Entertainment

Sites use data to show which lottery tickets are more likely to come up winners

Posted November 1, 2019 8:19 p.m. EDT
Updated November 1, 2019 8:34 p.m. EDT

When was the last time you tried your luck on a scratch off lottery ticket? Did you win?

It turns out, there are ways to increase your odds of winning.

In 2018, North Carolinians spent over $2.9 billion on the lottery, and approximately 68% of those sales were on scratchoff tickets.

They're fun and shiny and meant to catch the eye, to buy on a whim.

But public data allows serious players to work the angles to increase their chances of cashing in.

Jarred James recently founded Lotto Edge, a website that crunches lottery data to predict odds of winning on any given game ticket.

"We go out, and we analyze data that people didn't even realize existed. We can't guarantee you're going to win, but we will improve your odds," he said.

Some states like North Carolina are legally required to make public the data for each scratchoff game, like which prizes have already been claimed and how many tickets remain.

James uses that to calculate the likelihood of winning each game, then shares those odds on his site.

"Most of the people I talk to are shocked to learn there is data out there," he said.

Other websites do the same thing. ScratchoffOdds.com bills itself as "The most sophisticated scratch off ticket analyzer available."

Founder James Carmer crunches the numbers for all states that have available data.

"North Carolina has a couple games in particular that are listed as positive return on investment," he said. "That usually happens when there's just one or two big prizes left and maybe just a few thousand tickets left over."

Scratchoff tickets are not for everyone, and there is no guarantee of a win. But if you have a couple extra bucks and want to test your luck, why not use the odds?

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