## Poll

 Scratchcard (one word) No votes (0%) Scratch card (two words) No votes (0%) Scratcher 4 votes (17.39%) Scratch off 14 votes (60.86%) Other (explain) 2 votes (8.69%) Total eclipse reminder April 8, 2024 4 votes (17.39%) I look forward to mdawg's return. 1 vote (4.34%) I believe Alan about the stacked dice. 1 vote (4.34%) The Wizard should cut his hair. 4 votes (17.39%) I miss BBB. 3 votes (13.04%)

23 members have voted

Wizard

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June 25th, 2021 at 3:43:27 PM permalink
I've started a rather large undertaking, tracking the scratch card return by state and ticket cost. So far, I have done seven states. I just put some tables up at WoO. It is a work in progress, just tables so far, but please have a look at my new page on .

Here are some comments on my methodology:

• Returns for a given state and ticket cost are based on a single game. I find returns are pretty consistent within any given denomination for a particular state, except New York. Still I would prefer to do a larger sampling, but in most cases every game requires a unique analysis and thus this project is very tedious and time consuming.
• Returns are based on a bet resolved. In other words, if the player wins a free ticket, I assume he keeps playing until he gets anything other than a free ticket. In yet other words, I ignore the free tickets.
• If a prize is paid as an annuity, I use the lump sum value as the win. If the lump sum offer isn't indicated, I take the total payments of the annuity and divide by 2.

At this point, I welcome all comments and suggestions. Is this project even worth completing? I have a feeling the type of person to buy scratch cards is not the same kind of person to do research on their value.

The question for the poll is what do you call a scratch card?
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
Mission146
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June 25th, 2021 at 3:47:08 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I've started a rather large undertaking, tracking the scratch card return by state and ticket cost. So far, I have done seven states. I just put some tables up at WoO. It is a work in progress, just tables so far, but please have a look at my new page on .

Here are some comments on my methodology:

• Returns for a given state and ticket cost are based on a single game. I find returns are pretty consistent within any given denomination for a particular state, except New York. Still I would prefer to do a larger sampling, but in most cases every game requires a unique analysis and thus this project is very tedious and time consuming.
• Returns are based on a bet resolved. In other words, if the player wins a free ticket, I assume he keeps playing until he gets anything other than a free ticket. In yet other words, I ignore the free tickets.
• If a prize is paid as an annuity, I use the lump sum value as the win. If the lump sum offer isn't indicated, I take the total payments of the annuity and divide by 2.

At this point, I welcome all comments and suggestions. Is this project even worth completing? I have a feeling the type of person to buy scratch cards is not the same kind of person to do research on their value.

The question for the poll is what do you call a scratch card?

I’ve done a similar page, but not quite so specific. If it helps, the State of Maine actually lists RTP for Instant Tickets, by denomination, in its annual lottery report.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
Mission146
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June 25th, 2021 at 3:50:19 PM permalink
https://www.maine.gov/dafs/bablo/sites/maine.gov.dafs.bablo/files/inline-files/BABLO%20Annual%20Report%20-%20FY2020.pdf

Page 15. I don’t know how it accounts for free ticket, “Wins,” so I’d just divide the prize expense by sales for each denomination.

EDIT: Voted other, “Instant Ticket,” is what I call them.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
camapl
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June 25th, 2021 at 3:57:18 PM permalink
I voted “scratcher”; however, I would have voted “Wizard should NOT cut his hair” had it been an option…!

I appreciate this analysis, if only to know how bad they are when the gf buys them. We occasionally drive to South Shore (Tahoe) or Gold Ranch Verdi to buy lottery tickets when one of the jackpots available to California gets big (~\$1B). And she will always spend at least \$20 on Scratchers.
It’s a dog eat dog world. …Or maybe it’s the other way around!
camapl
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June 25th, 2021 at 4:00:47 PM permalink
FWIW, I believe Alan regarding the stacked dice, especially given the stickiness of many sanitizers.
It’s a dog eat dog world. …Or maybe it’s the other way around!
mwalz9
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June 25th, 2021 at 4:04:15 PM permalink
We call them scratch-offs. My girlfriend loves them. I hate them.

