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Quick Picks (Florida Lotto)

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I was just checking the Florida Lottery website to see if anyone had claimed the winning tickets from the December 6th Lotto draw.  Though no one has, one thing that is posted is where the tickets were purchased, and whether they were quick picks.

It appears that both winners of the Lotto from December 6th purchased quick picks.

Now from my perspective, that raises an interesting question: why would these terminals be spitting out duplicate quick picks in a game where there are some 22 million combinations available?  Is this intentional on the part of programmers to have "random" quick picks not be so random?  If so, it would appear that would lower the total number of combinations at play during any particular draw.  The lower number of total combinations purchased out of the total number of possible combinations available makes it more likely that the jackpot is not hit and rolls over. 

Let's just take a theoretical five million quick pick tickets purchased: if out of those five million quick picks only one million combinations are actually sold (i.e., they're giving the same numbers to multiple players), then it is more likely that the jackpot is not hit, the jackpot rolls, and you have a not-surprising result for the State: more money for them.  Not only are they not paying the jackpot amount that draw, but they are also setting up higher jackpots later which draw more players (or from their perspective, more losers, which in turn is more money for them). 

I also checked the history of Fantasy 5 winners, and there appears to be the same anomaly: winners who do win with quick picks have other quick pick winners that have joined in the win. This can be particularly lucrative for the State in the event a winner fails to claim their prize (certainly a possibility with a quick pick purchase on the fly). 

Thoughts?  I like the convenience of grabbing a quick pick, but am I just grabbing a number the State already gave to someone else?

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This happened in the same FL county in 2012 ... the same store chain at different locations and no one knew each other and all were quick picks ... what are those odds ... in the same county ???

 

Four $1M Powerball tickets sold in same county, at same chain

June 2012

The odds of winning at least $1 million by matching the first five numbers in a Powerball drawing are 1 in 5.15 million. Four people beat those odds in Florida this week.

In the same county. Buying from the same grocery chain.

Four tickets bought from a Publix store in separate cities in South Florida's Broward County matched the first five numbers drawn on Wednesday night, said David Bishop, Florida Lottery deputy secretary.

Each missed the Powerball digit, but still won a prize of at least $1 million. One was an upgraded Power Play ticket, bringing that buyer's prize to $2 million.

"Four winners in the same county, all bought at one retail chain. It's really remarkable," Bishop said Friday.

Each of the tickets was a "quick pick," meaning the numbers were automatically selected at the time of purchase and none of the winners chose the numbers themselves, Bishop said.

Asked if the machines would be checked for any irregularities, Bishop said that "from an integrity standpoint, we always check that information." But the lottery doesn't suspect anything out of the ordinary beyond a statistical fluke.

"It's statistically improbable, but not statistically impossible," Bishop said. "We do our due diligence, but we see nothing other than an improbability that came true."

One winner had come forward as of late Friday afternoon, Bishop said.

Wednesday's drawing – 7-10-14-33-57, with a Powerball of 18 – produced one $241 million jackpot winner, in Iowa.

The four $1 million tickets in Broward County – sold at Publix stores in Coral Springs, Plantation, Weston and Pembroke Pines – were among seven that won nationwide Wednesday, according to Powerball officials.

Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, is Florida's second most populous county, with more than 1.7 million people in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Publix is the Florida Lottery's largest retailer, according to Bishop.

Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg

"...according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Publix is the Florida Lottery's largest retailer, according to Bishop."

A little less of a surprise.

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