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 🙂
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.
As my Tatts losses tops $4,600 I’m forced to confront the realities of dreaming. The reality of buying into glitzy advertising. The reality of my own stupidity and hope.
Today marks a turning point, both for me and my blog. It’s been some 11 weeks since I started this blog to share my experiences playing Tatts lotteries. Draw by draw, I’ve been collecting evidence and sharing my wins and losses, and the ongoing odds.
To date only one of the five lotteries (Super 7’s) has actually returned odds equal to or better than what is published in Tatts material and on their website promoting these lotteries. Below is my summary to date of odds I’ve experienced for each of the five weekly lotteries run by Tattersalls.
I have to say, response from people both directly and on Twitter has been encouraging. Every gambler needs to wake up to the fact they’re being taken advantage of. I think this relies on two key things:
- A reality check of what they’re losing
My habitual and finicky recording of every game played and every dollar spent, and sharing it here on this blog, serves to do this. It’s certainly an eye opener for me and, I hope, provides some insight and inspiration to others. You need to stop blindly playing and palming off your losses to “bad luck” – become habitual in recording exactly what you spend and what you get back. And you begin to realize that the same pattern could essentially continue for the next 20 or 30 years. Losing doesn’t bring you any closer to winning, and I honestly believe (from my personal experience) published odds are not a fair indicator to gauge what you spend and what you might get back.
- The support of friends, family and community
By sharing my experiences, I’m opening myself up to criticism and support. A reality check is one thing – having that reality echoed back to you by others is potent. By confronting your reality, and then opening it up to share with others, you can start to face the truth – as hard as that may be.
My reality check is further compounded by the things that go on outside the losses and disappointment of playing these lotteries. Constantly pawning goods to stretch over pay cycles and fill the gaps. Taking on predatory loans to try and get yourself out of the immediate stress, but causing you more harm and cost in the long term. These have been part of my reality, and are things I need to work hard to change.
I will continue running this blog – yet as much as I feel there is a clear story to tell by sheer volume of games played and $ lost, in contrast to the millions of dollars spent by on advertising and promoting these lotteries, I need to reign in my losses and control my situation. This is something I’m really trying to focus on, whilst also wanting to continue this blog to track & share the ongoing disappointment.
Having others write in and share their own win/loss record will certainly help add to the statistical pool I’m trying to build on.
Again, I truly appreciate the ongoing support people have shown. There are two things you can do to help – the first is, never feel like your comments are lost. Nobody is beyond help, and yes, I am waking up to the reality of this situation – so thank you for showing your concern and support. The second thing is, please help me share this blog as this is only one story of thousands upon thousands that aren’t being shared. Many of them are far worse than what I’m detailing here. By connecting people and raising awareness, it helps turn a negative situation into a positive influence.
Here’s the run-down odds I’ve gotten from Tatts lotteries in 2012 so far (number of games won out of number played):
Monday Lotto: 1 in 204
Tatts Odds: 1 in 53
Super 7’s: 1 in 47
Tatts Odds: 1 in 55
Wednesday Lotto: 1 in 406
Tatts Odds: 1 in 53
Powerball: 1 in 105
Tatts Odds: 1 in 60
Saturday Tattslotto: 1 in 72
Tatts Odds: 1 in 53
As you can see from the above, in most cases the odds I’ve experienced have been significantly less than the mathematical odds published. In the case of Wednesday Lotto, it’s almost 8 times worse than the published odds.
More soon. Thank you for your ongoing support.
As of today I’ve lost $4,557.94 to Tatts Lotteries in 2012. Having played for over 5 years, based on this rate, my total losses probably amount to over $50,000. Up until 2012 I simply played and palmed off my losses to bad luck. But as part of my new year resolution was to start a blog – to track, statistically, my losses and how these fared to what Tatts publish on their site.
Like a lot of people, I got sucked into these lotteries based on three key things which propelled me to start this blog:
- My life has been a struggle and I have a dream
I work over 60 hours a week in a job that drains me both physically and spiritually. Now in my mid thirties, I’ve always had a dream of being a filmmaker and have spent the last two years struggling to transform my career path. With a family to support, this hasn’t been an easy road. Naively, I started channeling money into Tatts lotteries thinking that the struggle and hardship of my life might bring me some “luck” and give me a fair chance to change my career path. I’ve become desperate to find relief and get a clean break, and it’s exactly this kind of need that lotteries count on to build huge profits.
