Copy Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs are divided into the following sections:


GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT SCRATCHSMARTER

General Questions (21)

A subscription is for access to one state only BUT there is no limit to the number of states you can subscribe to.   We have to charge on a state by state basis because each state requires a significant investment in coding, analysis, and mapping to make each state work.  Basically, each state is expensive for us to create a create a report, so we have to charge or a state by state basis for every report.

If you’d like to subscribe to another state,  just click on “SHOP” from the menu above, find the state you want to add and buy a subscription.  Access to both states will show up in your member’s area.

To be honest, our report analysis and our Secrets will help anyone ScratchSmarter.  Please watch or read through all of our free secrets before subscribing and decide for yourself. Our video secrets recommend that you have a budget and a strategy.  See our Free Secrets here:
The prizes remaining total simply means these are prizes that haven’t been claimed.  It could mean:
1) the winning tickets are at a retailer available for sale
2) the ticket is in the lottery warehouse, waiting to be sent out to a retailer, or
3) tickets are still in the warehouse, but the lottery has ‘ended’ the game and won’t distribute any more of this game
4) someone has the winning ticket and is sitting on it before the claim it.  (this is highly unusual as most people want their big $$ immediately)
5) HIGHLY unlikely, someone won but didn’t realize it and threw the big winner away.
It almost always means #1 or #2 or #3 above.  Read more about #3 here:
https://www.scratchsmarter.com/info/buyer-beware-lotterys-dirty-trick/
and here:
https://www.scratchsmarter.com/info/cant-find-top-game/

Here is a link to our self-help guide for resolving email delivery issues.

https://www.scratchsmarter.com/ufaqs/im-not-receiving-the-weekly-emailed-reports-please-help/

Email:
 ScratchSmarter.com

11/19/18

We reviewed the OH Best Games to Play report for the last 5 weeks and you’re correct – the top games haven’t changed position.  However, the SmartFactor rating has changed for every game every week and the games in the 4th and 5th spots (and lower) have changed position.
So, why do games get stuck at the top of the list?  There are two reasons:
1) Primarily because these games may have been ‘pulled’ from retailers OR the lottery is selling off all remaining tickets and there are no more to distribute to retailers.
But, there is still some top prizes that are unclaimed.  So, IF you can find any of these games you should play them because the odds of winning a top prize for these games are way better than when the game started.
2) We keep all the games on our reports until the LAST DAY TO CLAIM date has passed. Retailers will tell you these games are ‘over’.  This means the ‘end date’ is set.  The last date for retailers to get tickets from the lottery is called the END DATE.  The LAST DAY TO CLAIM date is the day you want to worry about, because, if you can find these games, you should buy them because you can still claim the prize.
Please read through our INFO page to learn more!

Yes, this is absolutely true!  Check out our video Secret #3 for more details!

SECRET #3

(you will have to be logged in to see our video secrets)

We only publish weekly reports…..the difference is that the 3-month subscription allows customers to ‘try’ our service with the option to cancel early.
The 12-month subscription gives customers a discount for subscribing for an entire year.
Either subscription provides a weekly update to our analysis in the member’s area or by weekly email delivery every Friday, so the annual subscription does get 52 weekly reports.
For VA, we pull and factor in ALL Prize levels, so our SmartFactor algorithm is 100% accurate, as VA publishes all Prizes unclaimed on a daily basis on each games webpage.  For example:
Having all prizes remaining for all prize levels allows us to fully calculate the SmartFactor rating.  Also, the EST % of tickets sold is highly accurate (again because of all of this data published).
For TN, where they only publish prizes for the top 3 prize levels, our SmartFactor rating still works, but the Est % of tickets sold has a lower degree of accuracy.  In this case, our SmartFactor algorithm still works, but we have lower confidence in the Est % tickets sold.  Over the life of the game, I would say it’s approx 95% accurate.  For VA, I would put our Est % of tickets sold at 99.99% accurate.
To put it simply:  States that publish all prizes remaining for all prize levels = HIGHEST degree of accuracy for Est % of tickets sold.  The fewer prize levels they report on, the less accurate we can be.  We don’t publish a SmartFactor for states that publish less than 3 prize levels.  For most of those states (like NY, MA & FL), we file Freedom of Information requests to get that detail.   We’ve requested that level of detail from TN, but hey have flat out refused to provide it.