Funny you wouldnt catch me buying a \$1 scratch-off ticket, but I spend 4-5 nights a week playing table games at my local casino.
Keeneone
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June 25th, 2021 at 4:23:52 PM permalink
I have always referred to them as scratch-offs. The different names used seems to vary by state.
When I lived in states with the tickets (TX,FL), I would at least look at the remaining grand prizes of particular games when I would buy them. I still enjoy playing them when on the road. The bingo and crossword style games are a good time killer.

This project is interesting to me. GL
Mission146
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June 25th, 2021 at 6:37:42 PM permalink
Quote: camapl

I voted “scratcher”; however, I would have voted “Wizard should NOT cut his hair” had it been an option…!

I appreciate this analysis, if only to know how bad they are when the gf buys them. We occasionally drive to South Shore (Tahoe) or Gold Ranch Verdi to buy lottery tickets when one of the jackpots available to California gets big (~\$1B). And she will always spend at least \$20 on Scratchers.

Depends on denomination, usually 55-75%.

According to my lottery report:

https://wizardofodds.com/online-gambling/articles/the-lottery-sucks

Instant ticket RTP in California (for FY19) was 69.28%, all denominations considered.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
camapl
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June 26th, 2021 at 12:18:54 AM permalink
Quote: Mission146

Depends on denomination, usually 55-75%.

According to my lottery report:

https://wizardofodds.com/online-gambling/articles/the-lottery-sucks

Instant ticket RTP in California (for FY19) was 69.28%, all denominations considered.

Yep, just what I thought! Worse than most live keno options… I sure hope the schools still benefit from the profits.
It’s a dog eat dog world. …Or maybe it’s the other way around!
Mission146
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June 26th, 2021 at 4:14:25 AM permalink
Quote: camapl

Yep, just what I thought! Worse than most live keno options… I sure hope the schools still benefit from the profits.

It's definitely a good company line, but there are a few states that do not have a state lottery and they seem to also have public schools.

While the lottery does revenue transfers to the state Government that are earmarked for different things, I tend not to believe (though there may be a few exceptions) that those areas are getting any more money than they would have gotten anyway. These revenues just free up Government revenues collected from other mechanisms to do something else, in my opinion.

I guess I shouldn't go any further down this line, though, because I don't want the post to get to the point where it is no longer considered primarily related to gambling.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
Wizard

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June 26th, 2021 at 7:16:13 AM permalink
Thank you for all the comments thus far.

One point I plan to make eventually is that scratch-offs are a better bet than games based on a ball draw, like a 6-49 lottery. The increase in return as the ticket price goes up is also something that should be emphasized. It would be better to buy one \$10 ticket than ten \$1 tickets.

If anyone on the forum has ever worked in a convenience store, I'd be interested to know the behavior of scratch-off players, in particular the mean and median number of tickets purchased at a time.

Finally, I checked the seven states I've looked at so far. IN, KY, NJ, NY, OH, and PA call them a scratch-off. Missouri calls them a scratcher.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
gamerfreak
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June 26th, 2021 at 7:19:37 AM permalink
Quote: Mission146

It's definitely a good company line, but there are a few states that do not have a state lottery and they seem to also have public schools.

While the lottery does revenue transfers to the state Government that are earmarked for different things, I tend not to believe (though there may be a few exceptions) that those areas are getting any more money than they would have gotten anyway. These revenues just free up Government revenues collected from other mechanisms to do something else, in my opinion.

I can only speak for PA.

The PA state lottery is said to benefit “older Pennsylvanians”

My dad sits on the board for the local nonprofit senior center and can confirm they are 100% funded by state lottery proceeds.
TinMan
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June 26th, 2021 at 7:21:24 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

At this point, I welcome all comments and suggestions. Is this project even worth completing? I have a feeling the type of person to buy scratch cards is not the same kind of person to do research on their value.

