California Top Game Analysis (2015-04-14)

We get a lot of questions from our subscribers, so we thought we’d start posting their questions and our responses here.  This week’s question came in from Rick in California.  Rick wriote:

For several weeks now your algorithm has been

suggesting that CA Lucky Life #1122 is the top

California scratcher game.

Yet, on the CA Lottery website it shows 5 of 6 of

the top prize of $3,250,000 has already been claimed,

and 11 of 12 of the next prize of $5,000 has already

been claimed, and 16 or 18 of the next prize of $1000

has already been claimed.

In fact, it appears that almost 90% of the prizes have

been claimed (see attached).

What am I failing to see here?



Hi Rick,

Thanks for your question.  Here’s the logic to how CA Lucky Life #1122 is at the top of our analysis:

The numbers in the Table 1 were taken from the CA website on 4/14/2015, while the numbers in the Table 2 are from the ScratchSmarter algorithm database.

Our numbers were updated early in the morning and don’t exactly match as California Lottery updated their website since we ran our scraping engine. But they’re pretty close.

CA LUCKY LIFE1122 $3,250,000 15616.7%
CA LUCKY LIFE1122 $5,000 111128.3%
CA LUCKY LIFE1122 $1,000 2161811.1%
CA LUCKY LIFE1122$500215 3,385 3,600 6.0%
CA LUCKY LIFE1122$100 3,022 44,138 47,160 6.4%
CA LUCKY LIFE1122$50 7,592 112,408 120,000 6.3%
CA LUCKY LIFE1122$30 8,447 123,553 132,000 6.4%
CA LUCKY LIFE1122$20 38,226 486,774 525,000 7.3%
CA LUCKY LIFE1122$15 41,266 558,734 600,000 6.9%
CA LUCKY LIFE1122$10 118,832 1,381,168 1,500,000 7.9%
CA LUCKY LIFE1122$6 104,117 1,095,883 1,200,000 8.7%
CA LUCKY LIFE1122$1 289,435 2,110,565 2,400,000 12.1%
TOTAL 611,156 5,916,640 6,527,796 9.4%
ScratchSmarter Factor1.78
Table 1

The ScratchSmarter Factor is ratio of top prizes remaining vs total prizes remaining.

In this case (1 / 6) / (612,502 / 6,527,796) = 1.78. Or 16.7% / 9.4%.

It shows that the ratio of top prizes available relative to how many were originally available is better than the same ratio for all prizes. Once that top prizes are won, this game will drop to 0 and be a red game.

Just to be clear, this isn’t a simple calculation to get to. Many people compare our reports to their state lottery webpage and state that we are just calling out the games that are near the end of the top prizes remaining. (Like this situation with #1122).
But the truth is, we’re doing MUCH more than just re-publishing and re-ordering the State lotteries website. Have a look below – Our Algorithm simplifies all of the data we can collect. With it, we create the ScratchSmarter factor number. The higher the factor number the higher the game ends up in our rankings for that State.
(We don’t display the factor number on our regular reports because, honestly, its more simple to understand as a ranking where the highest Factor Number = the number 1 game to play and all other lower factor numbers are ranked descending according to their factor number.)

I had the same situation happen to me here in PA when I started testing our algorithm 5 years ago. I had one game that just stayed in the top spot of our report for almost 4 months. It drove me NUTS because there was only one top prize left and I couldn’t find that game for sale anywhere. Since then, I’ve seen this situation happen a few more times, in every state. It’s just the lifecycle of some of the games. But, when you start to really look at all of the data, crunched & compared to all of the other games for sale, you’ll see this becomes a really powerful tool.

If you compare the top 10 games in the state, you can see why it is the top game.

CACA LUCKY LIFE11221127890.6%1.803$53.68 24,022,289 61 6,527,796 611,156 4/15/2015
CAWHEEL OF FORTUNE®11272133381.9%1.639$24.34 20,414,262 175 4,703,747 852,511 4/15/2015
CALUCKY HORSESHOES11423137461.9%1.533$33.76 19,592,649 3319 5,210,811 1,986,163 4/15/2015
CAWHEEL OF FORTUNE®11284241179.7%1.471$53.60 20,422,195 175 5,672,832 1,153,225 4/15/2015
CACA LUCKY LIFE11235146555.8%1.381$103.52 18,017,296 53 5,118,550 2,264,158 4/15/2015
CAMEGA CROSSWORD11376349181.2%1.35$53.82 23,976,306 205 6,276,520 1,180,993 4/15/2015
CACA LUCKY LIFE11207151187.2%1.315$14.50 36,002,043 122 13,533,909 1,734,883 4/15/2015
CA7/11/202111418253476.3%1.286$24.26 18,122,700 309 4,254,155 1,006,219 4/15/2015
CA10X THE CASH11619355325.1%1.266$24.09 17,752,592 3028 4,340,487 3,249,385 4/15/2015
CAEMERALD 10's114410256641.8%1.252$103.50 16,793,794 75 4,798,227 2,793,364 4/15/2015
Table 2

Your only challenge now, is finding any tickets still available for sale for that game.
We know this is a challenge, because in this case, we estimate that 90.6% of this games printed tickets have been sold, so the total number of tickets still available for sale are dwindling, fast.
If you can find any of them, you should play them because the chances of getting that ONE top prize for CA Lucky Life (#1122) is FAR better than the odds of getting a top prize for any of the other games for sale in CA.

We’re basically counting cards for you and comparing which games are going to give you the very best chance of winning the top prize. For the last several weeks, it just happens to be #1122 for CA. And who knows, by this Friday, the CA Lottery website might be updated showing that the last top prize for #1122 has been claimed. As I said earlier, when this happens, the game will immediately go from Green to RED and will be on our do not play list.

And that is the REAL value of the ScratchSmarter Reports – we’re combining the very best Opportunities (rankings of the games) with a list of games you absolutely should not play – the games where there are no top prizes left. Because, what happens with our algorithm and the data is, VERY OFTEN, there are games for sale where there are very FEW top prizes remaining, but the game hasn’t sold many tickets. The lotteries will let those games on your retailers shelves for a LONG time (until the lottery makes it’s return on their investment), and then they’ll pull the games. Tens of thousands of people are out there buying tickets, hoping to win big, and never knowing that all of the top prizes are gone. Essentially, they’re being lied to.

The lotteries publish a LOT of tickets for a LOT of different games. I can’t tell you exactly which game will be the next big winner, but I can tell you with a fair amount of certainty what games are better to play relative to the other games for sale. And I can EASILY tell you which games you must NOT play.

Happy hunting.