Get Rich Or Die Scratching: A Lottery Experiment

Get Rich Or Die Scratching: A Lottery Experiment

Many people will have bought a lottery scratch card or two in their lives. The promise of a big win in exchange for little money makes us dream of all the things we could buy while we scratch away to reveal those hidden riches. More often than not, though, all that scratching only results in a feeling of disappointment when the required winning symbol or third matching amount proves to be elusive yet again. The odds, it seems, are never in your favour – but is there a way to improve your chances of a win?

Scratchcard Experiment

Get Rich Or Die Scratching: A Lottery Experiment

What if you bought loads of scratch cards at once? On paper, you could talk yourself into making sense of this. Spend a little bit more to increase your chances of winning a lot. This sounds like a pseudo-scientific experiment worth trying, and even though I’m not sure how and why I came up with this idea in the first place, a few days ago I found myself in front of the lottery counter at the Mall of Asia, determined to put my get-rich-quick-or-die-scratching scheme to the test.

Scratchcard Experiment

With many different scratch cards on offer, I decided to just pick one type at random and buy a whole load of them. My chosen ticket to the millionaire lifestyle went by the name of Lucky Snake and retails at P20 while promising wins of up to P100,000. With no real idea how many of these PCSO issued cards there are in circulation, I based the number of tickets to be bought purely on how much money I was willing to invest in this experiment, rather than any real mathematical significance of a proper statistical sample. 5000 pesos was about all I was willing to spend, so a few minutes and one bewildered looking sales girl later, I walked out of MoA with 250 Lucky Snake scratch cards in my possession. I could practically taste the champagne lifestyle already!

Here’s a short video of what happened next:

Sadly, after over an hour of vigorous scratching, my dream of sipping champagne in the back of a luxury limousine remained just that, a dream. Not only did I not win the big prize, I didn’t really win at all. In total, out of the 250 tickets, 209 turned out to be losers. The remaining 41 tickets showed wins totaling a disappointing 2630 pesos, meaning I had actually lost 2370 pesos or 47.4% of my initial 5000 pesos investment.

get-rich-or-die-scratching-a-pcso-lottery-scratchcard-experiment (3)

What really surprised me was how low the actual winning amounts turned out to be. The cards require you to match three amounts to win that amount. The amounts on offer are 20, 40, 50, 100, 150, 300, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000 and 100,000 pesos. In addition to these, there are also two bonus win symbols: a ‘Yin Yang’ sign for a 200 peso win and a ‘Cracker’ sign for a 1000 peso win. Out of the 41 winning cards, not a single win in the main game was above P150, and out of the 250 cards, only three carried the P200 winning Yin Yang symbol. Those three cards also represented the biggest wins in the whole experiment. While not entirely sound as statistical samples on a mathematical basis (before someone at the PCSO calls their lawyers), this kind of result is still discouraging.

Many people might now be reading this and thinking “I could have told you that as well”, and indeed I didn’t really expect to win the big amount and retire into the sunset. The problem is, though, that not everyone shares this type of common sense and logical thinking. If anything, please take this experiment as a reminder that playing the lottery is something you should only ever do as a bit of fun, but never ever as a real investment strategy or credible way to make money. We all like to dream a bit and there is no harm in buying a scratch card if you have a spare 20 pesos in your pocket, but to see it as a genuine chance to improve your financial situation is not only foolish; it’s outright dangerous.

pcso-lottery-scratchcard-experiment

So, if you ever toyed with the idea of investing your salary into lottery tickets, then hopefully you know now that this is not a good idea. If you have friends or relatives who show this type of behaviour, then please show them this article and video, so they can see for themselves that the only ones guaranteed to win in this game are the people printing the tickets, and that’s what this experiment was really all about.

 

 

Get Rich Or Die Scratching: A Lottery Experiment

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