Frequently Asked Questions

Check out some of the most frequently asked questions we receive.  Just click on the categories to see the common questions and our answers!

 

Should you subscribe? (5)

 

Yes our reports are REAL!!

Here’s why:

Scratch off games are printed off in groups with a specific number of tickets and very specific parameters for each game.  We gather and track this critical data for every game, including:

  • Game name
  • Game number
  • Release date / Start Date
  • End date / Last date to claim as prize
  • Overall odds
  • Detailed odds for each prize level
  • Prizes claimed / Prizes awarded
  • Total number of tickets printed

If you have all of this data and keep it updated every day, you can calculate how many tickets are remaining for every game.  Then we use our algorithm to compare the total prizes remaining vs the original top prize odds.  Our algorithm is simplified  into a ‘SmartFactor’ rating for every game and we update that every week in our reports.  Our SmartFactor rating makes it easier to compare all games and identify when a games odds have changed (for better or worse) on the chances of winning a top prize.

We work extremely hard to track, gather, update and analyze all of this data so we can simplify it and report it to our subscribers in our Best Games to Play report.

 

 

We provide an easy to use “top prizes remaining’ webpage for every state, but our paid subscriptions are much better!

Why? Knowing the Top Prizes remaining only really matters if the top prize remaining is ZERO!  Even if there is only one top prize remaining for a game, that doesn’t tell you much because you don’t know how many tickets of that game have been sold.  Is it ONE top prize with only 1000 tickets left for sale?  If so – we would BUY THE HECK out of that game!

Look up your state here and find our FREE report for your state – updated every day!

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!

Read more about WHY you might not be able to find the top game here.  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 win big and start Scratching Smarter!

Our preferred method of payment is by Credit card OR PayPal.  PayPal has a number of services to allow customers to pay by ways other than a credit card.  Please check out PayPal.com if you have any questions.
As a very last resort, we will accept a check for annual subscriptions only.
Checks can be made out to ScratchSmarter, LLC
Our mailing address is:
ScratchSmarter, LLC
PO BOX 725
Skippack, PA 19474
You MUST include a mailing address, an email address and identify what state you want the membership report your Best Games to Play Report.  If you do not provide an email address, we cannot provide you a subscription to our service.
After we have received and cashed the check, your membership will be active for one year.
Reports are ONLY distributed to our subscribers through the membership portal on our site and through email.  Due to the timeliness of the data we publish, we do not distribute any reports by postal mail.

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!

About our reports (12)

 

We’ve spent years writing custom software code to collect data from each states 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 states website.

 

Currently we get FOIA game details for NY, FL and MA.  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 additional to the daily data we gather.

 

All data is gathered from the state lotteries for your state or from Freedom of Information Requests we submit to a states lottery commission when their website doesn’t provide enough information.

 

To see the lists of states we currently collect and generate data for, click here.

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!

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!

Read more about WHY you might not be able to find the top game here.  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 win big and 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.

 

Looking at our report from last week – please go to PAGE 7 of the report for just the listing of TOP PRIZES REMAINING.  On this report, we are showing 3 top prizes for Extreme Green – which is what the PA Lottery Page has posted.
You might be looking at our FIRST REPORT (PAGE 1)
Our PDF report has 4 different types of reports depending on what you’re looking for and these reports are all in the order of how we suggest you should look to buy instant lottery tickets.
If you’re looking for JUST the top prizes remaining report, that is our LAST report, starting on Page 7 in Last weeks report.  We provide this report to answer questions just like yours!  To keep us honest and to make it easy for you to double check that our reports are up to date.
You might have confused our SmartFactor rating with the Top Prizes remaining value on the state’s website.  In this case, yes, we only give the game a SmartFactor Rating of 1.063.
This means that the chances of winning one of those three top prizes remaining is only SLIGHTLY better than when the game was originally released.
Using the SmartFactor as an overall ranking of all GAMES for sale in PA, last weeks report ranks $3Million Extreme Green at #34 of the list (First report in our PDF- Ranking all games from Highest SmartFactor Rating to Lowest).
This means there are 33 games for sale in PA for the week of 11/10/17, with BETTER chances of winning a top prize than $3 Million Extreme Green.
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!

