I love those Tatts ads splashed over billboards, at bus stops, in online ads.. they’re so well tailored to appeal to the urban middle class and working class, trying to get by on a measly wage and every day thinking “if only I got a lucky break”.
The ads always feature ‘perfect nuclear family’ sorts – the toned and health man and woman jumping from a boat, like above.. or that classic Tattslotto ad with the astute elderly urban white haired father giving a new home to his daughter. How great would it be if you were that elderly white haired father who after 40 years hard labor could barely scrape from his savings a home loan deposit for your perfectly manicured daughter when, WOOHOO, you get “the Tatts call” and suddenly you can surprise her with a home you’ve bought for her. And after struggling all your life, it suddenly makes sense all those Tattslotto tickets you bought because NOW you can give her a mortgage-free house so she doesn’t have to struggle like you did. Imagine how happy you’ll go to the grave? Life could be a dream.
Hence, so many hapless souls line up and buy their tickets, jackpot after jackpot, in queue with the other well deserving middle and working class, everyone abuzz from the ads thinking “that’s me!”, everyone nervously fidgeting their ticket, their money, their Tatts Card, wholly convinced by the promise that they can beat the odds. Because they deserve to; the ad paints an ideal “if he can win, so can I – that’s me”.
The thing about odds, though, is it might seem like you have a one in something chance.. but they’re mathematical odds, you idiot. Buy 500 games and win just one last division prize.. suddenly the 1:16 mathematical odds don’t stack up. You’re 1:500. What’s wrong!? If you ask Tatts, they’ll point you right back to the mathematical odds. Those odds don’t mean shit. You could play 1000 games and win nothing. The person next to you could play 10 games and win 10 times.
Those disgustingly cliche ads have made your brain soft. You think because you deserve it, “lady luck” will shine the odds in favor of you. Lemme paint the picture of odds and “deserving luck” for you…
The alcohol and drug addicted neglecting mother, claiming Centrelink benefits through fraud including the pension of her abused and imprisoned own father with dementia locked in a dirty room while her flea-infested and starving kids eating scraps in their filthy rooms.. can potentially win a jackpot on an 12 game quick pick despite those system 8’s you’ve been playing religiously for 10 years.
The affluent corporate CEO who can plough $20k into tickets as ‘spare change’ and doesn’t check his or her tickets for weeks because it was a ‘thoughtless flutter’ is as likely to add major wins to their swollen bank balance as you are long life milk to your modest kitchen cupboard.
The FIFO mining guy blowing half his wage smashing jagermeisters and physically humiliating prostitutes while his family lingers back home trying to stitch together spare dollars to buy next year’s school uniforms .. is as ‘mathematically’ due a Tatts “dream come true” as you.
Dear Tatts Corp – any chance we can have a ‘Life Could Be A Dream’ ad where the newly crowned millionaire is cast full focus in frame in all their scabies glory shooting the winnings up their arm whilst their neglected kids are shrunk against the wall in the background in fear? Because by the mathematics of this ‘chance’ and ‘dream’ you spin, and who and where potential winners might equally be drawn from, surely includes these sorts as much as the nuclear types you always feature..?
Last post for now… purely FYI, the MD of Tatts Group is Robbie Cooke who received a shade of $3m in remuneration according to Tatts annual report found here:
This guy wins lotto three times a year, floated by all those lovely pensioners still hopeful after 20 years of winning just once 🙂
Here’s some food for thought. Tatts has a lot of information out there on the chances of YOU winning. I’m interested in what are the chances of Tatts drawing numbers where NOBODY wins 1st division (that is, they get to jackpot to larger draws, that encourage progressively larger ticket sales).
To put it a different way, what are Tatts’ chances of winning?
It’s nearly impossible to find any statistics that state how many games or tickets are purchased (indeed, we’d probably be horrified by these stats so I’m sure they’re suppressed to the nth degree). But we can probably assume some rough ideas on this based on the starting kitty for a particular game, and then the progressive jackpot increments.