- Tatts Winner Stories – the only stories Tatts publishes on its website
Despite hundreds of thousands of people losing money daily and weekly, the only thing you read about on the Tatts website are the “Winner Stories”. In my mind this is misleading – it’s intended to keep you thinking that one day you’ll be one of those winners. I started this blog to share my Loser Stories – as a form of raising awareness, to show the other side of the coin which Tatts avoids drawing any attention to (I don’t consider the “Odds of Winning” section buried within their site as a fair balance to the Winner Stories plastered on their home page).
- Tatts Lotteries are promoted with fanfare that I find unfair and (to me) misleading
In a country where we’re pushing for plain packaging for cigarettes to avoid their destructive influence on people by seeming “attractive” because of the packaging, Tatts take out advertisements across all their outlets, on billboards, through online ad placement and via their own website. These ads distinctly portray gambling on these lotteries as “attractive” and “exciting” – look at the Monday & Wednesday Double Dividends ads up at present (exploding stars for the sheer excitement – as if losing money is exciting). Look at the upcoming 31 Mar Super Draw advertisement – a wheelbarrow full of gold, with stars, on a rainbow. Out of millions of players, only a very small percentage will actually experience anything like what is being advertised – so I openly ask, how is it fair or reasonable that these lotteries be permitted to be advertised in this way? They specifically seek out to entice people to gamble, and present this opportunity in a way that completely contradicts the outcome that virtually all players will experience. I continue to raise the point of the need for plain advertising (black text on white background) and clear warnings on any ads promoting lotteries.
This blog is my personal experience and personal point of view. The stats (both in terms of odds, games played/won, and dollars spent/returned) are honest reflections of this experience. I keep every ticket – winning and losing – in a filing system to ensure should what is reported here ever come into question, I will back it up with my own play history.
I welcome others to share this blog and help me raise awareness. Similarly, I welcome others to share their stories too.
Many years ago society stood up to big tobacco and the ‘romantic’ and ‘glorified’ promotion of smoking. People used to be confronted with smoking ads at sporting venues, and classic pictures of fit men on horseback. As we know, the truth is smoking destroys your health, and the advertising was deemed as false and misleading.
I openly ask, how is this different for gambling? Look at the signage promoting lottery draws, for example. Check out Tattersalls own website. Coconuts on unspoilt beaches? Colourful stars exploding, wheelbarrows full of gold on rainbows.
This advertising is equally, if not more, false. By Tatts own admission the chances of actually winning and experiencing something akin to what is being advertised is one in millions upon millions (even worse than what is claimed by them, at least in respect to my own personal history of wins versus losses, as detailed in this blog).
So why should millions of everyday people be subjected to misleading advertising of these lotteries? Virtually every other brand and business in Australia is subject to strict regulation on their advertising. If a supermarket advertises a price for a product, and can’t deliver it, an apology is expected to be printed in the newspaper.
So what about the millions of people who buy a ticket in a Tattersalls lottery draw based on the exotic advertising and promise of a ‘chance to win’? Is it unreasonable that we should expect Tatts to print an open apology in major newspapers following every draw, to apologize for their product not performing as ‘advertised’?
As I continue to play Tattersalls lottery games (Monday & Wednesday Lotto, Super 7’s Oz Lotto, Powerball and Saturday Tattslotto), the price of having your dreams crushed becomes more apparent.
In the past I’ve simply played lotto and palmed off my losses to bad luck. It’s only since the New Years Draw, and as part of my new years resolutions, that I committed to recording every single game I play, how much I spend, and how much I loose.
That’s why I’m writing this blog. To share with all of you the cost of buying into the “dream” that is so openly marketed on lottery games.
As a case example, let’s look at Powerball. In 2012 alone, I’ve played:
1 x System 9, 5 x System 8’s, 13 x System 7’s and 1,525 Standard Games. Total spend on Powerball has been $1,641.38. In total I’ve won back $259.75.
Meaning the price of having my powerball dreams crushed has been $1,381.63 so far.