Tell Lottery Post what you think about scratch-offs! 👀

Kate's avatar - TobyAvatar

Hello Lottery Post! See Ya!

We’re curious about what sorts of scratch-off games you gravitate toward. For example, when you’re at the store in front of the ticket cabinet, what sorts of things are you evaluating before making a purchase, assuming you don’t know how may prizes are left in a game?

Personally, I like to find a game that checks off the most boxes on my list – a reasonable top prize for the value of the ticket, ones that look like they take a little longer to play but are not too involved, and ones that I don’t recognize or look relatively new. Lastly, I love to indulge in some sort of novelty ticket from time to time – even though a pretty design doesn’t affect your odds of winning, sometimes it does feel good to walk out of the store with an interesting ticket in my hand. Smiley

How important are the following to you? 
- How visually appealing the game is, or the theme/novelty of the ticket
- The cost of the ticket
- The top prize/types of prizes
- A game that is similar to playing a puzzle
- A game that is quick and easy to play
- How new or old the game is
- What other things do you look for?
cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

Though I rarely buy them, I gravitate toward the crossword style scratchers, even though there's no skill involved. It's kind of funny to reveal the oddball words they've chosen. $2 is the most I'd spend on it.


I normally buy a whole $5.00 book for $250.00 at a grocery store, or liquor store.

ashleyaddams's avatar - anime14


I like to get the new tickets on the day they come out (Here its the 1st Tuesday of the month) you win relatively small 20$ to $60, especially if they cost 10$ to $20 dollars. After about 5 days of release they can start winning bigger $100 to $500 payouts.

when they 1st come out 1-10 are the better numbers to grab (bottom of all tickets have a number) after they have been out the 20 through 29 seem to have higher payouts. Then if they have been out a while 11-19.

I ONLY purchase a $30 ticket on Friday's (usually a payday) not sure why but I tend to win more on those on a Friday.

Now if they are a set amount ticket which we have WIN $50 or $100 or WIN $100 to $200 These ONLY hit big the 1st month they come out usually numbers to go for when they 1st come out are 11 thru 19. I HATE these tickets they have BAD ODDS. they pay awesome for 1 month then they stop hitting for like 3 to 6 months then they'll start hitting again. My theory on this is they switch to a different county with the winners to rotate the wins.

I NEVER win anything of value on a lower cost ticket. One time I won $50 on a $5 ticket mostly I just break even.

This year I have won $1,000 on a $10 scratch off in February and I won another $1,000 in April on a $30 ticket. $500 3 times all on $10 scratch offs 2 the same 1 different. Several $200 $100 winners on $20 tickets and $250 to $400 on our 1 and Only $25 ticket.

That's my 2 cents on scratch cards

Think's avatar - lightbulb

I really don't play scratchers much anymore.  However, even though I know the math behind them is all the same some of them do catch my eye.

There were some $5 ones in Michigan...I believe they were called something along the lines of "Twice Lucky double play" and "Break The Bank double play" and they had scratch tickets on the front and rip tickets on the back.  Otherwise there was a $3 ticket that had circles on the front that I played even though I don't like the $3 prize structure that much.

The primary reason I would play any of them now is because of the prize levels like the $5 and $10 Cash For Life scratch tickets.  I stop playing the Cash for Life tickets when the first top prize is won because Michigan usually does not like to pay out more than one big prize on those on each run of the ticket.  They have already paid out on the $5 and $10 once each this time so I have not been buying scratch tickets.

In 2019 or 2020 I sent the Michigan Lottery a suggestion for a real Kick butt 50 year celebration ticket for the 50th anniversary next year and pointed out how it is doable.  I believe that they should do it at least once every 50 years.  It would be a $20 ticket and have really great top prizes and lots and lots of great second prizes.  I won't say anymore cause I'm hoping they do it.  The $20 tickets will have been out 20 years next year and Michigan has not had any special $20 tickets yet (like $20 Cash for Life or $20 Tax Free Cash).  To date all the Michigan $20 Scratchers have been regular ones (BTW My suggestion was Not for either $20 CFL or $20 TFC but for something better)

parlayman's avatar - 4CX2hSk

Hi Kate, glad you joined the team here! I'm enjoying your articles. Good Job!

