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? (6)

 

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!

Playing Scratch-off games IS GAMBLING.
So are any of the numbers games, like Pick3, Pick 4, Powerball & Mega Millions.

Gambling DOES NOT EVER present a positive ROI for any investor.  Gambling is designed to MAKE MONEY FOR THE HOUSE.  If you’re in Vegas, the house is the casino.  If you’re buying scratch-off tickets, the house is your STATE GOVERNMENT.  It doesn’t matter where you gamble, the odds are ALWAYS in the house’s favor and are never ever designed to be a means of planned return on investment for the gambler.

If you’re looking for ROI, call an investment money manager and put your money into mutual funds.  In fact, we highly recommend that you invest FIRST.  Then, if you’re going to gamble, do it JUST FOR FUN.

AND, if you’re going to gamble, you better get smart so you don’t completely waste your money!

Some games, you cannot do ANYTHING about, like Roulette or the slot machines OR any of the PICK number games.  Those are purely random games.  However, other games, like BlackJack and Scratch-off games have specific odds and a running total of depletion of games (or cards) that allow you, if you know how to gain an edge.  At blackjack – you can learn to count cards, but beware, if the pit boss catches you counting, you can an will be asked to leave and never come back.  If you’re scratching off tickets, at the VERY LEAST, know which games have top prizes left and which games have or have not been reprinted.  If you subscribe to ScratchSmarter, we COUNT THE CARDS for you.  That is what our Best Games to play report does – it gives you the card count for every game for sale.   While we cannot guarantee you’ll win, we do SIGNIFICANTLY improve your odds of winning one of the top three prizes for any game because we track how the odds of winning a top prize changes over the life of the printed game.

A game will NEVER get skewed enough to have a positive ROI because the overall odds are always in the house’s favor.  Unless the IDEAL situation occurs.  The ideal situation would be that there is one full pack of tickets left in the entire state, at one retailer, AND you know that there is ONE BIG PRIZE left on that game AND that one big prize is worth more than the cost of the pack of tickets.  We GUARANTEE this will never happen because the STATE pulls games from circulation way before this ideal situation would ever occur.

The next question is – won’t the lotteries ask ScratchSmarter to shut down (like the pit boss asking the card counter to leave the casino)?

They can ask, but it would be illegal for them to shut us down, because, as state lotteries are all run by the state government, they’re subject to the state and federal laws requiring them to publish data through Freedom of Information requests.  Detailed scratch-off lottery game data is NOT private because it’s ‘state government’ data and therefore, subject to being publicly available to all citizens who could potentially buy that game.

In other words, your state lottery has to publish the game details we use to make our reports. Trust us, they DON”T publish it in a way to make it easy for us to process it.  We’re constantly updating our code to scrape from their sites and keep the ‘card count’ accurate OR we’re submitting Freedom of Information Requests on a regular basis to get the details we need to help you win more easily.

if you’d like to learn more, please read up on our Scratch-off 101 pages where we have several,  very short lessons about scratch-off games. https://www.scratchsmarter.com/info

About our reports (24)

 

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!

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 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.

We consider the top three prize levels to all be ‘top prizes’ because these are the biggest prizes for every game.  Winning one of the top three prizes for any game will usually be a $1000 or more dollars and we consider that BIG $$.

 

 

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!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE double check the email address you used when checking out!  If you didn’t receive an email immediately after signing up, you may have had an error when entering your email address.

Just like any other on-line business, you’ll receive an email immediately after your order is complete.  If you didn’t receive an email from BestGames@ ScratchSmarter.com OR from Info@ScratchSmarter.com it ALMOST ALWAYS means you didn’t enter your correct email address OR our automated email went to your junk / spam folder.

Our system is automated, so if you didn’t get an email from us within 10 minutes of placing your order – please check your spam / junk mail folders first.  Then, you may want to click on your back button a few times in your browser to see if you may have incorrectly entered the wrong email address when ordering.

