# Richard Lustig Lottery Book Review

Florida lottery winner Richard Lustig has won 7 grand lottery prizes. His lottery book details his ‘simple secret system’. Click Here For …

Richard Lustig Lottery Book Review

### 192 Comments so far ↓

• Karen

I heard Richard has won 23 times although not mentioning how much each time except the \$840,000 win. I have tried buying 4 two dollar scatchers of the same game and have won something everytime. But I have spent more then I won so far – about \$15. On a two dollar game the odds are 1 in 4.35 tickets so you would win almost every time if you bought 4 of the same game. The trick is to win more then you spent though. Why don’t you agree with that? If you bought 4 different two dollar games the odds wouldn’t be so good right? What about quick picks? Do they have the same chance as playing the same numbers? Love to hear your view on these strategies.

I totally agree that the idea is to win more than you spend. But I don’t think that was meant to be the question π

If you buy 4 scratch off tickets, so long as they have the same odds, it makes no difference if they are all the same game or not. It makes no difference if you buy them all from the same store or not. It doesn’t even matter if you buy them on the same day. Each ticket has that 1 in 4.35 – there is no relationship between them. If you buy 5 tickets you CAN still lose. See what I mean? That’s why Richard’s advice is poor. It’s not that it hurts your chances, but it does NOT increase them.

Same goes for quick picks versus playing the same numbers. It doesn’t matter if you change numbers, play the same numbers, pick your own or use quick picks – all have exactly the same chance of winning. (You might want to try avoiding popular numbers if you pick your own, but that’s a different strategy altogether).

• Karen

If the odds are 1 in 4.35 then why would you still lose if you bought five of the same ticket? I have been buying 4 of the same ticket about 6 times now and have always won something everytime. Isn’t that how the odds are supposed to work? One winner every 4.35 tickets so a few might have every five tickets in a roll but closer to four tickets since the odds are 1 in 4.35. Explain what I am missing please.

• You could still lose if you bought 5 of the same ticket because each ticket is like a separate lottery draw where the odds are 1 in 4.35. You can’t ‘cover all the numbers’ by buying 5 tickets.

It’s like playing 1 entry in a lottery game each week for 4 weeks, instead of 4 entries in the same draw.

Or to put it another way. Scratch cards are like rolling a dice 6 times and hoping for a 6 each time, instead of rolling it once and betting on all 6 numbers.

So it’s quite likely you will win something back if you buy 4, but not guaranteed. This is where Richard Lustig gets it wrong π

• Karen

Yes I could still lose but I’ve won something almost every time if I buy 4 of the same ticket on a two dollar scratch off. The catch is winning more then you pay for the tickets. It only takes one ticket to win \$500 or \$5000.

• Absolutely. And of course it’s designed to work that way.

You see, it’s those small prizes that make us buy more tickets – it keeps us interested. If the lottery companies scrapped all the prizes of less than say \$500, they wouldn’t sell half as many tickets overall.

Which as you say, brings us to the catch. We hope to win the big prize eventually.

And that’s where Richard Lustig does not help by selling incorrect advice. It does only take one ticket to win, but luck always has the last word.

• Eli Paredes

Would you say that Richard Lustig will probably make more money selling his book than actually winning the lottery?

• Hmmm, I wonder ;-).

(Surely that’s not the case for all of those junk lottery system sellers… surely they already made their millions from the amazing systems they are selling… the ones that are guaranteed to work for everyone else π )

• Eli Paredes

Hello Lottery Guy. I can see what you are saying with the scratch off tickets… each ticket (even though the same kind) are their own individual lottery so whilst buying more increases your chances it doesn’t guarantee a win – so you can always spend more than you win.

My question is with games like Mega Millions vs a local small state lottery. Would it be better to try and tackle small lotteries or are the odds the same going after a big lottery? Also will buying multiple tickets for the same drawing increase chances vs buying multiple tickets for multiple drawings?

Thanks.

• Hi Eli

Good questions.

Your chances of winning a state lottery are usually significantly better than Mega Millions or particularly Powerball. Take the Florida Lotto for example – it’s 1-in-22 million for the jackpot. Both the big games are 1-in-175 million for the jackpot – that’s 8 times harder to win. Powerball is actually worse than that because it’s \$2 a ticket now, making it 16 times harder to win!

But of course those jackpots are much bigger π – which is why I’d suggest playing in a lottery syndicate if you want to give those games a shot. This Powerball and Mega Millions syndicate is fairly good.

And yes, you are actually slightly better off playing less often with the same number of tickets overall.

I cover this kind of stuff in my free lottery tips and tricks – check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.

