Monday, December 28, 2009

Update 12.28.09: Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. etc...

So why no updates recently? Well, simple really. You see now that there are SO many new way to play the lottery (I.e. Powerball, Pick 3, soon Pick 4 and Mega Millions) The scratcher numbers are just not moving nearly as dynamically as they were. So updates might be a little further apart (that and I took a Christmas vacation!) But i remain here, ever vigilant. All current recommendations hold just where they are, including the $uper 7's $1000 Hot Spot!

More information as it breaks including approaching the end of life for some of the earlier scratchers and new ones reportedly on the horizon....

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pick Three Strategy. How to maximize your chances with minimal cash.

Pick three is here. Offering decent odds for modest payouts with CHEAP prices! Drawing TWICE A DAY! (At around 1pm and then in the evening around 7pm) So what to play? Well first let me try to explain the ways you can play the PICK THREE.

Straight - Option one is Straight. So if you pick 1-2-3, then 1-2-3 will have to come up in that EXACT order to win. Odds 1-1000. Prize $500 for a $1 buy-in, $250 for a .50 buy-in.

Box - Option Two is Box. So if you pick 1-2-3, then 1-2-3 wins, as well as 2-1-3, 2-3-1, 3-1-2, 3-2-1, or 1-3-2. Odds 1 in 167. Prize $80 for a $1 buy-in, $40 for a .50 buy-in.
          Now if you pick in the box a number such as 7-7-1. Then 7-7-1 wins as well as 7-1-7 and 1-7-7. The odds increase to 1 in 333. But the prize increases as well. $160 for a $1 buy-in and $80 for a .50 buy in.

Straight/Box - Option Three is Straight/Box. You cannot play a .50 buy-in with this option, only $1. So if you pick 2-3-4. If 2-3-4 hits, then you win $290, BUT if any other combination comes up (2-4-3, 4-2-3, 4-3-2, 3-2-4, 3-4-2) You win $40.
          As above, if you Straight/Box a number such as (4-4-1). If 4-4-1 hits, you win $330. BUT if the other two combinations come up (4-1-4 or 1-4-4) You snag $80.

Combo - Option Four is Combo. Not really a unique option it is just saying that you are buying all the combinations of the number you selected at regular price. So "comboing" the number 9-8-2, means you are buying 9-8-2, 9-2-8, 2-9-8, 2-8-9, 8-2-9, and 8-9-2, exactly as if you were purchasing those numbers individually. SO it's just like six individual tickets, so the $1 buy-in WILL COST YOU $6 and the payout is just like winning it straight, $500. The .50 buy-in will cost you $3, payout will be $250.
         As above, "comboing" a number such as (5-5-1) means you are playing 5-5-1, 5-1-5, and 1-5-5. Cost is $3 for the $1 buy-in and $1.50 for the .50 buy-in. Prizes are the same.

Before we go on, I have many people ask me about "number trends" and "hot numbers" and "numbers that haven't hit in a while", and services that will tell you, "mathematically" what numbers are "set to hit".

Put the kids to bed... are they away from the monitor? Good!

It's all bullshit!

Say in the morning the number 5-4-2 is drawn, well now you would think that there is NO WAY that 5-4-2 would be drawn in the evening right? Well not really, there was a 1 in 1000 chance for 5-4-2 to be drawn in the midday pull and there is an EQUAL 1 in 1000 chance that 5-4-2 will be drawn that afternoon. Numbers have no memory and no conscience. That's why "number runs", "hot numbers", etc, are all crap! And the illusion of some control over random chance is the reason they can build 30 story casinos in the Mississippi Delta!

For more information, I beg you to read...

It's a little technical, but it is for your own good!

So what to play? We want to maximize the odds while minimizing our investment. Here are a few to get you started, I'll post more later.

In the post I wrote Friday, let's say you had $2. Let's look at what you have to play to win a certain amount of cash and compare that to the best scratcher at that price point.

You want to win $40. Play four .50 Six Way Combos. (On your card, Mark the $0.50 cent box under plays A-D, Mark the Box to the left of the word "Box" under "Type" on plays A-D, and choose any three non-repeating numbers in each of the Play Areas.) THE COST $2.00, THE ODDS 1 in 41.67, BEST $2 SCRATCHER EQUIVALENT Arkansas Riches (1 in 264!)

You want to win $40 with the possibility of winning $290. Play two 6 way Straight/Boxes. (On your card under plays A and B, Mark the "STR/BOX" Box under "Type", and choose any three non-repeating numbers in each of the Play Areas) THE COST $2.00. THE ODDS TO WIN $290 1 in 500, THE ODDS TO WIN $40 1 in 100, TOTAL ODDS 1 in 83.3. BEST $2 SCRATCHER EQUIVALENT for $40 see above, for $290 the closest will be $200 in Money Madness at (1 in 5459!)

and finally for now, You want to win $500. Play two straight numbers at $1 each. THE COST $2.00. THE ODDS TO WIN 1 in 500. THE BEST $2 SCRATCHER EQUIVALENT for $500 it is Jumbo Bucks at a staggering (1 in 27,000!)

Be responsible out there folks and good luck. OH! and just for complete openness here, I am playing the Pick Three using the top option above, and I pick my numbers using a random number generator on my iPhone.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pick Three is coming next Monday

GEE! Hasn't it been awhile since you blogged? Why yes, yes it has, it's been busy, so sorry. They have posted all of the new and exciting ways that they plan to take cash out of your pockets! PICK THREE, it starts Monday and by a preliminary crunching of the numbers I can give you this preview. The top prize is smaller than any scratcher on the board ($500) but the odds MORE than make up for it! And with such exotic plays like boxing, there is a few nice ways to make some decent scratch, not retirement scratch mind you, but "make your day a little more brighter" scratch to be sure.

FOR example. Let's take $2 and try to win $40 (a 20X payback). Here is the odds for that prize (or close to it) for each of the two dollar scratchers in play.

  • Wild Cherry Doubler Win $40. 1 in 401.
  • All The Money Win $35. 1 in 299.
  • Stocking Stuffer Win $40. 1 in 401.
  • Money Madness Win $50. 1 in 333.
  • Jumbo Bucks Win $30. 1 in 445.
  • Crazy 8's Win $50. 1 in 2486.
  • Arkansas Riches Win $40. 1 in 264.
If you  play a 6 Way Box for 4 different number combinations in the Pick Three. You cover 24 unique numbers. AND if you make it a 50 cent wager, you pay $2.00. The odds of winning $40 with this set of circumstances? 1 in 41.6! Which bests even the best scratcher odds by a factor of over six!

I urge you to go over to and check out the complete rules for the PICK THREE game. I will have a complete workup on Monday along with some recommendations for what to play.

Friday, December 4, 2009

12.04.09 Update: This is new, a card to AVOID

For the first time in this blog's 67 odd day existence, I finally have a card to avoid. It is time to avoid this card because it has only ONE top prize left and the odds are simply better elsewhere right now, in fact the odds are better pretty much anywhere right now. Maybe they'll recharge this card and get it off the schnide but I doubt it as it is one of the Christmas Themed cards. It is the $50,000 Holiday Cash ($3) scratcher. It has shed just a tremendous amount of value and should be steered clear of.

