Concluded How To Win (or Lose) From Scratch-Off Game Cards

In the previous post, we made some assumptions on how winning cards are predetermined on the point of view of a capitalist. If you were a businessman, there's no way that you would venture into this type of business if you are not going to profit. Based on that hypothesis, for every batch of cards printed, there are more losing cards than winning cards. In this post, we will continue to verify if there is truth to that by testing a series of cards.

Study #1: Would You Win Playing 5 Cards

We are now going to test our assumption that for every 2 cards, one wins the least of the minor prizes.

First Try

To find out the chances of winning, we start by trying 5 cards with consecutive numbers in a series. For my first test, I bought cards numbered 109-352610-031 to 035. The result. None of the cards was a winning card. At this point, I already lost ₱100.

Second Try

I tried the second time. On another date, I bought 5 cards with number series 109-352807-071 to 074. The result: two of the cards were winning cards. One card won ₱40; the other won ₱20. In this batch, though I won sixty pesos, I also lost ₱40. So far, I have won ₱60 out of 10 cards worth ₱200  – but I still lost ₱140.

Third Try

Third try. Again, on another date, I bought 5 Red Hot 7s cards. These cards are numbered 109-373666-027 to 031. The result. One card was a winning card worth ₱20. In this batch, I lost ₱80. At this point, I have already risked ₱300. I have won so far ₱80. But all in all, I lost ₱220.

Therefore, out of 15 cards, 3 cards were winning cards making one winning card for every 5 cards; i.e. a ratio of 1:5. This ratio is even worse compared to our assumption 1:2. However, this may also mean that the winning cards pay out three minor prizes; perhaps, 8% pay out ₱20, 6% pay out ₱40, and 8% pay out ₱70. In other words, for every 5 cards you may win ₱20, ₱40 or ₱70 but not the major prizes. The sad thing is that even if you win ₱70 for every 5 cards, you still lose ₱30.

Study #2 Would You Win Buying 10 Scratch-Off Cards?

Ten scratch-off cards, series 116-010187-091 to 100, were used for this study. In this batch, not 1 card contained 7 in the middle. That means, no chance of winning a major prize. However, two cards (#093 & #099) matched three 7s both horizontally and vertically equivalent to a total prize winning of ₱80 for both cards. Card #096 also matched three 7s vertically equivalent to a prize winning of ₱70. All in all, this batch produced 3 winning cards equivalent to a total of ₱150. Ten cards is worth ₱200. Therefore, for this batch, you lost ₱50.

Second try. This test covered 10 cards with series 116-011035-091 to 100. The second batch produced 2 winning cards. One card won ₱70; the other ₱20. Total winnings for this batch is ₱90. However, despite winning ₱90, I still lost ₱110.

So far, on the average, 10 cards may produce 2 winning cards but that doesn't mean you actually profit. Theoretically, for every ₱200 you play, you may recover 60% of it, or ₱120. Yet still, you lose ₱80.

Preliminary Conclusion

One batch of 10 cards produced 3 winning cards and 7 no-win cards. The second batch produced 2 winning cards and 8 no-win cards. On an average, it appears that for every 10 cards, there may be 2 or 3 winning cards paying out minor prizes. That is a ratio of 1:4, ie one winning card for every 4 cards. It is possible then, that for every 5 cards, two are winning cards that can pay out 2 minor prizes.

Study #3 Would You Win Buying 20 Scratch-off Cards?

There are 20 cards subjected to this test with number series 134-056865-001 to -020. This batch produced 3 winning cards paying out either ₱20 or ₱40. Among the 17 occurrences of 5 cards each, 3 occurrences did not produce a winning card. The other 14 occurrences produced a winning card. Therefore, there is a greater chance that for every 5 cards, one is a winning card. Unfortunately, you can win only a minor prize, not enough to recover the amount you spent.

Among the 20 cards, only 4 cards had the number 7 in the middle square, which proves further the very slim chance of winning a major prize.

In A Nutshell

So far, we have tested 55 scratch-off cards having consecutive number series. On different dates, 5 cards were bought 3 times, 10 cards were bought twice, and 20 cards were bought once.

All in all, these 55 cards produced 11 winning cards paying minor prizes such as ₱20, ₱40, and ₱70. There were no major prize won. The total winnings amounted to ₱480. However, the total spendings amounted to ₱1100. That means, the money lost amounted to ₱620.

Therefore, whether you buy 5, 10, or 20 cards, you still lose in the end. Even if you win ₱70 for buying 5 cards, you would still lose ₱30.

Further therefore that there is no chance at all that you would profit a big sum of money versus the amount that you would spend buying cards.

Yes, you could win buying either 5, 10, or 20 cards; but you would not win more than what you would spend.

For the sake of fun, though, just buy one card. In case you win a minor prize, claim it. Don't spend it to buy another card. Buy something else.

For a detailed calculation, you may view online the spreadsheet.