We do not currently have any smartphone apps. Our site is optimized to work on iPhones as well as computers. We mail our reports in PDFs weekly every Friday.

Why don’t we have an app? We have been blocked from advertising our reports on Facebook and Google ads. The Apple App Store has similar Terms and Conditions to Google and Facebook, so we’ve decided not to invest in creating an app as we’re concerned about it being blocked because of apple terms & conditions.

PLEASE NOTE: OUR SERVICE IS 100% SELF-SERVE!

LEARN HOW TO MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION HERE:  https://www.scratchsmarter.com/faq/manage-subscriptions/

ScratchSmarter considers the top 3 prize levels for every game a ‘top prize’ when calculating our SmartFactor for SC, and for all states.  If we can’t get the top 3 prize levels from the website, we submit Freedom of information requests to get all game level details.

South Carolina publishes all prize levels and all prizes remaining for all prize levels for all games.

Our team subscribes to our own email distribution lists thru several email addresses to ensure our attachments in the emails are going out.

Different email service providers have considerably different rules. If you’re not receiving the report attachments for your subscriptions, please contact your email service provider to ask them why you’re not receiving our attachments.
If you’re not receiving our emails at all, please check your junk mail folder AND add BestGames@ScratchSmarter.com to your address book and mark this address as “SAFE” with your email provider to make sure the reports you’re paying for get into your INBOX.

We cannot guarantee delivery of our reports through email because we can only send the reports. Your email service provider is responsble for delivering emails that you subscibed to into your INBOX.

This is why we have the MEMBERS AREA where you can bookmark your states reports page and come back to it everyweek. Reports are updated there every Friday by 12 noon EST.

Yes, we are, but only from active subscribers!

REWARDS:
Have you won using our reports?  Take a picture of it and post it to get ScratchSmarter Rewards points!
Learn about ScratchSmarter Rewards here: https://www.scratchsmarter.com/rewards/
Check your current points balance here: https://www.scratchsmarter.com/my-account/my-points/

Unfortunately, the Rhode Island lottery does not appear to have a search function on their website to find where games are still for sale or are being sold.

Our suggestion is to keep your report handy and just play the best games that you can find.
Because the RI lottery (and all other lotteries in the US) have been known to pull games early (See Video Secret #3) we cannot guarantee that you’ll be able to find the best games listed on our report.  We can only report and track what the RI Lottery publishes.
Remember, only play the best GREEN games you can find.
We don’t ask customers what their success rates are. There’s a lot more to buying scratch-off games than just having our analysis.    Check out our FREE VIDEO Secrets to learn more.
Even though we don’t ask our customers about their progress, we do have some customers who really like to share their winning tickets with us.
 You can see them here.  WINNERS

The GAME NUMBER is NOT the ticket number.   The ticket number is simply the number ticket on that roll for sale and it has limited value for determining a winner.  Unfortunately, you cannot find out the ticket number on a roll until you buy two tickets.  We say ‘two tickets’ because you don’t know if the tickets were loaded into the machine forward or backward.  IF it’s at ticket 003, you don’t know if there are only a few tickets left or a lot.  If the next ticket is 004, the roll is counting up and there a lot of tickets left.  If its 002, the roll is counting down and there are only 2 tickets left because all rolls we’ve seen always start at 000.

Regardless, the value of the ticket number on the roll is good if you’re ‘watching’ a roll.  If you just won $100 on a $10 ticket numbered 005 on the roll, and you know the roll is counting up, try not to buy from that roll again until it’s past 015 because the odds are, after winning $100, that the next 10 tickets are losers.

But, that’s really the only reason to know that ticket number.   The GAME number, however, is the REALLY important number to understand because almost every state lottery does a REPRINT of games.  (Watch our video secrets to find out about REPRINTS.  Also, read our INFO page about the GAME NUMBER to understand what that is:

What is the Game Number?

