Archives

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.

I don’t understand why you show games that are no longer available or others that are. For example Massachusetts scratch 10 ticket $200,000 year for life and The Fastest Way To AMillion. Makes me wonder if your site is even accurate.

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.