• Glynnis

Do NOT buy that book, if you know anything about math it is all chance. All he did was play all day everyday. So that increased his chances. Most people in a certain area are at work so if he is out everyday playing for hours and less people are playing then he gets more numbers. Now he wants to sell some dumb book.

• Eric

I absolutely agree with you no matter what it is all chance and something that you would learn in I am going to say 7th grade pre algebra class, depending on how far you are in middle school of course.

Just check out a section on probability in a textbook.

• Frank

After playing many years (most won 750) (8500 on sportsbetting) I walked into gas station bought 2 two scratch offs.

There was one left in the holder and I told the clerk I wanted that one also. After 5 minutes of trying to get it out… she didnt want to try any longer. I said I want that one anyway!

After 5 more minutes (she was angry) and the other two were losers, she got it out with a pen. I scanned it… 21k winner!

Does this qualify me to write a book? (Just kidding)

• Nice story Frank, and well done on the win :-).

Spend it wisely. Actually, no, don’t – make the most of it!

Oh, and you are now officially qualified to write a book about the ‘Impatient Pen Extraction Jackpot System’. It’ll work better than most of Mr Lustig’s tips π

• Debbie Carter

You are as qualified as Richard Lustig!

The question of improving odds comes down to quantity. Increasing the number of scratch-offs tickets or the number of 5- or 6-number sets you buy will positively affect your odds of winning. BUT, even if you buy 4,000 tickets in a game with 1 in 4,000 odds you STILL aren’t guaranteed to win. The reason? There is no guarantee of a winner in EVERY set of 4,000. There might be 2 winning tickets in the next 4,000!

To put it another way, using much simpler odds, in a coin toss there will ALWAYS be a 50% (1 out of 2) chance of winning. Even if the coin is tossed a million times the odds won’t change. The coin will ALWAYS have only 2 sides and no reason for it to lean one way or the other.

• Sam

Richard is a friendly guy and will be happy to talk to you on the telephone. His number is on his web site. He makes a living as a concert booking manager, though some are led to believe that he is supported by his lottery winnings. I called him to verify that a list of his winnings as reported in the Orlando Sentinel on October 20, 2010 was accurate and up-to-date. He promised to e-mail me a more complete list including his minor prize winnings, which he says are numerous, but he hasn’t been able to find it. He doesn’t appear to be a good bookkeeper with respect to his lottery finances.

His claim of having won seven lottery jackpots appears to be incorrect. According to the Sentinel he has won only four jackpots and the other winnings were major prizes on scratch-off cards, and three of his four jackpots were for Florida Fantasy Five. He couldn’t have picked a better game for running up a score. This game has seven drawings a week whereas most other games have only two. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 376,992, which are much better than for most other games. In this game the jackpot is nearly always won and usually there are multiple winners. Lustig shared his August 14, 1997 jackpot with 14 other winners, his November 25, 2008 jackpot with 3 other winners, and his August 9, 2009 jackpot with one other winner. Games that favor multiple winners also are favorable to repeat winners. Probably there have been other repeat winners of this game, but they are not publicity seekers. Lustig doesnβt do as well in games that are harder to win. He won Mega Money only once and he never has won Mega Millions or Powerball. Mega Millions is not offered in Florida but he admits to having played it on at least one occasion.

He has given a number of television interviews and is always entertaining to watch. You will find video clips as well as press clippings on his web site [link removed].

In addition to having been researched by the Orlando Sentinel, his winnings can be verified on the web site of the Florida Lottery Commission, so he is probably unique among vendors of lottery systems in this respect.

In a field populated by liars it is a blessing to find an honest man even though his wares have doubtful value.

• Friendly is great, and I’m really happy for him that he’s had some nice wins.

But there’s no excuse for continuing to sell bad advice. He can claim innocence at first, but when you’ve been told repeatedly that your advice is wrong, including by at least one maths professor (Jason Gershman Ph.D. at NSU, Florida), surely the honest thing to do would be to withdraw the book, and cancel the publicity tour..!

• Sam

Although I am not a math professor myself, I have friends and correspondents who are, and I find that they are not infallible. The most celebrated recent case is “The Monty Hall Problem,” where Parade Magazine columnist Marilyn Vos Savant was attacked by dozens of Ph.D. academics writing on official letterheads telling her that she was wrong. Most later admitted their error.

In doing research for my book I contacted a professor at Purdue University who had been quoted in The New York Times as saying that contrary to earlier speculations repeat lottery winners actually were quite likely. I found that although his conclusion was correct, his formula was in error because it did not distinguish between large lotteries and small ones.

One of Rene Descartes’s principles is never to take anything on authority.

• OK. But we know Richard’s advice is wrong.

And he knows that too. But continues to sell it regardless, at an extremely high price.

