strictlyAP
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July 1st, 2014 at 5:38:27 AM permalink
http://mobile.philly.com/news/nation_world/?wss=/philly/news/nation_world&id=265226711&
The bet will not be paid- not now not ever
Mosca
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July 1st, 2014 at 6:06:58 AM permalink
Excellent, good find, thanks!
A falling knife has no handle.
DJTeddyBear
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July 1st, 2014 at 7:17:22 AM permalink
Lucky? Hardly.

She merely created a costly yet profitable job for herself.

But costly? I'm looking forward to the next installment, where the teaser says the govt helped with the costs.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
MrV
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July 1st, 2014 at 7:39:06 AM permalink
Reminds me of the play a group of Aussies made some years ago, buying up a lot of lottery tickets in the USA and then winning.

Luck favors the prepared.
"What, me worry?"
DRich
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July 1st, 2014 at 7:41:43 AM permalink
To me the most intriguing part of this story is that she has a Phd from Stanford. If it was some typical trailer park living walmart worker, we would all just assume it is a degenerate that has gotten lucky.
At my age, a "Life In Prison" sentence is not much of a deterrent.
hwccdealer
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July 2nd, 2014 at 8:57:39 AM permalink
Quote: DRich

To me the most intriguing part of this story is that she has a Phd from Stanford.



It wouldn't be without precedent for an egghead to beat a lottery. MIT students (who else?) managed to crack a Massachusetts Lottery game and play only when it was +EV. A good rule of thumb - when the eggheads are playing big money, you're doing it wrong.
DRich
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July 2nd, 2014 at 9:09:01 AM permalink
Quote: hwccdealer

It wouldn't be without precedent for an egghead to beat a lottery. MIT students (who else?) managed to crack a Massachusetts Lottery game and play only when it was +EV. A good rule of thumb - when the eggheads are playing big money, you're doing it wrong.



I agree, it is also interesting that she refuses to do interviews about it.
At my age, a "Life In Prison" sentence is not much of a deterrent.
mickeycrimm
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July 2nd, 2014 at 9:10:11 AM permalink
Quote: DRich

I agree, it is also interesting that she refuses to do interviews about it.



Like a true hustler she doesn't want any competition. LOL.
"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm
Nareed
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July 2nd, 2014 at 9:10:39 AM permalink
Quote: hwccdealer

It wouldn't be without precedent for an egghead to beat a lottery.



In this case it's more a brute force, buy a lot of tickets method. That is, not much knowledge or skill required.

What I wonder is whether this would be a good idea for other scratch off games. One advantage is that all the prizes are available for purchase, though not necessarily at any particualr location. This makes it different from a lotto drawing where the jackpot may not even be awarded.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
DRich
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July 2nd, 2014 at 9:49:47 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

That is, not much knowledge or skill required.



Not much knowledge or skill to buy the tickets, but there may be knowledge and skill involved in buying the winning tickets. That is what makes this intriguing.
At my age, a "Life In Prison" sentence is not much of a deterrent.
Tomspur
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July 2nd, 2014 at 5:30:12 PM permalink
And she stopped right after her final annuity in 2012? Seems she is not only prepared but also disciplined?

Good for her
典here is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. - Winston Churchill
AxelWolf
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July 2nd, 2014 at 7:45:49 PM permalink
I thought I read something about how she got the tickets for .25 on the dollar, did I miss read somthing? I think that might be a big key to this, I want to know how she got tickets for .25 on the dollar.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
beachbumbabs
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July 2nd, 2014 at 7:51:57 PM permalink
If it's anything like Florida, the retailer gets a percentage of each ticket sold, though I don't think it's 25% - more like 10% at most here. I can see where she could have made a deal with the place she was buying them, with a bulk discount out of their proceeds and she gave them her exclusive business, that might have added up to .25 of each dollar, but I can't see any way where she can pay .25/dollar ticket.