Super 7's continues with its $1,000 hot spot.

AND if you were one of the lucky Second Chance winners congratulations. The next second chance drawing is coming for the ($2) Money Madness cards. Deadline to get those cards in is Tuesday December 8th.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Well, finally they got around to posting the new scratcher info for us pleebs. I must say that the new bunch show some great promise (well except for a notable exception) read on and find out MOAR!

Game 013 - Beat the Dealer ($1) - Top Prizes $2,000 - $100 - $50
Oh look, another one dollar throw away card to beat on. Seriously, if I have said it before I have said it at least 355 times, if you only have $1 to play the lottery, save yourself another dollar and buy a $2 card. Especially when the $2 cards released in this go around are actually pretty nice comparative to what is out there now. Initial Recommendation on this card, a resounding 'Meh' which translates to HOLD.

Game 014 - All the Money ($2) - Top Prizes $22,000 - $1,000 - $250
This car boasts the best back of the card odds of any offering at this price point right now. A nice top prize and a cool grand in the second prize tier. A solid 64% EV put this card in the upper echelons of the $2 price point, and definitely better than any of the $1 offerings. Initial Recommendation, Better than a quick poke in the eye, could be a real sleeper as far as prizes go, so BUY.

Game 015 - Wild Cherry Doubler ($2) - Top Prizes $20,000 - $300 - $125
What this card has going for it is a TON of lower prizes, I mean the prizes off this card fall off a cliff, from a $20,000 top ALL THE WAY down to a $300 second prize. What this means is that you won't get rich off of this card BUT you will have fun raking in the metric ton of lower prizes available. In fact it has the best odds at snatching up a prize at the silver level ($11-$25) than any other $2 scratcher. So for the initial recommendation I say this card COULD make your day just a little brighter, so BUY.

Game 016 - Money Mania ($5) - Top Prizes $100,000 - $2,000 - $300
So now we get to the new $5 offering from the ASL. Let me just say, I LIKE this card. It has the best odds a the Bronze ($1-$10), Silver ($11-$25) and Gold ($26-$99) dollar prize levels, and the second best odds at the Platinum ($100+ excluding the top prize) level of ANY card on the board (exception of course is the steroid fueled $10 Jackpot Card). This is the best card on the board right now out of the gate, and thus gets my highest recommendation. STRONG BUY!

And the rest.
$1 tier, 3 Times Lucky and Money Bags. Yawn! IGNORE.
$1 tier, Candy Cane Cash. Similar yawn, HOLD.
$2 tier, Arkansas Riches and Stocking Stuffer. IGNORE. Time to either re-up Arkansas Riches or put the old warhorse to bed.
$2 tier, Jumbo Bucks. Ditto, HOLD
$2 tier, Money Madness and Crazy 8's. MILD BUY, better buys on the board.
$3 tier, Holiday Cash. BUY
$5 tier $100,000 Cash Bonanza. HOLD
$5 tier $uper 7s, Hot Spot, so MILD BUY.
$10 tier $500,000 Jackpot. Strong numbers still on this one, still $10 though, BUY.

11.29.09 Update: Delays, delays...

Well since the lottery commission had the weekend off they obviously decided NOT to post any numbers for their new cards (starting tomorrow). I guess no one at the commission could be bothered to pre-make the web-pages and then spend oh, two minutes on Friday logging in remotely from wherever they were and turned them on. Cripes! Numbers as soon as I get them. Were just waiting on YOU Lottery Commission...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

No news on the lottery front really. Recommendations will remain right where they are until Friday or so when everything will go on its customary hold until the new numbers are in. Happy Thanksgiving folks!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Update 11.23.09 : Biting the Bullet

I can no longer deny the fact that the best buy on the board right now is the most expensive card in the game. The ($10) $500,000 Jackpot scratcher is pricey, yes! But right now it is the best odds and the best prizes on the board. If you can afford to part with $10 (and that is a big IF for some people) this is the card to currently buy, at least until someone knocks off one of those one-in-a-million $500,000 top prize. There have been a few moves over the weekend, let's sum up.

$500,000 Jackpot UPGRADE to Strong Buy. It's just the best value on the board right now.
$uper 7s UPGRADE to Mild Buy. The Hot Spot on the card helped that decision.
Stocking Stuffer UPGRADE to Mild Buy. The numbers are looking better on this card.
Jumbo Bucks DOWNGRADE to Mild Buy. The old veteran is showing his age.
Candy Cane Cash DOWNGRADE to Buy. It is the best buck waster on the board.

Next Tuesday we have new scratchers already. Of course the second the numbers are posted I am analyzing and reporting to you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Update II 11.18.09: You're recommending WHAT?

I thought I would never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never neverdo what I am about to do.

My current recommendation ($1) Candy Cane Cash.

BUT EXILED YANKEE (You shout at your monitor) YOU ALWAYS SAID THAT $1 CARDS ARE A RIPOFF! YOU SAID SAVE YOUR MONEY AND GO AHEAD AND BUY A $2 CARD! Well I did, it's true. but a unique set of circumstances has presented itself.

  1. My old STRONG BUY recommendation ($3) $50,000 Holiday Cash. Has shed one of its top prizes and is no longer as attractive as it was. 
  2. NONE of the $2 tier of cards are lightning my world on fire right now. Including the ($2) Arkansas Riches card that needs to be drug out into a field and shot.
  3. The $5 cards are nice, but they are $5 and not everyone has that all the time.
  4. The $10 card is AWESOME, but it's $10, which even I think is pushing the envelope on how much you should pay for a scratcher.
  5. The ($1) Candy Cane Cash, was just RECHARGED and has a TON of prizes available and hey, it IS only a buck, even *I* can afford that right now!
So I guess the moral is never ever say never ever! If you have a buck or two, pick up one of these little gems!

Reported by: Cecillea Pond-Mayo, KARK 4 News

The Arkansas Lottery Commission approved 3 new games to begin early 2010. They include Cash 4, MegaMillions, and an instant win add-on to draw games.

So what does this mean. Well along with the Cash 3 (pick three numbers, should be a daily game) we are going to get a Cash 4 (pick four numbers, again should be daily), Mega Millions (Like Powerball with better odds, say the odds of an ice cube in hell rather than the odds of a snow cone in hell), and an instant win add-on to draw games (actually kind of a neat idea, I saw it last summer in New York if it is what I am thinking of. When you buy a Cash 3 ticket for example, if you buy the instant win booster then the machine prints out a quickie game piece right on your ticket for the possibility of an instant win). Do not know the odds of those add ons yet, but I have applauded the transparency of the Arkansas Lottery so far in such matters, so when they post the odds I will analyze them for you.

NEW SCRATCHERS are already coming in on December 1st. (yep, that soon!) From what I can cull so far they are...

