Texas Lottery scratch-offs: A game of numbers, luck, or both? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Texas Lottery scratch-offs: A game of numbers, luck, or both?

Here's a heads up before you buy your next scratch-off Texas Lottery ticket. Doing just a little research could go a long way in helping you win more prizes, more often.

If you have a smart phone or internet access there is a free and easy way to tell if you're playing the game that has the most big prizes left to win or if you're tossing that hard-earned money down the drain.

There are literally millions of Texas Lottery scratch-offs printed with each game. The latest Maximum Millions game started with three millions total tickets. Instant Powerball just started a new game consisting of six million tickets on Monday. Texas Tea's latest game sent 10 million tickets into circulation, and somewhere among all those millions are the grand prize winners.

A Tyler woman told us she doesn't have much of a strategy to playing, "I think it's all in luck and how much you're willing to spend," she said.

But, the longer that game has been on the shelf, the more likely it is that most of those big winnings have already been claimed.

According to the U Scratch it Texas iPhone application, here is what's left to win the Casino Bingo scratch-off game that started in February of 2011:


  • one ticket with a $30,000 prize
  • five tickets with $1,000 prizes
  • 207 tickets with $500 prizes
  • 3,721 tickets with $100 prizes
  • 12,709 tickets with $50 prizes


The important thing to remember when playing scratch-off lotto tickets is that the odds are always changing. For example, the Elvis ticket, says at the start of the game your chances of winning anything at all are 1 in 4.3. But, if you were to check those odds Wednesday, they were actually 1 in 17.9 because a lot of prizes have already been claimed.

It's information a lot of people don't realize they want until they hear it's out there. 

"If you play an extreme amount, then I think that would be helpful. No one wants to offer that information. Nobody does offer that information unless they're asked," said one Texas Lottery player.

Another important thing to remember is sometimes there are two versions of the same game running.

For example, look at the scratch-off game, "Break the Bank." If you're playing game number 1333, then a majority of the prizes have already been claimed. But, if you're playing game 1434, you'll see a lot more of the big prizes are still out there.

Taking taking what we learned, we decided to give it a try with the Texas Tea scratch-off tickets. The odds of winning are 1 in 4.3 so we bought five tickets. We also know the most recent statistics say at least 80 percent of the big prizes are still unclaimed.

After a few minutes of scratching,  the odds proved to be more or less accurate. We won $2.

At the end of the day, the lottery is still the lottery. 

If you don't have a smart phone, you can look up the same scratch-off information on the Texas Lottery website HERE. You can also ask Texas Lottery vendors to print-out a list of how many top prizes are left in each game. It only takes the cashier a matter of seconds.

Texas Lottery officials say when all of the grand prize tickets have been claimed, they do tell stores to pull those games from their shelves.

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