Here let me rant again at how horrible the pay-offs are in the state run lotteries.
The supposed probability of getting three white balls correct is about one in 580. And what does the lottery pay for doing this, on a $2 ticket?
If any casino paid out that poorly they would be out of business quickly because customers would not return.
But that is even more absurd - 4 whiteballs correct is a long shot at only one in 36,525 and yet the payout is only $359 on a $2 play.
The only payouts which are anywhere near reasonable are the 5-whiteball and the jackpot. Those are of course designed to be very difficult to get, as witnessed by yet another draw without a jackpot winner (and no 5-ball winner here in California, which outside of the jackpot pays out differently than the other 43 jurisdictions.)
The draw-games are becoming ever less popular over time, while the scratcher games dominate sales.
It is clear to me that the gamble by the Multistate Lottery group to allow the draw games to make the jackpot odds longer - thus have few winners and thus have gigantic jackpots - was only a short-term gain in sales. The poor payouts and the difficulty of getting even 5 whiteballs has made the the whole thing seem less attractive.
On HGTV’s My Lottery Dream Home, it seems a great number of winners are scratchers (and this season also professional poker players.) Looking at the Cal Lottery webpage, and the news/winners section, there are a large number of scratchers winners.
For example, according to Calottery: calottery.com there are still 50 available winning scratcher tickets offering million dollar plus payouts, sitting in the vending machines/vendor displays. There will be no-where near that many million-dollar plus winning tickets in the draw games over the next year or two, here in California.
Anyway, gambling is by its definition not a sure thing.
Yet certainly, for a long-running enterprise, it seems to me that the state lotteries’ draw games need to rethink what they are doing if they are going to stem the decline in interest.