We count the top THREE prize levels in our Smart Factor algorithm.  NOT JUST the top prize level.  For extreme green this means there are:
5 top prizes left:
Top Six PrizesWins Remaining
$3,000,0002
$250,0002
$50,0001
Extreme green had a printing of 6,000,000 tickets.
This number of top prizes remaining at the top three levels is disproportionate for what is expected with the number of tickets remaining.  We estimate the total number of tickets remaining = 12.3% left (currently we’re showing 87.7 Est % sold).
6,000,000 tickets x 12.3% remaining = 738,000 tickets remaining.
The specific odds for these three prize levels are expressed in the game details as winnable in multiple different ways:
$50,000 w/ EXTREME$50,0002,000,0003
$50,000$50,0002,000,0003
$50,000 w/ GREEN MATCH$250,000600,00010
$250,000$250,000600,00010
$3,000,000 w/ $3 MILLION$3,000,0002,000,0003
$3,000,000$3,000,0003,000,0002
Added up, the odds of winning any of the top prizes is:
31 prizes out of 6,000,000 tickets
(3+3+10+10+3+2)= 31
or 31 top prizes out of 6,000,000 tickets.
Today the odds of winning one of the top three prizes is 5 / 738,000 tickets remaining.
If the top prizes had evenly distributed over time, we would have expected only 12.3% of the top prizes remaining or 31 x 12.3% = less than 3.8 prizes.
There are 5 top prizes left which is better than 3.8, which means the odds have changed for the better for winning a top prize.
We are not the state lottery.   You’ll have to contact your state lottery to determine what the last day to claim date is for any of the tickets you have.  The lottery will end a game (known as the ‘game end date’) and will apply a ‘last date to claim date’ – usually 1 year after the game end date.  However, some states are much shorter periods to claim prizes.  For example, Florida has a 3 month window between Game End date and Last Day To Claim dates for most of their games.
We use the phone number at check out process for any one of these three reasons:
1) verify that you’re a real person.  There are a lot of ‘bots’ that create fake accounts on sites like ours.  If we have a phone number we can manually verify people if needed.
2) occasionally, customers register and accidentally type in the wrong email address.  We need another means to contact customers in case this happens. We need to talk to these customers on the phone when this happens.
3) depending on how customers place an order (credit card through our credit card processor, or PayPal or PayPal e-check) a phone number is required for verification.
We don’t use the phone number for any other reason.

We do not consider the ‘2nd chance drawing’ option for any game when analyzing games.   We do, however, consider the top 3 prize levels when calculating our algorithm.  So, even if there is a small number of the very top prize left, there is probably a disproportionate number of 2nd and 3rd level top prizes still available that would make a particular game rank highly in any given week.

The answer is NO!
Scratch-offs should ONLY be played for fun and with disposable income – MONEY YOU CAN LIVE WITHOUT!
Scratch-off / instant games ARE gambling and the odds of winning are not in any players favor, even with our reports.
Make sure you have a steady, stable investment plan for yourself and, if you have money to have fun with, then use our reports to improve your chances of winning big with part of your disposable income.

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User Name & Password (2)

If you forget your password, you can RESET YOUR PASSWORD HERE.

Your username is the email address you used when you ordered!

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Shopping Cart & ordering (2)

Our service is a Subscription service.  Per the PayPal terms and Stripe payment terms, they will not set up a recurring subscription service on a gift card.  You can, however, use the PayPal eCheck to order a subscription with ScratchSmarter.  Find out how PayPal eChecks work here:

We use the phone number at check out process for any one of these three reasons:
1) verify that you’re a real person.  There are a lot of ‘bots’ that create fake accounts on sites like ours.  If we have a phone number we can manually verify people if needed.
2) occasionally, customers register and accidentally type in the wrong email address.  We need another means to contact customers in case this happens. We need to talk to these customers on the phone when this happens.
3) depending on how customers place an order (credit card through our credit card processor, or PayPal or PayPal e-check) a phone number is required for verification.
We don’t use the phone number for any other reason.

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ScratchSmarter Subscriptions (4)

Subscribers can live in any state and subscribe to any state that we offer reports.  For example, we have customers who live part time in Florida and subscribe to our Report for Maine.
We limit the number of subscriptions per state, so subscription payments are on a per-state basis,
So, pick one (or more states) you want to subscribe to and add it to your cart!
The answer is “YES!”   Our site is 100% self-service.  All memberships are set up with a renewal automatically, but you can change that ANYTIME you want in our member’s area.
Please read this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that explain how it works:
After you cancel, your subscription will be in a ‘pending cancellation’ status. This FAQ explains why:

There are a few reasons why our reports are state specific for each subscription:

1) Each state has a separate website.  We have to build and maintain special scraping software for each state
2) Each state reports the game data differently, so we have to map each data set to our database for standardized processing.
Because of these two, rather large investments in time and software,  we sell subscriptions to each state separately to cover our costs.
Finally, To stay under the radar of the lotteries, we limit the number of subscriptions to each state.
You can buy a 3-month subscription for each state and simply cancel the subscription when you’re no longer need that report.

