How Odds of winning a top prize changes over time

This lesson requires a few facts about scratch-off games.


  • All games are printed with a predefined number of tickets = TOTAL NUMBER OF TICKETS PRINTED.
  • All scratch-off games have a defined number of winning tickets in the printing
  • All winning tickets are RANDOMLY put into each printing.
    • Even though two games may be printed at the same time with the same odds, the prizes are never put into the printing exactly the same way. In other words, no one knows if the winning tickets are spaced out evenly throughout the printing OR if they are grouped together at the beginning of the printing or the end of the printing.

Our SECRETS go into some detail about how these facts can get manipulated by each lottery, but for this example, we’ll work with just these 4 facts.


 Let’s compare two games where everything is planned to be the same. However, no one can plan on the RANDOM printing of prizes. For these two games, the only difference is where the top prizes are in the printing. Both games have 10 top prizes randomly printed into a printing of 1000 tickets. The odds of winning any one of these top prizes on Jan 1 are 1 in 100 because, 10/100 = 1:10.


By tracking the prizes remaining and the tickets remaining, we can see how the odds change.

Both games go on sale on Jan 1. There are NO tickets sold when the game first goes on sale, so the comparison of the games looks like this:

Both games have exactly the same odds.


Over time, the tickets start to sell at different rates. On Feb 1, game 1 has sold 200 tickets, so there are 800 tickets remaining. Game 2 has sold only 100 tickets, so there are 900 tickets remaining.   However, both games had 2 prizes claimed!   This changes the odds:

Game 1 has slightly better odds because there are fewer tickets remaining.

A month later, on March 1, game 1 has sold a total of 600 tickets, so there are 400 tickets remaining. Game 2 has sold only 200 tickets, so there are 800 tickets remaining. Both games have 4 prizes claimed. This changes the odds even more for each game:

Game 1 has considerably better odds because there are fewer tickets remaining but the same number of top prizes.

Finally, on April 1, game 1’s ticket sales have slowed down. It has only sold 100 tickets in the last month. It’s total tickets sold = 700, so there are 300 tickets remaining. Game 2 has only sold 300 tickets, so there are 700 tickets remaining.   Both games have 4 top prizes remaining.

Game 1 still has considerably better odds because there are fewer tickets remaining but the same number of top prizes.

So, if you’re only looking at the top prizes remaining, you’re not Scratching Smarter.   You’re playing with only one piece of data.

Most lottery websites publish a simple list of top prizes remaining on one page. They hide all of the details on the other lottery pages. We gather all of that difficult to gather data to give you the REAL story. The story of where games REALLY are based on the top prizes remaining compared to the total tickets remaining.


FACT: It’s not easy to compare all games.  

We can’t make all games the same as we did in our example above.

That’s why we borrowed the card counting method from Black Jack. In Black Jack, when you’re counting cards, it doesn’t matter how many decks of cards the dealer is using OR the cost to play at a table.

The card count evens everything out and gives the advantage to the player!!

Our SmartFactor calculation is the same as the Card Count in a blackjack game.

We track every game over time, from the time it’s first put up for sale to the ‘last day to claim’ a prize. We give you the SmartFactor rating and RANK EVERY GAME, so you don’t have to.

With ScratchSmarter’s Best Game to Play Report, the advantage is yours, every week!

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