BUT PLEASE, don’t submit your order a second time – we don’t want to bill you again.  If you accidentally entered the wrong email address with your order, just write a note to us at INFO@ScratchSmarter.com.  Tell us your correct email address, and the incorrect email address and we’ll fix it for you.  This might take a few hours, but we will get to it!  We want you to get your report as soon as possible!

This answer depends on the data published on your lottery’s website.  Most lottery websites do not publish the amount of tickets sold.
We’ll use the Arizona Lottery as an example of how we can work calculate the number of tickets sold.
———————-
We are able to track how many tickets have sold based on three key data points that the AZ lottery DOES publish:
1) The AZ Lottery provides the total number of prizes remaining at all prize points (from the top prize down to the lowest prize). For example for $1 Decade of Dollars, there are currently 668,067 $1 prizes left on 5/3/18.
2) The AZ lottery publishes the DETAILED odds for every Price Point. For the same game, the odds of winning $1 is 1:8.   This is a fixed value at the time they create the game and doesn’t change over time.  But the prizes remaining does change from day to day.
3) The third data point is WHEN they publish this data.  This is the data point I can’t show you – it is our CODE that scrapes the data from the lottery EVERY SINGLE DAY.  On the first day that a game is published, the first day we scrape it, the PRIZES REMAINING for each prize point would be the MAXIMUM number of prizes.
On the first day, (for example only), the prizes remaining for winning $1 may have been 800,000 tickets.   We multiply the detailed odds times the PRIZES remaining – that gives us the total number of tickets printed. For just the $1 prize, it would have been 8*800,000 =6,400,000 tickets because the odds are 1:8 and the total prizes remaining on day 1 = 800,000.
We store that number in our database.
Then, each and every day, we re-scrape the PRIZES REMAINING posted on the AZ website, do the calculations and compare that to the original total number of tickets printed.  This gives us the Estimated % sold on any given day, directly from data on the AZ Lottery website.
NOTE – We have to do this differently for each state lottery based on the data they do provide.  For your state, we may have to provide a different method to get to the estimate % sold, but the facts are the same – a combination of data provided by the lottery website, combined with daily data mining and data analysis helps our customers get deeper analysis on picking the very best game!

This is a very valid concern, and it is a concern we hear from almost all of our new subscribers. It’s so common that we have two posts about it. Please read through these posts here:

and here:
We also have several other good posts you can find here:
https://www.scratchsmarter.com/info/
Now, specifically to the question about Massachusetts lottery. As of the date this question was posted, we do have these games on our report, because the Mass Lottery still publishes data on their website about these games.
If a retailer were still selling either of these games anywhere in Mass, we would be amiss for not reporting our analysis on these games. So, just because you cannot find these games at your local retailer, it doesn’t mean they aren’t available somewhere in your state.
We do, however, have some very specific information about the Mass lottery that will be interesting for you to know.
1) the Mass Lottery does not keep all of its game data in ONE database.
EVERY OTHER STATE where we generate a Best Games to Play Report, as far as we can tell, has standardized the data about every one of their scratch off games into a central database where they track all of the data on each game and publish their selecting information out to their website. Mass Lottery DOES NOT operate this way. We have documented email correspondence from them that shows that they keep all of their game data separate from other games. When they update their website, we believe it is done in a highly manual way.
2) When we submit a Freedom of Information request to the Mass Lottery for game details, they have to pull together, manually, a game liability report.
“Liablity” means they are still liable for these games in the market place. So, if they report the game to us, we have to assume that it is still for sale somewhere in Massacheusetts. When we order an updated liability report from them, it takes up to 3-4 weeks for them to manually compile the information.  We don’t track where all games are sold.  We only report on games the state published data about.
3) We only use the Lottery website as a trusted source for “GAMES ENDED”.
Each state publishes the end date for games differently. Mass Lottery publishes almost NO data about games ended. We request this in our Freedom of Information Requests reports from them, but even then, they’re very poor in reporting the end dates of games.
We can only theorize that they are either very disorganized, being deceitful, or they don’t have standard terms or operating procedures for all of their games. (personally, I believe it is a little bit of all of these reasons).
This is why, we think, their website is so inconsistent in how it publishes game data vs all other state lottery websites where we gather data. We have seen some news stories that claim the Mass Lottery has pulled or ‘ended’ games, but until they publish this data on their website, we cannot take a third party’s update on games, even if the source is a reputable news station. This would open us up to having to make judgement calls on ‘who says what games are still in play’.
4) We do the absolute BEST WE CAN with the inconsistencies in the Mass Lottery website. Our challenges with the Mass Lottery have plagued us since we started ScratchSmarter and we’ve considered dropping this report from our portfolio multiple times. However, every time we talk with Mass ScratchSmarter subscribers, they have begged us to continue our efforts because, as they say “we help clarify the confusion” that is the Mass Lottery.

