TUCoPS :: Scams :: lotto.txt

Hints for winning at the lottery

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                                   May 20, 1992

         This file  is from the June 1992 - Texas Monthly which was in turn
              adapted from Austin entertainer Turk Pipkin's new book,
                     The Winner's Guide to the Texas Lottery.
                  It is published by Softshoe Publishing Company.

       This copyrighted article in its' entirety  is called Smart Money and
       is written by Turk Pipkin.  This file is to help those  who  plan to
       indulge in the soon-to-be TEXAS lottery.

                                    Smart Money
                                  by Turk Pipkin

                 LOTTERY - MAX!  You may  well  find  yourself  tempted  to
                 increase your chances by buying beaucoup  lottery tickets.
                 But no  ordinary  person  could ever buy enough tickets to
                 guarantee a win.  Consider  this:  The  most  common lotto
                 game has 14 million betting combinations,  so if you buy 1
                 ticket, the  odds  will be 1 in 14 million.  If you buy 50
                 tickets, the odds will  be  50  in  14 million.  Does that
                 sound better?  Only 1 in 54 tickets wins any prize at all.
                 So don't spend yourself into the poorhouse.

                 There is  no  correct  or best or normal  amount  to  bet.
                 Annual lottery  sales  per  person vary around the country
                 from just $30 a year  in  Kansas  to  more  than  $250  in
                 Massachusetts.  Limiting your spending to one percent is a
                 good rule  of  thumb.  If you make $25,000  a  year,  that
                 works out  to $250 a year, or about  $5 a week - plenty of
                 opportunity for thrills  and  chills without breaking your

                 The best game plan is to play for the fun  of  it  and for
                 your dreams, not because you seriously believe that you're
                 going to  win.   (Being  certain that you're going to beat
                 the lottery is a little  like hitting yourself in the head
                 with a ball peen hammer and being certain  that  it  won't
                 hurt -  except  hitting yourself in the head with a hammer
                 doesn't cost a buck a whack.)

                 ODDS WILL GET BETTER.  The first Texas Lottery game, Lone

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                 Star Millions,  is an instant scratch-off game.  It's easy
                 to play and just as easy to lose.  You buy a ticket for $1
                 from a lottery vendor and  scratch  off  the latex coating
                 that conceals dollar amounts printed in six small squares.
                 If three of those amounts match, you will  win  that much.
                 Odds and  prizes  range  from  1  in  10 to win $2 to 1 in
                 600,000 to win $10,000.   The  overall odds of winning any
                 prize are  1  in  7.9.   That's  not  exactly  a  consumer
                 bargain, and  it  won't be long before players figure that
                 out and tire of having only one chance of winning in every
                 eight plays.

                 Early burnout has been anticipated  by the Texas Lottery's
                 advertising and operations contractors, who are masters of
                 marketing and lottery strategy.  As sales  fall  off, they
                 plan to  introduce  new  games  with  better  odds to keep
                 players interested.

                 So while you may be tempted  to  bet  heavily in the first
                 two games because they will offer $1 million grand prizes,
                 you should  consider  holding off.  The third  and  fourth
                 games -  scheduled  to  be  introduced simultaneously late
                 this summer - will offer  a  double-prize  feature  and  a
                 higher overall percentage of winners.  Eventually,  up  to
                 six different  instant  games  will  be offered at any one

                 The main thing to remember  is  to watch the payout odds -
                 which will be printed on the game brochures  available  at
                 all 15,000 initial ticket outlets.  These odds will change
                 with each game, and you might as well concentrate on those
                 that offer  you  the  best chance of winning.  Many states
                 now offer instant games  with  very  decent 1 in 4 overall
                 odds, and so will Texas.  Watch for them.

