- Break-even prizes are prizes equal to the cost of the ticket
- Scratch games are LOADED with break-even prizes to skew Overall Odds
- Adjusted Game Odds give more accurate overall odds of winning
While luck plays a role in finding that elusive winning ticket, don’t you want to give yourself an edge by playing games with the best odds of winning? In this post, we’ll explore what we call “adjusted game odds” and how they can provide a more realistic view on your chances of winning.
Understanding Overall Odds
Most players are familiar with the “overall odds“ of winning, often found on the back of a scratch-off ticket. These odds represent your chances of winning any prize, including break-even prizes.
Break-even prizes are those where you win a prize equal to the cost of the ticket itself, such as winning a $5 prize (or free ticket) on a $5 ticket.
Let’s take a closer look at the game image above as an example. If the overall odds of winning are 1 in 3.65, this means, on average, approximately one out of every three to four tickets should yield a winner.
However, it’s important to note that this is an average and not a strict rule that every third or fourth ticket will win. These overall odds are calculated by dividing the total number of tickets printed by the number of winning prizes in the game.
The Problem with Break-Even Prizes
While overall odds are known by most players, they can be misleading. When a scratch game is packed full of break-even prizes, each of those prizes counts as a win, even though its really just getting your money back. And each of those “wins” makes the overall odds look better.
In this game for example, the break-even prize is a $10 prize, but in some states, it might be winning a free ticket.
Astonishingly, almost 60% of the all the prizes in this game are winning the price of the ticket back.
Now, ask yourself, how many players get genuinely excited about “winning” a free ticket or merely recouping the price of the ticket?
Lotteries keep players interested when they “win” a prize. And by packing games full of these break-even prizes, they keep players coming back but hide the REAL odds of winning.
You have to wonder why lotteries include so many break-even prizes in their games. Are they hoping players don’t cash them in or is it merely to trigger an emotional reaction to “winning” something?
Introducing Adjusted Game Odds
This is where the idea of adjusted game odds comes into play. At LottoEdge, we recalculate the odds of winning any prize greater than the ticket price by stripping out all break-even prizes.
In the above game example, the overall odds of winning are 1 in 3.02. However, when we remove those 217,529 break-even $10 prizes, we discover that there are just over 155,000 actual prizes worth chasing.
We then recalculate the odds of winning any non-breakeven prizes. In this case, we reveal the actual odds of winning a prize greater than the ticket price are approximately 1 in 7.35.
That’s a big change, right? The odds have increased by 143%. This is where you might decide this isn’t the best game to play. The actual odds of winning a real prize are 1 in 7.35 NOT 1 in 3.02.
Utilizing Adjusted Game Odds
While some states might refer to this concept differently (e.g., cash odds), we prefer to call it adjusted game odds, as not all states have free tickets as break-even prizes. We believe that it’s essential for players to understand the real odds of winning prizes, not just breaking even.
In the world of scratch-off lottery tickets, knowing the true odds can make a world of difference. While break-even prizes are nice, many players want to win more meaningful amounts.
Adjusted game odds provide a clearer picture of your REAL chances of landing a winning prize.
So, next time you purchase a scratch-off ticket, consider looking beyond the overall odds and checking out the adjusted game odds to know your chances of striking it big.
Good luck scratching!