EDIT: Ok, so I read the article linked below, and I can see where, in pricing the lower wins, the re-buys, and the tax write-offs, they can claim an effective discount on the total expenditure of bankroll that's considerable. But I can still see anybody who goes to a retailer and says, "I'm going to buy 10K/week minimum in tickets; give me a bulk discount." getting a deal for some percentage as well.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
Nareed
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July 2nd, 2014 at 7:52:25 PM permalink
Quote: AxelWolf

I thought I read something about how she got the tickets for .25 on the dollar, did I miss read somthing? I think that might be a big key to this, I want to know how she got tickets for .25 on the dollar.



Here's part two: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/lottery/How_lottery_legend_Joan_Ginther_used_odds_Uncle_Sam_to_win_millions.html

Short answer, she wrote off gambling losses against gambling winnings.

I really dislike the tone of the article.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
Tomspur
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July 2nd, 2014 at 9:51:57 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Here's part two: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/lottery/How_lottery_legend_Joan_Ginther_used_odds_Uncle_Sam_to_win_millions.html

Short answer, she wrote off gambling losses against gambling winnings.

I really dislike the tone of the article.



I'm interested to find out what tone you did not like from the article?
典here is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. - Winston Churchill
teddys
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July 3rd, 2014 at 1:20:11 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Here's part two: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/lottery/How_lottery_legend_Joan_Ginther_used_odds_Uncle_Sam_to_win_millions.html

Short answer, she wrote off gambling losses against gambling winnings.

I really dislike the tone of the article.

Me too. It's hard to make sense of what's going on, the writer rambles too much.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
Tomspur
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July 3rd, 2014 at 1:27:11 AM permalink
Quote: teddys

Me too. It's hard to make sense of what's going on, the writer rambles too much.



I thought the writer did an OK job as the subject matter he was trying to put forward (gaming and mathematics) can be quite daunting to explain to a layman reader?

It isn't going to win any pulitzers but I didn't find it unreadable.
典here is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. - Winston Churchill
djatc
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July 3rd, 2014 at 2:10:13 AM permalink
EV is God. End of story.

I prefer the readers of the article not know what the hell "expected value" is. This is where money can be made based on the ignorance of people who come up with lotteries, or casino games in general.

Even then, I feel most people won't do anything about opportunities that present itself. Just like the case with Revel. If you logically think about the 100% loss rebate with $100k, and you could realistically tie up that kind of money or even less you could get a great shot at making a lot more or busting out and picking it up over time. As long as you keep putting money in on situations where you expect more then the amount back, then you will be rich.

Aces all in preflop against a tight nit? If you do this all day every day you'd be swimming in chips. Free ace in blackjack? Same thing. Video poker promotions don't yield much EV but you can bet forever and a day. FPDW can make you tons of money if you can play every machine in the casino as fast as possible, theoretically.

Anyway the point of my rambling is I want people to not think about "expected value" in any way, because then that is more for me :)
"Man Babes" #AxelFabulous
mickeycrimm
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July 3rd, 2014 at 7:01:20 AM permalink
Quote: Tomspur

I thought the writer did an OK job as the subject matter he was trying to put forward (gaming and mathematics) can be quite daunting to explain to a layman reader? It isn't going to win any pulitzers but I didn't find it unreadable.



Yes, I thought the writer did pretty good too, considering. The "25 cents on the dollar" thing is pretty simple. They were talking about the cost. The scratchoff was not totally worthless if she didn't make the big hit. I just analyzed a scratch off lotto game up here in Montana called Shake-A-Day:

You have to get a 5 of a kind to win. A ticket costs $3. Here is what is listed in the rules:

A Full House pays $3. The chances are 1 in 3.
A 4 of a Kind pays $50. The chances are 1 in 56
The 5 of a Kind is progressive, starts at $1000 and goes up with every ticket bought. The chances are 1 in 5000.

So what is the cost to produce the 5K.

Buying 5000 tickets would be an investment of $15,000 and return:

(5000/3 = 1666.66 X $3) will return $5000 on the Full Houses.
(5000/56 = 89.28 X $50) will return $4464 on the 4 of a Kinds
5000 + 4464 = $9464

Subtract the $9464 from the total wager, $15000, and the cost to run one cycle is $5536, or $1.107 per ticket.

