Percentage of Tickets Remaining

What is the Percentage of Tickets Remaining?

Percentage of Tickets Remaining is a calculation of all tickets that haven’t been sold yet. If a Scratch-Off game was originally printed with 10 million tickets and it’s been on sale for a while, you can usually calculate an estimate of tickets remaining based on the data the lottery publishes on their website. For example, 50% of 10 million tickets would mean there is 5 million tickets remaining.

Why do you need to know the Percentage of Tickets Remaining?

Scratch-Off games each have their own distinct odds of winning prizes, both overall odds and detailed odds. These odds are determined by the total number of tickets initially printed. If a game is printed with 10 million tickets and there are 5 top prizes of $1,000,000 winners, then the detailed odds of winning a top prize is 1 in 2,000,000 tickets.

We cover how odds change for top prizes HERE, but here is one example of why calculating the % of tickets remaining is important. If there are 5 top prizes still remaining, but the estimate # of tickets sold is 50%, the odds of winning a top prize changed from 1 in 2,000,000 to 1 in 1,000,000! This means your odds of winning a million dollars playing this scratch-off game are now twice as good as they were when the game was launched! We realize this is a very simple example, but working from simple examples is the easiest way to explain the very complicated world of changing lottery odds!

How to calculate the Percentage of Tickets Remaining?

Your state lottery may or may. not publish this very important calculation. Some states publish a ‘% sold’ or ‘% remaining’ number on their site, but they don’t all keep that number up to date. It’s really important to be able to calculate this number on your own if you’re going to analyze any Scratch-Off game data. Fortunately, most states publish enough other data to make it possible for anyone to accurately calculate the % of tickets remaining! There are several variations of this across the 42 states that sell Scratch-Off tickets, so we’re just going to give one common example for how to calculate the % of Tickets remaining.

Most state publish a chart similar to this:

To get to the % of ticket remaining, you must total the # of prizes column and sum either the Claimed or Unclaimed columns:

Sum all prizes
Sum all Claimed or unclaimed prices
Use these totals to calculate % of tickets remaining.

NOTE: YOUR STATE LOTTERY WEBSITE WILL PROBABLY NOT PUBLISH ALL 3 COLUMNS!

If the website provides PRIZES and CLAIMED, the formula is:

60,906 / 205,729 = 29.6% of tickets are sold.

Then simply apply 100% – 29.6% = 70.4% = % of tickets remaining.

If the website provides UNCLAIMED prizes, the formula is:

144,823 / 205,729 =70.4% of tickets remaining!

If your state lottery website only provides ONE of these three columns, it will usually be “Prizes Remaining”. You may have to gather this data from the lottery website every day & catch NEW games when they’re launched. Then, on the first day they publish this data, the “PRIZES REMAINING” will EQUAL “PRIZES”. Just keep the count of Prizes for you future analysis. And, YES, this is exactly how ScratchSmarter does it. We capter the prize details for every new game on the day the games are first published.

ONE FINAL QUESTION THAT ALWAYS COMES UP:

How is this the actual % of tickets remaining? You are only looking at PRIZES, not at losing tickets!?!

Great question. Since all games are printed with overall odds, usually 3 or 4 times the number of winning tickets = losing tickets, you do not have to add losing tickets into the equation. The number of losing tickets is always proportional to the number of winning tickets! You have all of the data you need on each games detailed page of prizes remaining to calculate the % of tickets sold or % of tickets remaining!


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