  • MONEY MANIA (unknown dollar amount, unknown top prize) Looks to be another premium card however.
  • WILD CHERRY DOUBLER (unknown dollar amount and prize)
  • ALL THE MONEY (unknown dollar amount and prize) presumably not "All The Money" however.
  • BEAT THE DEALER (Looks to be a $1 card, unknown prize) I have a soft spot in my heart for all poker based cards, we'll see what the numbers look like!
Odds Should be released on November 27th, so take a break from Black Friday shopping and check out my recommendations!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Update 11.16.09: Second Chance Drawing dealine announced!

You know that pile of loser scratch-offs that are just lying around your dwelling. You keep saying to yourself, YEAH, I need to enter those into the second chance website one of these days... Well that "one of these days" is drawing close, QUICK!

you have until November 20th, (Friday) to get the tickets registered for the following games to be registered for the following prizes.

One prize of $100,000 to be drawn from $100,000 CASH BONANZA entries;
One prize of $25,000 to be drawn from JUMBO BUCKS entries;
One prize of $20,000 to be drawn from ARKANSAS RICHES entries;
One prize of $3,000 to be drawn from 3 TIMES LUCKY entries;
One prize of $2,000 to be drawn from MONEY BAGS entries.

So register and good luck! Numbers did not do enough moving over the weekend to quantify a Recommendation change on any level. So for now we are keeping them right there.

EDIT: OOPS! What I meant to say was, the $5 $uper 7s scratcher has a $1,000 Hot Spot, still a hold on the card but if you feel like gambling, there is a plethora of $1,000 prizes on this card right now!

Friday, November 13, 2009

FRIDAY THE 13th update of **DOOM**

Ok not really. With 12 available scratchers out there the numbers are not as volatile as they used to be, the result of this being fewer updates as the numbers don't change NEARLY as much as they used to. As of right now all recommendations hold right where they are. There were two BIG winners over the last few days, someone hit the $2 Stocking Stuffer and the $2 Jumbo Bucks for one top prize each, congratulations! Arkansas had a coupe of $10,000 powerball winners, good for all of you. As for myself, I am in a lottery dead streak, I can't seem to buy a winner lately, *shrug* ah well, it's going to a good cause. (or at least it better, we'll be wathing you legislature!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Small Update: 11.10.09

Watch out for the new scratchers that should be hitting the stores today. MY recommendation is the $3 $50,000 Holiday Cash card. The $10 $500,000 Jackpot is nice if you can afford one. THERE has been a recharge on the board, as the Arkansas Lottery Commission has purchased a new slate of the $2 Money Madness cards, these cards are a former STRONG BUY, and are now upgraded from HOLD to MILD BUY. Good luck.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Tomorrow (Tuesday November 10th) we are receiving the third release of scratch-off tickets for the Arkansas Lottery. There is a Christmas Theme, with 3 out of the 4 cards following suit. Oh, this is cute; these lottery scratchers have little TO and FROM places on them in case you want to give them away as gifts. Question, what would you do if you gave one of those away as a gift and it HITS? Merry Christmas, here’s $50,000! And what did you give me? A Snuggie, wow, that seems a little off there.

Here is the rundown of the new cards

$1 Candy Cane Cash. Top Prizes $1,000-$500-$100
Now you know how much I rag on $1 scratchers. The odds are terrible, the prizes are low, save your money and buy a $2 scratcher instead etc. Well I haven’t changed my policy on that one bit, but if you just ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO BUY a $1 Scratcher, I would recommend this over the other two offerings at this price point. The best back of the card odds of all the $1 scratchers, and a decent array of prizes at several levels. Not saying that this is a great card by any stretch of the imagination, BUT it is the best at this level.

Initial Recommendation: HOLD (the best recommendation at this level)

$2 Stocking Stuffer. Top Prizes $15,000-$300-$150
Color me “meh” with this card, while it is not wholly offensive, it does have the best back of the card odds in the $2 level right now, nothing lights my pants on fire about this card either. It is better than the lower performers at this level (Such as Crazy 8s or Arkansas Riches), but cannot hold a candle to better cards (such as Jumbo Bucks). But the newness of this card compels me to my recommendation, even though it is the first that will more than likely slip down as we go on.

Initial Recommendation: MILD BUY (but might plummet quickly)

$10 $500,000 Jackpot. Top Prizes $500,000-$10,000-$1,000
UPSIDE! There is TWENTY-TWO AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS waiting to be given away on this card! DOWNSIDE! It’s a TEN Dollar card. UPSIDE! The BEST overall odds at all levels on any scratcher out there now! DOWNSIDE! It’s a TEN Dollar card. UPSIDE! Best Expected Value and Best Prize Average of ANY card out there. DOWNSIDE! It’s a TEN Dollar card! UPSIDE! This is the best card you can buy right now with many prize levels, many GOOD prize levels, and 3 HALF MILLION DOLLAR PRIZES AVAILABLE! DOWNSIDE! It’ll cost you $10, which many people will find better use for than buying a single scratcher.

Initial Recommendation: BUY (But carefully!)

$3 $50,000 Holiday Cash. Top Prizes $50,000-$750-$300
The first Arkansas Lottery Card to be offered as a 3-in-1 card. When you buy this card it is like you are actually buying 3 $1 scratchers. The question is, is it worth it to upgrade from a $2 card to a $3 card? The answer is, yeah! Better odds up to the $100 prize tier than any of the cards below it. Better prize average than any of the cards below it. Finally, a $50,000 top out that is inviting! RIGHT NOW (and I will have to watch this carefully) RIGHT NOW this is my initial recommendation as the scratcher to buy!

Initial Recommendation: STRONG BUY

Just to wrap up, the Crazy 8s cards have been recharged, I believe there are much better buys on the board still however. Two Arkansans won $10,000 in Powerball Saturday night, congratulations. Neither of them opted for the POWER PLAY option, which would have turned that $10,000 into $50,000… Ouch! And my Powerball club bought 40 tickets with the power play option and won a total of ZERO dollars. Total WASHOUT, but there is always next week.

Friday, November 6, 2009

11.06.09 Update: Now just hold everything!

Arkansans bought Over $1M in Powerball tickets for the first drawing. Powerball paid out to Arkansans $98,832 in winnings. That sets the EV (Expected Value) of a powerball ticket at no better than 9.8%. So based on the last drawing, for every dollar you spend on a Powerball ticket you can expect to get roughly 9.8 cents back!

Let's compare that to the EV of the scratchers.

  • 3 Times Lucky (59.6%)
  • Money Bags (59%)
  • Arkansas Riches (63.3%)
  • Jumbo Bucks (65%)
  • Money Madness (62.3%)
  • Crazy 8's (62.6%)
  • $100,000 Cash Bonanza (68.8%)
  • $uper 7s (68.3%)
  • POWERBALL (9.8%)
Digest that the next time you are in line to buy a Powerball ticket. Again the smart thing is to organize a Powerball club. Smaller individual risk, smaller return, but more chances to win. My little club is on track to purchase 50 tickets (with power play) for this Saturday's drawing.

