Can you really win the lottery with scratch cards?
Almost everyone is familiar with the concept of the lottery, especially the big draws that take place every day. You select a few numbers and hope to match them with those drawn.
We’ve heard about record jackpots and how lottery games have allowed people to become instant millionaires.
Scratch tickets, however, have also created their share of the new rich. You don’t usually think of these instant win versions as true contenders for money, but you’d be surprised.
The Origin of Scratch Notes
Lottery draws have been a mainstay in Europe since the 17th century and in other parts of the world long before that. In fact, lotteries were the source of much of the infrastructure of new settlements and also contributed to the construction of large cities.
The real success of scratch cards began in the 1970s, and today they can be found everywhere.
How do they work?
Scratch cards are linked to a game. Originally, you had to do something basic like matching your number with the winning number or revealing three similar prize amounts to succeed.
However, today’s games are becoming more complex and involved, and for good reason. Lottery sales began to decline, but officials began to recognise that the more players were involved in the game, the more likely they were to buy more.
So nowadays there are all kinds of extended versions of gambling. For example, you can buy a bingo scratcher and play a full game of bingo by scratching each number called and trying to match it to your number. There are also crossword puzzles where you scratch one letter at a time to try and fill in real words, each word corresponding to a prize to be won.
This is still a basic principle of instant win, as you don’t wait for the numbers to be drawn on a given day, but it takes longer to get the result of the ticket, as you are actively participating in the game.
What kind of money can you win by scratching tickets?
You hear about someone winning 2, 5 or even 20 Euro here and there, but this type of ticket can bring in a lot of money, but it all comes down to the game itself. There are dozens of variations of games that are constantly evolving, and each one has a different jackpot.
A 1 euro coin can have a maximum prize of 500 euro or sometimes 5,000 euro with higher odds. A ticket can have a higher prize and fewer lower prizes. Another game may offer a plethora of smaller prizes, so your chances of winning are much higher.
While a lottery draw has a standard prize such as 1 or 2 euro per chance, scratch tickets offer several denominations. You will find 1, 2, 3, 5, 10 and even 50 or 100 euro. You would think that these more expensive versions would be on the shelf, but you would be surprised how many people play these higher amounts. The chances of winning much higher tournaments in your favour, with higher payouts, can be 1 million euro or even more.
A winning story
Speaking of these multi-million euro gains, how about a 4 million euro birthday present?
In 2014, a teenage girl (yes, a teenage girl) from Illinois scratched a banknote that had been given to her as a birthday present and ended up with a €4 million gift.
The grand prize of the note was 100 million euros, so there is money waiting to be revealed… literally.
A winning strategy
If I had a really effective formula for winning big in a lottery, I would probably choose to keep it to myself, but there is never certainty when it comes to gambling, especially when it comes to lotteries.
However, there are a few considerations that you may want to pay attention to if you are going to buy tickets.
The odds of winning are indicated on the back of each scratch ticket, and you can also do some preliminary research online. The lottery websites will provide you with all the relevant details about each game they offer.
You can view any game and take a look at the odds of winning. You will find that some of them may have higher odds, such as a 5-to-1 odds, but some tickets may even have odds of less than 3-to-1. The other thing you’ll notice when you access this information is the actual distribution of the prize pool. You can see which games have the most prizes and exactly how many prizes are offered at each level.
Let’s go a little further. If you really want to improve your chances, you can study the different games, and the lottery commission even updates the prizes that are claimed. For example, you may see a game with a first prize of 50,000 euro of which 20 of the 50,000 euro are available but 16 have already been awarded, or you may notice that a ticket, with a similar payment to the 20 big winning tickets, is still in circulation.
Personally, I can attest that I have a better chance of winning when the game is brand new. I browse through the titles until I see a recently released game and I usually have a better chance of winning at least something. A small win is always better than a loss.
And by buying more tickets in a row, you have a better chance, of course, of winning at least one prize. At 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 odds, it makes sense to buy the same ticket ten times in a row rather than ten different single tickets. No, it’s not a proven method either, but it’s a matter of tilting the balance in your favour in any way you can.
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