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.

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.

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.

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?

Accounts & Accessing your report (12)

 

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.

 

 

A subscription is for access to one state only BUT there is no limit to the number of states you can subscribe to.   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 i your members area.

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 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.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE double check the email address you used when checking out!  If you didn’t receive an email immediately after signing up, you may have had an error when entering your email address.

Just like any other on-line business, you’ll receive an email immediately after your order is complete.  If you didn’t receive an email from BestGames@ ScratchSmarter.com OR from Info@ScratchSmarter.com it ALMOST ALWAYS means you didn’t enter your correct email address OR our automated email went to your junk / spam folder.

Our system is automated, so if you didn’t get an email from us within 10 minutes of placing your order – please check your spam / junk mail folders first.  Then, you may want to click on your back button a few times in your browser to see if you may have incorrectly entered the wrong email address when ordering.

BUT PLEASE, don’t submit your order a second time – we don’t want to bill you again.  If you accidentally entered the wrong email address with your order, just write a note to us at INFO@ScratchSmarter.com.  Tell us your correct email address, and the incorrect email address and we’ll fix it for you.  This might take a few hours, but we will get to it!  We want you to get your report as soon as possible!

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.

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.

Privacy (2)

 

“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.

Category: Privacy
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.

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.

Category: Affilates

Arizona Lottery (1)

This answer depends on the data published on your lottery’s website.  Most lottery websites do not publish the amount of tickets sold.
We’ll use the Arizona Lottery as an example of how we can work calculate the number of tickets sold.
———————-
We are able to track how many tickets have sold based on three key data points that the AZ lottery DOES publish:
1) The AZ Lottery provides the total number of prizes remaining at all prize points (from the top prize down to the lowest prize). For example for $1 Decade of Dollars, there are currently 668,067 $1 prizes left on 5/3/18.
2) The AZ lottery publishes the DETAILED odds for every Price Point. For the same game, the odds of winning $1 is 1:8.   This is a fixed value at the time they create the game and doesn’t change over time.  But the prizes remaining does change from day to day.
3) The third data point is WHEN they publish this data.  This is the data point I can’t show you – it is our CODE that scrapes the data from the lottery EVERY SINGLE DAY.  On the first day that a game is published, the first day we scrape it, the PRIZES REMAINING for each prize point would be the MAXIMUM number of prizes.
On the first day, (for example only), the prizes remaining for winning $1 may have been 800,000 tickets.   We multiply the detailed odds times the PRIZES remaining – that gives us the total number of tickets printed. For just the $1 prize, it would have been 8*800,000 =6,400,000 tickets because the odds are 1:8 and the total prizes remaining on day 1 = 800,000.
We store that number in our database.
Then, each and every day, we re-scrape the PRIZES REMAINING posted on the AZ website, do the calculations and compare that to the original total number of tickets printed.  This gives us the Estimated % sold on any given day, directly from data on the AZ Lottery website.
NOTE – We have to do this differently for each state lottery based on the data they do provide.  For your state, we may have to provide a different method to get to the estimate % sold, but the facts are the same – a combination of data provided by the lottery website, combined with daily data mining and data analysis helps our customers get deeper analysis on picking the very best game!