       Tip  3  - DON'T THROW AWAY A MILLION BUCKS!  If you  scratch  off an
                 instant ticket  and  find  three  windows showing the word
                 "Entry" instead  of  a dollar  amount,  don't  worry;  you
                 haven't lost.   In  fact, you have a chance  to  win  big.
                 Write your  name and address on the back of the ticket and
                 mail it to the Texas Lottery  (the  address is also on the
                 back).  Twelve drawings will be held in various  locations
                 throughout the  state,  and  the  lucky  winner  will  get

                 What are your chances?   of  300  million  tickets in game
                 one, 500,000 will be Entry tickets.  That  may  not  sound
                 great, but remember: Not everyone who gets an Entry ticket
                 will go  to  the  trouble  of  mailing  it  in.  That will
                 increase the chances  of  those  who  do,  so  keep  those
                 tickets in.

       Tip  4 - PLAY FOR FREE!  Pay attention to the promotions that may be
                offered by  the  lottery  and  by  ticket   vendors.    For
                instance, many  retailers  may  offer  "Ask  for  the Sale"
                promotions, in which you  get  a  free  ticket if the clerk
                forgets to ask if you would like to buy one.  Participating
                service stations  will also be allowed to  give  away  free
                tickets with a fill-up of gas, and food stores can give

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                free tickets  for  buying turkeys at Thanksgiving (and what
                better symbol for a bunch  of die-hard lottery players than
                a bunch  of  frozen  turkeys?).   Don't   pass  up  a  free

                fall we will see the introduction  of the big game with the
                giant jackpots - lotto, which is based on  a  centuries-old
                gambling game   that  originated  in  Italy.   The  Lottery
                Commission has yet to decide on the specifics, but the game
                will probably be a 6/49 or 6/50 lotto.  This takes a minute
                to explain, so bear with me:

                  1)  On each ticket, 49  or  50 numbers are printed; these
                      numbers are called the field.
                  2)  From  the field, a player selects 6  numbers,  called
                      his pick.
                  3)  Every  Saturday  night  on  live TV - possibly in the
                      commercial slot just  before  the  ten o'clock news -
                      the Texas Lottery will use a special  machine  filled
                      with Ping-Pong  balls bearing printed numbers to pick
                      six winning numbers.

                Given the size of the potential  prize  -  you may remember
                Florida's $106.5 million - and the devastating odds against
                winning - 1 in 14 million for 6/49 lotto;  1  in 16 million
                for 6/50 - everyone wants a system.  This is where you want
                to be  cautious.  Hundreds of overpriced schemes are on the
                market; pocket calculators,  computer  software, even lotto
                biorhythm charts, all ballyhooed as ways  to  pick  winning

                And those  are  the more plausible scams.  Once the lottery
                really gets going here, you  can  expect a cottage industry
                to spring  up  offering  to  convert  your  birthday,  your
                astrological sign,  and  even  more  arcane phenomena, like
                dates of sightings of the  Loch Ness monster, into mystical
                numbers that you can use to play lotto.  Anyone  who claims
                to be  able to see the future of a lotto drawing and offers
                to sell  you that information  for  $50  or  $100  must  be
                generous indeed.

                Worst of all, many mathematical systems can  cost a bundle.
                Some of them (many are sold through the mail) involve using
                eight, nine, or ten numbers in complex betting combinations
                that necessitate  spending  $20,  $50,  or  $100  a week on

                Taking these methods seriously  is just asking for trouble.
                Don't spend big money on any system to pick  your  numbers.
                Your odds are better if you put your money into tickets.

       Tip  6 -  DON'T PLAY FREQUENTLY BET NUMBERS!  Since there is no sure
                way to make lotto predictions,  the  most logical tactic is
                to avoid sharing a jackpot in case your numbers are drawn.

                Research shows  that  many if not most players  select  low
                numbers.  Why?   Because  they  choose  from the same small
                group of numbers 1 through 12 (the months), 1 through

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                31 (the  days),  and  the  number  19 (the century) are all
                overplayed.  Of those, 3,  7,  and 11, all considered to be
                lucky, are REALLY overused.