SO why a hold on every scratcher? Because this is the time when you should hold your money in antici.... (SAY IT!) pation for the new scratcher release. A Christmas themed release with 3 of the four scratchers following suit. The scratcher that does not have a Christmas theme will be Arkansas' first $10 scratcher, Top Prize $500,000! I WILL be breaking down the numbers all weekend, and give you my detailed recommendation on Monday. Until then the smart money says "save me"!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Update 11.04.09: Cooldown, new scratchers, and POWERBALL

A reminder, KARK Channel 4 (anyone else miss Roy Mitchell?) will be your local POWERBALL station. It will broadcast the POWERBALL drawing tonight at 9:59PM so turn in if you have a ticket, as Arkansas is dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century!

Money Madness? Had a hot spot Monday and Tuesday? Cooled down quickly. No hot spots currently on the board and it's recommendation is back down to MILD BUY. Crazy 8's $500 tier is now a COLD SPOT. Ignore this card! Everything else is holding right where they usually are.

That won't last for long however, as shortly everything will go to HOLD for the new scratchers. If Der Arkansas Lottery goes along with form, I will get the numbers Friday, they will release the cards Tuesday, and you can actually buy them in the stores, oh sometime around 2010 (no, probably later in the day, we'll see). OF COURSE don't buy a scratcher until you see the numbers here! It's just smart!

Good luck with POWERBALL tonight folks, $66M prize ($33.5M Cash Option) I have one ticket, because one is all I need ;)

Monday, November 2, 2009

11.02.09: Recharges and a new HOT SPOT!

Went to the river for the Arkansas Lottery Powerball party. Neat little time, a little music, some food (did not partake in), and if you bought $5 in scratchers you got a spin on a prize wheel. I bought $5 spun and won a $5 scratcher ($100,000 Cash Bonanza) and wound up winning $20. Plus three handfuls of those little red lottery scrapers. Funtime, remember that the first Arkansas Powerball drawing is this Wednesday, estimated jackpot is $66M.

Friday I should get the numbers for the new scratchers that are going to be introduced next Tuesday (Nov 10th) I will publish those numbers just as soon as I can. As for our current fleet, The $1 Money Bags ticket has been recharged. I still cannot endorse any of the two $1 offerings out there, but I have raised the recommendation for this scratcher from IGNORE to DON'T BUY. The $2 Money Madness ticket has developed a $1,000 HOT SPOT, lots of those prizes available and that raises it's recommendation from MILD BUY to BUY. The $2 Jumbo Bucks is still leading the recommendations with a STRONG BUY. A winner has stepped forward for the $5 $100,000 Cash Bonanza top prize. So that card goes down to MILD BUY. It's cousin the $5 $uper 7s scratcher is up to a BUY from a MILD BUY. It's top prize is getting warmer.

As always remember to play the lottery for entertainment only, if you HAVE to win you HAVE to stop, contact your local gambler's anonymous.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Update 10.30.09 : Where to watch your balls.

Powerballs that is. Yesterday it was announced that KARK NBC4 will be the station that will locally air the Powerball drawings at 9:59PM On Wednesdays and Saturdays. The drawings are held at the Universal Studios in Orlando (Mickeyland) Florida. go ahead, go there, take a look at the Powerball odds, go ahead, they're right there off the front page, I'll wait... RIDICULOUS aren't they? You are better off at buying a scratcher for a prize totaling $100 or more! Don't believe me? Approximate odds to win a $100 prize or more.

  • $2 Arkansas Riches, 1 in 2557
  • $2 Jumbo Bucks, 1 in 1808
  • $2 Money Madness, 1 in 1209
  • $2 Crazy 8's, 1 in 13310 (why I was never huge on this card!)
  • Powerball starts at 1 in 13,644! for a $100 Prize!
 So play Powerball alone at your own risk, realizing you will never see that cash again. The reason I say alone, is that Powerball teams, are definitely the way to go to play this Multi-State Lottery. Where people pool their money together, buy a large amount of tickets and then find some fair and equitable way to split the winnings. You are going to want as many tickets in the game as possible to bring those astronomical odds down, to at least the Stratosphere anyhoo!

Card Recommendations remain right where they are. Here is a small update, On November 10th the new slate of scratchers come out, for $10 you can buy a chance at $500,000! Posted Odds on the back of the card for the $500,000 prize? 1 in 1,000,000 (even!) Good Luck this weekend, I'll see you all at the Powerball Party (maybe)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

10.28.09: It's a party and you're invited.

It seems that there is going to be a Powerball party at the River Market Halloween night starting at 9:00 pm. There will be music, refreshments, and spins on a prize wheel (If you buy $5 worth of scratchers). Culminating at around 10:15pm when they will drop a big Powerball a la Times Square and you can start purchasing tickets. I don't know, I might go, it may be worth it to see the whole spectacle in person. If you are done trick-or-treating and the little crumb munchers are in bed, might be a good place to waste an hour of your time.

Crazy 8's ($2) has been shedding top prizes like crazy! Not only has its $18,888 Top Prize gone cold but its second tier $500 Prize has gone cold as well. Ignore this card. The $2 Money Madness card has also shed two of its top prizes, recommendation further downgraded to MILD BUY from BUY. The $2 Jumbo Bucks is still the best value on the board. We have heard rumors of another $100,000 winner from the $5 $100,000 Cash Bonanza card, but until it is official on the site, it is just hearsay as far as I am concerned.

And here we are, at day 30 of this experiment called the Arkansas Lottery. As of my current number run it has given out $26.5M in prizes, averaging about $890K a day. A poll came out yesterday reporting that fully half of Arkansans are just too pure of thought and mind (or just really smart probably) to ever think of buying one of those (scoff) lottery tickets. Well fine there Mr. Stick-up-your-arse, more for us sinners out here!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Update 10.27.09: New Top Recommendation

Looking at this morning's numbers I am downgrading the $2 Money Madness from STRONG BUY to BUY. I am upgrading the $2 Jumbo Bucks from MILD BUY to STRONG BUY. It is my official recommendation right now as the scratcher to buy.

10.27.09: Date Update

Here are the upcoming important dates for the Arkansas Lottery

OCTOBER 31st 10pm: Powerball tickets go on sale for the first time for the next Wednesday's drawing.
NOVEMBER 10th: Release THREE of the scratchers are unleashed. (Including a $3 card that I am keeping a close eye on!)
DECEMBER 10th: Release FOUR of the scratchers are unleashed. (Rumor still has it of a $20, $1,000,000 top prize card in this release)
DECEMBER 14th: Pick 3 daily game starts.
JANUARY 31, 2010: (still unconfirmed) MEGA-MILLIONS tickets go on sale for the Arkansas Lottery.
FEBRUARY 2010: Pick 4 daily game starts.