We’ll honor your current subscription and move it to your new state!  Just email Info@ScratchSmarter.com and tell us what state you’re moving to and when you’re ready for us to change your subscription to the new state!

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How to get to your report (1)

Our team subscribes to our own email distribution lists thru several email addresses to ensure our attachments in the emails are going out.

Different email service providers have considerably different rules. If you’re not receiving the report attachments for your subscriptions, please contact your email service provider to ask them why you’re not receiving our attachments.
If you’re not receiving our emails at all, please check your junk mail folder AND add BestGames@ScratchSmarter.com to your address book and mark this address as “SAFE” with your email provider to make sure the reports you’re paying for get into your INBOX.

We cannot guarantee delivery of our reports through email because we can only send the reports. Your email service provider is responsble for delivering emails that you subscibed to into your INBOX.

This is why we have the MEMBERS AREA where you can bookmark your states reports page and come back to it everyweek. Reports are updated there every Friday by 12 noon EST.

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About our reports (21)

 

We’ve spent years writing custom software code to collect data from each state’s website.  We gather all of the critical data we need for our reports to work.

 

When a state doesn’t publish enough detail for our reports to work, we file a FOIA (freedom of information request) to each state on a regular basis to go the extra mile & get the data we need for you!

 

YES- this means we are getting data that is not available on the state’s website.

 

Currently, we get FOIA game details for NY, MA, CO, NM, and WI.  All other states provide sufficient data for our reports to work.  We still scrape data from these states and add that daily data for top prizes remaining into our database.

 

The FOIA data is added to the daily data we gather.

We strive to ensure our system runs consistently and accurately based on the data published on your state lottery’s website.

We scrape data from every states’ website on a daily schedule.  Then, we process this data into our database ever day and watch for data quality issues and anomalies.  We compile this data into a weekly report we publish every Friday.  Our reports are up to date as of every FRIDAY morning based on what the state has published on their site as of that morning.

 

 

 

New games occasionally take 1 to 2 weeks to make it onto our reports because we need to complete all of our data checks. But don’t worry – new games will ALWAYS have a SmartFactor rating of 1.0 or lower. In other words – a truly brand new game is ‘OK’ to play. All things being equal, it’s a new game with pretty standard odds of winning for a game at that price point.

 

Our customers win big because they know that a brand new game is usually NOT the best game to play.  They’re looking for the games where the odds of winning a top prize have moved in their favor.  Those are the games they want to play!  Those are the games YOU should want to play too!

THE SIMPLE ANSWER TO THIS IS THAT ALL LOTTERY RETAILERS DO NOT CARRY EVERY GAME!!

Just because a Lottery Retailer doesn’t have the game for sale doesn’t mean it isn’t for sale somewhere in the state!   Retailers only make about 5% on the sale of a scratch-off ticket.  In other words, selling scratch-off tickets is a waste of their time.  They want you to just pick from what they have in stock and go buy something else in their store!

Yes, some games do get pulled from the retailers early, but the reason ‘why’ will probably surprise you!  See Video Secret #3 in our FREE VIDEO SECRETS TO learn WHY you may not be able to find some of the top games.

Then, decide for yourself if you just want to waste your money on any game the lottery and your retailer wants you to play, or if you’re ready to really try to start Scratching Smarter!?!

We’ve been getting this question a lot!  Unfortunately, there is not a database that we have access to that carries the best games in stock.  Inventories are continually changing and the state lotteries will not share this data with us.

 

We use the top three prize levels for each game.  This is usually down to a $1000 prize level for most games, but the prize value isn’t part of our calculation.  We look at prizes remaining for the top three prize levels no matter what the prize $ value is.

There are two main reasons why a game may not be on our report.

  • The game is brand new and our scraping code just hasn’t picked it up yet.  Please wait until the next weeks report to see if it shows up.   Most new games end up with a SmartFactor rating of 1.0.  This means they aren’t good or bad to play, they’re just new and the odds from the original print haven’t changed significantly to make the game REALLY good to ply.