Random thoughts:

(1) You’ve written about just about everything else gambling related so not too many alternatives left to analyze. This is something that has a huge \$\$\$ spent on it so potential wide applicability

(2) Theres some small chance you’ll stumble upon some AP opportunity. I believe a couple in MA exploited a +EV aspect of a state lottery second chance prizes several years ago. There was another where a guy realized the layout of the ticket was non random and provided valuable info about what lay underneath.

(3) I think you’re right that there’s an inverse relationship between the amount people spend on scratch offs vs reading WOO.

(4) I spend maybe \$6/year on them. At one point I liked the crossword game one because it would take like 30 mins to go through rather than the usual 5 seconds.

(5) now If I buy it it’s the “win for life” ones. I figure the fixed amounts (\$5k, \$10k) won’t affect my life. However \$1k/week or \$5k week for life would.

(6) I believe some states publicize how many of the big prizes are still outstanding.

(7) I say scratch offs

(8) unrelated but I saw a documentary about how a suspiciously high number of jackpots are claimed by store owners. Always know what you’re expecting to win and look at the screen when cashing in a ticket so you don’t get scammed.
If anyone gives you 10,000 to 1 on anything, you take it. If John Mellencamp ever wins an Oscar, I am going to be a very rich dude.
Mission146
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June 26th, 2021 at 7:30:25 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Thank you for all the comments thus far.

One point I plan to make eventually is that scratch-offs are a better bet than games based on a ball draw, like a 6-49 lottery. The increase in return as the ticket price goes up is also something that should be emphasized. It would be better to buy one \$10 ticket than ten \$1 tickets.

If anyone on the forum has ever worked in a convenience store, I'd be interested to know the behavior of scratch-off players, in particular the mean and median number of tickets purchased at a time.

Finally, I checked the seven states I've looked at so far. IN, KY, NJ, NY, OH, and PA call them a scratch-off. Missouri calls them a scratcher.

You're welcome!

If it helps, my lottery report already has the Drawing Ticket returns v. Instant Ticket returns for each state (Fiscal Year 2019) for those states that itemize them in their Annual Reports. The chart is on the bottom of that page. I had to get a little creative sometimes with what category to put things in, for instance, I usually considered the every three minutes Keno games (where applicable) as being an Instant Ticket.

Almost all Drawing Games have returns only within a few percentage points (give or take) of 50% as far as Numbers Games are concerned. Mega Millions and Powerball have the worst returns, and in states in which those games represent a disproportionate percentage of sales, those states will often have total drawing games RTP of less than 50%.

I would also maybe consider other lottery games. For example, Missouri Lottery Pull Tabs have an RTP of almost 90% for FY19, which pulled their average Instant Ticket return up because I had to put it somewhere---and that made more sense than drawing tickets. Still, their traditional Instant Ticket return for the FY was 72.92%, so given the low percentage of revenues that came from Pull Tabs, it only pulled the average up less than 2%.

California once had a law that stated that ALL lottery returns to player were to be as close as practicable to 50%, which even included Instant Tickets, but fortunately they got rid of that requirement.

Of all state lotteries, New Mexico had the worst return on Instant Tickets (at least for those to separate the ticket types in their annual report) with an absolutely abysmal 55.18% RTP. They also have one of the lowest losses/resident to traditional lottery in the country. Of course, New Mexico is also a poor state and has the sixth-least population density, so those factors also tend to bode poorly for traditional lottery. I'm sure the terrible Instant Ticket returns also don't help sales.

I did work at the, "Smoke shop," of a grocery store, but that was nearly twenty years ago, so that information is no longer relevant. I think we only sold \$1, \$2 and \$5 instant tickets at the time and now Instant Tickets go as high as \$50, depending on the state.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
Mission146
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June 26th, 2021 at 7:33:00 AM permalink
Quote: gamerfreak

I can only speak for PA.

The PA state lottery is said to benefit “older Pennsylvanians”

My dad sits on the board for the local nonprofit senior center and can confirm they are 100% funded by state lottery proceeds.

That's true, but do we assume that the State of PA would not be contributing money to seniors were it not for the lottery?

