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.
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”.
When you start recording the exact number of games you play, the amount you spend, and the number of wins/dollars you get in return, it really becomes startling how Tatts can continue to publish supposed odds for their games, and yet the odds experienced by this particular TattsLoser is starkly different (ie. worse).
To me, this is indicative of one of three things:
1. I’m apparently a lot more “unlucky” than the average punter
In which case, there must be people out there who continually receive better odds to . How likely do you think this is? I’d love to hear from some of those people. Better still, I’d like Tatts to point them out. I’ve certainly kept every
2. That the mathematical odds represent a truly random game, and Tatts lotteries are not genuinely random
If this is the case, it is both false and misleading to represent the lotteries with a mathematical model. What I am uncertain of is at what point (ie. how much money I have to loose) to conclusively declare this.
3. That at some point the odds will even out over a reasonable period of time
In which case, I will continue to run this blog and openly share my losses and odds. Tatts – should you wish to challenge anything reported here, be advised I have kept every single ticket both winning and losing, and welcome you to challenge the results I publish in this blog.
Wednesday Lotto’s draw this week (7th March 2012) – here’s the results of what I played, lost & won:
2 x System 8s
26 x System 7s
46 x Standard Games
Total Spend: $154.95
Winnings: Division 5 x 3 (System 7) – $45.15
Net losses for Wednesday Lotto: Lost $109.80
This makes it a total of 48 Tattersalls lottery draws I’ve played in for 2012, and only one draw in which I have won more back than I have played.
Every other lottery draw I have lost more (in most cases, significantly more).
Out of the 48 lottery draws, there have been 22 draws that I’ve won absolutely nothing on. That’s over 45% of lottery draws in 2012 which have returned nothing. Making Tattersalls lotteries one of the worst options for gambling and hoping to win.
My net losses playing Tattersalls lotteries and running this blog for 2012: $4,321.64 – wasted on these pathetic lotteries. Think of how much you’re losing next time you get romanced by the pathetic advertising of coconuts on island beaches or wheelbarrows full of gold bullion.
Tatts – you suck. Your games suck. And this blog is a testament to the immoral way you peddle profit on people’s dreams.
Apologies for the gap in posts. No, I haven’t won a Tattersalls jackpot and disappeared on a much needed holiday. Quite the opposite actually. Life kind of took over for a while and I needed to concentrate on trying to get on top of some debts.
I did, however, resume my TattsLoser habit and played in Saturday’s Tattslotto draw. Here’s the breakdown:
5 x System 8
23 x System 7
96 x Standard Games
Total Cost: $260.05
Winnings: Absolutely ZERO!
Kind of thought after scaling back my playing I’d give Saturday Tattslotto a good shot this week. I mean, after all, apparently there’s much better odds with the new Division 6. Seems those odds never go in my favour (what’s it like for you? my guess is, much the same).
At any rate, this brings my appalling Tattersalls lottery games losses for 2012 to a whopping total of $4,173.98 – that’s right, over $4k lost this year alone playing these stupid lotteries with odds that never return anything like they’re supposed to.
Oh well, that’s just one TattsLoser story. I’m sure there’s hundreds of thousands out there, but you’d be forgiven for thinking this wasn’t the case with those wonderful “winners stories” Tatts keep publishing on their website.
At least you have TattsLoser, to share the ongoing sad story that is repeated countless times across Australia. When you play like I do, you get to a point where you don’t even care about the jackpots and first division prizes anymore – you’d settle for just getting back something that remotely resembles the odds of winning any game.
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.