This is rough logic, but here goes. Given the most recent $50m Powerball jackpot a single winner, Draw 1001 with a single $50m winner in WA.. take a step back to Draw 1000.
There was no Division 1 winner (hence the jackpot). In Draw 1000 there was a total of approx. $12.54 million paid in Div2-Div8 prizes. Each game played in Powerball costs $0.92 (inc commission). So we have to assume there were at least 13,630,000 games played to even cover the division pay outs.
Let’s now consider three things:
1) Tatts pays a flat 9.3% gross commission to outlets on ticket sales. So we need to inflate the above figure by 9.3% to cover that ‘commission’. I’d consider that even for online sales, which I assume Tatts is pocketing the regular franchise commission directly. Roughly speaking, another 1.28m games to cover commission costs. So that’s 14.91 million games played.
2) The Jackpot moved from $40m to $50m. That means they had at least another $10m (and 10.87 million losing entries) to cover the jackpot increase, increasing the total number of games played to 25.78m games played.
3) Tatts is a ‘for profit’ company. In fact, ASX listed and with hungry shareholders. Every draw produces profit for Tatts, outside of money going into divisions, jackpots and franchise commissions. Those profits float the company and line the pockets of shareholders. A recent SMH article cited: “Tatts’ half-year profit rise was boosted by record lottery earnings to rise 14.6 per cent to $139.2 million in the six months ended December 31, 2014”. 10% of this was online sales, assumed in (1) above as commission (the article refers this as a growth driver). It’s hard math, but on a rough estimate Tatts likely takes a 10% cut of ticket sales and commissions across the board. Per (2) above we have to assume another 10.87m tickets. This takes us to 36.56m games played.
So I’d call 36.56m games played as highly conservative on Draw 1000. So let’s turn to the Powerball official odds of winning.
The official Tatts Powerball odds of winning, based on 1 game, is 76,767,600:1 .. they publish the odds of winning in 12 games as 6,397,300:1 .. dividing the odds of 1 game by 12. Simple math. Let’s do the same thing.
Tatts’ odds of drawing numbers NOT played in Draw 1000 (causing the $50m jackpot) were, at a conservative estimate, the number of games played against the odds of one entry winning.
76,767,600:36,560,000 … divided: 2:1.01 .. marginally, 50%. They fairly much managed, on the flip of a coin, to draw numbers nobody had. On a conservative estimate. Now THAT’S LUCKY! Give me some of that luck, please!
Further, they’ve managed that “luck of the draw” 50% twice in the last few months with two $50m Powerball jackpots in the space of a few months.
Based on the above – it gets really murky when you consider the increased # games played and stakes in the $50m draw itself, and the sheer odds that only one person would have the correct numbers and take out first division alone, on a single entry.
Your chances of winning a pitiful Division 8 prize on a single entry are 110:1 .. 10:1 for a 12 game quick pick. 10% chance of winning. How many times have you bought a 50 game quick pick and not even managed Division 8?
In closing, from the horse’s mouth (no pun intended given Tatts’ TAB), they stated in their annual report “In the first half Tatts offered 15 large jackpots, compared with 22 in the same period last year. The company said this hampered lotteries revenue growth”
In other words, the more frequent the larger jackpots, the better the profits and investor returns.
So, it’s much better if people like you don’t win their lotteries, and that’s both a strategic vision of the company and an earnest hope of those who run it and market these lotteries to you with every tactic to tap into your hopes, dreams and convince you that you’ve got a chance in hell of winning.
Here’s a bit more food for thought… in the last six months we’ve had two Powerball $50m jackpots go to a single first division winner. One in Canberra, one in WA. That’s right, the whole $50m jackpot to a single ticket entry. The Canberra ticket was supposedly won a $5.55 ticket. Bet that makes you regular players and supporters of these games and syndicate entries feel awesome!
Think about the sheer number of entries – then park that, and think about the huge number of supposedly better odds system entries and massive syndicate entries. You know, the ones your local agent and Tatts advocate as a much better chance of winning. That didn’t win in either case. I’ve seen $1,300 powerball syndicates on sale for both draws (10 shares), $130,000 tickets a piece, that netted jack squat.
