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I’m, from Tennessee. I’m curious, the number you have listed in your “Best Games to Play” report Giant Jumbo Buck, overall ranking #14 is it correct. When searching for the game number on the TNLottry website, it states there is no matching records found.

We had this game scraped and in our database from our history of scraping the TN lottery.  You can still find the game on the TN lottery website as it is still referenced here:
It’s about 1/2 way down on the first page as of 9/17/2019
WHY is a ‘game ended’ still on our report?

I subscribe to your New York State Lottery service and want to know what has recentlt changed with the NY games? The reports for 2/8/19 to 2/15/19 and for the 2/15/19 to 2/22/19 are the same, so what has changed in NY? Did I miss a recent change in the NY Lottery or was there a change in your weekly reports?

The NY Lottery Website only provides data for their top 2 prizes.
In order to get better data for NY, we have to submit a Freedom of Information Request to the NY Lottery.  We submit a request every month for a full liability report which shows ALL PRIZE Levels claimed.
Sometimes, the NY Lottery is VERY VERY SLOW to complete these requests.
When we receive the data back from these requests, we process it immediately.  Even though we submit a request every month, the NY Lottery isn’t always responsive to our requests in a timely manner. So there may not be a lot of movement until we get our next report from our Requests.
We do, however, gather the data they publish on their website on a daily basis, but with only the top 2 prizes being updated regularly, we need a top prize to be claimed for any change to really impact our reports in between Freedom Of Information Requests being updated.
So, by now, you’re wondering what value is our NY best games to play report?  Well, NY lottery is one of the ABSOLUTE WORST lotteries for tricking consumers with REPRINTED GAMES.  You can find out more about reprinted games here: https://www.scratchsmarter.com/scratch-off-secrets/secret2/
PLEASE watch the video and scroll down below the video to read about how we analyze and treat NY specifically in our reports.
I’d like to say that you should see a lot of movement in NY games on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, until NY State publishes more data on their website on a daily basis, we’re at their mercy for when they provide us our Freedom of Information Requests.  As soon as they give us the data, we turn it around and provide it to you.
Is this as good as other states?  No.  Is it better than any other analysis out there for NY Lottery games?  We can state with 100% confidence – YES it is!

Hi I enjoy your product and play TN and VA lotteries. The games ranked in our weekly report- are “top prizes remaining” basically the prizes they list on the website? Those smaller $10-$100 winners arent factored in as they are unknown, correct? Thanks for your time!

For VA, we pull and factor in ALL Prize levels, so our SmartFactor algorithm is 100% accurate, as VA publishes all Prizes unclaimed on a daily basis on each games webpage.  For example:
Having all prizes remaining for all prize levels allows us to fully calculate the SmartFactor rating.  Also, the EST % of tickets sold is highly accurate (again because of all of this data published).
For TN, where they only publish prizes for the top 3 prize levels, our SmartFactor rating still works, but the Est % of tickets sold has a lower degree of accuracy.  In this case, our SmartFactor algorithm still works, but we have lower confidence in the Est % tickets sold.  Over the life of the game, I would say it’s approx 95% accurate.  For VA, I would put our Est % of tickets sold at 99.99% accurate.
To put it simply:  States that publish all prizes remaining for all prize levels = HIGHEST degree of accuracy for Est % of tickets sold.  The fewer prize levels they report on, the less accurate we can be.  We don’t publish a SmartFactor for states that publish less than 3 prize levels.  For most of those states (like NY, MA & FL), we file Freedom of Information requests to get that detail.   We’ve requested that level of detail from TN, but hey have flat out refused to provide it.

What are considered top prizes in SC scratch off lottery tickets

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

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

How is it that for the PA $3,000,000 Extreme Green lottery ticket there are only 2 remaining $3M winning tickets left out of 5 , yet, when I look up the scratch off winners listed on the pa lottery website, it only lists $1,000 winners for the state of PA? I’m becoming very skeptical.

We count the top THREE prize levels in our Smart Factor algorithm.  NOT JUST the top prize level.  For extreme green this means there are:
5 top prizes left:
Top Six PrizesWins Remaining
$3,000,0002
$250,0002
$50,0001
Extreme green had a printing of 6,000,000 tickets.
This number of top prizes remaining at the top three levels is disproportionate for what is expected with the number of tickets remaining.  We estimate the total number of tickets remaining = 12.3% left (currently we’re showing 87.7 Est % sold).
6,000,000 tickets x 12.3% remaining = 738,000 tickets remaining.
The specific odds for these three prize levels are expressed in the game details as winnable in multiple different ways:
$50,000 w/ EXTREME$50,0002,000,0003
$50,000$50,0002,000,0003
$50,000 w/ GREEN MATCH$250,000600,00010
$250,000$250,000600,00010
$3,000,000 w/ $3 MILLION$3,000,0002,000,0003
$3,000,000$3,000,0003,000,0002
Added up, the odds of winning any of the top prizes is:
31 prizes out of 6,000,000 tickets
(3+3+10+10+3+2)= 31
or 31 top prizes out of 6,000,000 tickets.
Today the odds of winning one of the top three prizes is 5 / 738,000 tickets remaining.
If the top prizes had evenly distributed over time, we would have expected only 12.3% of the top prizes remaining or 31 x 12.3% = less than 3.8 prizes.
There are 5 top prizes left which is better than 3.8, which means the odds have changed for the better for winning a top prize.

Every since I have joined, game number 358 has not changed. None of the numbers have changed and I have been a member for over a month. Why hasn’t it been updated in over a month?

11/19/18

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

MN state. The MN state lottery is not posting the results of your number one pick gold and silver crossword in the unclaimed prisez are. What does this mean?

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:

PA-The $3,000,000 Extreme Green game is listed as your 11th best game to play but the PA lottery site says this game has had additional cards printed. Is this factored into the analysis?

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.

In Pa the lottery website shows the lottery game Whole Lotta 500s as being closed. However, I know a retailer who is still selling those tickets. Should I still try to purchase those tickets?

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

I am a Widow, I live in FL. I don’t have a membership yet, but am considering it. I don’t play religiously, but when I do, I usually get a winner & seem to stay on a roll w/o spending any more “House Money” for a while, & I’d like to do more of that; Maybe even build a little nest egg for me if possible. The question: How do you know how many to purchase? My “usual” rule of thumb is I’d look at the odds from your report & purchase 1 or 2 more if possible. As you don’t know where those “odds” started. What about ascending & descending numbers. How is that handled & why is this important? I did read the secrets… Thank You, Arden A

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.

I noticed that the Illinois lottery has recently upgraded their website and is now showing the scratch off unclaimed prizes on a daily basis compared to the sporadic basis like they previously did. Will I be able to sign up for a subscription now that my state is posting results daily?

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

Get it here:

Illinois Lottery ScratchSmarter Subscription

 

I noticed that in the New York lottery scratch off games sold is not available at all through the website or freedom of information act. How do you calculate the estimated % sold?

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.

Quick question on the best scratch off to play in Florida for list you produced today, dates 06/08/18 to 06/015/18. You have the game “$2500 a week for life” with a smart factor of 2.899 and ranked 3rd overall. But on the state of Florida website for the lottery it shows “0” for top prizes remaining for this game. So my question is how can this game be ranked so high?

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:

The #1 ranked game this week is also marked as reprinted on the state website. Do you consider this information in your calculations? Wouldn’t printed more tickets worsen the odds? Thanks!

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.