Wednesday, October 7, 2009

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.

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