PLEASE NOTE: If it doesn’t appear on the next weeks report, please email INFO@scratchSmarter.com so we can investigate it.

  • The game has expired. This means it is past the date to claim a prize and the game should not be played at all.

Either way, if you come across a game that isn’t on our list, you should avoid it temporarily until it can be investigated.  There are SO many good games to play in every state that you should be able to find a ‘green’ game to play at any given retailer.

‘Last scrape date’ is the date that our code LAST SCRAPED the data from that state lottery’s website.

In other words, this is the last date we gathered data and refreshed our database for our analysis into our reports!   This information is most easily found on our Free Report pages HERE.

Why is this important?  Having the most up to date information from your state’s lottery website means our analysis is as accurate as it possibly can be!  We work extremely hard to ensure that our data is properly and accurately gathered every day and put into our data base for processing.

Our programs run nightly and we verify that everything is gathered and double checked before we compile our reports for our members every Friday!  We put a lot of data validation and processes together to ensure we’re providing you the most up to date analysis possible!

Overall Ranking is our rating for which game is the best game to play this week.

On Report 1 the best game to play is #1, and it ranks down from there. The best game is the game with the HIGHEST SMARTFACTOR rating across all games.

On Report 2, we rank the best game by each price point – The best game is #1 and ranks down from there. The best game is the game with the HIGHEST SMARTFACTOR rating compared to all games at that same price.

Our SmartFactor is the results of our algorithm that calculates the proportion of top prizes remaining vs the total number of ticket sold.  The higher the SmartFactor rating, the better the chances are of winning a top prize compared to when the game was initially released.

The Est % Sold is our calculation to show what total % of the tickets for that game have sold.  Generally, the SmartFactor increases as the Est % sold also increases and top prizes remain unclaimed.  However, it’s just as important to note when the SmartFactor goes down (below 1.0) because this means the odds of winning a top prize are WORSE than when the game was originally printed.  This means more top prizes have been claimed than what would be expected for that game based on the estimated % of tickets sold.

Finally, it’s important to note that the higher the SmartFactor AND the Est % Sold values, the more difficulty you might have in finding that game, because the Lottery may pull that game from circulation early.  You can read more about this dirty trick in our two articles:

Can’t Find the Top Game?

Buyer beware- Lottery’s dirty trick

 

 

We definitely see what you’re stating.  The FL lottery website has an asterisk next to game #  1339 –  $10,000,000 World Class CASH
 
Looking at their defining on the asterisk below states: 

*Denotes games that have been reordered or have been delivered to the Florida Lottery in more than one shipment.

I’m underlining the second half of that statement because it isn’t truly a definition for a reprint if there is another possible meaning.  This is just another SNEAKY SNEAKY TRICK that the lotteries play to try to minimize their risk in having to pay out top prizes.
We do not go by FL lotteries indication (their asterisk) for identifying reprints.
ScratchSmarter independently tracks ‘reprints’ by tracking when the lottery changes the number of top prizes remaining.  For example, if one week we see the number of $1,000,000 top prizes for a game = 2 and the next week it goes up to 7, we automatically flag is as a reprint.
I would venture to guess that the game above has been ordered as a print job in multiple printings.  This means that the FL lottery has requested that their scratch-off game vendor physically print the tickets in several batches.  Most times the tickets are all printed in one batch and then distributed.  In this case, they ordered one game in multiple batches and asked for delivery of the games to their warehouse in multiple shipments after each printing.  The game specifications for the odds haven’t changed because they ordered a set number of tickets (for example 20 million tickets) with the odds being fixed over those 20 Million tickets.  A reprint is when the total number of tickets has doubled, but so has the total number of prizes.

Yes, you can, if you have the time and the discipline!

We have taken years to build and perfect our database to analyze scratch off games.

At the same time, we’ve invested a lot of money to write custom code to gather all of the data for EVERY GAME on your state’s lottery website.  And we invest in continuing to update this code as the lottery websites change how they publish their data!

For some states, we’ve taken the time to develop our Freedom of Information request process with the state lotteries office.

So, if you know exactly what data to collect to do card card counting, it would still take the average person 3 to 4 hours just to gather the data on every game and put it into a spreadsheet to analyze it. Then, it takes another hour or two to analyze the data to figure out which is the Best Game to Play.

