Replaying The California Lotto Scratchers

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After two years of being unemployed and living on substantially less money, I started playing the California lotto scratchers. No surprise there. The older I get the more I become like my father. He’s been playing the scratchers for years. I started playing during the holidays when the new Happy Holidays! scratchers came out. The key to being successful at playing scratchers is to start when a new game comes out. The prizes become less frequent the longer the game is out. The most I had won at one time was $20. I’m always hoping to win a pair of $500 winners to pay off the rent.

Sometimes I get a lucky streak that allows me to play multiple scratchers. I played $5 at FoodMaxx to win $1 back. Go over to CVS to play that $1 to win $5 back. Go over to Safeway to play that $5 to win back $2. (The scratcher vending machines are very much like slot machines: the longer you play the same machine, the less likely you will win.) Several times I had visited a store per day for a week before I stop winning, going through 18 scratchers from the initial $5 and entering the 14 losing scratchers into the replay website for a second chance $1,000 drawing.

I have entered 200+ scratchers over the last four months into the replay website. One-third were mine, one-third comes from my father, and one-third were found discarded in the parking lot. Being the computer guru in the family, it wasn’t surprising that I would enter my losing scratchers into the website. My father, who knows enough about computers to routinely get a virus infection after looking at some naughty bits on the Internet, gave me his losing scratchers to enter. I’m surprised by how many people discarded their losing scratchers out in the parking lot. Sometimes I find only a torn half of a scratcher that has the two control numbers needed to enter. A quick walkthrough of the parking lot usually turns up a half-dozen scratchers.

My father gave me one poker game scratcher that the replay website rejected because I either entered the numbers wrong or it was a winning scratcher. The numbers were correct but I couldn’t figure out why the scratcher was a winner. The hand to beat had three Jacks. There were two hands out of the half-dozen hands that each had a pair of pairs. Could the hand with a pair of Kings and Queens beat the winning hand of three Jacks? If so, that was a $25 winner.

I wasn’t sure since I’m a blackjack player. (My first dog—a black-and-white boxer— was named Blackjack, and, if I ever get an English bulldog, I’ll named her Blackjack as well.) The diagram on the back of the scratcher didn’t help. A Google search revealed that a pair of pairs could beat three of a kind under Texas Hold ‘Em rules. No where on the scratcher or the website does it say what poker rules were being used. It would be a scandal if the California lottery commission was using the rules from a Texas poker game. (Texas ain’t too popular in this part of the country since Enron’s Jeff Skilling cracked a Titanic joke about California during the 2001 energy crisis.) My father insisted that the scratcher was playing by regular poker rules and wasn’t a winner.

I took the card down to the store to find out that the winning hand was a straight flush (five cards of the same suit in numerical order). The winning prize was a free ticket (a $3 value).

I didn’t win the replay drawing at the end of December. The next replay drawing will be at the end of March. Scratchers from four older games will be having an end-of-game drawing in April. I’m still finding discarded scratchers out in the parking lot. My luck is still holding out that I’m winning more money than I’m losing. Maybe one of these days my rent will be paid from my winnings.


  1. :mrgreen: I can totally identify with this scratcher infacuation. I just check this stack of losing tickets I recirculated into the 2nd chance lottery and I’m personally shocked at how much $$$ I actually wasted trying to obtain something that just ain’t there. Sure I’ve won $50 $30 $20 here and there, but that’s nothing compared to the whole grand sceme of things. That compulsive gambler mentality I have is quite illogical to say the least. Just like they say in Vegas, The house ALWAYS!! wins. Yet it’s easier said than done to quit with that ever-looming inner gambler saying “The next one’s bound to hit, you’re owed at least one good winner” They got the market cornered with fools like me. Since they donate a percentage to education, maybe they’ll build a school in my honor LOL…. wishful thinking. Well, Thank you to whomever wasted their time listen to me rant & rave. Maybe I deverted someone from falling in this bottomless trap. Thank you for listening and hopefully I gave someone some insight towards the patheticness of this hopefull (potential!?) winner. Take Care…..Michael Stevens

  2. The Calif replay lotto is not even showing Dec winners for replay. I called them and they told ME that there was NO GAME FOR REPLAY IN DEC 2012. Hummm. I have had thousand of tickets in the replay and never won. I think it is a scam personally.

    1. I still occasionally drop five bucks to play lotto scratchers. But most of the lotto scratchers I submit for replay are the ones I found discarded in parking lots. Haven’t won anything from replay over the last five years. Maybe someday.

      1. Me neither! I’ve entered over 1,000 tickets in the last couple years & I have not won any 2nd chance money! Ever!! It’s bullshit.. I think the lottery just enjoys giving people false hope’s on this 2nd chance shit.

  3. I never won anything I must of played at least 5 thousand tickets and then replayed the old one. Nothing not one cent……..over it .

    1. Me neither! I’ve entered over 1,000 tickets in the last couple years & I have not won any 2nd chance money! Ever!! It’s bullshit.. I think the lottery just enjoys giving people false hope’s on this 2nd chance shit.

      Grrrrrrrr I just entered “Lucky for Life” ticket 10 mins ago, and I know in the back of my mind that I will NOT win anything, but part of me seriously thinks I will win eventually! Ugh I hate it

  4. Personally I believe the California lottery is flooding the market with losing scratchers. I never hoped to win the grand prize or at least did not expect to. But lately I have bought many lot of 5 on 5 10 even 20 dollar scratchers and rarely even win anything. Not even a ticket out of 5 . Used to be alot easier to get something back, like spend 25 and get 5 or 10 back.. Someone needs to look into the CA lottery scratcher games find out whats going on . As for me I’m done with them.

    1. Omg I totally agree! They’re putting duddy tickets out there to make money but they’re NOT putting enough winners either! They’re making money off us people, but they aren’t giving us nothing back as well.. Totally BS if you ask me….


  5. I remember a time when I would buy 5 tickets in a row and hit a winner, well that doesn’t happen anymore, too many non winning tickets.
    Recently I won 1,000, took it to the bank and the put a five day hold on the check , I asked the manager why and she said CA state lottery does not guarantee their checks anymore.
    Someone needs to audit the Lottery, something is definitely wrong.

  6. Question, Superlotto has a 2nd chance draw. Am i wrong? The rules state, that for every dollar spent, you will receive an entry. If you spend $5 you will get 1 code, but 5 entries into that drawing. I noticed that when I have a ticket that costs me $5.00 I’m only getting 2 entries. I read the rules multiple times, and wonder how many people are only getting 2 entries after they spend $5-$10.00 etc. Fishy?????

  7. I have purchased several Super Lotto tickets and when i spend five dollars on one ticket i will receive only one second chance code. So now when I spend five dollars I buy five seperate tickets so I will receive five seperate codes. The Lottery shouldn’t say you get a second chance for every dollar spent if the machine isn’t going to put it out that way. Its a pain to ask the clerk at the store for five seperate tickets, at least they seem to not like the idea of printing five seperate tickets and the folks standing behind me dont seem overjoyed with the idea of standing there while the clerk prints all them tickets, but there are worse things in life, but dont try to convince them. They do need to be reminded that lynching has been outlawed. If looks could kill. Anyhow a readjustment of the machine would relax alot of people, a second chance code for every dollar spent.

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