About Scratchers - My truth is that my family buys $10 worth of $1 tickets every week. We really aren't trying to get rich off scratchers, we're just using them for a little weekly entertainment. Our state switched over to automated machines where the entire front of the machine is an electronic display. On that display, I look for the tickets that have a little "NEW" banner on them. We like the new scratchers because we believe that they front-load the tickets with some winners. We understand that they aren't going to put the big winners in there, but, again, we are doing this for a little entertainment, not because we think we are going to win enough to buy that Lamborghini Huracan we really want. lol. We buy all 10 tickets at once noting that hits often come in sequence or one ticket apart. I'm pretty sure we are very atypical scratcher buyers but that's actually why/what we've been doing for many years, excepting during the lockdown.

In response to ashleyaddams

I have not baught a scratcher in years. However there was a spreadsheet floating around the net for scratch offs. All it did was show you which ones had the better odds of hitting something based on the prizes won and the number of prizes left with the total number of tickets to be printed. The thing is it could be reproduced but it only gave the player better odds to the right of the decimal point. The part the sheet creator did not tell you is that you half to buy your tickets at the outlet that sells the most tickets  in the state at any given time in order to really have a chance. Right now the busiest spot in NC ... the store that has sold more scratch tickets than any other store in NC is the Marathon in Calabash NC. For anyone interested enough to pursue this further.

GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg

As for me personally, I only buy scratch-offs during the Christmas holidays.  Usually two or three new holiday scratch-offs come out and I buy those as Christmas gifts for family members.  G5

reddog's avatar - reddog 20avatar.jpg

I used to buy scratch-offs in N.C. and used to have real good luck with them. Starting about three years ago NC started printing a gazzilion cards of the same new ones that would come out. So in saying that, prizes won came far and in-between. So now I don't buy them anymore.

rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg

I rarely buy scratchoffs. So far this year I bought 15 tickets, none over $5. I watch my spending carefully and if I'm buying even a $5 ticket every day that adds up pretty quickly. I check Texas's lottery website to see where the winning tickets have been sold and I watch a couple You Tube guys that post videos scratching tickets, (favorite one is Fixin To Scratch).

I think the biggest draw to scratchoffs is the instant gratification. That does nothing for me. I like buying a ticket for a draw game and the anticipation of the draw coming up.

Lottomeister's avatar - white face.jpg

Waste of money!!

lakerben's avatar - DiscoBallGlowing

The last scratcher I won and  I bought it for $3 .

Not bad.


Thumbs Up

GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
In response to rcbbuckeye

The thing about scratch-offs is they're a "you get what you get" kind of thing.  They're just like QP's in that a player doesn't get to chose anything.  I never buy QP's either. 

The other thing I dislike about scratch-offs is unless you've checked the most recent report issued by your state's lottery that shows how many of the top prizes are still available, players don't know if they can win the top prize or not when they buy the ticket. Even if they have checked the report, that's no a guarantee the top prize is still available.

When the last top prize for any given scratch-off has been claimed, state lottery's require retailers to remove that particular scratch-off from their display case.  But what about this: Somebody bought the scratch-off that won them the last top prize available, and put it in the glove compartment of their car, forgot all about it, and has been riding around with it for the last six months?  Until that ticket is claimed the state has no idea if the ticket has been sold or not, therefore the top prize will appear on their report as being available when it's not.

I had a co-worker that went into a store and bought a scratch-off. He was running late so he didn't scratch it. Instead he threw it into the glove box of his car, and took off to the appointment that he was running late for.  Months later, he was cleaning out his car because he had traded it in for a new one, found the scratch off, and scratched it. It was a loser, so he threw it out.