Buying Tickets (3)

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.
Category: Buying Tickets
First, the lottery is designed for you to lose money. PLEASE DO NOT EVER plan on it being a nest egg of any kind.  While our reports are built to help our subscribers try to win the big prizes, the odds are not in anyone’s favor and should never be used as a type of financial retirement plan.
Overall odds don’t change for a game throughout the life of the game.  The detailed odds for the top three prizes definitely DO change over the life of the game.  That’s what we track.  Sometimes the odds of winning one of those top three prizes changes by a factor of 5 or 10 times better.  So, if you’re going to gamble, you should only gamble on the games where the odds of winning a big prize are considerably better in your favor.
How much to spend totally depends on your disposable income.  Do not spend more than you can afford to lose.  As for how much to buy, yes, if you look at the overall odds and buy 2 or three more tickets that the overall odds, then you’re probably going to win something.  It might not be a huge win, but will probably (but not guaranteed) payback for at least one of the tickets you’re buying.

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?

Colorado Lottery (1)

To enter the second chance drawing for the Colorado lottery, follow this link:

Florida Lottery (3)

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.
ANSWER:
The FL Lottery website is a little deceiving because it only shares the top prize remaining for the very top prize level.  Our report for Florida, isn’t just based on their website data.  We submit a Freedom of information request to the Florida lottery ever other week, where we get an updated status of prizes remaining for EVERY prize level.  The liability report they send to us tells us, exactly, the number of prizes remaining for every prize level. Our SmartFactor calculation is based on the top three prize levels (we consider the top three prizes for ever game to be a ‘big winner’).
For this week, you’ll see that the prizes remaining for the top 3 prizes, as of Monday was 67 top prizes remaining (add up the column under OUTSTANDING “COUNT” for rows 41 through 44 in the attached = 67 prizes outstanding)
The FL lottery has since updated the very top prize remaining from 1/4 (yesterdays count ) to 0/4 as of today.  Our report next week will reflect this change.  We do scrape the top prize remaining every and add in all of the additional prize remaining data into our database every other week.
Based on the liability report they send to us, the proportion of prizes remaining in the top three prize spots means that the odds of winning one of the top three prizes is better now – 2.899 times better- than when the game was originally released.
Attached is a screen shot of the data in their liability report sent to us for game #1352.
I’m not attaching their full liability report, because it’s BIG – over 240+ pages of reports that look like the pic attached.  Our code pulls of this data into our database for processing and give your the summary or which game(s) are the best to play and which games are the worst.
You can read more about how we handle FL lottery data here:
Category: Florida Lottery
First, the lottery is designed for you to lose money. PLEASE DO NOT EVER plan on it being a nest egg of any kind.  While our reports are built to help our subscribers try to win the big prizes, the odds are not in anyone’s favor and should never be used as a type of financial retirement plan.
Overall odds don’t change for a game throughout the life of the game.  The detailed odds for the top three prizes definitely DO change over the life of the game.  That’s what we track.  Sometimes the odds of winning one of those top three prizes changes by a factor of 5 or 10 times better.  So, if you’re going to gamble, you should only gamble on the games where the odds of winning a big prize are considerably better in your favor.
How much to spend totally depends on your disposable income.  Do not spend more than you can afford to lose.  As for how much to buy, yes, if you look at the overall odds and buy 2 or three more tickets that the overall odds, then you’re probably going to win something.  It might not be a huge win, but will probably (but not guaranteed) payback for at least one of the tickets you’re buying.

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!

General Questions (3)

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 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 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.

How to play! (1)

Please see our answer to this question in our Scratch-off 101 page!

 

Category: How to play!

Illinois Lottery (2)

WE FINALLY HAVE A Best Games to Play Report for ILLINOIS Lottery!

Get it here:

Illinois Lottery ScratchSmarter Subscription

WE FINALLY HAVE A Best Games to Play Report for ILLINOIS Lottery!

Get it here:

Illinois Lottery ScratchSmarter Subscription

 

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 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!  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.

