5/14/2015

How To Win From Scratch-off Game Cards



One good thing about Scratch It or scratch-off game cards is that it is certain that for each batch of scratch cards, there are winning cards. It's just that we cannot determine the probability of winning for the reason that we do not have a complete data. We can only assume.

Playing only one card is not fun. Buy 5 cards at least to enjoy the suspense of revealing the winning numbers.

Some Tips In Playing Scratch-off Game Cards

  1. Pick game cards with low payout prizes. The lower the payout prize, the better chances you may have to scratch a winning card.
  2. Buy in sets like 5 cards or more. The winning cards above are from 15 scratch-off cards. Four of them are winning cards. However, this scenario cannot always be true. It is possible though, that there may be only one winning ticket from a sequence of 15 tickets. 
  3. Don't buy cards everyday especially if you have just won a major prize because most likely the next cards are non-winning cards; unless, you wouldn't mind winning minor prizes only.
  4. There's only one jackpot prize for every batch of cards. A batch of cards can probably contain 10000 cards or more. The good news is that minor prize winning cards are spread in the whole batch. Though it is not standard and consistent that there is a winning card for every certain number of cards.
  5. Winning cards are not printed out at random. It follows a certain algorithm. The challenge is that you do not know which store has the winning cards.

Thinking Probability

We can only assume the probability of winning from scratch-off game cards. In order to do that, let us create a scenario from the point of view of a businessman.

How many cards should you print out in such a way that there is a winning card for every 5 cards, yet you earn a gross profit of around 30%? Remember that you need to satisfy your customers in playing the game. It is for that reason why you want to have a winning card for every 5 cards.

Let's take for example the card game above. It's a tic-tac-toe game wherein you match the 7s in a row, column or diagonally. The highest payout prize is P77,777 and the lowest is P20.

If you are going to pay out P77,777, then you have to sell more than 3889 scratch-off cards in order to profit. Each card sells at P20 each. If you want to profit twice as much, you must sell 7778 cards. But there are other things to consider like cost of printing and overhead. So, you need to sell more than 7778 cards.

So, let's assume that each batch order of scratch-off cards contain 5000 cards. And for every 10,000 cards, only one card can win P77,777. That means, all the other cards are non-winning cards. If that is the case, then no one would play the scratch-off game the second time around. Why? Psychologically speaking, in order for a customer to keep on buying scratch-off cards, he must experience winning most of the time even if the prize is only a small one.

Say a customer always buys 5 cards. Most of the time, one card wins P20. That customer would remember more winning from one card rather than losing from 4 cards.

What is the solution then for the businessman? The solution is to give out minor prizes. The question is: if your purpose is to have a winning card for every 5 cards, how many cards should win P20, P70, P170, P770, P7700, and P77,777? 

Let's calculate. The following is a possible algorithm. For every 5000 cards —
  1. Only 1 card wins either P77,777 or P7700 but not both.
  2. Only 4 cards win P770 each
  3. Ten cards win P170 each
  4. Twenty cards win P70 each
  5. 965 cards win P20 each
All in all, there are 1000 winning cards for every 5000 cards; or a ratio of 1:5. To simulate randomness, the winning cards are distributed unevenly. That means, for every 5 cards, there can be more than one winning cards, or none.