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Great story on cracking lottery scratch-off tickets

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by TheSportsPredictor, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Guy in Toronto proves that some lottery scratch-off games can be cracked simply by looking at the numbers printed on them (before scratching off). The scratch-off games aren't random, as the payoffs are predetermined. So the printing should reveal a pattern. He figured it out, much like the Press Your Luck guy.

    There's no evidence or admission from any lottery commissions, but patterns of winning seem to verify that others have cracked the code and are using it to collect some cold, hard cash. That includes a very lucky Texas woman, who just happens to have a doctorate in mathematics from Stanford ...

    Just more proof that life is rigged.

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/01/ff_lottery/all/1
     
  2. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    That was an amazing story.

    I often think about things like that. One thing I became obsessed with a few years ago, is how the guys with computers aligned with Billy Walters in the 80s were able to beat the hell out of the Vegas sports books. It's different in mechanism, but it's the same idea in that if you can tilt the odds of some kind of gambling game in your favor, you can statistically create a sure thing, where over time you will eek out guaranteed earnings. Statistically I have figured out the odds on every Casino game (not that hard, obviously) and because they are truly random, there is no system tilting odds in your favor -- except in the case of the types of card games where you can actually count cards.

    When statistically something isn't truly random, it can be reverse engineered to figure out an algorithm being used. It never occurred to me to look at something as simple as a lottery, which of course isn't truly random, because they need to garner a fixed amount of income.

    I knew nothing about those lottery tickets. I have never even looked at those various tickets available. But that story is really food for thought, isn't it?
     
  3. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Walters continues to beat hell out of the NFL, which remains eminently beat-hell-out-of-able.

    Walters will miss the NFL dearly if the idiots run the ship aground.
     
  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Walters is still at it, but whether he is successful as he was 30 years ago isn't really known. He says he has never had a losing year, but he is so wealthy now and into so many things, it's hard to know what is fact and what is fiction with the guy. When the Computer Group got started, the sports books were not very sophisticated. Lines weren't very efficient and there were way more large gaps between where the lines were and what the true line should have been for those guys to exploit with all the factors they were building into games to create their own lines. Now the bookmakers do a lot more work of their own to set an opening line and react really quickly to the early betting. when Walters' runners come in placing big bets, the sportsbooks know and they also know how to play him, just as he plays them. He no longer has Michael Kent, the real genius in the whole scheme, who came up with the computer program (which was run on a mainframe) and fed Walters and his partner the picks. I am really suspicious of just how successful Walters really is nowadays. Sportsbetting has become a much more efficient market. Regardless, Walters did have a crazy run in which him and the people associated with him were pulling in millions of dollars and it really took Vegas a long time to catch up.
     
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