1.107/3 = 36.9%, or a cost of 36.9 cents per dollar invested. Another way to look at it is you are getting dropped 37% between top line hits.

This is where the "25 cents on the dollar" thing came from. The scratch offs were returning 75% between top line hits. Though the scratch offs cost $50 apiece, her true cost was $12.50 per ticket.
"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm
Nareed
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July 3rd, 2014 at 7:07:45 AM permalink
Quote: Tomspur

I'm interested to find out what tone you did not like from the article?



The author makes missleading statements. For example, that the woman in question got the US government to pay for her lottery tickets. She just deducted gambling losses, same as any other gambler. Since in the end she won a great deal of money, she will wind up owing taxes anyway.

He also keeps repeating the people involved did not give interviews, over and over again. He brings up cheats, frauds, etc. In short, he's trying to make the whole thing look sinister. And he rambles too much and isn't very clear except when using innuendo.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
mickeycrimm
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July 3rd, 2014 at 7:48:22 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

The author makes missleading statements. For example, that the woman in question got the US government to pay for her lottery tickets. She just deducted gambling losses, same as any other gambler. Since in the end she won a great deal of money, she will wind up owing taxes anyway.

He also keeps repeating the people involved did not give interviews, over and over again. He brings up cheats, frauds, etc. In short, he's trying to make the whole thing look sinister. And he rambles too much and isn't very clear except when using innuendo.



But I think the writer was just discussing all the questions people want answers to. Was she just outrageously lucky? Was she cheating? Or did she have a solid AP plan?

My personal opinion is she was a brilliant woman who stumbled onto an unusual AP situation and exploited it.
"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm
DRich
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July 3rd, 2014 at 8:26:17 AM permalink
Quote: mickeycrimm

But I think the writer was just discussing all the questions people want answers to. Was she just outrageously lucky? Was she cheating? Or did she have a solid AP plan?

My personal opinion is she was a brilliant woman who stumbled onto an unusual AP situation and exploited it.



+1
At my age, a "Life In Prison" sentence is not much of a deterrent.
Nareed
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July 3rd, 2014 at 8:31:46 AM permalink
Quote: mickeycrimm

But I think the writer was just discussing all the questions people want answers to. Was she just outrageously lucky? Was she cheating? Or did she have a solid AP plan?



Maybe. but making missleading statements about how "Uncle Sam" financed her lottery spree is plain journalistic misconduct.

In addition stressing over and over that private citizens did not want to be interviewed is also inapropriate. Public figures who wield power over others, such as politicians, have an obligation to be accountable to the public at large. If they don't want to answer questions, related to their offices, then, yes, rake them over the coals until they speak. but private citizens not invovled in criminal activity have no obligation to answer any questions from anyone, least of all an intrusive reporter.

The press can be too arrogant, with some reporters believing they're entitled to infomration whether people want to part with it or not. That's just wrong.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
mickeycrimm
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July 3rd, 2014 at 4:44:17 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Maybe. but making missleading statements about how "Uncle Sam" financed her lottery spree is plain journalistic misconduct.

In addition stressing over and over that private citizens did not want to be interviewed is also inapropriate. Public figures who wield power over others, such as politicians, have an obligation to be accountable to the public at large. If they don't want to answer questions, related to their offices, then, yes, rake them over the coals until they speak. but private citizens not invovled in criminal activity have no obligation to answer any questions from anyone, least of all an intrusive reporter.

The press can be too arrogant, with some reporters believing they're entitled to infomration whether people want to part with it or not. That's just wrong.



I agree with you there, Nareed. I think she has a couple of reasons not to high profile herself. First, lotto winners get pounded on to give money away. Second, I don't think she wants to talk about her strategy.
"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm
Tomspur
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July 3rd, 2014 at 7:44:24 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

The author makes missleading statements. For example, that the woman in question got the US government to pay for her lottery tickets. She just deducted gambling losses, same as any other gambler. Since in the end she won a great deal of money, she will wind up owing taxes anyway.