That’s a total of a 4 to 6 hours EVERY TIME you want to analyze the data just to go scratch off a few games!   And hopefully, you didn’t make any mistakes in all of that hard work you just did!

Our reports cost just 38 cents a week and we do all of this work for you!  This includes all of our data quality checks and our perfected card counting algorithm.  Really, it’s just 38 CENTS every week if you subscribe for a year!

You would have to earn LESS than 9 cents an HOUR to make it worth your while to do this analysis yourself! 

Our reports pay for themselves the very first time you use them because we help you avoid the games that aren’t worth playing!

Quite frankly, we can’t understand why anyone WOULD NOT subscribe today!

This type of data is usually available on your states lottery website, in fact, this is some of the key data we use to generate our reports, however, this limited data and only provides you part of the analysis that ScratchSmarter Best Games to Play reports provide you.

The information for how many TOP prizes remaining exist for a particular game is available in Report #4 on your weekly subscription.  This lists the total number of top prizes available for any active game in your state and is sorted from Highest number of top prizes remaining to lowest.

We think there’s a smarter way to buy tickets – it’s our SmartFactor rating where we calculate the prizes remaining for the top three prizes for every game vs the estimate total number tickets remaining.  This calculation tells you, without a doubt, where the odds of winning a top prize has changed significantly in your favor.  The SmartFactor rating is the critical formula for Report #1 and Report #2 in our Best Games to Play weekly analysis.

Get your report today!  https://www.scratchsmarter.com/shop

 

 

QUESTION:  I don’t understand the Smart Factor for the games. For example: “In the money” and “Maximum Payout” are both $20.00 games. This week, “In the Money” has a SmartFactor of 1.628 while “Maximum Payout” has a 9.645 SmartFactor. Could you please explain?

The SmartFactor calculation is exactly like a card count when counting cards in Black Jack.  Card counters keep track of the number of ‘good cards’ (aces, face cards & 10s) remaining in a deck as a deck is played over time.  The higher the card count, the better the odds are of playing a hand and getting a 21 combination. In this case, the deck is considered “Hot”.   The lower the card count, the lower the odds are of getting a 21 or blackjack combination.  In this case, the deck is considered ‘cold’.   Card counting only works because there is a set number of cards in play to begin with = 52 and only 4 aces, 4 kings, 4 queens, 4 Jacks, 4 tens etc.  When the deck is first shuffled, there is an equal probability of getting any one of the cards,

However,  as cards are played in each hand, players can count the number of cards dealt and can remove those from the probability of getting those cards in the next hand being played.  Card counters simplify the count to being +1 or -1 for each of the best cards in the deck (Aces, Face Cards & 10s).  To oversimplify this – every time they see a good card, they subtract 1 from the count.  Every time they see a non-face card they add one to the count.  The higher the count the ‘hotter’ the deck because it’s a better probability of getting a good card in the next deal.

Card counting at a blackjack table ONLY works over time, so you have to sit and observe the table AND it only works if you know the total number of decks of cards in play.

Well, the exact same concept counts for scratch-off games, except you don’t have to do any of the calculations OR sit at a table losing money until you figure out if the deck is hot or cold.

The SmartFactor IS the card count.  We determine the total number of tickets printed by the data published on the lottery’s website.  Then we track the number of prizes awarded over time.  The proportion of Top Prizes remaining VS the Estimate Ticket sold gives us the SmartFactor rating.  The higher the SmartFactor, the better the odds of winning a top prize have changed in your favor!  The lower the SmartFactor rating, the worse your chances are of winning a top prize.

The key is to know the total number of tickets printed when the game starts.   You can read about that here: https://www.scratchsmarter.com/total-number-of-tickets-printed/

The answer to this question comes down to two things:

  1. our algorithm
  2. the frequency of data collection

Our SmartFactor algorithm takes into account the detail of data we’re able to collect for each state.  In the case of NY Lottery, we collect data two ways  – by scraping it from the lottery website every day AND by submitting a freedom of information request on a regular basis. They do not publish the Est % of tickets sold through either of these data sources.  But this is where the FREQUENCY of data collection becomes important.

The frequency of data collection allows us to gather and store the game data on a regular schedule in our database.  We do not just look at the game data at one point in time.  We collect it, store it, and use it over time.  We’ve been doing this since 2011.    The more data we collect over time the more confidence we have for our estimated % of tickets sold calculation.