There was a $25,000 Jumbo Bucks winner yesterday, if the numbers have drastically changed overnight, I will of course have them here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

10.26.09 : Big moves over the weekend

The $2 Crazy 8's game has shed another one of its top prizes over the weekend. This leaves 3 of the 5 top prizes remaining in the game. This is a good reason to IGNORE that card, as the $18,888 prize tier has gone cold! The $2 scratcher to buy still remains in my opinion, the $2 Money Madness card, lots of good prizes remain on that card including its full slate of $18,000 top prizes. Want to try your mojo elsewhere in the $2 tier? The numbers for Jumbo Bucks still look spectacular.

Towards the more Mediterranean Avenue end of the spectrum, the throw-away $1 Money Bags ticket has developed not one but TWO cold spots on it! Both the $50 and $100 tier have shed many of their prizes. It is time to IGNORE this card more than you should already be ignoring it! My first rule of the $1 card tier remains, "Save another dollar and buy a $2 card".

To round out today's update, The $5 $100,000 Cash Bonanza card has developed a hot spot. Right at the top! The $100,000 prize is now hot! It is going to hit any day now, so if you have the $5.00 extra and simply cannot stomach another foot-long, I say go for it!

Remember, Saturday starts Powerball, later in the week I will tell you why that isn't such a big deal.

Friday, October 23, 2009

10.23.09 : Small Update, as a card cools down.

The Arkansas Riches Hot Spot has cooled off finally, now the amount of $1,000 prizes are in line with how many should be gone out of the game. So the card itself goes to a HOLD recommendation. Also, yesterday when I said that a few top prizes should start shedding soon? The $2 Crazy 8s card shed one of its top $18,888 prizes yesterday. Congratulations to whoever scratched that! I am still not sold on that card however, remain a recommended IGNORE.

Next week I will be doing an exhaustive treatise on Powerball odds, stick around for that.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


When news flashed across my desk some weeks ago, about POWERBALL and MEGA MILLIONS cross selling tickets in certain states, I paid it little heed. Oh I was busy, or I deemed it not that important, or whatever. Well (and I truly hope the cat isn't out of the bag prematurely on this) I have word that not only will Arkansas start selling POWERBALL tickets on Oct. 31st, but also will start selling MEGA MILLIONS tickets on January 31st of next year...

Since no one has flashed this anywhere else I will put this into the pile on "unconfirmed static" out there in the news waves (along with the rumor of a $20 scratcher that will release with a top prize of a cool Million, by the end of the year). But if and when it IS confirmed, you heard it here first!

I like this, because the competition for your dollars is going to be extreme! Stay tuned....

10.22.09 Update: New scratchers named,

Man it has been awhile since ANY of the top prizes have hit on ANY of the scratcher cards in the lottery. Good luck when you buy your tickets in the next few days because we are due some big winners REAL soon. Especially the $5 $100,000 Cash Bonanza card. The top prize is getting plump when you compare the % of prizes remaining at the top tier with the % of prizes remaining overall. I hesitate to call any top prize a Hot Spot, but if it doesn't shed at least one $100,000 prize before next week, I might have to.

Meanwhile, as the new scratchers are just now getting settled into their acrylic counter prisons, the Arkansas Lottery has given us the tease on their webpage for scratcher release THREE. Including one scratcher that will make the $100,000 top prize in Cash Bonanza seem, well, small!

They are:
  • Candy Cane Cash (Aw, it's a Christmas theme!) looks to be a $1 ticket
  • Stocking Stuffer (See the theme here?) looks to be a $2 ticket
  • $50,000 Holiday Cash (Like, I said, it's a theme!) Guessing it HAS to be a $5 ticket.
  • $500,000 Jackpot (Jackpot INDEED! Half a million! I am guessing that this is the rumored $10 ticket)
No word yet on when they will start being offered, that I have seen at least. All recommendations stay right where they are. Remember to play the lottery for entertainment only, if you need to win you need to stop! Contact your local Gambler's Anonymous.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

10.21.09 : A milestone, A winner, and a RECHARGE!

Sometime overnight, the Arkansas Lottery awarded it's 20 millionth dollar in prize money. As of my last number run the prize total stands at $20,496,437. That is $891,149 a day, or $26.91 a minute awarded. Are you getting a share of that? I did, cashed in a 10x winner ($20 winner off a $2 card) today. Which card? Money Madness. Which so far in my estimation is the best buy on the board right now.

The first scratcher that I ever recommended was the $2 Jumbo Bucks card. This card has the best odds among the $2 tier for prizes at the $26-$99 dollar level (what I call the gold level). Well good news! Overnight this card has been RECHARGED, it went from 5 out of 11 top prizes available to 16 out of 22 top prizes available! This card has become attractive again and which is why I have upgraded it in the left column. I have also downgraded further the $1 cards, waste of time people, stop buying them!

To clean up the news for today. Arkansas Riches ($2) Hot spot continues to glow. The new cards have awarded $309,453 so far, not bad for a late debut in the day. Finally, I have heard that by the end of the year, the Arkansas Lottery will introduce a $10 scratcher, information on that when it becomes available as always

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The case of the missing scratchers.

Alright folks, here's the deal. UPS is delivering the scratchers today to the various outposts hither and yon in this fair land of ours. SO as soon as the UPS driver gets to your favorite convenience store, tobacco outlet, bowling alley, what-have-you, the kind proprietor's of said business will log the tickets in and place them inside the acrylic boxes on the counter for you to purchase with hopefully your leisure money and not your rent money.

In short, patience folks, there are PLENTY of tickets to go around! Bringing me to this statement, my intrepid web of secret reporters have reported (as reporters do) that a few people around this state got all irate and ballistic when their store of choice did NOT have the new scratchers. (sigh) People, there is no reason to get all nuclear with the store owner if they don't have the new scratchers. It ain't their fault, they ain't holding out on you. Complain to the Lottery Commission! It was their idea to have these ship the day of, rather than the day before, the starting sale date. A dropped ball and bad PR there Herr Passiguale (sp?).

By the way, my preferred lottery retailer, (Metro in the Union Building, Downtown Little Rock, closest to the Claim Center) does not have them either, but the second they do arrive, they will be logged in and sold to the waiting public. Patience my peeps.

10.20.09 Update: Well someone is selling them...

Heard from Cabot, Hot Springs and Little Rock this morning reporting that they have not received the new scratchers as of yet. But someone out there somewhere is selling them.
As of 9:30 AM this morning
$1 Money Bags awarded $10 so far.
$2 Money Madnress awarded $10 so far.
$2 Crazy 8s awarded $30 so far.
$5 $uper 7s awarded $50 so far.

Meanwhile when I am wrong I am wrong, the HOT SPOT on the $2 Arkansas Riches card did not disappear over the night as I thought it would. It is still there, so upgrade on that card until it is gone.

Update 10.20.09: Do not funk with the lottery, IF you can find scratchers that is.

From the KATV Website...

A woman is arrested inside the Arkansas Lottery Headquarters Monday afternoon…and KATV’s cameras were there for the arrest. Police say Ruth Dennis, 56, tried to pass a fake winning ticket for the real thing at the claims center. Her friend, John Burch says he gave Dennis and her sister a ride from Camden with a $3,000 ticket. 