I can clearly remember him saying to me; "My God! What if that thing was a million dollar winner?  I think I bought that ticket seven or eight months ago!"  G5

MillionsWanted's avatar - 24Qa6LT

Play scratch-offs a couple of times a week. Usually wins back 50-70%. Enough to keep me going for the larger prizes later.

rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
In response to GiveFive

When I get the itch to scratch (get it? LOL), I always check how many top prizes are left, the overall odds on the ticket, and the guaranteed prize amounts in a pack (ie: $500 pack, for me it has to have guaranteed at least $250 prizes in a pack). My biggest problem with scratchers in Texas is the state is huge. If a game only has 4 top prizes, there's a lot of real estate for those top prizes to be in. So, I usually just stick with draw games.

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lottofan21's avatar - animal shark.jpg
In response to ashleyaddams

Thanks Ashley I live in NC and rarely play scratch offs b/c I almost never win.  The last few years I only buy them for xmas and birthday presents. Now I will try your way and see if that brings me better luck.

Good luck to us all!

lakerben's avatar - DiscoBallGlowing

After reading this I bought a $2 scratch off today and won $40.


Thumbs UpLurking

In response to rcbbuckeye

Are you one to buy the whole pack or one or two? Here in Florida we don't have minimums, but most of our full books pay back less than half.

rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
In response to lakerben

LOL. Timing is everything, eh?

Congrats on your win!

rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
In response to MsBee18

LOL. There is no way on God's green earth I would drop 2 or 3 hundred dollars or more on any lottery tickets.

If and when I buy a scratcher it's almost always just one.

I checked earlier today (I keep records), so far this year I bought 17 tickets and won all of $7.

Most books here pay back anywhere from 40% to 50%.

Stat$talker's avatar - animated sphere.gif

I've only bought 1 scratch-off ticket once..over 10 yrs ago.. It was a $2. "Jumbo somethinother".. they also come in $5. and $20.prices I believe.. but there's Nooo way I'm gonna pay THAT much for an inevitable disappointing thrill... I'm too frugal for that..although I do ask other players I encounter if they ever win anything from the types of scratch-offs they buy.. Most say "Yea"..

I won $100., cashed it, and left the store immediately.. never bought another one since..cause THAT'S REALLY GAMBLING.. no control over the outcome.. It iz whatever it iz before you buy it...I'm not a Habitual Gambler,.. I'm a Methodical Gambler..

I prefer the Pick Games..a lil study & analysis.. BAAM.. kick those Astronomical Oddz out the door.. whenever they aren't rigged..!!



lakerben's avatar - DiscoBallGlowing

I've seen people who buy the whole roll of tickets!

jarasan's avatar - new patrick.gif

Sometimes you get an itchy so you gotta scratchy....

Stat$talker's avatar - animated sphere.gif
In response to jarasan

LOL..and stay away from "FLEAmarketz...

db101's avatar - RB55Ms1

Once in a blue moon I buy one, and like others here have said I also stick with one of the low dollar types. I dont think there's anything the lottery could change about them that would make them more appealing to people who arent interested in them. It's like pickles on a burger -- some people like them, some don't.

str8ca$hhomie's avatar - Cash
In response to Kate

The secret of playing in the scratch-off game is to follow the game details as to which of the top prizes is still remaining !

In response to Big Joey

Which State do you live in? In my State Of Florida, a WHOLE book of $5 scratchers is $1500. Not $250. $250 in Florida will not even get you a whole book of $1 tickets. A whole book of $1 tickets is $300 in Florida.

In response to str8ca$hhomie

I don't buy them often, but when I do buy them, I go for the ones with the most prizes remaining, and I usually buy 3 or 4 of the same ticket at a time.

It's easy these days to check which tickets have the most prizes left, using either the lottery website or lottery app on my Android phone.

str8ca$hhomie's avatar - Cash
In response to PrisonerSix

That's definitely sound strategy especially for those who choose to buy a roll at a time.

Rushingwind$'s avatar - happy

In my case, when c3 or c4 is in a dry run, then scratchers are beneficial in such times. I like the 10's( numbers 13,24,-27) and 20's ( numbers 0-3)


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