Prize Claimed on New FL Game- Now 1/2 the Top Prizes Are Gone!

Sometimes when you read a press release from a lottery, it’s what they don’t say that can clue you in on if you want to buy particular game tickets or not. Here’s a recent release for the Florida Lottery:
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The Florida Lottery announced that Maria Mirambeau, 49, Hollywood, claimed a top prize of $5,000 a week for life in the new $10 Scratch-Off game, $5,000 A WEEK FOR LIFE, at Florida Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee. Mirambeau chose to receive the winnings in a one-time, lump-sum payment in the amount of $4,236,014.38. She purchased her winning Scratch-Off ticket at Sunoco, located at 11951 West Okeechobee Street in Hialeah Gardens. The overall odds of winning a prize are one in 3.34.
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Good for her, except given her age she should have taken the prize as weekly payments for life. She left a lot of money on the table and in the hands of the IRS by taking the lump sum.

The interesting thing is when we look at the Prizes Remaining section of the Florida Lottery web site and find:
Prizes remaining
There were only TWO top prizes and now one is gone. The first top prize went out early in this game, as it was launched on February 5.

Here’s a little lottery math:
The odds of winning the top prize is one in 6 million so with 2 top prizes there are 12 million tickets in this $10 game. I think there are 60 tickets in a pack for this game which gives us 200,000 packs for this game. Packs are distributed in numerical order to the stores. Lottery ticket manufacturers use a “seed and pluck” method for placing in the top prizes. If all the top prizes are claimed early, players stop buying, the state’s profit drops and the lottery is unhappy. They share this displeasure with their ticket manufacturing account rep who then yells at his game programmers. While nothing “officially” happens with the seed and pluck method, everyone wants to avoid displeasure so top prize somehow winds up towards the end of the game. The “seed and pluck” removes the randomness of prize placement. They may have not controlled where the first prize was but I will guarantee the last top prize is towards the back of the game. I hazard a guess the last top prize will appear in book 150,000 or higher.

Oops! Did I just reveal an insider secret? I’m putting this type of information together in an upcoming publication that will be available here. Using it you will be able to make smart choices when purchasing scratch ticket.

The smart choice now is to not buy the Florida $5000 A Week For Life game.
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In the multi-state lotto games there was no jackpot winner in Powerball so the jackpot grows. Mega Millions has a smaller jackpot for Friday.

POWERBALL
03/09/2013
$150,000,000 est
Cash Option: $95,200,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/08/2013
$33,000,000 est
Cash Option: $24,400,000