Lottery director Ernie Passailaigue says the ticket was clearly not real. He says she used the three times lucky scratch tickets and allegedly cut and pasted different numbers to make it appear like a winner.

“There’s no cure for stupid,” Passailaigue said, “And that’s what’s going to happen. People are going to try and defraud the lottery and they’re going to go to jail.

Over the past three weeks, Passailaigue says Monday’s incident was the first “fake” ticket arrest in the state. He says the best way to win the lottery is to play it.

Police say the woman has been charged with one count of fraud in relation to the lottery ticket.

Remember folks, it is ILLEGAL to attempt to defraud a state agency, whether it be the Department of Finance and Administration, the Tax Folks, The Farm Agencies, or the Lottery. 

Meanwhile the website has not started rolling the numbers on the new scratchers as of yet. AND I have reports from my army of intrepid field reporters that there are some parts of the state that have not even received the tickets as of yet. AHEM, Yo lottery folks, it is WAY to early in this little experiment for you to be dropping the ball like this! I will have more after lunch.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The New Scratchers arrive Tuesday, here is what YOU need to know.

Four new scratchers are set to start selling tomorrow 10.20.09. They are Money Bags ($1), Money Madness ($2), Crazy 8's ($2), and $uper 7s ($5). Here is the breakdown and my recommendations on what to buy and what to avoid.

($1) Money Bags - Top Prize $2,000 - Average Prize $2.73

I have maintained from the beginning, that the $1 scratchers are, most of the time, the largest rip-offs on the board. This card is no exception. With a paltry top prize and a WORSE payout schedule than the current $1 3 Times Lucky, I can say it is best to not buy this card. With most $1 scratchers it is this way however. As I have said before, if you have just $1 to play the lottery, do not buy a $1 card, wait until you have another dollar and buy a $2 card.

Initial Recommendation : Don't Buy

($2) Crazy 8's - Top Prize $18,888 - Average Prize $4.84

I am not terribly impressed with this card. It comes out with the fewest top prizes of any of the $2 tier of cards. It has the worst Estimated Value of the $2 tier. It has the best back of the card odds (1 in 3.96 to win) but that is only half the story, (which is why you read this!). And the lowest Average Prize in the $2 tier. All in all there are just much better cards at this tier right now, not saying that this can't change in the future, but as of right now, just ignore this card.

Initial Recommendation : Ignore

($5) $uper 7's - Top Prize $77,777 - Average Prize $11.13

It has a lower top prize than the other $5 offering right now, BUT it has better odds throughout it's prize tiers. Also it has a TON of prizes available at its $40 tier. How much is a ton? Well the estimated odds to win the tier above it ($70) are 1 in 330, to win the tier below it ($30) 1 in 160, the estimated odds to win $40 is 1 in 96. All of these odds are better than the same tiers on the $100,000 Cash Bonanza scratcher. So if you are going to buy a $5 card right now, I say buy this one. This is NOT to say that the $100,000 Cash Bonanza card should be put out to pasture, but more on that below.

Initial Recommendation : Buy

($2) Money Madness - Top Prize $18,000 - Average Prize $5.38

This card makes me smile. It offers FIVE tiers of prizes that are at least $100. No card on the board does that right now, not even the $5 offerings. It's back of the card odds are the highest among the $2 tier, but I think the best assortment of prizes among any of these cards. If you ask me where my first money is landing on the new cards, I would say it is landing right here. It is the Cadillac of the $2 cards and should be on your buying list at the start. I will keep a close eye on this and all cards to see if this changes.

Initial Recommendation : Strong Buy

And the others?

($1) 3 Times Lucky - Remains a Hold. Again, save your money and get a $2 card.

($2) Arkansas Riches - Has been RECHARGED with more prizes, Still has the $1,000 hot spot as well. Remains a Mild Buy.

($2) Jumbo Bucks - I am keeping at a Hold right now. There are just better options out there.

($5) $100,000 Cash Bonanza - Has been RECHARGED, and in a big way. There are now *FIVE* $100,000 lightning strikes out there. Good Hunting, Upgrade to Mild Buy.

UPDATE - Since this morning the Arkansas Riches Hot Spot has hemorrhaged prizes left and right, I expect it to officially cool down by tomorrow morning, recommendation downgraded to HOLD. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Late Weekend News, and what to expect from the new scratchers.

The Arkansas Lottery has recharged both the $100,000 Cash Bonanza scratchers and the Arkansas Riches scratchers. The $100,000 Cash Bonanza scratchers now have *FIVE* $100,000 golden tickets out there somewhere. Come back tomorrow where I will have all that news, PLUS I have run the numbers and have my recommendations about what new scratchers are worth it and which ones to avoid. Stay Tuned!

Friday, October 16, 2009

10.16.09 Update2: Easy come, easy go.

When I said it was a hot spot, I didn't know it was nuclear! The $5 $100,000 Cash Bonanza $1,000 prize tier that I reported this morning at 69% remaining has just hemorrhaged prizes all day long. It is now down to 57% and has officially cooled off! This has been reflected in the left side column. All cards remain at a hold until new numbers for the new scratchers come out, with the exception of the $2 Arkansas Riches card whose $1,000 hot spot is still very much active!

10.16.09 Update: Small news on the big card.

While we continue to wait for the new numbers to come out on the new scratchers that allegedly are starting next Tuesday, I have another hot spot to announce. The $5 $100,000 Cash Bonanza card has 49.5% of its prizes remaining. Its $1,000 prize level has 68% of its awards remaining. That is nearly 19% over the average, so it is ripe to hit. Still have a recommended HOLD on the card however, as I am waiting for the numbers to come out on the new cards and the REST of the prizes on the $5 card are at the average of 49.5% or slightly BELOW.

UPDATE: 2 hours after I posted this, two winners snapped up $1,000 prizes in the $100,000 Cash Bonanza Dropping its Remaining Prizes at the $1,000 level to 65% just like that. It's STILL a hot spot, and as you can see, people are hitting it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

10.15.09 Update: A HOT SPOT HAS FORMED, and hold everything!

SO what are hot spots?  Hot spots are prizes in particular games that are WAY behind the payout schedule. For example take the following table that shows the prize levels of the $2 Jumbo Bucks scratcher, and what percentage of total prizes remain in the game.
% Remaining
As you can see, 59.74% of all prizes remain in the game, according to the LAW OF LARGE NUMBERS that means that for the most part all the rest of the prize levels should ALSO be at or around a 59.74% remaining. A four percentage point swing one way or the other should be expected. So any prize remaining percentage between roughly 56% and 63% would be right in line with what should be remaining. Any prize 55% or lower has paid out too many prizes and should expect to go COLD to catch up (Law of Large Numbers), meanwhile any prize at 64% or higher should expect to go HOT to catch up. With Jumbo Bucks we have a range of 56%-63% which is RIGHT in the zone of expected payouts.