In the last Powerball $50m jackpot draw I bought a $210 syndicate entry, and won $5.80. That’s just a shade more money to buy a $5.55 ticket that could “scoop” me $50m! WINNING!
It’s such a false economy and a wholesale scam in many ways; the company (Tatts) does everything it can to minimize the reality of losing and maximize the promise of winning. I personally think it is manipulative, misleading and intentionally destructive. On a winning ticket the retail tatts machine will “sing” and print a huge “WINNER!” across your ticket, however if you loose it makes no sound whatsoever. It used to say “Better Luck Next Time”; an attempt at a positive affirmation to keep you gambling instead of the obvious opposite of WINNER! which is “LOSER!”. I’ve noticed now they’ve even reduced that so a losing ticket simply gets a discrete “x” on it near the bottom (check it out!)
On the online Tatts system, once a draw closes the status of tickets in your history changes to “Closed”. Any tickets that win change to “Won!” but the losing tickets simply remain “Closed”. How dishonest.
As for syndicates – I was in a regular syndicate played for *every* super draw over the last two years. 10 shares in the syndicate, each cost $178. Out of 16 draws this ticket has won once – about $60. Put that into context – $2,848 in tickets, $60 back. “More chances of winning”. RIGHT…. but here’s the horrifying reality; if you played that syndicate game alone, you’d be paying $1,780 per ticket. That means you would have spent $28,480 in System entries, and won a grand total of $600 back. WINNING.
A local newsagent runs about 30 syndicates – ranging from $50 to $1288 a share (that’s right, tickets costing $128,800 each across 10 shares). If you want a reality check about Tatts, go in the following day and find out how many of those syndicates paid out.
Here’s the reality: playing MORE, going in syndicates or System entries in general, and spending MORE, greatly increases your chances of LOSING MORE MONEY … WAY more than it increases your chances of winning. So the correct terminology is “More Chances To Lose More Money”.
We’re always keen to share your loser stories here on TattsLosers. Sure, Tatts love to plug their winner stories, coating them in a kind of verbal asbestos that conceals the many millions of losers and tens of millions of dollars lost. Tatts have their media and website mouthpiece, billboards, tv and digital ads.. all we have as the counterculture to this horrid company and its devious practices is social media and blogs. So feel free to share your stories here by adding a comment; you’re certainly not alone in either being misled into playing these lotteries, or losing your money and wondering who the f*ck these ‘winners’ are that have a slice of your hard earned cash.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I haven’t kept up my posts as much as I’d like to be able to due to work commitments and the death of my father in law. I’ll be posting a further update on Tatts Lotteries odds, including the enormous amount I spent on the Super 7’s Oz Lotto $50m jackpot draw.
For now, I wanted to share with you all some advice I received from Tattersalls Customer Care when I emailed in last year. I essentially emailed in with a very simple question – that their web site advertisers winners everywhere, including winner stories, but all my tickets keep losing.
The response I received from customer care was, essentially, that “persistence pays“. In other words, keep blowing money on their lotteries, it’ll all work out in the end. Literally – persistence = keep gambling, pays = you’ll end up in front.
Is this a responsible reply to somebody who, via simple look up on their member system, was losing tens of thousands of dollars? That, in order to mitigate my losses, I should keep on gambling?
It’s exactly this kind of behavior that fuels problem gambling. In 2012, following that email, I have now lost over $9,000 playing these lotteries. Tattersalls, meanwhile, have pocketed tens of millions of dollars of profit from these gambling operations. And yet, here I am, persistently playing. As advised by their caring customer representative.
I have since emailed my concerns to the Government, who have essentially hand balled the complaint and have not responded to the complaint nor taken any action. And why should they? The Government is also pocketing millions from “administering” these lotteries.
Meanwhile, thousands of Australian people and their families continue to spiral into debt and gambling problems.