I should do my part. If you want to PM me the name of the senior center, then instead of buying a \$20 Instant Ticket where my theoretical \$5 is partially lost due to waste and other crap, I will send a direct donation of \$5 to the senior center and keep the other \$15 with zero variance.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
gamerfreak
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June 26th, 2021 at 7:37:41 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

If anyone on the forum has ever worked in a convenience store, I'd be interested to know the behavior of scratch-off players, in particular the mean and median number of tickets purchased at a time.

In college I was at a convenience store my friend owned for a few years.

A wild guess at the average spend is \$10 and 2 tickets. I witnessed one \$10k prize from a \$2 ticket and one \$1m prize from a \$20 ticket. The guy who won the million came back to the store every single day and purchased another \$20 scratchie.

I think the more interesting statistic is that nearly 100% of prizes under \$20 would never be exchanged for cash. Pretty much everyone would trade small prizes for more tickets until they went bust.
Mission146
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June 26th, 2021 at 7:40:30 AM permalink
Quote: gamerfreak

In college I was at a convenience store my friend owned for a few years.

A wild guess at the average spend is \$10 and 2 tickets. I witnessed one \$10k prize from a \$2 ticket and one \$1m prize from a \$20 ticket. The guy who won the million came back to the store every single day and purchased another \$20 scratchie.

I think the more interesting statistic is that nearly 100% of prizes under \$20 would never be exchanged for cash. Pretty much everyone would trade small prizes for more tickets until they went bust.

If you're playing Video Poker, you usually don't decide that the Full House you just hit is time to go. Same concept, much worse house edge.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
Wizard

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June 26th, 2021 at 9:31:23 AM permalink
Quote: TinMan

(6) I believe some states publicize how many of the big prizes are still outstanding.

Yes, I have noticed many states do. Here is a good example from Missouri. The web site scratchoffodds.com tracks lots of games and reports on the EV at any point in time. However, the odds are not perfect. Just because a ticket hasn't been redeemed doesn't mean it is still available for purchase. Somebody might be sitting on it. This would cause the EV to be incorrectly reported as too high.

I know of someone who used to do this as an advantage play.

Quote:

(8) unrelated but I saw a documentary about how a suspiciously high number of jackpots are claimed by store owners. Always know what you’re expecting to win and look at the screen when cashing in a ticket so you don’t get scammed.

I've heard that too and should try to find a good source on that. My advice would be to take pictures of a big winner and write your name on it.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
TomG
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June 26th, 2021 at 12:06:51 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

If anyone on the forum has ever worked in a convenience store, I'd be interested to know the behavior of scratch-off players, in particular the mean and median number of tickets purchased at a time.

Worked at a liquor store for a few years, then a gas station for a few months in the early 2000s. My memories on this are pretty blurry. Liquor store customers who bought them, would usually only buy one or two and there were no "scratchoff" regulars. I learned pretty quickly that the \$1 tickets were worthless. Less than 20% were winners and almost all winners were for \$1 or \$2. The new \$20 tickets were a lot better (as far as percentage, probably a lot worse in absolute terms). Pretty common to see \$500 wins come in on those.

At the gas station, the majority of tickets sold were to likely problem gamblers. I remember one guy buying everything that was left in a roll for a few hundred, then coming back to cash in a little over 50% (he did take the money). Then there were a few people who would buy a few every day. Remember an elderly woman who would come in a few times everyday to buy a few each time and never took any cash, always turned any winnings into more tickets. One thing that still stands out was her comment to another customer "You have to have a system".

Like a lot of things (gambling especially), I would say that the median amount of tickets sold to each player is low, while the mean is higher. Most players buy only one or two do so infrequently (once per month, or less). Most of the revenue comes from the small percentage of heavy users.

One woman who worked there was probably earning \$50 to \$100 per month finding discarded winning tickets in the trash. I can't remember ever finding any, but I worked the midnight shift.

I remember an article from that time saying Massachusetts had by far the highest percentage return to players, and as a result was easily the most profitable state for these games. It was around 85% back to the players, while most everywhere else was in the 55-75% range. I'm sure things have changed in the years since then.