                Another factor favoring low numbers is that  people marking
                play slips often make all six choices before they get above
                the twenties  or  thirties.  In one drawing of the Maryland
                Lottery, 3,200 people played  the  numbers 1 through 6.  If
                those numbers had been chosen, the winners  would  have had
                to split  the $620,000 jackpot and would have won less than
                $200 each.  Conclusion: Play at least SOME high numbers.

       Tip  7 - YOU CAN WIN WITH QUIKPICKS!   The simplest way to pick your
                numbers may well be the best: Let the computer  do  it  for
                you.  All  you  have to do is tell your clerk at your lotto
                ticket outlet that you want  onr  or  more  Quik Picks.  He
                pushes a button, and the machine picks six numbers for you,
                charging a buck a ticket.

                The reason this works is that playing Quik Picks guarantees
                that you will have random numbers.  That way  you avoid the
                pitfalls outlined  in  Tip 6, and you have less of a chance
                of sharing a jackpot with  all those other people.  Surveys
                in many states show that a majority of jackpot winners were
                Quik Picks.   How  can this be?  Because  the  majority  of
                lotto tickets sold WERE Quik Picks.

                NUMBERS!  Could anybody  be  dumb  enough  NOT to CHECK his
                numbers?  Well,  YES!   In  1989  a  $5.4 million  Illinois
                jackpot went unclaimed for one year, was declared void, and
                the money  was returned to a pool for future prizes.  Every
                lottery state has had similar incidents.

                How does this happen?  Plenty of people ask the clerk for a
                lottery ticket and get a  lotto  Quik  Pick  instead of the
                instant ticket  they  wanted.  They stick  that  ticket  in
                their wallet  or  purse  and  forget about it.  And if they
                regularly play  Quik Picks  instead  of  playing  the  same
                numbers every  time, they don't have the numbers  committed
                to memory, and they must check the current ticket to see if
                they have  won.   Diggout  out the tickets is more trouble,
                but the rewards could be worth it.

                Unclaimed prize money in  Texas,  you  may be glad to hear,
                also will BE RETURNED to the player's prize pool.

       Tip  9 - PLAY LOTTERY POOLS!  Lottery pools are groups  of  people -
                family members,  neighbors,  co-workers  -  who  pool their
                money to buy more tickets  than  any  of  them could afford
                individually.  If any of the tickets wins a prize, everyone
                shares the money.  Whoever organizes the pool  collects the
                money, buys   the  tickets,  and  keeps  a  simple  written
                contract stating  that winnings  will  be  divided  equally
                among all members.

                Say thirty people chip in $3 a week.  Each  of them now has
                ninety opportunities  to win a share of the jackpot, and no
                one has spent a fortune.  A $15 million jackpot split among

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                thirty winners  would  pay  each of them $20,000 a year for
                twenty years, after taxes.

                You may have read about  a  commercial  Australian  lottery
                pool called  the  International  Lotto Fund  that  won  $27
                million in March by covering all seven million combinations
                in the Virginia Lottery.  Smooth move, but every lottery in
                the country  has  since  changed  its rules to prevent such
                massive block  buying of  tickets.   That  means  your  own
                lottery pool at home or work is still your  best  chance to

                YOUR BET!  When the lotto  jackpot  is  not won for several
                weeks, a fever grips the land.  People who  were previously
                blase' wait  in line for hours to buy tickets.  The lottery
                occupies the  news,  cocktail   party   conversation,   and
                valuable work time.  It is blamed for everything  short  of
                causing hens to quit laying.

                Some people think that having more players in the game will
                ruin their odds, but it's just not so.  The odds of winning
                remain unchanged.   The  odds  of  having  to share the big
                prize ARE higher, but since  the  jackpot  is  bigger, that
                isn't such a big deal.

                Maybe you'll win, maybe you won't.  The  point  is  that if
                you play  for  fun,  you can have a few thrills, and if you
                play smart, you'll know you've  done  everything you can to
                boost your chances.  It's like life; the odds  are  against
                you, but may the fours be with you.


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                             Vangard Sciences/KeelyNet

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