winning $1001.
  • Or, you had a 1-in-499,999 chance of winning $500,000.

While it wouldn’t be worth it if:

  • You had a 49% chance of winning $2.
  • Or, you had a 0.1% chance of winning $999.
  • Or, you had a 1-in-500,001 chance of winning $500,000.

Notice how small these differences are, but how in the earlier cases, you can expect to win more than you bet, while in the latter cases, you expect to bet more than you win, at least on average. Mathematicians call this ratio of how-much-you-win vs. how-much-you-bet the expected value of a problem. If your expected value is greater than 1.0, it’s worth it to play.

The less likely outcomes need to have a greater payoff to be worth it; a relatively likely outcome . [+] would need only a modest payout to be worth it. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Dan Kernler.

So what, then, does this mean for Powerball? In every game of Powerball, you get one ticket with five white numbers (out of 69 possible choices) and one red number (the Powerball, out of 26).

Let’s hit the first point we asked about: what are your odds of winning, with each individual combination highlighted? Here’s an infographic I made that breaks it down.

(Credit: E. Siegel, 2016)

Your odds of actually winning the Powerball jackpot are pretty slim: one in 292,201,338 . In fact, your odds of winning anything aren’t very good either, since the three most common results:

  • no matches of any type (65.23%),
  • one white ball and no powerball (27.18%), and
  • two white balls and no powerball (3.565%),

all pay out absolutely nothing, and add up to 95.98% of the possible results.

But that means, 4.02% of the time, you will win something. And if — on average — it pays out enough, it will be worth it to bet.

Image credit: screenshot from the official Powerball site, at . [+]

So if these are the possibilities for what the payout is, what does this mean in terms of expected value? In other words, each time you play the lottery, you have a small chance of winning a certain prize, and if you multiply your expected winnings by your odds of each option, you get your expected value for each option. (And remember, the cost of a ticket for the Powerball is $2.00.)

Let’s work it out! We’ll come back to the “Jackpot” in just a bit, because it’s a bit more complicated. But let’s take a look at all the other — more likely, but non-Jackpot — options first.

(Credit: E. Siegel, 2016)

For every $2 ticket you buy, you can expect to recoup, on average:

  • about $0.15 from the periodic $4 payouts,
  • about $0.02 from the periodic $7 payouts,
  • about $0.01 from the periodic $100 payouts,
  • about $0.05 from the periodic $50,000 payouts, and
  • about $0.09 from the periodic $1,000,000 payouts.

All told, the non-jackpot options make each ticket worth about $0.32, which is a far cry from the $2 you invested. This teaches us two things:

  1. It gives us the information we need to figure out how much the “Power Play” option is actually worth.
  2. It let’s us know how much the Jackpot needs to pay out in order for buying a Powerball ticket to be “worth it,” mathematically.

First, the Power Play.

Screenshot and headers from the official Powerball site. (Credit:

The Power Play option — which costs an extra $1.00, turning a $2 ticket into a $3 ticket — does the following:

  • has no effect on the Jackpot/Grand Prize,
  • always doubles the payout of the second-most-lucrative prize, and
  • has a 1-in-1.75 chance of doubling the other prizes, a 1-in-3.23 chance of tripling them, and a 1-in-14 chance of quadrupling or a 1-in-21 chance of quintupling them.
  • or, if the 10x multiplier is active, reducing the chances of all the other options a tiny bit, and adding in a 1-in-43 chance of multiplying the other prizes by ten.

So what’s the extra expected payoff for this extra $1 investment?

It takes the non-jackpot options, on average, from being worth $0.32 up to being worth $0.81. This means you’re spending an extra $1.00 to increase your expected payout by $0.49, a lousy deal any way you slice it. In fact, even if you happened to hit the 5x option, which happens only about 5% of the time, you only up your expected winnings to $1.34 for the non-jackpot options, which increases your winnings by a mere $1.02. That’s what you need to make it “worth” grabbing the Power Play option: a guaranteed 5x multiplier or more. The fact that the second-biggest-payout is only doubled, no matter what the Power Play multiplier happens to be, makes this a raw deal any way you slice it.

In other words, you should never take the Power Play option.

So finally, we come to the big prize: the Jackpot, or the Grand Prize, which you win by hitting all five numbers plus the Powerball, something that has a one-in-292,201,338 chance of happening.

Frank and Shirley Capaci of Streamwood, Il won $104 Million in the Powerball lottery in May. . [+] (Credit: Daniel Lippitt/AFP/Getty Images)

You would think, perhaps, that if a Powerball ticket costs you $2, and you have an expected value of $0.32 from the rest of the ticket, as long as your expected value is $1.68 or higher from the Powerball Grand Prize, you’ll come out ahead, and you should play.

