Does anyone here actually turn a profit in the long run?

Luminus's avatar - ouskuu

Think about it.  For all the small winnings you get, are you allowing that excitement to cloud your judgement? Have you even bothered doing a comparison study on how much you've spent in a month or year compared to how much money you've won?  If not, I think it's time to run an experiment and get real answers.  No more confirmation biases.

If you are turning a profit, how much profit are we talking about?  $5, $10, $50 per game?  Is it even worth all the effort it takes you to run your system?

Luminus's avatar - ouskuu

For instance, I just went into the Predictions forum and looked at yesterday's winners.  I chose someone who predicted some numbers for the NY Pick 10.  That person had 10 winning games, for $2 each.  So $20 was won. Yay, right?  Wrong.  I checked how much that person "spent" and it was a whopping $50.  So it's a false win.

I just checked another "winning" predictors numbers.  Again, $50 was spent on the NY Pick 10, but only $22 was won (11 lines of winning numbers).

Checked another one.  $50 spent on NY Numbers.  $40 was won.

In response to Luminus


Finally!  Someone is observing what I have been trying to show with backtests!  Good for you!

But the truth you have discovered is not a reason to avoid the lottery.  Your (Costs-Wins) should be viewed as nothing more than the price you must pay for your chances to win the large jackpots.  The lotteries who pay off the winners must get the money from somewhere!  Smiley

Unfortunately, there are no big jackpots to be won in most Pick3 games.


RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
In response to Luminus

If you are following the predictions of particular players, you can also look up their overall win / lose records for the last thirty days and life time by hits and winnings.

Luminus's avatar - ouskuu
In response to RJOh

I have.  You're on the top 10 Highest Lifetime Prize Ratio list with $18,630 wins. The problem is, the amount of loses you wrack up will most likely be too discouraging for you to keep going long enough to turn a profit.  Your wagers were $13,788.  Your profit was $4,842.  What year did you start posting predictions, again?  Not a single person has a jackpot nor a profit larger than a few thousand dollars.

I mean, if you've spent $500 in a month and only netted $100, that's pretty discouraging.  Your ability to pay bills would suffer big time, as well.  Remember, these guys are playing every day in multiple states.

In the last 30 days, dbello, spent $4,023 and won $6,000.  Who has thousands of dollars of disposable money to be taking wild chances like that and for so little profit?  You might as well get a second job.



I'm not avoiding the lottery.  I'm just making a point.  If one is going to play the lottery, they need to be aware of issues like this.

CutlassBob's avatar - Sphere animated2.gif

I look at it month to month, overall since i started playing, not sure. But i'm sure in 2009 i was at a major loss, playing too many scratch-off tickets. This year i've cut my scratches down to a whim. So far i've had a decent year.

Mind you i do not play all my predictions. That is a cool aspect of this website.

In Jan i made $666.00

Feb i lost 400.00

In March won $1083.00

In April i made $9497.00

In May, June & July i lost $1000.00

August i was up $2500.00

So far in Sept i'm up over $900.00.

All this playing daily 3 and 4 in Michigan.

I'll know more at the end of the year when i count my win's and losses.

Stay tuned for the big picture in January 2011.



I just did the workout from the last year till today. I'm $17.28 ahead of the game.

17.28 divided by 22 years, thats 8,030 days.

It comes to 0.00021519  per day profit.

Not bad.....


Thats great!  I'm still learning and losing :((


Care to share your ways?

Luminus's avatar - ouskuu

You guys aren't ahead by much.  That's the problem.  Like I said, you're better off getting a second job.

stephi's avatar - winifrid

I haven't seen anyone except one or 2 persons state on this site that they are a professional gambler. I play jackpot games only and yeah i know its lost money but if I don't play i  lose the opportunity to one day change my life for the better.

Luminus's avatar - ouskuu
In response to stephi

Well, if you're gonna play only jackpot games, then it's not about a profit.  It's about a dream.

aquariuslottery's avatar - AquariusLotteryLogo


Before you decide to play any lottery on regular and continuing basis you should set up a goal and targets - what do you want to achieve and how to achieve it.

Here is my example. I decided to play Lotto 649 with one main objective - to win a big one one day (preferably the Big Jack but the 2nd prize would also make me happy). To achieve this will cost time, effort and money. While I have 1st & 2nd readily available the 3rd is a problem. So I try to achieve my goal at the MINIMUM expense. I don't expect to make a profit on playing the lottery - until the Big One comes around. For me that's acceptable risk and investment. But I do everything I can to maximize small wins on the way to reduce the cost. That is my target and I can achieve it.

No lottery is ever designed to make profits for players. Some players will win big, the great majority will remain loosers. That's a fact of playing any lottery. If you want to make a constant (or at least frequent) profit on something pick appropriate tools to achieve it - like investing in stocks, real estate etc. Lottery is not an appropriate tool for that.

If you cannot take or afford a loss do not play a lottery.


Luminus's avatar - ouskuu
In response to aquariuslottery

I think you've missed the point.  There are a bunch of people on here using strategies to defeat the lottery.  The goal is to turn a profit, not break even.  And while we are all chasing the Big One, I don't think many of us want to end up thousands of dollars in the hole.