We start by scraping the games from the website every day.  This tells us when there are new games released.  We then ask for the detailed prizes remaining through the freedom of information request (FOIA)

The FOIA report the NY Lottery sends out provides the total prizes paid and the total prizes unpaid for ALL prize levels for all games.  With this information, our algorithm will work backward, using each games overall odds to calculate the total number of tickets printed.  At that point, we have everything we need to determine the estimated % of tickets sold for the date of that FOIA Report.

We’ve invested a lot of time, energy and experience to automate this process and perform it every time we collect the data.  By doing this over and over again, and tracking all of this data over time, we’ve become very accurate and confident with our Estimated % sold for NY lottery.

However, to be completely honest, the NY lottery is one of our toughest states for processing lottery data.  Most states publish everything we need on their website.  NY Lottery does not.  For our analysis to work, we are not 100% automated.  The FOIA step requires manual intervention in our automated processes.  Because of this manual step in our process, we have a team of data stewards who focus on reviewing and validating the NY lottery data we collect every week.

Once in a while, we’ll repost a NY report when we catch an error.  This has happened 3 times over the last 2 years, so we are not perfect.  Even with our occasional ‘reposts’, we know we have the very best process and detailed data for NY Scratch-off games that anyone is going to get.

The % of Tickets sold on our Best Games to Play report is just an estimate, but a fairly accurate

For most states, we use this equation:
Sum of all prizes claimed for each game DIVIDED BY the SUM of all Potential prizes from the game details page.
For states that don’t publish as much data for ALL prize levels, we have to use a SUM of the top six prizes claimed divided by the sum of the potential prizes for the published prize levels.
This is why it’s only an estimate.  If we cannot get the exact number of prizes available for all prize levels OR the exact number of prizes remaining or prizes claimed, we use the data that is available.
Why do we provide it?  Customers asked for that calculation explicitly.  It helps customers realize how difficult a game might be to find in their local area.  Usually, anything above 90% Est sold, will start to become difficult to find.

Sorry, but we do not support any downloads other than PDF at this time.

11/19/18

We reviewed the OH Best Games to Play report for the last 5 weeks and you’re correct – the top games haven’t changed position.  However, the SmartFactor rating has changed for every game every week and the games in the 4th and 5th spots (and lower) have changed position.
So, why do games get stuck at the top of the list?  There are two reasons:
1) Primarily because these games may have been ‘pulled’ from retailers OR the lottery is selling off all remaining tickets and there are no more to distribute to retailers.
But, there is still some top prizes that are unclaimed.  So, IF you can find any of these games you should play them because the odds of winning a top prize for these games are way better than when the game started.
2) We keep all the games on our reports until the LAST DAY TO CLAIM date has passed. Retailers will tell you these games are ‘over’.  This means the ‘end date’ is set.  The last date for retailers to get tickets from the lottery is called the END DATE.  The LAST DAY TO CLAIM date is the day you want to worry about, because, if you can find these games, you should buy them because you can still claim the prize.
Please read through our INFO page to learn more!

Yes!  Most states do have this DATA for free on their website, but DATA is not INFORMATION.  It isn’t analyzed and you can’t make a smart decision based on data alone.  All data has to be analyzed to become actionable information!

Think about getting the temperature for where ever you are on any given day.  You get the piece of data that says 65 degrees.  That is just data.  You mentally process that data to decide if 65 is good or bad.  If you’re in Alaska, 65 is a HOT summer day!  If you’re in southern Florida, 65 is freezing!!  (I have a sister who lives there, trust me, 65 if cold for her!0

The same goes for instant games.  Knowing that a game is NEW is just a marketing ploy.  Knowing that a game has 1 top prize left – is that good or bad?  What if it has 5 top prizes left?  these numbers are JUST RELATIVE – you need to analyze it to determine if 1 or 5 is good – relative to how many tickets are left for that game and relative to all of the other games for sale that you can buy from!

That is what ScratchSmarter does for you!  We give you that analysis to tell you if a game is, statistically, better to play than last week AND relative to all of the other games you could possibly play today!

The GAME NUMBER is NOT the ticket number.   The ticket number is simply the number ticket on that roll for sale and it has limited value for determining a winner.  Unfortunately, you cannot find out the ticket number on a roll until you buy two tickets.  We say ‘two tickets’ because you don’t know if the tickets were loaded into the machine forward or backward.  IF it’s at ticket 003, you don’t know if there are only a few tickets left or a lot.  If the next ticket is 004, the roll is counting up and there a lot of tickets left.  If its 002, the roll is counting down and there are only 2 tickets left because all rolls we’ve seen always start at 000.