Massachusetts Lottery (1)

This is a very valid concern, and it is a concern we hear from almost all of our new subscribers. It’s so common that we have two posts about it. Please read through these posts here:

and here:
We also have several other good posts you can find here:
https://www.scratchsmarter.com/info/
Now, specifically to the question about Massachusetts lottery. As of the date this question was posted, we do have these games on our report, because the Mass Lottery still publishes data on their website about these games.
If a retailer were still selling either of these games anywhere in Mass, we would be amiss for not reporting our analysis on these games. So, just because you cannot find these games at your local retailer, it doesn’t mean they aren’t available somewhere in your state.
We do, however, have some very specific information about the Mass lottery that will be interesting for you to know.
1) the Mass Lottery does not keep all of its game data in ONE database.
EVERY OTHER STATE where we generate a Best Games to Play Report, as far as we can tell, has standardized the data about every one of their scratch off games into a central database where they track all of the data on each game and publish their selecting information out to their website. Mass Lottery DOES NOT operate this way. We have documented email correspondence from them that shows that they keep all of their game data separate from other games. When they update their website, we believe it is done in a highly manual way.
2) When we submit a Freedom of Information request to the Mass Lottery for game details, they have to pull together, manually, a game liability report.
“Liablity” means they are still liable for these games in the market place. So, if they report the game to us, we have to assume that it is still for sale somewhere in Massacheusetts. When we order an updated liability report from them, it takes up to 3-4 weeks for them to manually compile the information.  We don’t track where all games are sold.  We only report on games the state published data about.
3) We only use the Lottery website as a trusted source for “GAMES ENDED”.
Each state publishes the end date for games differently. Mass Lottery publishes almost NO data about games ended. We request this in our Freedom of Information Requests reports from them, but even then, they’re very poor in reporting the end dates of games.
We can only theorize that they are either very disorganized, being deceitful, or they don’t have standard terms or operating procedures for all of their games. (personally, I believe it is a little bit of all of these reasons).
This is why, we think, their website is so inconsistent in how it publishes game data vs all other state lottery websites where we gather data. We have seen some news stories that claim the Mass Lottery has pulled or ‘ended’ games, but until they publish this data on their website, we cannot take a third party’s update on games, even if the source is a reputable news station. This would open us up to having to make judgement calls on ‘who says what games are still in play’.
4) We do the absolute BEST WE CAN with the inconsistencies in the Mass Lottery website. Our challenges with the Mass Lottery have plagued us since we started ScratchSmarter and we’ve considered dropping this report from our portfolio multiple times. However, every time we talk with Mass ScratchSmarter subscribers, they have begged us to continue our efforts because, as they say “we help clarify the confusion” that is the Mass Lottery.

Minnesota Lottery (1)

You’re correct, it’s no longer on the page:
But the detail page (where we pull our info from) is still valid
The game is still listed on the “Claimable” game page:
With an END Date of 10/2/2018.
At the top of that page it states:

“The following Minnesota State Lottery instant scratch games are prize claim eligible. This list includes both active and previous scratch games. 

Players have one year from each game’s end date to claim prizes for that game.

Scratch tickets are only valid to be claimed up to one year after the game’s end date. 

If a ticket is not on this list, it has passed its end date and may no longer be validated and claimed.”
But that’s a little deceiving because on this page:
https://www.mnlottery.com/winners/unclaimed-prizes
they clearly state that all winners have 1 year to CLAIM a prize AFTER the END Date!
Heres their text:

Unclaimed Scratch Game Prizes

Scratch tickets expire one year from the end date of the game. If the one-year deadline falls on a weekend, holiday, or a day that Minnesota State Lottery offices are closed due to a legal holiday, you have until the end of the next business day to claim a prize. Prizes claimed by mail must be received by the Lottery within the claim period. The Lottery recommends that players use registered mail to send Tickets and Ticket Claim forms to the Lottery and that players keep a copy of the front and back of any Ticket sent. Only prizes of $500 or more are listed here with the exception of games that have no larger prizes. 