In response to aquariuslottery


Although I agree with a lot of your recent sentiment here, you appear to be hedging when you say,

"I think you've missed the point.  There are a bunch of people on here using strategies to defeat the lottery.  The goal is to turn a profit, not break even.  And while we are all chasing the Big One, I don't think many of us want to end up thousands of dollars in the hole."

If you are still hopefull that you can turn a consistent profit while waiting for a big hit, you are MOST LIKELY going to fail.  I say "most likely" because as RJOh likes to point out, there are examples of people showing modest profits over reasonable periods of time.  You can expect to see this in random processes like these lotteries.  It's the nature of randomness.  However, UNLESS you have inside information from a corrupt administrator of a computerized results game, you can only hope to be one of the winners if you are LUCKY enough to find yourself out in the "tails" of a distribution which has a MEAN of a 50% loss!

I think aquariuslottery is giving you the best advice above.


Luminus's avatar - ouskuu
In response to jimmy4164

I'm NOT hopeful that I can turn a consistent profit.  I don't think anyone can.  That's why I created this thread.

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rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg

That most likely is not going to happen, at least in the jackpot games. I usually win about 15% to 20% of what I play each year, but I don't expect to make a profit, I'm playing to hit a jackpot. I also try to keep my cost of play down, because with the odds in the big games, playing a crapload of tickets just doesn't increase your chances THAT much compared to what it costs to play.

If a person is wanting to turn a profit, P3 is the game to play, but good luck with that too. I actually like to play P3, and I follow the results in my state, it's just that if I'm going to throw money at a lottery, I want to win retirement type money.

To each his own.

lottolaughs's avatar - animaniacs28

I don't think many people think about their "profits" on a day to day basis or maybe even ever.Otherwise they probably wouldn't play. If a jackpot is your goal then it will wipe out all your lottery losses, (assuming it's a BIG jackpot) And since that's what most players are aiming for (again,assuming) then they don't give much thought to what they're "profiting" along the way or what they're spending to get to the end of the rainbow. 

In jackpot playing I think the mentality is "all or nothing." I mean how many times can you get excited over winning a free replay ticket or $20-30 bucks? Just my 2 cents.

RJOh's avatar - chipmunk

I keep track of both my wins and losses which really amounts to keeping track of my losses since I usually spend $15, win $2-$3 which means a lost of $12-$13.  Overall that can and do usually amount to $1500-$2000 a year which I see as the cost of gambling to win millions of dollars. 

The closest I've ever come to making a profit for the year was the time I match 5/6 in a local lottery for $1500 which put me $800 ahead at the time but by the end of the year I showed a $500 lost.  Unless you win a jackpot, you probably going to show a lost every year.  I just try to limit my loses to under $2000 yearly.

In response to Luminus

"I mean, if you've spent $500 in a month and only netted $100, that's pretty discouraging."

It really depends on how it's done. If someone makes 12,000 $1 bets over a two year period and only wins once for $14,400 giving them an average of winning $100 for every $500 they wagered, it would be very discouraging. Or worse had they won the $14,400 in the first month of play and lost the majority of their winning by continuing to play for the next 23 months.

Even if after every month they averaged $100 profit by winning many smaller prizes playing a pick-5 game, it still would be discouraging playing $500 a month for two years and never winning a jackpot. Especially when they see someone holding one of those huge jackpot checks on their lottery website and read where it was the first ticket they ever bought and the only spent a buck.

On the other hand, they could continue to grind out their small wins for years and hopefully some day cashing in a large jackpot ticket.

"In the last 30 days, dbello, spent $4,023 and won $6,000."

I checked that out and they predicted 140 pick-4 numbers in several states and won the $6000 by catching 10 $200 box hits in three of the states. I doubt they played the entire $4023 in real money but if one of those 10 boxes hit in the state where they lived, they could have have won $2000 on a more realistic $140 monthly wager.

Luminus's avatar - ouskuu

All pretty discouraging.  And after that battle with tiggs95, and no one else having the testicular fortitude to take the challenge, I'm pretty much convinced that systems are useless.  No need for any delusions about lottery strategies anymore.Dupe Alert

Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg


To most people lottery means a big jackpot, a life changing amount of money won.

Considering the odds of hitting opne of those jackpots I think RJOh described it pretty well when he said the losses are the cost of the chance of winning millions.

While it certainly would be nice to win a jackpot, going into playing lotteries with an unrealisitc expectation of winning only sets a player up for disaapointment.

Never let the hope of wining turn into a prison of expectation.

RE: systems. If they worked with the people selling them be selling them or using them to beat the lottery consistently? Follow the money trail, so to speak. It's not like system sellers are beating the lottery and sharing the information for nominal fees out of a sense of altruism.

Some authors who write about the stock market like to use the story of the California Gold Rush and who really made the money. While some miners did strike gold, a very few at that, the people who made the real money were the hardware merchants selling them the picks and shovels and supplies for their trips.