Also remember the Valpak coupon books had coupons for a free scratch ticket. Lasted for about a year before they stopped -- right after I turned 18 and could actually use them -- because it led to so much mail theft.
gordonm888
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June 29th, 2021 at 2:33:03 PM permalink
Quote: gamerfreak

I can only speak for PA.

The PA state lottery is said to benefit “older Pennsylvanians”

My dad sits on the board for the local nonprofit senior center and can confirm they are 100% funded by state lottery proceeds.

States take their most objectionable source of revenue - lotteries - and make a big show of allocating those funds to schools, senior centers, state parks and other expenditures that are highly popular. But these things would have been funded anyway -simply because they are popular.

Imagine if states said that lottery revenues help to fund "Fact-Finding" trips by state legislators to other states and countries, and renovations of state legislator offices, and state-provided vehicles and perks for legislators and top staff. I believe that this as true -or more true - than the claims that lottery revenues make a difference in the funding of schools, state parks and community centers.
So many better men, a few of them friends, are dead. And a thousand thousand slimy things live on, and so do I.
Wizard

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June 29th, 2021 at 3:30:10 PM permalink
Quote: TomG

Worked at a liquor store for a few years,...

"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
Keeneone
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June 29th, 2021 at 4:31:18 PM permalink
Are there any states that stop the sale of these tickets after all of the grand prizes are redeemed?
Wizard

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June 29th, 2021 at 4:41:39 PM permalink
Quote: Keeneone

Are there any states that stop the sale of these tickets after all of the grand prizes are redeemed?

Good question. I frankly don't know. Does anyone else?
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
Gandler
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June 29th, 2021 at 4:48:58 PM permalink
In my State it is "Scratchers" (plural) as per the lottery website (I just confirmed that).

The lottery in general annoys me, especially scratchers, (especially if you are behind somebody in a gas station that buys one ticket at a time and takes their time scratching it at the counter, and they always seem to do it when there is just one cashier, but that is more of a personal annoyance).

Mentally, I have always thought of scratchers as portable slot machines, terrible way to spend money (granted I guess you can make the argument that if you buy one every few months for fun, and its truly just for fun there is nothing wrong with it, and they are probably better than "lottery machines" IE slot machines in stations....).

My positive EV way to play Scratchers is receive them as gifts (generally from random people at work since I guess that is a generic gift form), and picking them up on the street (with the hopes that some drunk guy will litter one or not be bothered with one with only a few dollars on it), if you ever assist in clearing a homeless encampment you would be surprised how many scratchers are thrown to the grounds with a few dollars on them (it seems many people don't bother with them if its less than 100 dollars, or don't notice, I guess many people buy them for the big wins only....). I don't think I would every spend money on one (I think I may have paid for one once to contribute to some gift basket to somebody).

Its perhaps a negative stigma or personal bias of mine, but I just associate scratchers with homeless people at gas stations buying one at a time and scratching them at the counter, and occasionally having a drunken outrage if they don't win.... Its just a bad image. I have heard the argument that in many States the EV is (slightly) better than the Mega Millions type tickets, and that may well be true, but its more so the mental conception I have of them..... Also, I would bet (maybe poor word choice) that people who have gambling issues related to lottery play are more likely to get addicted to scratchers (and "lottery machines" which should not be legal in my view....).

I have a low opinion of lotteries both personally as well as politically, and I think it is a way for States to raise money from people who generally cannot afford to spend it. I would rather States legalize casinos in very remote areas and tax them heavily instead of lotteries (hopefully that is not too political) to prevent abuse in certain areas (often from people who are already struggling)....
ChesterDog
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June 29th, 2021 at 4:53:49 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

...The question for the poll is what do you call a scratch card?

Thanks for all your work on this project!

I see a NJ Lottery web page calls them "Scratch-Offs."