We work extremely hard to make our reports as accurate as possible.
We HAVE to include games that you may not be able to find on our reports for SEVERAL reasons.
Most importantly we’ve found that most states, pull games OUT of circulation before all top prizes have been awarded.  They DO NOT sell every last ticket for every game they print.  The reality is, most states pull games early when they have hit their return on investment and they DO NOT want to award the top prizes.  We have two big write-ups on this subject on our website.
If you don’t have time to read both posts. just know this:  we have to include every game that the lottery reports to us because we do not know if they have managed to collect every game (that they’re pulling early) from every retailer in the state.
So, we have to assume that if the lottery is reporting information on a game on their website, they still have some of those games in circulation somewhere.
The lottery may pull games from circulation early, but that doesn’t mean their team can get to every retailer immediately to pull the extra games.  In fact, in most states, once a retailer has opened a pack of tickets, the lottery cannot take them back.  They have to wait for the open rolls to sell off.
We would be EXTREMELY UNHAPPY if we had a top ranked game that the lottery reported on their website and a customer had a chance to buy that game, but didn’t find it on our report.
What if that retailer had a milliion dollar winner in their dwindling open pack of that game and we didn’t tell our subscriber that was the very best game to play?
We wouldn’t be doing anyone any good.  This is the EXACT purpose of our reports- to help our customers find the VERY BEST GAMES where they could win a top prize.  No matter if the lottery is pulling the game early OR if it’s just been launched.  If we subjectively pull games from our reports, we would be doing a huge disservice to all our subscribers.

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!

Accounts & Accessing your report (11)

 

Please watch this short video to see how you can access your reports:

 

 

Email delivery has been the biggest challenge we’ve faced since we started. If you’ve subscribed- we guarantee we have sent your email. We cannot, however guarantee that your email provider hasn’t marked us as spam or worse – not delivered your report to you. (And yes we have COUNTLESS examples of non-delivery.

 

We recommend you skip the email headache all together- All subscribers can now access their reports every Friday in our members area without waiting for our emails  check out this video to see how you can access your report every Friday by noon est!

 

If you still want to get your email- make sure our report didn’t end up in your junk (or other folder) and add bestgames@scratchsmarter.com to your address list.

 

We really hate to see any of our customers go, but we understand – sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do!

You may cancel at any time.

“Unsubscribing” from email distribution will not constitute a cancellation of your subscription.

TO CANCEL IMMEDIATELY:

Simply email Info@ScratchSmarter.com with your email address or user name you used when you signed up, in the subject line, please write: ‘Cancel my subscription’.   We will immediately cancel your subscription and remove your access to our reports and emails.  Subscriptions and partial subscription periods are not refundable.

TO CANCEL AT THE END OF YOUR SUBSCRIPTION PERIOD:

Subscribers who do not wish to auto-renew their subscription must log into their members area, choose “Subscriptions” on the left menu links, click on their subscription number, then choose the CANCEL button.  The status of your subscription will change to “Pending Cancellation”.  Membership access and emailed reports will continue until the end of your subscription period.  Once the subscription period ends, access to the membership area will be removed and reports will no longer be emailed.

 

 

Report access is based on your subscription and subscriptions are for one state only. If you’d like to buy a subscription to additional states, please email us at Info@ScratchSmarter.com for a discount on a multi-state subscription.

While there isn’t a “print button” directly on our membership report page, there is a download button – members can download the PDF report and, once downloaded, can print it from there.

 

 

 

Most lotteries publish two critical dates about the games they sell:  “Closed (or End) date “and “Last Date to claim”
Closed games is an important date to track, but the date thats more important is:  “Last Date to claim”.  (Sometimes labeled “last date to redeem” or “Claim By”)
When the lotteries mark a game as CLOSED – it means they are no longer distributing that game to retailers, however, if a retailer still has an open pack, they are allowed to continue to sell them.
This is why we leave ‘Closed” games on our reports. If the game has a high smart factor and you can find it, you should play it.
Almost every lottery in the US allows for 6 months to a year to claim a prize.
This gives the lotteries time to collect games and get them out of circulation and allows open packs to be sold off.  The rules for ‘selling open packs’ varies from state to state, but because we go by ‘last day to redeem’, we’re safe with leaving these games on our reports.  This is also why we report on all games – look for an play the very best games you can find on the report.  Just play the green games that you can find.