• Dee

I am with Karen about the scratch tickets. Sticking to the same one increases your odds.

So the odds are 1 in 4. Lets’ say there are 5 different lottery tickets with only 4 tickets left to each one. Out of the 5 let’s say there is one \$100 winner in each different game. If you buy 4 of the same ticket you would be guaranteed \$100. If you buy 1 from each book you could get nothing. (however if you’re lucky you could win all 5 \$100) but it makes more sense to get the guarantee, doesn’t it??

• It may seem so, but that’s not the case :-).

The key reason being that you are NOT guaranteed a winner in 4 tickets. Because that’s not what 1-in-4 really means. You have a 1-in-4 chance on each ticket – but critically each ticket is a completely separate game. Losing in one does not affect the outcome of the next one.

Like rolling a dice. If you roll it 6 times you are not guaranteed to get a 6. It’s quite likely you will, but definitely not a certainty. If you don’t get a 6 on the first 5 rolls, your odds are still just 1-in-6 on the final roll. Make sense?

So it doesn’t actually matter if you buy 4 of the same ticket, or 4 different tickets – assuming the odds are the same for each ticket of course π

This is one of the key ‘tips’ that Richard has got wrong. He’s actually been told by a university maths professor that he’s wrong, but still hasn’t changed the book.

• Dee

I do understand what you are saying. Every ticket is its own lottery of a 1 in 4 chance just like the dice. However with dice it’s more like playing the lottery not a scratch ticket.

Now the only reason I was agreeing with Karen (not Richard) was when you do buy from the same book you hit more because of the trap they put in them. Never have I bought 10 of the same ticket in a row and come away with nothing. Many times bought 10 different tickets and won nothing.

So yes if you look at the odds a 1 in 4 chance is just that, a 1 in 4 chance. You don’t need a math prof to tell you that. However you do have to factor in the lottery traps.

Now if you tell me that the tickets are printed and then shuffled, then that’s a different story but I’m pretty sure they are rigged so after you win \$20 you spend it on the same book and so on until you’re in the hole.

This is just from my experience. Please I don’t want you to think I am stating facts.

• Ah, I understand your thinking.

But I don’t believe the lottery companies are allowed to arrange tickets in any way – I think they legally have to be randomly ordered. Otherwise, as you say, it would be considered rigged. And lotteries are heavily regulated.

• Dee

Hmmmm… this is interesting. I never thought it would be illegal for them to rig it per se. I would think they could treat it as a business to lure in customers.

I believe yes they are watched as in how many winners will there be from \$1 to \$1,000,000. However they do strategically place them in order. If they where randomly put into the books I don’t think they would sell near as many tickets. Can you imagine if all the big winners were in one book and at the beginning of the realease of the tickets. It would never happen because the tickets are strategically placed.

This is how I thought it went down. They print lets say 10mill tickets. As they print them it would go something like this ticket#1 lost #2 lost #3 lost #4 won \$20 then ticket 5/6/7/8/9/10 are losers #11 won \$10 and so on

I would believe this to be legal as long as they do offer the winning tickets some where in all the books.
hmmmm.. Is there some way we can find this out? Maybe I will do some research on this if its possible.

• Thing is though, they really don’t need to strategically place them. They definitely do determine exactly how many of each prize will be printed versus the number of losing tickets. But by just randomly ordering the tickets, it’s extremely unlikely that all the big prizes would go up front – because there’s typically just a handful of big prizes to million(s) of other tickets.

Not that many people bother to check the ‘big prizes remaining’ before buying – which of course they always should! <- TIP I'd suggest just asking your local lottery company though - best to email them, then you'll get a proper formal reply from their customer relations people. Transparency is critical to these companies, and this kind of thing is not a secret, so I'm certain they will happily tell you. Let us know what they say?

• Katey

I bought the book – except for one or two things, it is basically stuff I already knew. I messaged him on his facebook and told him this as well. For \$40, I expected a book in much greater detail. I am an avid Pick 4 player and still looking for tips. Disappointed. : (

• I agree with your disappointment Katey – but I was a bit concerned when you said it was stuff you knew, as most of it is actually incorrect!

My advice: send it back and get a refund.

• Kwan

I have something to say that might blow you away. I live in NYC and I bought 10 five dollar scratch tickets. I didn’t look up the odds because I was following Richards advice because I purchased his book toward the end of 2012. :(. I also expected more from the book (especially with number selection strategy if there was such a thing but I digress). All 10 of my five dollar scratch offs lost.

• That’s unlucky, but is of course perfectly possible so it doesn’t really surprise me at all.

It would probably surprise Richard, which just goes to prove that his advice is seriously flawed.

I’d recommend requesting a refund on the book. After all it doesn’t deliver what it promises.