My friend played the NJ Lottery heavily, and he occasionally worked in the news store that sold them. The workers in that store called them "Rip-Offs." The tickets were send to the stores in sheets or rolls (I don't remember which,) and the store person would rip the tickets along the perforations when they were sold. He called them Rip-Offs with a straight face, so I don't think he was joking.
billryan
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June 29th, 2021 at 4:57:06 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Good question. I frankly don't know. Does anyone else?

I believe most states do. There was a lawsuit over this in the past.

In NY, non-profits( VFWs, KofC, Amvets) are allowed to offer scratch-offs they can buy from state-approved printers, but the state gets nothing from the sale. We would buy a book of 1,000 tickets for around \$25. There would be one \$500 winner, a couple of 50 winners and a bunch of \$5 ones. I think the prizes added up to \$775 so it was \$200 profit per roll. I think you could buy them with different levels of prizes and holds. Whenever a \$500 ticket was hit, we would add a new roll into the mix so the player could choose from the old and new, which were almost impossible to tell which was which. If it ever got down to a point where you could buy them all and make a profit, we just added another roll. Many posts made enough from the sale that they could use beer and food as a loss leader. Bartenders push the hell out of them if they are smart.
Arizona just gave the okay to sell similar tickets in non-profits but they have not issued any guidelines, as far as I know.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
gamerfreak
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June 29th, 2021 at 5:28:36 PM permalink
Quote: gordonm888

States take their most objectionable source of revenue - lotteries - and make a big show of allocating those funds to schools, senior centers, state parks and other expenditures that are highly popular. But these things would have been funded anyway -simply because they are popular.

Imagine if states said that lottery revenues help to fund "Fact-Finding" trips by state legislators to other states and countries, and renovations of state legislator offices, and state-provided vehicles and perks for legislators and top staff. I believe that this as true -or more true - than the claims that lottery revenues make a difference in the funding of schools, state parks and community centers.

That may be true.

In any case, I am all for states finding ways other than taxes to generate income. That’s about all I can say without getting political.
Wizard

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June 29th, 2021 at 5:30:17 PM permalink
In Alaska they have pull-tabs. I think these are printed in batches of 10,000 or so. When a jar starts to run low, they pour more in from a new batch.

"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
billryan
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June 29th, 2021 at 5:56:08 PM permalink
There was an article on an Arizona website that I can't locate but it gave a decent breakdown of where the money goes. Until fairly recently, each county got a certain amount off the top. Cochise used to get almost 8 million a year but the Legislature stopped that practice.
It mentioned how the Parks and Conservation Dept get less now than it did twenty years ago, even though sales have tripled. I thought the list of where the money goes was pretty balanced. More money flows to the populated areas but that's where it's needed.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
Mission146
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June 30th, 2021 at 5:14:44 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

In Alaska they have pull-tabs. I think these are printed in batches of 10,000 or so. When a jar starts to run low, they pour more in from a new batch.

That's correct, but Alaska has no Government-run state lottery. The Pull Tabs are one of the three forms of Charitable Gaming authorized by the state, with the other two being raffles and Bingo.

Information related to the conduct of Charitable Pull Tab Gaming can be found here:

Beverage dispensaries are also permitted to sell Pull Tabs. In addition to licensing fees, there is an annual fee of 1% on gross receipts IF gross receipts exceed \$20,000.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
Wizard

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June 30th, 2021 at 9:46:17 AM permalink
Quote: Mission146

That's correct, but Alaska has no Government-run state lottery. The Pull Tabs are one of the three forms of Charitable Gaming authorized by the state, with the other two being raffles and Bingo.

Thank you for the information!
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
rxwine
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June 30th, 2021 at 12:07:43 PM permalink
Quote: gordonm888

States take their most objectionable source of revenue - lotteries - and make a big show of allocating those funds to schools, senior centers, state parks and other expenditures that are highly popular. But these things would have been funded anyway -simply because they are popular.

Imagine if states said that lottery revenues help to fund "Fact-Finding" trips by state legislators to other states and countries, and renovations of state legislator offices, and state-provided vehicles and perks for legislators and top staff. I believe that this as true -or more true - than the claims that lottery revenues make a difference in the funding of schools, state parks and community centers.