Regardless, the value of the ticket number on the roll is good if you’re ‘watching’ a roll.  If you just won $100 on a $10 ticket numbered 005 on the roll, and you know the roll is counting up, try not to buy from that roll again until it’s past 015 because the odds are, after winning $100, that the next 10 tickets are losers.

But, that’s really the only reason to know that ticket number.   The GAME number, however, is the REALLY important number to understand because almost every state lottery does a REPRINT of games.  (Watch our video secrets to find out about REPRINTS.  Also, read our INFO page about the GAME NUMBER to understand what that is:

What is the Game Number?

We do not provide gameplay directions on any of the games we analyze.
The very best place to find this information is on each of the state lottery websites.  There is usually a page set up for each game with instructions on how that game is played.  For example:
You’ll have to search for each game the lottery website.
For Wisconsin – start here:
For Michigan – start here:
For your particular state, start at your state lottery’s website and go to the INSTANT or Scratch-off games section and look for your game there.

We do not consider the ‘2nd chance drawing’ option for any game when analyzing games.   We do, however, consider the top 3 prize levels when calculating our algorithm.  So, even if there is a small number of the very top prize left, there is probably a disproportionate number of 2nd and 3rd level top prizes still available that would make a particular game rank highly in any given week.

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Manage Subscription, Cancel and Refunds (4)

We really don’t want to see anyone leave, but we understand if you have to go!  In order to keep our customers subscription costs as low as possible, our entire site is SELF-SERVICE.  This means members must log in and manage their own subscriptions and cancellations.

To manage your subscriptions, simply log in to your account area, click on “SUBSCRIPTIONS” on the left side, then, on your subscription record, click the VIEW box.

You’ll find the STATUS of your subscription and an ACTION BUTTON to CANCEL.

When you cancel, your subscription will be in a status of “PENDING CANCELLATION”. this means you’ll have full access to your members area and your reports until the end of your subscription period.

When your subscription period is over:

  • your account status will automatically move from “Pending Cancellation” to “Cancelled”
  • your access will be removed
  • you’ll no longer be billed
  • you will no longer receive weekly Best Games to Play reports
  • And, we’ll be sad, but we hope that you continue to ScratchSmarter with or without our reports!

We provide time-sensitive, perishable analysis of instant lottery games. Because of this, we have to assume that you’ve received our reports and used them. Unfortunately, this means we do not offer refunds for any full or partial subscription period.  You may cancel your subscription at any time, however, your membership will remain active until the end of your subscription period.

If there is a problem with the quality or detail of our reports, please contact us and we will thoroughly investigate the problem and, if a resolution is required, we can extend your subscription length at no additional cost to you.

Our site is completely self service!  If you want to upgrade from a 3 month subscription to an annual subscription, you can do it in the members area!

Step 1 – Login and click on Subscriptions

Step 2 – Click on the VIEW button next to your current subscription

Step 3 – Click on “UPGRADE or DOWNGRADE button under your current subscription

Step 4 – on the product page, select ‘1 year’ from the drop down under the membership area and proceed to the check out page to pay.

Our site is completely self-service in our members area.  If you’ve logged in and ‘cancelled’ your membership, it will be in a ‘pending cancellation status’ until the end of your current membership subscription period.  So, if you’ve cancelled on June 15, but you started an annual membership from January 1 to December 31, you’ll continue to receive our reports from June 15 through the end of December.

At the end of your membership subscription period your account will automatically change to ‘cancelled’ and your access to our members area and to our reports will be terminated.

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Privacy Terms & Conditions (1)

We use the phone number at check out process for any one of these three reasons:
1) verify that you’re a real person.  There are a lot of ‘bots’ that create fake accounts on sites like ours.  If we have a phone number we can manually verify people if needed.
2) occasionally, customers register and accidentally type in the wrong email address.  We need another means to contact customers in case this happens. We need to talk to these customers on the phone when this happens.
3) depending on how customers place an order (credit card through our credit card processor, or PayPal or PayPal e-check) a phone number is required for verification.
We don’t use the phone number for any other reason.

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