Can you strike it lucky while cutting your losses?

The numbers’ game reveals the mystery of lottery jackpot hits and misses

How to cut your lottery losses

So, Victoria’s Spring Racing Carnival is over and if you are not a serious punter, like me, it doesn’t really matter. I am happy to wait until next year’s Melbourne Cup for another flutter.

But an increasing number of people are taking betting and other types of gambling more seriously.

The psychology behind compulsive gambling – whether it’s a flutter at the TAB, pokies addiction, online wagering or unwavering devotion to lottery tickets – has been well-studied and the advice for addicts is usually ‘get some help and don’t waste your money because the odds are stacked against you’.

But what if there was statistical evidence to explain when a punt might work?

A while back, Business Insider looked into the best Australian lotto games to play if you wanted to minimise your losses. It surmised that if you play Oz Lotto, Gold Lotto and Powerball, you are pretty much throwing your money down the drain.

However, for the diehard lottery aficionado it did suggest ways of minimising losses while feeding addiction. Click here for the analysis on playing the highly lucrative Powerball.

“And there is one game that stands out from the three majors as being kinder on your pocket – Gold Lotto won’t pay out anywhere near as often as Oz Lotto, but the wins are bigger and, therefore, you’ll lose much, much less,” according to Business Insider analysis.

Business Insider’s investigation models 520 games using five popular number combinations, and costing between $8.50 for eight chances to $46 for 50 chances. The results, once you deduct the winnings from the initial amount spent, were:

  • Oz Lotto – 1707 wins, $56,788.75 loss
  • Powerball – 928 wins, $48,671.80 loss
  • Gold Lotto – 1093 wins, $30,438.70 loss

Read more about how all the combinations fared at Business Insider.

But why limit yourself to Australian lotteries when there are easier prizes to win overseas? According to Lottoland, the easy jackpots are won in Polish, Swedish, Austrian and Irish lotteries.

Wonderlist’s Top 10 Best Lottery Games of the World lists even more competitions where savvy punters can make a safer quid.

If you are strategic, you might be able to scoop the lotteries pool over time. But if you are just winging it, remember to gamble responsibly. Consider the losses and if you suspect you have a gambling problem there are many organisations ready and willing to help. As a first port of call, contact gamblinghelponline.

This article is for information only and does not endorse any type of gambling.

Have you ever been addicted to gambling? If so, what helped you break the habit? Has buying lottery tickets ever delivered a windfall for you? Which lottery have you found delivers the best returns?

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    COMMENTS

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    billy boy
    22nd Nov 2017
    11:20am
    best way to win money, is don't give the government any, to gamble with, then you have a sure winner, for yourself ;)
    Old Geezer
    22nd Nov 2017
    11:28am
    Just put a dollar away for every day of your life and you will have a lottery win when you retire.
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2017
    2:19pm
    Therefore that means if a kid at 20 starts putting away a dollar a day from today onward, and lives to be 100, then he'll have $29,200 when he's 100.

    So in 80 years time that $29,200 will probably be just enough money to buy him a spare walking stick. Whoooooopeeeeee!!!
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2017
    3:04pm
    OG obviously doesn't know what inflation is. Make it at least $5 per day, in REAL TERMS - indexed for inflation. Duh!
    Old Geezer
    22nd Nov 2017
    6:02pm
    With compound interest you money will double every 10 years at least so it will be a lot more than $29,600.

    10% interest it is $10,365,254.

    5% interest it is $386,684.

    Not too shabby.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Nov 2017
    6:04pm
    $5 a day at 10% interest in 8 years is $53,814,363.
    mr.auspicious
    22nd Nov 2017
    12:30pm
    Suggest aspiring players do the maths to calculate the likelihood of striking it rich -

    Assuming the game is based on selecting 6 numbers from a total of 42, the odds of
    winning are as follows -

    6 /42 ( 0.14286 ) x 5/41 ( 0.12195 ) x 4/40 ( 0.10 ) x 3 /39 ( 0.07692 ) x 2/38 ( 0.05263 )
    x 1/37 ( 0.027 ) = 0.0000001

    Let's say the chances of winning in these circumstances is remote - of course the
    odds are reduced if a player submits multiple entries but the likelihood of winning is
    only slightly less remote than previously.

