Chances of Winning: Zero

The chance of winning the Grand Prize on this ticket is roughly equivalent to walking around your backyard with a bushel basket waiting for a plane to drop $1-million into it. But even THOSE chances – zillions to one – are better than if you have NO CHANCE of winning.

What’s that?

Yeh, sorry. Sometimes there’s NO chance of winning the Grand Prize. Why?

Because someone may have ALREADY won it. WHAT!?  Well, how do you think they create a game?

The NYS Lottery Commission runs the numbers through computers to make sure the odds are so stupidly high, even Paris Hilton could see there’s little chance of  her ticket actually winning. And then they set the run of the new game (say a year) and print the estimated required number of tickets to distribute to retail vendors and start the massive ad campaigns.

BUT THEN some nitwit actually HITS the Grand Prize in the first month of a yearlong campaign! (It’s happened any number of times.) Uh-oh. There’s only one Grand Prize and eleven months to go. Now what?

“Well New York pulls the game or announces there is no more Grand Prize to win, right?”

Sure, kid. And the cow really jumped over the moon.

7 Responses to “Chances of Winning: Zero”

  1. Bill says:

    Actually, the state is aware of the problem and holds back the winning ticket from sale until they’ve made enough money to shoot it out there. They also know in which communities winning scratch offs will be sold. The potential for fraud is huge and in fact there have been some pretty bad scandals in some other states.

    That’s why I never play scratch off games. The lotto, megamillions, and sweet million are all decided on a random draw, and in the first two games the bonus keeps accumulating until there is a winner. Fraud is probably still possible, but the odds of an honest game are much higher.

    Don’t worry about me; I never buy more than 500 tickets in any one week.

    Speaking of odds, your chances of drowning in a bathtub are greater than your chances of being killed by a terrorist. At a cost of 75 billion dollars per year, I would hope so.

  2. paolo. says:

    “holds back the winning ticket from sale until they’ve made enough money to shoot it out there”.

    How did you find that out? It sounds like fraud from the start because people are buying the “new” game to win the grand prize – isn’t that false advertising?

    I had to take the $7-billion off because I can’t find two reliable sources which will confirm what we pay per week in the wars.

  3. Bill says:

    There was a long article in the New Yorker a few weeks ago about scratch off lottery games and one especially outrageous fraud case.

    The 75 billion figure I cite is strictly homeland security; the cost of the wars would be on top of that. In terms of a weekly figure, the best you could do is get the yearly figures and divide by 52. The weekly figures fluctuate wildly depending on what’s going on over there.

    A friend of mine was in Manhattan on the 41st floor of a federal bldg when the recent earthquake hit. Everyone panicked, the bldg was evacuated, and everyone went home for the day. That type of thing also costs us all money. It’s freaking ridiculous; we’ve become a nation of knee-jerk cowards because of a few jerks wielding knife cutters.

  4. Bill says:

    Sorry–paper cutters.

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