NOW let's look at the $2 Arkansas Riches.
% Remaining
The percentage of all prizes remaining is 57.13%, so expect a remaining range between 53% and 61%. All Prizes are pretty close to that range. the $20,000 top prize is DECIDEDLY COLD right now. But if you look, the $1,000 prize is WAY over range, some 18% higher than where it mathematically SHOULD be. Therefore the $2 Arkansas Riches scratcher has a hot spot right now!

I am still a little torn about my recommendation though, The Arkansas Riches scratcher is so far the stingiest scratcher on the board. It's API (Average Prize Index) has slipped from an initial average prize of $4.98 all the way down to $4.87 (A drop of 11 cents, by far the largest drop on the board). But there is no denying that somewhere out there, exists quite a few $1,000 winners waiting to be picked up.

So for today, DUE to the fact that new scratchers are on their way (numbers any time you're ready there Arkansas Lottery Commission!) I am placing a recommended HOLD on all scratchers. IF you simply cannot WAIT to buy a lottery ticket then I will place a "MILD BUY" on the Arkansas Riches, simply because of the hot spot!

Always remember, play the lottery for entertainment only, if you think you have a problem, you probably do, call your local Gambler's Anonymous!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

From the AP: $100,000 lottery winner arrested.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas lottery's first big winner in a scratch-off game is facing a felony charge after allegedly soliciting an undercover police officer for sex in a public park.

Joseph K. Pierce, 34, of Van Buren won the $100,000 prize from a $5 scratch-off ticket Sunday. In August, Fort Smith police reports claim Pierce approached an undercover police officer on a walking trail and agreed to allow the officer to perform oral sex on him.

The arresting officer claims Pierce also exposed himself.

Pierce later pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors over his arrest and received a 10-day sentence and was ordered never to return to the city's parks. Pierce was in court Wednesday to answer to a felony drug charge stemming from the arrest.

Well, I said spend the money wisely, and it looks like he will, on legal bills.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Geez, how long have I been calling the $100,000 Cash BONANZA card, the $100,000 Cash BONUS card? Oi vey! Someone tell me when I am fragging up that bad!

A nightmare... and a new gadget on the blog.

I had a nightmare. That the $100,000 winner of the Arkansas Lottery ($5 $100,000 Cash Bonus scratcher) who came out of "Northwest Arkansas" was a Tyson or a Walton. You know, slumming it around the city, pumping their own gas for once and on a lark wanders into the store, and off a chance buys a lottery ticket and blammo, another $100K to throw on their pile.

Didn't happen though, turns out some blue collar from Van Buren who worked at the gas station that sold the ticket won the largest prize (to date) in the Arkansas Lottery. Kicker, just has a baby daughter two days ago. Apparently he plans to use the money (an estimated $75K after taxes etc.) on a house and for his kids. Congratulations sir, spend the money wisely (BUT if you do want to splurge and get a new ATV for yourself hey I won't blame you!)

Meanwhile over on the left side of this blog I have added a new little gadget that will list all the current scratchers available in the lottery and my recommendation on which are the good ones to buy and which ones are best left in their little acrylic prisons on the counter. Arkansas Riches ($2) has burned through half of its top prizes and has an API (Average Prize Index) now at a -.11 cents. Worst buy on the board right now and why it is set to ignore. Jumbo Bucks ($2) is at a "mild buy". $100,000 Cash Bonus ($5) is at a "hold" for the short term at least. Finally with a new stock and a new influx of prizes available 3 Times Lucky ($1) has the lowest API and most money available on it, despite its initial odds (1 to 4.8 against) it is the best buy out there. Not to say that it is a GOOD buy by any means, but right now if you want to burn your money before the new slate of scratchers are to hit (Next Tuesday) it is where you should light the fire.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Arkansas Lottery is reporting the FIRST $100,000 prize has been WON AND SCANNED. That person, that lucky sumbitch is coming to Downtown Little Rock today to claim his cash! I told you last week that the $100,00 Cash Bonus card was primed to spit out one of its golden tickets and boy did it ever! This KILLS the API for the $5.00 ticket I am reccomending that you hold off in buying any more of those in the short term.
In the meantime, the Arkansas Lottery has bought a BRAND NEW slate of $1 3 Times Lucky cards. There is now a veritable plethora of winners in the $1 game. It has the lowest API degradation of prizes right now so for the short term, if trying your luck, try the $1 game. Until it burns through some of its new prizes, it has suddenly become the best game in town.

Columbus Day

Due to Columbus Day, the Arkansas Lottery has not yet updated its numbers. I will get the new numbers out there to you as soon as they do tomorrow.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Scratcher Update 10.09.09 : A new recommendation

Since day one of the Arkansas Lottery I have endorsed the Jumbo Bucks ($2) Ticket as the ticket to buy. Well things chance as yesterday the Jumbo Bucks scratcher was hit for two of its top prizes. Dropping the number of top prizes left to 7, or 64% of its starting amount. Its API (Average Prize Index) has also dropped to the worst of all four available scratchers. What a difference a day makes.

I calculate the API for these scratchers two different ways, One that includes the top prize and one that does not. I am conflicted as to which one more accurately reflects the value of the prizes remaining on a scratcher. I am leaning towards the API that INCLUDES the top prize, even though that does tend to skewer the numbers a bit when the top prize is RADICALLY different from the second prize. Using that method here are the APIs for the cards that are out there.

  1. $5 $100,000 Cash Bonus (API +.072)
  2. $2 Arkansas Riches (API -.061)
  3. $1 3 Times Lucky (API -.062)
  4. $2 Jumbo Bucks (API -.073)
In other words, the average prize for the $100,000 Cash Bonus has actually increased 7 cents since the opening, indicating that the prizes are actually getting richer. However, the second that one of the three $100,000 prizes are hit that API ZIPS down to -.095.


It means that the better buy out there right now is the $2 Arkansas Riches Card. Yes the $100,000 Cash Bonus Card still has a much better API but that is tenuous when you consider my above paragraph. However, If you believe in the law of large numbers (like I do) I am estimating that about 30% of the $100,000 Cash Bonus Cards have been burned through, and still no one has at least come forward saying that they have one of those three golden tickets. If one of those golden tickets are not claimed by the middle of next week, it may be time to start looking at the $5 card, as the recommended buy.

BUT AS OF RIGHT NOW, I say the best buy is the $2.00 Arkansas Riches card.

Remember to play the lottery for entertainment only, if you have to win you have to stop, if you or a loved one has a problem, contact your local gambler's anonymous immediately!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Date Update, and a REAL good friend!

Well a Jumbo Bucks ticket hit yesterday. Lightning struck one Danny Howell of Garner, $25,000. Here's the cool part, he's blind. He bought the ticket, gave it to a friend to scratch off, and the friend told him he just won $25,000. I could imagine that going the other way if he wasn't a TRUE friend. "Here you go, scratch this for me and tell me if I won". scratchscratchscratch (deep inhale). "Did I win?". (pause) "Yep! You won $100 I'll go cash this in for ya!"

Hopefully his friend is getting a little kickback, a six pack of cold beverages if nothing else.

Also at the board meeting yesterday, Herr Passailaigue announced some upcoming dates for lottery drawings.