Laws written in stone, that you can’t shift lottery funds should be enacted. Or it should have to go through a public ballot initiative before fund shifting can occur.
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Gandler
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June 30th, 2021 at 5:26:53 PM permalink
Apparently the only States without any form of official lottery are Alabama, Utah, Alaska and Nevada.

Utah is obvious (a certain religion that opposes any form of gambling or vice pretty much owns that State), as is Alabama (though from a Christian perspective), Alaska (which I know little about politically, from my personal experience Alaska tends to be all about freedom so I am kind of surprised there is no lottery especially if it promises lower income taxes, but in some ways it is also very religious, so perhaps that is why?), and Nevada (which is the strangest as Nevada is so gambling friendly compared to other States anyway, my only guess is casino don't want competition?)

I find it ironic that out of all the States to ban lotteries, the most relevant one is Nevada which is pretty much known for and associated with gambling (the others, with the possible exception of Alaska, do not surprise me).... My only guess is casino lobbies are against it.... (Or they just make so much tax revenue from casinos that it is not needed, or both....). Its kind of ironic you can have slot banks in gas station stores, but have to cross state lines to buy a mega millions ticket....
Wizard

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June 30th, 2021 at 5:46:46 PM permalink
Quote: Gandler

I find it ironic that out of all the States to ban lotteries, the most relevant one is Nevada which is pretty much known for and associated with gambling (the others, with the possible exception of Alaska, do not surprise me)....

I think the gaming business here prefers to not have to compete with the government. Such requests tend to go their way.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
unJon
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June 30th, 2021 at 7:20:25 PM permalink
Alaska may be due to the state not needing to tax the population because of all the oil revenue.
The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but that is the way to bet.
Mission146
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June 30th, 2021 at 7:23:13 PM permalink
Quote: Gandler

Apparently the only States without any form of official lottery are Alabama, Utah, Alaska and Nevada.

Utah is obvious (a certain religion that opposes any form of gambling or vice pretty much owns that State), as is Alabama (though from a Christian perspective), Alaska (which I know little about politically, from my personal experience Alaska tends to be all about freedom so I am kind of surprised there is no lottery especially if it promises lower income taxes, but in some ways it is also very religious, so perhaps that is why?), and Nevada (which is the strangest as Nevada is so gambling friendly compared to other States anyway, my only guess is casino don't want competition?)

I find it ironic that out of all the States to ban lotteries, the most relevant one is Nevada which is pretty much known for and associated with gambling (the others, with the possible exception of Alaska, do not surprise me).... My only guess is casino lobbies are against it.... (Or they just make so much tax revenue from casinos that it is not needed, or both....). Its kind of ironic you can have slot banks in gas station stores, but have to cross state lines to buy a mega millions ticket....

You missed Hawaii, though they are considering it. As of right now, the state has NO legal form of gambling---joining only Utah in that respect.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
Mission146
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June 30th, 2021 at 7:24:16 PM permalink
Quote: unJon

Alaska may be due to the state not needing to tax the population because of all the oil revenue.

I couldn't explain no drawing games, but when it comes to Instant Tickets, there are some significant issues that could arise with distribution.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
rxwine
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July 1st, 2021 at 7:04:07 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I think the gaming business here prefers to not have to compete with the government. Such requests tend to go their way.

I favor states using scratch tickets as reward for positive behavior as well as a tax collection.

For instance you could earn a couple scratch tickets for not having any traffic violations or accidents for a year. Or for never letting your car insurance lapse for a 5 year period. Or being under a certain certain utilities usage in resource critical areas.
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Dieter
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July 1st, 2021 at 7:18:45 AM permalink
Quote: rxwine

I favor states using scratch tickets as reward for positive behavior as well as a tax collection.

For instance you could earn a couple scratch tickets for not having any traffic violations or accidents for a year. Or for never letting your car insurance lapse for a 5 year period. Or being under a certain certain utilities usage in resource critical areas.

I am intrigued.