That logic is sound, by the way: you’re right on! If your ticket is “worth” more than $2 total, of course you should spend $2 on it.

But you might then take the next step, and say, “since my odds of winning the Jackpot are 1-in- 292,201,338 , all I need to do is find what payout corresponds to that expected value and, if the Jackpot is more than that, I’ll play.” Finding that value isn’t so hard: it’s $245,449,123.92. But if you play the lottery when the Jackpot is that size, you’ll come out behind, still, for two reasons.

Even after the taxman calls, the Powerball jackpot could make the lucky winner wealthier than the . [+] likes of British boy band One Direction, soccer star Lionel Messi, Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer and U.S. superstar Beyonce. (Credit: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images)

One of those reasons is taxes. That’s right: you don’t get to keep 100% of your winnings, although you are responsible for 100% of the costs of the tickets. The “advertised jackpot” is how much you’d get, pre-taxes, if you deferred the payments out over a long period of time.

If, instead, you took a lump sum payment (which is drastically reduced to about 63% of the advertised value), and then paid (state and federal) taxes on that, you’d discover something shocking: you only get to keep 37.2% of the Grand Prize’s value! (Dependent on your state’s taxes, which are estimated to be around 6%.) In fact, state and federal taxes would be a big deal for the other, smaller prizes we talked about earlier, which would bump the $1,000,000 prize down to be worth only about $590,000, and would reduce the value of the “other” payouts from being worth a total of $0.36 to about $0.26, a much worse deal.

In order to hit the “break-even” point, and have a $2 ticket actually be worth $2 when you include taxes, you’d need to have the Jackpot come in at a value of a whopping $1.4 billion, which only today’s Powerball Jackpot has crested in all of history.

But even that makes an assumption: that if you win, that your winning ticket will be the only winning ticket, which runs counter to the facts. As you well know, people are far more likely to buy lottery tickets when the Jackpot is huge. While you might not think this would mean so much with incredibly long odds, once you start selling more than about 70 million tickets, the odds of more than one person hitting the jackpot rise extremely quickly, as Jeremy Elson’s research into the matter has demonstrated.

(Credit: Jeremy Elson, via

Based on various Jackpots that we’ve seen, once the advertised Jackpot passes about $300 million, ticket sales rise exponentially, with the largest jackpots resulting in hundreds of millions of tickets sold.

The thing is, not everyone gets a unique set of numbers: many tickets share the same numbers, so that if you get to, say, an advertised Jackpot of around $700 million, you’d expect to sell about 190 million tickets for the drawing. Even though the odds of any individual ticket hitting the Jackpot is 1-in- 292,201,338 , the odds that only one person will win that Jackpot is much lower than you’d think: about 37%. There’d be a 34% chance that no one would hit the Jackpot, and a 29% chance that two or more people would win.

What’s crazy — and unintuitive — is that as the Jackpot rises higher and higher, because more and more tickets get sold, the less valuable each ticket becomes! A ticket sold for a $1,500 million (or $1.5 billion) Jackpot, in fact, would only be worth about half as much as a ticket sold for a $500 million Jackpot, because you’d most likely have to split the Jackpot, even if you won, with between three and seven other people. And that’s probably what’s going to happen tonight.

These figures are for the “old” Powerball lottery, superseded about 12 months ago to increase . [+] jackpots. (Credit: Jeremy Elson, via

When you take both taxes and split Jackpots into account, you find that even at its maximum value, a $2 Powerball ticket is really only worth about $0.852, or just 43% of what you paid for it.

It’s long been said that lottery tickets are a tax on those who can’t do math, and now you’ve seen the mathematical proof of that. If you want to buy a Powerball ticket for fun, by all means, go right ahead. Just be aware that for every $2 you spend, you’re donating about $1.15 to whatever government programs that Powerball supports, and only betting $0.85 on whatever you might win in an otherwise “fair” lottery.

As the jackpot crests $1 billion for the first time, it’s time to examine the scientific answer to the ultimate question: is it worth it to play? ]]>


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Kerala Jackpot Result

‘Kerala Jackpot Result’ – 13 News Result(s)

Lottery Results | Shihab KS | Sunday March 15, 2020

The Pournami lottery result will be released on the official portal of Kerala State Lotteries at

Lottery Results | Shihab KS | Friday March 13, 2020

Kerala lottery result for the Nirmal lottery will be released on the official portal at

Lottery Results | Shihab KS | Thursday March 12, 2020

The Kerala lottery result for the Karunya Plus lottery will be released on the official portal at

Lottery Results | Shihab KS | Friday March 6, 2020

Kerala lottery result for the Nirmal lottery released on the official portal at

Lottery Results | Shihab KS | Wednesday March 4, 2020

Kerala lottery result has been published on the official portal at

Lottery Results | Shihab KS | Tuesday March 3, 2020

Kerala lottery result for the Sthree Sakthi lottery, a weekly scheme, will be published on the official portal at after the draw.