October 20th, NEW SCRATCHERS! Details as soon as I get them.
October 31st, Powerball (Natch)
December 4th, Cash 3 (Which I am going to assume is the daily pick 3)
February 2010, Cash 4 (Which I am going to assume is the daily pick 4)
Within the Next Year, Arkansas Lotto, or some other regional lotto game.
Late 2010, A Raffle type game (A $20 ticket with a prize pool of $6M dollars)

No word as of yet when the new scratchers will be debuting. Read to get acquainted with Powerball as we are now just 22 days away from sales.

Big thanks to Michael R. Wickline and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette from where I culled information for this blog. Support your local newspaper.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Scratcher Update 10.07.09

The tenth day of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has seen it payback, so far, over $8.2 Million dollars in scratcher winnings. Of course the majority of that has not gone home with the winners, as often times is the case, the winners simply turn in their winning scratchers for more scratchers. So when is it a good idea to pocket the money and when is it a good idea to, um, "reinvest" let's say? As a general rule for myself, if the scratcher returns even (1x) or double (2x) I will go back and buy more scratchers with the winnings. Anything more than that, I pocket. So a $2 ticket returning 2x (or $4) I buy $4 more in scratchers. A $2 ticket returning 5x (or $10) I pocket and wait until my next week's lottery budget to purchase more tickets. Reason being, that there is a VERY small chance of getting struck by lightning (what I call winning any of the top 3 prizes in a scratcher's tier), so pocketing the small mircale wins like the 5x example I gave before, puts a little more scratch in your pocket and teaches you the discipline needed to not become an obsessive player. Which we all are going to try and avoid.

Best hit so far personally is still a 10x return off a $2 Arkansas Riches ticket. $20 that was quickly pocketed. The other day I did have the displeasure to witness someone cashing in 3 $5 tickets for a combined hit of $50. That was a *10x* return, that was promptly used to purchase 10 more $5 tickets, bad move ma'am IMHO. Unless of course she finds one of the 3 $100,000 prizes still out there on the $100,000 Cash Bonus scratcher. (Estimated Odds 1 in 927,000)

As far as the current update. The best API (Average Prize Index, the measure of how good the prizes are that remain in a certain game) Still goes to my favored scratcher Jumbo Bucks Down 4.4 cents from the opening. From an average prize of $5.15 to $5.10. It is leading all scratchers right now in API loss, and still has the most lightning strike wins available (10@$25k - 199@$500 - 2,860@$100).

Still no word on when the brain-trust in the Union Building are going to release more scratchers on the apparently willing population, but the second they do, I will be here with the analysis on all of them.

Powerball on October 31st. But that is another blog spot in and of itself.

10.5.09 Scratcher Update.

A week in and the scratchers have been paying some nice prizes. Culled from information off the Lottery Website, the scratchers have so far paid out $6.53 MILLION dollars to winners. The loosest card so far has been (no surprise) The $5 100,000 Cash Bonus Card, paying out $1.86M. The next loosest card has been the $1 3 Times Lucky, paying out $1.77M. Rounding out the $2 cards, the Arkansas Riches has paid $1.34M and the Jumbo Bucks has paid $1.55M.

The Jumbo Bucks card is STILL the scratcher to buy. With 84% of its prizes still available, and a prize average that has only slipped 2 cents since the open.

I can also recommend the $5 "$100,000 Cash Bonus Card", with all 3 top $100K prizes still out there and 80.3% of its prizes still available. It's prize average has actually increased 3 cents since the open.

Even though the first lottery ticket I bought when I came back was a $2 "Arkansas Riches" and I hit it for a 10x return ($20). It's prize average has slipped a full six cents from the open, worst of all current scratchers. It does have 80.8% of its prizes still available.

The $1 "3 Times Lucky" Started with the worst odds, and lowest top prize. Of the 11 $3,000 top prize, 8 remain. It has shed prizes left and right, and is currently down to 75.3% remaining. The average prize has slipped four cents as well. As I said before, You might have better luck purchasing one "Jumbo Bucks" than two "3 Times Lucky".

October 31st starts Arkansas' POWERBALL. Remember to join the Arkansas Lottery Club and register your losers for the second chance drawing.

Initially posted Sept 24th. My original scratcher analysis.

The Card to Avoid...
Is the $1 "3 Times Lucky" Card. It is the cheapest, and for good reason. Top prize is $3,000, but the second tier prize is only $300. It sports the worst odds of any of the four introductory scratchers (4.8 to 1). It has the worst payback odds (the odds that you will get your dollar back) at 8.57 to 1. And the odds of winning at least $300 off this card are a MASSIVE 100,703 to 1 (That IS a comma, not a period, the odds are One-Hundred-Thousand Plus to One!) You get marginally to greatly improved odds with either of the $2 offerings or the $5 offering. So if you only have a discretionary dollar to spend, save it until you have two and upgrade to one of the $2 scratchers. Do not waste a buck on the $1.

The $5 and 3 Golden Tickets
They're out there somewhere, they're waiting, three golden tickets. Off the $5 card "$100,000 Cash Bonus" there are three $100,000 prizes, the richest offered by the Lottery at start-up. The odds are huge of finding one of them, 927,900 to 1, but this scratcher does offer the best odds of all the introductory scratchers. That is not to say that it is the best CARD, but if you do have $5 lying around doing nothing, and you simply cannot stomach another Subway Footlong, hell why not?

It does offer the best introductory odds of all the scratchers at 3.28 to 1. The odds of at least doubling your money are the best of any scratcher as well, at 7.2 to 1. AND the odds of winning $100 or more are better on this card than any other card, at 349 to 1. The chance of winning 20x your bet is high ($5 winning $100 is 375 to 1) but MUCH better than winning 20x your bet on the $1 card ($1 winning $20 is 687 to 1).

Now to put the top prize in perspective, the odds of anyone being struck by lightning in any particular year is 500,000 to 1. So it is roughly TWICE as likely to be struck by lightning as to win the top prize. But lightning is out there, still waiting to strike, three times. Good Luck.

The $2 Difference and my initial recommendation

Getting ready to jump on an airplane so let me quickly recap the Two $2.00 initial scratchers. Arkansas Riches and Jumbo Bucks. Both of these cards are my recommended buys to start with. they both weigh in at 4 to 1 (Actually Jumbo Bucks is 4.08 to 1) Both have decent (for a lottery, remember this stuff is built for suckers!) chance of a 2x return on your two bucks. And their top tier payouts at $25k and $20k are nice.

Let me take this opportunity to remind you, you MORE than likely, in fact it is almost certain that you will NEVER win the top prize on ANY scratcher or ticket that you will EVER buy. Which is always important to remember. Only play the lottery as entertainment, period, end of story.

BUT if you are going to use a part of your entertainment budget to Support the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery then let me recommend EITHER of the $2.00 Scratchers to start you out with. If I had to choose one over the other then I recommend *JUMBO BUCKS* With slightly worse initial odds, but a better powerline through the mid tier prizes, and a top out prize that would be nice should you ever be struck by lightning.