Let's call the miners the few jackpot winners, and let'cs call the hardware merchants the system sellers.

Luminus's avatar - ouskuu
In response to Coin Toss

Nice analogy.I Agree!

st.germain's avatar - Tarlor

The original question was  "Does anyone here actually turn a profit in the long run?"

Almost ten years ago  I won the little " Little Lotto "  jackpot "Twice "  4 months apart and along the way won a lot of little "nice" pots.  Then about 2  and a half years ago I picked all 5 numbers in the mega game but not the Megaball.  I figure that along the way ..I have been playing with "their" money! say that this is pretty all discouraging...that"s "Hogwash!"  Just because their are some who will not say that they are winning something ...doesn"t mean that there isn"t any one winning anything around.

The little lotto was paying 200k at the time and the mega game pays out 250k today. The only "real" issue was with the amount that is deducted for taxes..."gambing taxes" and then having to claim the rest as income the following "APRIL 15th".for your other taxes. All  said...that leaves you only half of what you earned in the first place. 

Delusional!!  I think not!

If you can"t help....then don't....;just leave us with our own sense of Grandeur!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!      Lighten Up   luminus your bulb is getting dim.

Yes you can turn a profit in the "LONG RUN" !!!!

lottolaughs's avatar - animaniacs28
In response to Luminus

I don't believe one run through of a test is enough to determine that "systems" are useless. That's a pretty big statement. So I guess the Lottery Systems board on here is useless. Thud NOT ! I've learned a ton on there.

Systems run hot and cold, we all know that. Perhaps this was just a cold streak in your system. No need to give up!

In response to st.germain

St. Germain,

"Yes you can turn a profit in the 'LONG RUN' !!!!"

Not UNLESS you hit a jackpot along the way.

Of course, you CAN win, with or without a system, so the answer to the original question is clearly YES!  And that's why we play.  However, experiences like yours are far beyond what the VAST majority of players can ever hope for.  You were very LUCKY.  The reason why everyone needs to understand this is because too many people are spending money on the lottery at the expense of important family needs.

Believing that there are SYSTEMS that can defy the long understood and accepted mathematics of Probability causes people to foolishly gamble beyond their means.

And from another angle:

$39 paid to a software vendor hawking Random Number Generators would be better spent on Powerball Quick Picks!


P.S.  Congratulations on your good fortune.  Spend it wisely.

In response to Coin Toss

I Agree!

st.germain's avatar - Tarlor
In response to jimmy4164

thanks jimmy...i saw that on another thread that luminous wanted to test our testicular mettle with a one week challenge. That was unrealistic...let's say a challenge over the course of one year.....  that would be more of a test.....and  realistic if he can hang in there that long, lol. 

What people seem to think is that a system will win for you when it is you that still have to PICK the numbers.  so, if you have a decent wheel and can pick the numbers you surely will line up for a big win.

This time....I play for the millions.....a few hundred k doesn't last long believe house...some new girl friends   LOL!!!!


IMHO, playing the P3 and P4 games will, IN THE LONG RUN, make everyone a loser.  Yet the majority of people on this site play those games.  More power to them.  It's their money; they can do with it as they please.

Even the P5 , P6 and jackpot games will, in the long run, make everyone a loser except for those fortunate few who win the million dollar jackpot (and some of them will become losers i.e. Jack Whitaker).  To say, "Hey!  I won $6000 back in 2005" is to say nothing at all.  Yes, there will be some big winners but they will turn into losers in the long run.

To me the thrill is not in winning nor in the dream of becoming a millionaire overnight.  The thrill is searching for an algorithym that will turn a losing proposition into a profitable proposition.  On those cold, wet winter days when being outside is not an option, I like to sit in front of my computer, open my Excel spreadsheet, and study the relationship between the numbers.  "What if I try this?" I ask myself.  I then program my Excel to find the answer to my question. 

I read the thoughts posted on this site.  Some are good and insightful; some are just plain juvenile.  Most posts push the envelope; some seal the envelope shut, stamp and mail it (and criticize those who wish to push the envelope).

Until a profitable algorithym is found, the lottery will always be a losing proposition IN THE LONG RUN.


Help BP clean up the Gulf.  Buy a tank of BP gas today.



you will never ever get back what you put in  unless of course you win powerball or any big lottery  lesonook  so why do we play?

savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho

best tip is to look at the money you spend on lotto as entertainment, a straight out loss. but providing you with entertainment. only bet what you can afford to blow. thats how i do  it, and yes over the 20 plus years ive never hit a jackpot, but have had 3x 5/6 hits.  still im a loser.

but if i dont play, then i will never win.


to reply to the turn a profit in the long run question. My system for keno is to play a low spot  number until i have bet the same amount that winning would pay back and then raise the spot.

although i have claimed a few good wins over the years i am now chasing the spot 7, and need to bet upto $6k before going to spot 8.

i never subtracted my wins from my outlay i just restarted at spot 3, and kept counting, pocketting the wins as pocket money.


i guess it will eventually pay off, but yeah i have to keep playing, their bet is i will die of old age before i hit  it, and then i wont care ill be dead.

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