So, they pull “Ended” game from the unclaimed prizes page but there’s a big difference between END Date and Last Day to claim.  We keep games on our report until the ‘last day to claim’ in case you find it for sale anywhere.   It’s all explained here:

New York Lottery (1)

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.

Pennsylvania Lottery (2)

PLEASE NOTE THIS QUESTION IS ONLY RELATIVE TO THIS WEEKS REPORT (10/5/18)

YES – if you can find this game, you should play it!  If you win on these games, the ticket is valid until the LAST DAY TO CLAIM, not the Game End date.  Read about these two important dates here: GAME END DATE vs LAST DATE TO CLAIM

THIS ANSWER IS TIME SENSITIVE AND ONLY APPLIES TO OUR PENNSYLVANIA REPORT FOR THE WEEK OF 10/5/18
—————————–
The quick answer is YES – we always account for ticket reprints. REPRINTS are one of the FIRST BIG SECRETS we discovered which led us to start ScratchSmarter.  We built our entire algorithm around this issue and have it fully integrated into our reporting process.
How do we account for it?  Its based on two things:  1) how we calculate the SmartFactor and 2) how we gather the data every day.
So, when the reprint occurs, the outstanding prizes is updated on the PA Lottery website.  We pull those numbers daily and add them to our database.  When we see the very top prize change from a low number to a higher number, it indicates a reprint.  Our SmartFactor value for that game will change, usually from a RED value to a higher red OR yellow value.  However over time, that game can potentially change to a green game, like  Extreme Green has done recently.    This is, after all, why the lottery did the reprint.  They want a hot selling game to continue selling and they can’t do it until the odds get better.

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.

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:

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!

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.

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.

State Specific Questions (12)

WE FINALLY HAVE A Best Games to Play Report for ILLINOIS Lottery!

Get it here:

Illinois Lottery ScratchSmarter Subscription

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.
This answer depends on the data published on your lottery’s website.  Most lottery websites do not publish the amount of tickets sold.
We’ll use the Arizona Lottery as an example of how we can work calculate the number of tickets sold.
———————-
We are able to track how many tickets have sold based on three key data points that the AZ lottery DOES publish:
1) The AZ Lottery provides the total number of prizes remaining at all prize points (from the top prize down to the lowest prize). For example for $1 Decade of Dollars, there are currently 668,067 $1 prizes left on 5/3/18.
2) The AZ lottery publishes the DETAILED odds for every Price Point. For the same game, the odds of winning $1 is 1:8.   This is a fixed value at the time they create the game and doesn’t change over time.  But the prizes remaining does change from day to day.
3) The third data point is WHEN they publish this data.  This is the data point I can’t show you – it is our CODE that scrapes the data from the lottery EVERY SINGLE DAY.  On the first day that a game is published, the first day we scrape it, the PRIZES REMAINING for each prize point would be the MAXIMUM number of prizes.
On the first day, (for example only), the prizes remaining for winning $1 may have been 800,000 tickets.   We multiply the detailed odds times the PRIZES remaining – that gives us the total number of tickets printed. For just the $1 prize, it would have been 8*800,000 =6,400,000 tickets because the odds are 1:8 and the total prizes remaining on day 1 = 800,000.
We store that number in our database.
Then, each and every day, we re-scrape the PRIZES REMAINING posted on the AZ website, do the calculations and compare that to the original total number of tickets printed.  This gives us the Estimated % sold on any given day, directly from data on the AZ Lottery website.
NOTE – We have to do this differently for each state lottery based on the data they do provide.  For your state, we may have to provide a different method to get to the estimate % sold, but the facts are the same – a combination of data provided by the lottery website, combined with daily data mining and data analysis helps our customers get deeper analysis on picking the very best game!