Some site visitors have received warnings in their web browser stating that our site is ‘un-safe’.

We had some improper set up with our website when we originally built it, however, we have corrected these issues.  Our site is 100% safe to visit.  We have a current SSL certificate to ensure all visitors data is completely safe on tis site.

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 preferred method of payment is by Credit card OR PayPal.  PayPal has a number of services to allow customers to pay by ways other than a credit card.  Please check out PayPal.com if you have any questions.
As a very last resort, we will accept a check for annual subscriptions only.
Checks can be made out to ScratchSmarter, LLC
Our mailing address is:
ScratchSmarter, LLC
PO BOX 725
Skippack, PA 19474
You MUST include a mailing address, an email address and identify what state you want the membership report your Best Games to Play Report.  If you do not provide an email address, we cannot provide you a subscription to our service.
After we have received and cashed the check, your membership will be active for one year.
Reports are ONLY distributed to our subscribers through the membership portal on our site and through email.  Due to the timeliness of the data we publish, we do not distribute any reports by postal mail.
Our site is responsive to almost all web browsers and fully supports all smartphones.  You should be able to login to the members area and navigate to the report.  Once there, give it a minute to open.  You can also download it and save it to you ‘ibooks’ app for this week.  Look for the SAVE icon at the bottom of the PDF reader.
If you’ve ordered an annual report, you should also be receiving our weekly report via email.  If you have that email account on your phone, you can open the attachment directly from your email.

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.

Privacy (1)

 

“I see that, in order to subscribe, I have to give you my name, address, email, etc……what do you do with this information?”

We only use this data within ScratchSmarter.com.

We do not sell or share any of our subscribers information.  

We need credit card information or a Palpal account to process your payments if you choose to subscribe to our reports.

Our site is securely encrypted and all your information is kept safe and confidential.

Affilates (1)

 

Our affiliate program allows people to help market ScratchSmarter and earn $ money $ for any subscription purchased by the people they refer to our site.

Find out more about it here.

Illinois (1)

 

There are two reasons why we currently do not offer a report for Illinois:

 

1- Illinois lottery does not publish enough data on their website

 

2- the data that is published on the Illinois lottery website is published in a very inconsistent format from week to week  If we get enough interest for Illinois- we’ll start chasing the FOIA requests like we do for NY, FL and MA

Buying Tickets (1)

Unfortunately, you probably can’t.
If you’re buying from a retailer over the counter, just ask them.  They’ll look and tell you the game number.  Make sure they’re not telling you the ticket number on the front of the card.  Ask for the game number on the back of the card.
If you’re buying from a machine, it’s basically impossible.  You’ll need to buy one ticket and look on the back of that ticket to see the number.  It’s usually the very first or very last digits of the really long number at the top or bottom of the back of the card.
If there is more that ONE game number with the same Game Name (marked with an Asterisks (*) on our report, our experience has been that we’ve only ever found the lower ranked game in a machine.

Cancellation (3)

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.

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 will remain active until the end of your subscription period.  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 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 work very hard to keep all of our costs as low as possible for all of our customers.  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 resolution is required, we can extend your subscription length at no additional cost to you.

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.

Free Reports (2)

 

We provide an easy to use “top prizes remaining’ webpage for every state, but our paid subscriptions are much better!

Why? Knowing the Top Prizes remaining only really matters if the top prize remaining is ZERO!  Even if there is only one top prize remaining for a game, that doesn’t tell you much because you don’t know how many tickets of that game have been sold.  Is it ONE top prize with only 1000 tickets left for sale?  If so – we would BUY THE HECK out of that game!

Look up your state here and find our FREE report for your state – updated every day!

‘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!

Free Video Secrets (1)

In order to login to see the free video secrets, check your email inbox!  We send you an email with a link to confirm that your email was entered correctly.  Just click on the link that we sent you & you’ll be able to see the free video secrets!

Refund (1)

We work very hard to keep all of our costs as low as possible for all of our customers.  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 resolution is required, we can extend your subscription length at no additional cost to you.

Don’t see your question? Submit it to us here with your email address and we’ll try to answer it for you in 24 hours!

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