Buying and scratching instant lottery tickets is something that almost everyone has done at one time or another. For some folks it’s probably something they do all too often. I guess for me, the bad buying habit is junk food. If I had spent my extra cash on instant lottery tickets over the years, I may have already been rich by now instead of overweight. Like anything, be it food or gambling one must do it in moderation, and that is often not easy to do.
Here in the state of Pennsylvania where I live, the first scratch off ticket arrived in 1975, and they have already been a big hit every since.
I have bought instant lottery tickets of every available price range in my state. I usually choose the $1 – $2 tickets, but from time to time I purchase a $5 – $10 ticket, and something time, I purchased a $20 instant ticket. I won nothing on the $20 ticket, not even $1 or a FREE ticket, in order that was like throwing out my $20. You would think that with needing to spend that much money, they might give everyone at least a FREE $1 ticket or something. I thought afterwards that I was sort of foolish for spending and losing the $20 on one ticket, but heck as they say, “If you don’t play, you can’t win !”, it had been a gamble, and I didn’t win that time. I have known two individuals who each won near $20,000 on instant lottery tickets. THEREFORE I can say for certain, “yes, some folks do win it big.”
Unlike the live lottery that is usually drawn by picking numbers, the instant lottery is pre-determined months before it’s release. The tickets are designed and printed, then they are distributed to the lottery retailers throughout the state. Most small convenience stores offer instant lottery tickets, plus the large chain stores. It is possible to usually find them in a vending machine with multiple styles and prices to choose from, or they are at the cashiers area on the counter or behind a shielded section. Instant lottery tickets sell for as low as $1 and as high as $20 each in most states of the U.S. but some states may have tickets that sell for even more than $20 each.
States do instant lotteries to help fund many different programs. For instance in Pennsylvania, the lottery can be used to create funds to benefit programs for the Commonwealth’s older residents. In Ohio, since 1974, the Lottery has provided more than $13 billion to public education. Annually, the lottery provides about 4.5 percent of the funding needed for Ohio’s public education. In Missouri, approximately 27.3 cents of each dollar spent on the Lottery benefits education programs; 61.6 cents goes back to players as prizes, 5 cents can be used for administrative costs and 6.1 cents goes to retailers by means of commissions, incentives and bonuses. In every, more than 93 cents of each dollar stays in Missouri. It’s different for each and every state, but the lottery is quite beneficial regardless of the few problems it can cause to some, in the form of gambling addictions.
Most folks buy instant (scratch off) tickets, and if they don’t really win anything, they throw the tickets in the trash. Did you know that each time you throw a losing instant lottery ticket in the trash, you’re throwing money away ? Yes, you can find literally hundreds if not thousands of folks around the world that would love to buy your tickets from you. I’ve seen losing lottery tickets sell for as high as $15 each, these were tickets that had no redeemable value. I once visited an area convenience store and asked them easily could have a bag of losing instant lottery tickets I saw they had on the floor behind the counter. The clerk gladly gave them if you ask me, I took the tickets home and after checking through all of them, I found two which were $1 winners which were not redeemed, and I sold the remaining losing tickets for $30, and the store was just likely to throw them away.
Where did I sell them ? On eBay. Result HK happened to look one day and I noticed there is losing instant lottery tickets for sale on the eBay auction website. There are folks selling non-winning, so called ‘worthless’ lottery tickets on eBay at all times. I just did a search now while writing this article, and I found over 100 different auction listings for them. Who buys these non-winning lottery tickets ? Collectors.
Instant Lottery Ticket collecting is fast learning to be a big thing. There are groups and individuals all over the world, that love collecting lottery tickets. There are various websites, discussion groups and forums now simply for lottery ticket collecting. Actually there is even a new term or name for an instantaneous lottery ticket collector: LOTOLOGIST, and the instant lottery ticket collecting hobby is called: LOTOLOGY. To see how big this hobby is becoming just visit your favorite search engine, such as GOOGLE, and execute a seek out: lotologist OR lotology. And you can find many sites collecting, selling and buying used non-winning instant lottery tickets.