Playing the Lotto: ZOMG It’s Riggedz

I was reading an interesting article about a two year old study that shows that poor people spend approximately 9% of their wages buying lottery tickets. I’ve always felt that this was the cruelest joke in the online gambling debate. Everyone who knows anything about the lottery system knows that poor people are the biggest purchasers of lottery tickets. And best off, the government runs the numbers! The same politicians that say stuff like “click your mouse and lose your house” are perfectly happy to also say “buy a quick pick before they evict.”

Anyway, I wasn’t writing to rant about the lottery system but one of the comments had me rolling. Greg said:

I found out from a state lottery employee that half the time the lottery is rigged so no one wins. You see the computer knows every combo played so they easily know what numbers to draw. She said about half the time its rigged. I said arent you worried telling me this I will tell and she said no one will believe me anyways so go ahead you have no proof. Basically she said they had no choice the state budget is so broke and playing the lottery honest didnt bring in enough money but rigging it increased profits big time to balance the state budget. So if you read this and still play the lottery you are an idiot.

So they’re rigging the lottery now too? 200,000,000 to 1 odds wasn’t good enough for them so they felt a need to make the odds of winning even worse?

I’m 99.99999% sure this guy is full of sh*t but it just goes to show that when people can’t win something they think they should they automatically assume that there is some conspiracy going on. I mean, if you ran it legit and then rigged it, wouldn’t some academic or consumer protection watchdog not notice a huge spike in profits on relatively flat sales?

Bill Rini
Bill Rini is currently the Head of Online Poker for WSOP. He has been working in the online poker industry since 2004 and has held management roles at Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker.

4 thoughts on “Playing the Lotto: ZOMG It’s Riggedz”

  1. This really sucks. The pols in my state (Illinois) are so stupid that I bet they aren’t rigging our state lottery. We are so far in debt and they are probably letting this cash cow walk on by …

    Check out the people who gamble at Illinois “riverboat” casinos. An awful lot probably don’t really have the money to be there. Doesn’t bother the state, I’m sure. Yet somehow online poker is so terrible.

  2. She actually flat out told you that the lottery was rigged? Pretty impressive – but she’s right in the fact that nobody will believe that it’s rigged.

    Well, certain people will, but those people don’t play the lottery to begin with.

    9% of salaries being spent on scratch offs and other lottery tickets? That’s pretty sad to be honest – may as well put it into a decent sport right? Like poker for example ;)

  3. I think the point is that its rigged to build a bigger pot, not to short the overall money distributed. I would think its a given that the lotteries sell a ton more tickets when the jackpot is $300 million versus $3 million, so all they have to do is not have a winner for a couple of weeks in a row, then give it out the 3rd week. They will sell a lot more tickets, which increases the profit. You wouldn’t look for a larger profit on flat sales, it would be the same profit of more sales.

    To identify this type of cheating, you’d have to look over a large, large sample to see if there were an inordinate amount of rollover weeks (weeks where nobody won and the pot got larger). This would be much more difficult to identify.

  4. I think the biggest problem with what that clerk said is that the lottery is rigged “half the time”. Even if most lottery ticket buyers believed this I don’t think that would deter those who play because who knows when it’s being rigged and when its not. Basically having it rigged half the time would kill the odds of winning, but there’s still a chance of winning. For most that’s enough to play. But this lady does sound kind of crazy to me. She probably thinks aliens killed JFK.

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