Lottery Results | Shihab KS | Monday March 2, 2020

The Kerala lottery result for the WIN WIN lottery, a weekly scheme run by the state lotteries, has been released on the official portal at

Lottery Results | Shihab KS | Saturday February 29, 2020

Kerala Karunya lottery results are expected to be released online after 4.30 pm today at

Lottery Results | Shihab KS | Friday February 28, 2020

Nirmal Lottery result will be released on the official portal of the Kerala Lotteries at

Lottery Results | Shihab KS | Thursday February 27, 2020

Karunya Plus Lottery result will be released on the official portal of the Kerala Lotteries at

Lottery Results | Shihab KS | Wednesday February 26, 2020

Akshaya lottery result has been released on the official portal of the Kerala Lotteries at

Lottery Results | Shihab KS | Saturday February 22, 2020

Kerala government’s Lotteries department will release the Karunya results at

Lottery Results | Shihab KS | Friday February 14, 2020

Find Kerala Jackpot Result Latest News, Videos & Pictures on Kerala Jackpot Result and see latest updates, news, information from NDTV.COM. Explore more on Kerala Jackpot Result. ]]>


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An Overview Of Payment Methods

At Lottoland UK we offer a range of different payment methods to suit all your needs. We accept major credit cards, bank transfers and popular online payment methods – see below for more information.

As more and more people are joining Lottoland (5 million and counting!) to chase our huge range of jackpots we’re also seeing a huge upsurge in questions related to money and payments. So if you’ve just joined us here at Lottoland let’s get you up and running ASAP to make sure you don’t miss out!

Signing up is easy – just click on the Sign in or sign up link on the top right of the page, just above the green menu bar.

The next step, then, is to top up your account credit, so in this article we’re going to give you a brief overview of the different deposit methods available to UK players.

Credit Card Payments

Lottoland UK accepts credit card payments from both Visa and MasterCard.

Note that these payments may incur charges. Such charges, if/when they do occur, always originate from the card issuer, not from Lottoland. Any queries related to such charges should therefore be directed to your issuer.

In the event of a transaction error please double-check, first of all, that you are using the correct name, as appears on the card, and that the proper details, numbers, etc., have been entered. If you have confirmed that your details are indeed correct, but the issue still persists, please contact Customer Service.

Prepaid Card Payments

Prepaid cards are a handy alternative to credit cards. At Lottoland UK we accept PaysafeCard, an excellent way to pay online that’s swift, secure and easy to use. PaySafeCards are available at thousands of locations throughout the UK. Get a card of a specific value in-store then use it to pay online. [Visit PaySafeCard]

Online Payment Methods

Skrill: Skrill (formerly known as Moneybookers) is one of the world’s most popular online payment methods, second only to Paypal. The British company has become a respected industry leader in online payments offering swift and hassle-free online transactions. It was acquired by the Paysafe Group in 2015. [Visit Skrill]

Neteller: Also based in Britain, Neteller is also one of the world’s most popular online payment methods. Another subsidiary of the Paysafe Group, it is used in more than 200 countries and has proven particularly popular in the field of online gaming. [Visit Neteller]

Bank Transfer Payments

If desired you can also deposit money by bank transfer, by sending funds to our bank account directly. Be advised that this method will likely take longer than the other methods mentioned above. For full details please see our payment methods help page where you will find full details of our bank and how to make the payment.

Before you bet you’ll need to deposit funds – in this article we look at the different payment methods available to UK players. ]]>

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Have another questions? Search below…

Dependent upon the type of PCHlotto game, winning numbers are selected as follows:

Daily Draws: Winning numbers are drawn every night after 12:00 AM EST. They are then matched against all eligible entries that are received before 11:59 PM EST on the previous day.

Monthly Event Drawing: A live drawing will be held on a specified date during which the winning number will be chosen. You are eligible to submit numbers every day until 11:59 PM EST of the night prior to the draw date. Any submissions received after 12:00 AM EST will be counted for the following draw.

To win the prize featured on the lotto card, a player must match all of the numbers on the card. Tokens can be earned and cash can be won as part of “partial wins” on PCHlotto. Click here to learn more. winning numbers Have another questions? Search below… Dependent upon the type of PCHlotto game, winning numbers are selected as follows: Daily Draws: Winning numbers are ]]>