Does the officer at the random stop walk back to your car, return your documents, and say "Looks like your insurance is current and all your lights work, here's \$4 in scratchers, stay safe and good luck"?
May the cards fall in your favor.
rxwine
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July 1st, 2021 at 7:37:05 AM permalink
Quote: Dieter

I am intrigued.

Does the officer at the random stop walk back to your car, return your documents, and say "Looks like your insurance is current and all your lights work, here's \$4 in scratchers, stay safe and good luck"?

Sounds good to me.

Really I was just thinking maybe someone applies sometime at the beginning of a new year at whatever appropriate site (online DMV for instance). Maybe they receive an authentication code good for some tickets wherever scratchers are sold,

But I like your idea because, it”s personal, promotes good human relations and so forth.
There's no secret. Just know what you're talking about before you open your mouth.
Gandler
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July 1st, 2021 at 3:23:36 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I think the gaming business here prefers to not have to compete with the government. Such requests tend to go their way.

That makes sense.

Quote: Mission146

You missed Hawaii, though they are considering it. As of right now, the state has NO legal form of gambling---joining only Utah in that respect.

I honestly did not know about Hawaii. For some reason those are the four that I had in my head based on a recent discussion. I know virtually nothing about Hawaii politics or religious pressures there (and its also, I think, the only State that I have never personally been to) so I can't speculate as to why it would be banned there.
billryan
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July 1st, 2021 at 3:37:44 PM permalink
Quote: Gandler

That makes sense.

I honestly did not know about Hawaii. For some reason those are the four that I had in my head based on a recent discussion. I know virtually nothing about Hawaii politics or religious pressures there (and its also, I think, the only State that I have never personally been to) so I can't speculate as to why it would be banned there.

This is history, not politics.
Hawaii was an independent country that one day woke up to find its Queen overthrown and that it was now a US Territory. A combination of American missionaries and shipping companies came together and established a new government and constitution, that gave the Christians an oversized presence that it took over a hundred years to minimize. Some Blue laws and the anti-gambling laws still remain from the era where Hawaiians were second-class citizens on their own islands.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
Suited89
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July 12th, 2021 at 9:34:37 AM permalink
CT has had "Instant Tickets" for many years. At ctlottery.org you can check in upon the status of your favorite game. My best guesstimate is a 62-65% return... However CT has a rule that when all Jackpots are sold, the game ends. That can complicate things. I have seen early closures with many 50 for 1, 100 for 1, and even 200 for 1 remaining. A long time ago, I actually wrote a letter asking to lower the end-game to "when all 50 for 1's" are sold. That was a NO. If one buys a \$10 tikky, \$500 ain't too shabby. CT range is \$1 to \$30, Fairfield County (NYC suburb) does MUCHO bizz.
some people need to reimagine their thinking
Mission146
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July 12th, 2021 at 9:47:23 AM permalink
Quote: Suited89

CT has had "Instant Tickets" for many years. At ctlottery.org you can check in upon the status of your favorite game. My best guesstimate is a 62-65% return... However CT has a rule that when all Jackpots are sold, the game ends. That can complicate things. I have seen early closures with many 50 for 1, 100 for 1, and even 200 for 1 remaining. A long time ago, I actually wrote a letter asking to lower the end-game to "when all 50 for 1's" are sold. That was a NO. If one buys a \$10 tikky, \$500 ain't too shabby. CT range is \$1 to \$30, Fairfield County (NYC suburb) does MUCHO bizz.

That's interesting.

In my study, of lotteries to separate Instant Ticket Sales/Prizes in their Annual Report for 2019, I found that Connecticut has an Instant Ticket return percentage average of just north of 70%, which puts it in the top third of states. It occurs to me that this might have something to do with it now, although, it also occurs to me that the Connecticut Lottery could also gimmick a game so that the jackpot tickets (at least one) are going to come out late...and that will happen naturally pretty often, even if not.

Also, given the median income of Connecticut, I would think that a greater percentage of Instant Ticket sales are in the higher denominations, which have a higher percentage return, and would correlate then to the overall Instant Ticket return of the state being above average, such as it is. That would likely be even more of a factor.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219