He also keeps repeating the people involved did not give interviews, over and over again. He brings up cheats, frauds, etc. In short, he's trying to make the whole thing look sinister. And he rambles too much and isn't very clear except when using innuendo.



I think he did say that Uncle Sam paid for part of it in the first article but in the 2nd one he went to great lengths to explain what he meant in the first. I would assume it is a way to get the readers to tune into the next instalment? I would assume again that writers have certain "freedoms" that they are able to exploit for company gain?

I know very little about writing so just a thought is all.
典here is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. - Winston Churchill
Boney526
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July 3rd, 2014 at 8:10:00 PM permalink
IDK, it read really badly to me. I guess it's because, as others have pointed out, it's hard to exactly explain this stuff to most people. Either way it is really intentionally misleading.
Nareed
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July 4th, 2014 at 7:31:28 AM permalink
Quote: Tomspur

I think he did say that Uncle Sam paid for part of it in the first article but in the 2nd one he went to great lengths to explain what he meant in the first. I would assume it is a way to get the readers to tune into the next instalment?



How honest would it be to say that the government paid for your vacation, because after all you did deduct expenses in accordance to the law and paid less in taxes than you would otherwise have? It's the same thing.

Not to mention the more abstract implication that all money belongs to the government, and that making use of deductions, in accordance to the law, is a form of cheating the government out of its revenue.


Quote:

I would assume again that writers have certain "freedoms" that they are able to exploit for company gain?



A journalist is supposed to inform, not to mislead. In fiction, depending on the genre and the kind of story, the author is supposed, and often expected, to mislead her audience. This builds suspense and keeps the reader interested. In nonfiction the rules are different. you are not supposed to string the audience along by making sensational accusations, then backpedaling them when you get to the actual facts. For one thing is not fair to the reader, for another it borders on libel.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
mickeycrimm
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July 4th, 2014 at 10:45:41 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

A journalist is supposed to inform, not to mislead. In fiction, depending on the genre and the kind of story, the author is supposed, and often expected, to mislead her audience. This builds suspense and keeps the reader interested. In nonfiction the rules are different. you are not supposed to string the audience along by making sensational accusations, then backpedaling them when you get to the actual facts. For one thing is not fair to the reader, for another it borders on libel.



By this standard every ignorant journalist should be shot. What's the big deal here? Did I miss something? I thought the piece was about a woman who exploited the lottery. Not some ignorant journalist.
"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm
Nareed
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July 4th, 2014 at 11:14:55 AM permalink
Quote: mickeycrimm

By this standard every ignorant journalist should be shot.



Does the phrase "ignorant journalist" not strike you as an oxymoron? How is a journalist to inform the public if he's ignorant?

As to the rest, suppose you read in an article that "..the House is considering impeachment. Read all about it on our next installment." Ok? so you red the next part and find out, about halfway down the piece, that one fringe representative in the House wants the president impeached.

What would you think of such a piece?
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
tongni
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July 4th, 2014 at 1:00:14 PM permalink
Quote:

展e're having a lot of trouble coming up with a plausible explanation for how Ginther wins, said James Harvey, co-organizer of the MIT group that mined Massachusetts CashWinfall.

摘ven with her odds of winning the big prize being doubled, I'm still skeptical that she was simply lucky and that her ability to win the big prizes was due simply to playing way more than anyone ever realized, said Mohan Srivastava, the Toronto statistician who 田racked the scratch lottery code.



Pretty interesting. The major hurdle is the RTP is so low. You really need very top heavy games with a significantly increased chance of getting the top prize in order to get to positive territory. If you can return tickets, this game is crushable. Since you can't in most places, it's very difficult, but I think a small edge can be gained.
kenarman
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July 4th, 2014 at 5:04:08 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Does the phrase "ignorant journalist" not strike you as an oxymoron? How is a journalist to inform the public if he's ignorant?



I think the word "ignorant" is actually usually redundant when it used with journalist.
Be careful when you follow the masses, the M is sometimes silent.
mickeycrimm
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July 5th, 2014 at 4:16:59 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Does the phrase "ignorant journalist" not strike you as an oxymoron? How is a journalist to inform the public if he's ignorant?