This is a very valid concern, and it is a concern we hear from almost all of our new subscribers. It’s so common that we have two posts about it. Please read through these posts here:

and here:
We also have several other good posts you can find here:
https://www.scratchsmarter.com/info/
Now, specifically to the question about Massachusetts lottery. As of the date this question was posted, we do have these games on our report, because the Mass Lottery still publishes data on their website about these games.
If a retailer were still selling either of these games anywhere in Mass, we would be amiss for not reporting our analysis on these games. So, just because you cannot find these games at your local retailer, it doesn’t mean they aren’t available somewhere in your state.
We do, however, have some very specific information about the Mass lottery that will be interesting for you to know.
1) the Mass Lottery does not keep all of its game data in ONE database.
EVERY OTHER STATE where we generate a Best Games to Play Report, as far as we can tell, has standardized the data about every one of their scratch off games into a central database where they track all of the data on each game and publish their selecting information out to their website. Mass Lottery DOES NOT operate this way. We have documented email correspondence from them that shows that they keep all of their game data separate from other games. When they update their website, we believe it is done in a highly manual way.
2) When we submit a Freedom of Information request to the Mass Lottery for game details, they have to pull together, manually, a game liability report.
“Liablity” means they are still liable for these games in the market place. So, if they report the game to us, we have to assume that it is still for sale somewhere in Massacheusetts. When we order an updated liability report from them, it takes up to 3-4 weeks for them to manually compile the information.  We don’t track where all games are sold.  We only report on games the state published data about.
3) We only use the Lottery website as a trusted source for “GAMES ENDED”.
Each state publishes the end date for games differently. Mass Lottery publishes almost NO data about games ended. We request this in our Freedom of Information Requests reports from them, but even then, they’re very poor in reporting the end dates of games.
We can only theorize that they are either very disorganized, being deceitful, or they don’t have standard terms or operating procedures for all of their games. (personally, I believe it is a little bit of all of these reasons).
This is why, we think, their website is so inconsistent in how it publishes game data vs all other state lottery websites where we gather data. We have seen some news stories that claim the Mass Lottery has pulled or ‘ended’ games, but until they publish this data on their website, we cannot take a third party’s update on games, even if the source is a reputable news station. This would open us up to having to make judgement calls on ‘who says what games are still in play’.
4) We do the absolute BEST WE CAN with the inconsistencies in the Mass Lottery website. Our challenges with the Mass Lottery have plagued us since we started ScratchSmarter and we’ve considered dropping this report from our portfolio multiple times. However, every time we talk with Mass ScratchSmarter subscribers, they have begged us to continue our efforts because, as they say “we help clarify the confusion” that is the Mass Lottery.
ANSWER:
The FL Lottery website is a little deceiving because it only shares the top prize remaining for the very top prize level.  Our report for Florida, isn’t just based on their website data.  We submit a Freedom of information request to the Florida lottery ever other week, where we get an updated status of prizes remaining for EVERY prize level.  The liability report they send to us tells us, exactly, the number of prizes remaining for every prize level. Our SmartFactor calculation is based on the top three prize levels (we consider the top three prizes for ever game to be a ‘big winner’).
For this week, you’ll see that the prizes remaining for the top 3 prizes, as of Monday was 67 top prizes remaining (add up the column under OUTSTANDING “COUNT” for rows 41 through 44 in the attached = 67 prizes outstanding)
The FL lottery has since updated the very top prize remaining from 1/4 (yesterdays count ) to 0/4 as of today.  Our report next week will reflect this change.  We do scrape the top prize remaining every and add in all of the additional prize remaining data into our database every other week.
Based on the liability report they send to us, the proportion of prizes remaining in the top three prize spots means that the odds of winning one of the top three prizes is better now – 2.899 times better- than when the game was originally released.
Attached is a screen shot of the data in their liability report sent to us for game #1352.
I’m not attaching their full liability report, because it’s BIG – over 240+ pages of reports that look like the pic attached.  Our code pulls of this data into our database for processing and give your the summary or which game(s) are the best to play and which games are the worst.
You can read more about how we handle FL lottery data here:
Category: Florida Lottery

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.

WE FINALLY HAVE A Best Games to Play Report for ILLINOIS Lottery!