    A less risky bet would be to purchase shares in the promoter of online wagering, lotteries,
    etc. such as Tabcorp (TAH) and Tattersalls ( TCL), which are expected to merge in the
    foreseeable future.
    Rosret
    22nd Nov 2017
    1:27pm
    So that's your chance of winning. So let's swap it to (42 x 41 x 40 x 39 x 38 x 37)/6! = 5,245,786 combos /50 games at $8.50 = $891,783.62. So you could cover every combo for less than $1 million.
    In your game one could actually come out ahead? I am not sure what the required combinations are for the actual lotteries. hehe.
    Its a lot of cards to fill out in one week.
    Rosret
    22nd Nov 2017
    12:56pm
    There are five popular number combinations?
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2017
    3:14pm
    At one point, I followed the Lotto results. Surprisingly frequently, at least one pair of consecutive numbers would be part of the winning combination (or 'vertical consecutives' like 17 and 27). There is no mathematical reason for this, but building this assumption in shortened the odds markedly.

    22nd Nov 2017
    2:03pm
    Any lottery gambling win = *LUCK*. That's a mathematical fact. There's no mathematical way to increase your chance other than to buy more tickets.

    Any "medium term" profit with skill based gambling (horse racing, sports betting etc etc) also = *LUCK*, and it will eventually turn into a LOSS if pursued for long enough. That's a mathematical fact.

    Why is the 2nd type of gambling reliant luck? Because the bookmaker/Tab odds are ALWAYS skewered against the punter. And it's totally legal. Here's a simple example so it's easy to understand ---- let's say I take $130 in bets on a horse race from my family. I then take out $30 from the $130 and put that in my personal bank account (that's "my" profit). I make sure the odds I allocate to every bet ensures the total payout for a win from any horse whatsoever does not exceed $100. So let's say one family member gets odds of 10/1 on a horse, and another one gets odds of 100/1 on another horse ...... if either of those horses wins my payout will still be only $100 (the odds on all the other 20 horses in the race will also be adjusted so the payout is always $100 no matter which horse wins).

    So, this means that no matter which horse wins I am guaranteed that my bookmaking payout will never be more than $100 for that race and my profit is a guaranteed $30.

    Therefore the overall odds are skewered against the punters because of bookmaker/TAB takeout, which ALWAYS places punters at a mathematical disadvantage. This "mathematical" disadvantage makes it impossible for any punter to make a "long term permanent" profit (despite a lot of them bragging otherwise ha ha ha).

    That's just 1 skewering method used by gambling businesses. There's hundreds of different methods used (depending on the type of gambling). These methods ALWAYS result in the mathematical skewering of percentages to act AGAINST the punter.

    Conclusion? Gambling companies = winners (guaranteed). Punters = losers (guaranteed) long term. Of course anyone can "temporarily" be in front .... that's called "LUCK".

    If any gambler tells you he/she is in gambling profit after years and years of gambling (with the exception of "lucky" lottery winners) then they are LYING to you.

    22nd Nov 2017
    3:00pm
    As a mathematician, I have to say that gambling is for idiots. The probabilities are ridiculously low; the organization running the lottery wouldn't be doing so if they weren't going to make a (big) profit.
    mr.auspicious
    22nd Nov 2017
    3:09pm
    Professional gamblers do exist so presumably they generate profits on their gambling
    activities year in, year out.

    These individuals operate on relatively small profit margins ( much less than the average
    retailer mark up ) but generate a massive turnover which I believe enables them to
    maintain a comfortable standard of living.

    For obvious reasons these individuals maintain very low profiles. Typically they do not
    seek media publicity......
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2017
    3:17pm
    They lose in the end; and they time they spend greatly exceeds any short-term profits they might make. It's a mug's game. A possible exception might be horse racing, where there are known factors and trends.
    hmmm
    22nd Nov 2017
    3:19pm
    lotto : if a government sells it then it stands to reason there were backhanders involved.
    sue me for saying it, one problem thought, i honestly believe it.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Nov 2017
    6:14pm
    Government take 30% of turnover so what hope have you of winning?
    Old Geezer
    22nd Nov 2017
    6:13pm
    Insurance is gambling. You hope you don't have a win.
    Alexii
    27th Nov 2017
    11:49am
    A lottery that we don't want to win. But a good win for beneficiaries.
    Watto
    22nd Nov 2017
    8:58pm
    Just who are you Olga ? and why are you endorsing that con lottoland ?

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    10:06pm
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