As to the rest, suppose you read in an article that "..the House is considering impeachment. Read all about it on our next installment." Ok? so you red the next part and find out, about halfway down the piece, that one fringe representative in the House wants the president impeached.

What would you think of such a piece?



No, "ignorant journalist" does not strike me as an oxymoran. And I don't care much for parsing words.
"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm
Wizard
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July 5th, 2014 at 8:28:55 AM permalink
Here is how I think she did it. The Texas Lottery publishes how many big winners of a given game have been redeemed. For example, here is their page for $500 Million Frenzy. When a disproportionate number of big wins haven't been cashed yet she plays.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
strictlyAP
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July 5th, 2014 at 8:42:24 AM permalink
pretty much every state publishes this info , the variance on this play must be incredibe- and a huge bankroll is needed not to mention the human interaction and dealing with buying all this ticket is just insane
The bet will not be paid- not now not ever
Wizard
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July 5th, 2014 at 8:57:46 AM permalink
Quote: strictlyAP

pretty much every state publishes this info , the variance on this play must be incredibe- and a huge bankroll is needed not to mention the human interaction and dealing with buying all this ticket is just insane



She evidently had the bankroll and she could pay friends to scratch the tickets. For someone with an enormous bankroll, lots of time, and attention to the math it would probably be a good play.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
beachbumbabs
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July 5th, 2014 at 2:02:44 PM permalink
Yeah, Florida has a 1-800 number you can call to verify the big prizes remaining in every scratch game. I discovered it about 5 years ago and thought I'd struck gold. Lol at me.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
Swanson234
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July 5th, 2014 at 3:32:32 PM permalink
Funkenstein like cheerleaders.
Swanson234
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July 5th, 2014 at 3:44:28 PM permalink
good post indeed
mickeycrimm
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July 5th, 2014 at 5:16:46 PM permalink
Another part of her equation was the tax liability. She drew a $270,000 a year annuity from her gambling win. Since she could write off losses against the wins she was reducing her tax liability with every scratcher bought.
"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm
TerribleTom
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July 5th, 2014 at 5:45:28 PM permalink
Quote: mickeycrimm

Another part of her equation was the tax liability. She drew a $270,000 a year annuity from her gambling win. Since she could write off losses against the wins she was reducing her tax liability with every scratcher bought.



This is huge - with $270K in gambling winnings guaranteed every year through 2012 and a 35% tax rate, she was effectively buying every ticket with pre-tax dollars so a $1 ticket had a real cost of $0.65.

By monitoring the publicly available state lottery prize data, she could easily identify when an advantage play was available and had the resources to buy tons of tickets to try and capitalize on that play. Given her results, I'd say she was both smart AND lucky.
tongni
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July 6th, 2014 at 7:18:09 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Here is how I think she did it. The Texas Lottery publishes how many big winners of a given game have been redeemed. For example, here is their page for $500 Million Frenzy. When a disproportionate number of big wins haven't been cashed yet she plays.



Did you click on "number of prizes claimed"? I think you would agree even with that information and the obvious poor randomization, you can't gain a significant edge. If you think otherwise, you have my permission to delete this post.

Also, keep in mind that several times people will have the winning lottery ticket and not redeem it due to things like pending divorce, financial planning, etc. So, in this instance, for the $500 Million Frenzy, you can probably see where that happened.
strictlyAP
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July 6th, 2014 at 7:59:03 PM permalink
I still say that the variance is absolutely gross- and tbh you have to be so lucky. They sell more then 50 million in tickets I'm sure I'd love to have someone truly analyze this play
The bet will not be paid- not now not ever
JohnnyQ
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July 7th, 2014 at 7:39:00 PM permalink
Good article overall. I think the author is definitely on the right track, and add on a kick-back from the store owner on the ticket sales and a compulsive personality and the legend of the "lucky" lady is born.
There's emptiness behind their eyes There's dust in all their hearts They just want to steal us all and take us all apart
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