SCAMMING THE LOTTERIES

Are there ways to scam state lotteries – i.e. to “arrange” to win over and over again, against impossible odds?

Before answering, I will ask you to read this article, published by the Columbia Journalism Review.  I have a feeling it might give you insights…and suspicions…you don’t already have.

Here’s just one segment:

In total, we analyzed 11 million lottery prize claim records covering 36 of the nation’s 45 lotteries. What we found astonished us:

  • In the past seven years, nearly 1,700 Americans were frequent winners—which we defined as having claimed 50 or more lottery tickets each worth $600 or more.
  • Clarance Jones of Lynn, Massachusetts, the nation’s most frequent winner, claimed more than 7,300 tickets worth $600 or more in only six years.
  • Jones would have had to spend at least $300 million to have a 1-in-10 million chance of winning so often, according to a statistician we consulted at the University of California, Berkeley. (Jones did not respond to requests for comment.)
  • The odds are extraordinary even for winners with far smaller win tallies. According to the analysis, Nadine Vukovich, Pennsylvania’s most frequent winner, would have had to spend $7.8 million to have a 1-in-10 million chance of winning her 209 tickets worth $600 or more.

Did that get your attention?

Good.  I thought it would.

You have the link.  Please read the entire article.  And then you might join me in wondering what is going to be done about it.

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