Get it here:

Illinois Lottery ScratchSmarter Subscription

 

To enter the second chance drawing for the Colorado lottery, follow this link:
First, the lottery is designed for you to lose money. PLEASE DO NOT EVER plan on it being a nest egg of any kind.  While our reports are built to help our subscribers try to win the big prizes, the odds are not in anyone’s favor and should never be used as a type of financial retirement plan.
Overall odds don’t change for a game throughout the life of the game.  The detailed odds for the top three prizes definitely DO change over the life of the game.  That’s what we track.  Sometimes the odds of winning one of those top three prizes changes by a factor of 5 or 10 times better.  So, if you’re going to gamble, you should only gamble on the games where the odds of winning a big prize are considerably better in your favor.
How much to spend totally depends on your disposable income.  Do not spend more than you can afford to lose.  As for how much to buy, yes, if you look at the overall odds and buy 2 or three more tickets that the overall odds, then you’re probably going to win something.  It might not be a huge win, but will probably (but not guaranteed) payback for at least one of the tickets you’re buying.
You’re correct, it’s no longer on the page:
But the detail page (where we pull our info from) is still valid
The game is still listed on the “Claimable” game page:
With an END Date of 10/2/2018.
At the top of that page it states:

“The following Minnesota State Lottery instant scratch games are prize claim eligible. This list includes both active and previous scratch games. 

Players have one year from each game’s end date to claim prizes for that game.

Scratch tickets are only valid to be claimed up to one year after the game’s end date. 

If a ticket is not on this list, it has passed its end date and may no longer be validated and claimed.”
But that’s a little deceiving because on this page:
https://www.mnlottery.com/winners/unclaimed-prizes
they clearly state that all winners have 1 year to CLAIM a prize AFTER the END Date!
Heres their text:

Unclaimed Scratch Game Prizes

Scratch tickets expire one year from the end date of the game. If the one-year deadline falls on a weekend, holiday, or a day that Minnesota State Lottery offices are closed due to a legal holiday, you have until the end of the next business day to claim a prize. Prizes claimed by mail must be received by the Lottery within the claim period. The Lottery recommends that players use registered mail to send Tickets and Ticket Claim forms to the Lottery and that players keep a copy of the front and back of any Ticket sent. Only prizes of $500 or more are listed here with the exception of games that have no larger prizes. 

So, they pull “Ended” game from the unclaimed prizes page but there’s a big difference between END Date and Last Day to claim.  We keep games on our report until the ‘last day to claim’ in case you find it for sale anywhere.   It’s all explained here:

PLEASE NOTE THIS QUESTION IS ONLY RELATIVE TO THIS WEEKS REPORT (10/5/18)

YES – if you can find this game, you should play it!  If you win on these games, the ticket is valid until the LAST DAY TO CLAIM, not the Game End date.  Read about these two important dates here: GAME END DATE vs LAST DATE TO CLAIM

THIS ANSWER IS TIME SENSITIVE AND ONLY APPLIES TO OUR PENNSYLVANIA REPORT FOR THE WEEK OF 10/5/18
—————————–
The quick answer is YES – we always account for ticket reprints. REPRINTS are one of the FIRST BIG SECRETS we discovered which led us to start ScratchSmarter.  We built our entire algorithm around this issue and have it fully integrated into our reporting process.
How do we account for it?  Its based on two things:  1) how we calculate the SmartFactor and 2) how we gather the data every day.
So, when the reprint occurs, the outstanding prizes is updated on the PA Lottery website.  We pull those numbers daily and add them to our database.  When we see the very top prize change from a low number to a higher number, it indicates a reprint.  Our SmartFactor value for that game will change, usually from a RED value to a higher red OR yellow value.  However over time, that game can potentially change to a green game, like  Extreme Green has done recently.    This is, after all, why the lottery did the reprint.  They want a hot selling game to continue selling and they can’t do it until the odds get better.

User Name & Password (2)

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

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

Load More

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!

Question:

What question is being answered?

Email address:

What name should be displayed with your FAQ?