For anyone who missed it, on Friday I decided to embark on a $100 Scratch Off Lottery Project.
At first it was purely for entertainment, but after generating some buzz on Twitter I decided to donate all my winnings to charity – specifically Project Hopeful.
Before I get into the results though, I wanted to thank all those who have graciously decided to match my contributions! What started off as a financially stupid game has now ended with a handful of money for our charity :) So a major thank you to JerryB, Sid, Forest, Michele, RainyDaySaver, and Brad – you guys are awesome.
And now, the results:
Well my friends, the party has ended and I feel hungover. For all the build up (and hope) this weekend, the results really blew. As expected as it may sound, I really thought I’d win a lot more than I did! And not because I was feeling extra lucky lately either (which I was) but because I usually win at least every other time when playing on a whim. Like an idiot I was just hoping it would carry over into this little game of ours ;) Oops.
But with all adventures in life, there is always something you can take away from it. I’ll be getting into that in a bit, but first I thought it would be fun to share some interesting stats from this weekend’s project (I created a gallery of pictures too):
- When placed end to end, the 100 tickets reached 400 inches long! Or roughly 33 feet.
- Stacked on top of each other it was about 2 inches thick (1 inch if smooshed).
- The store clerk wrapped all the tickets in a white paper bag. I found this strange for some reason.
- The odds of winning on back of tickets: 1 in 4.21
- The REAL odds of me winning: 1 in 5 (20 winners, 80 losers – bleh!)
- It took me 1 1/2 hours to scratch them all off.
- Then another 5 mins to make sure I didn’t miss any!
- I did them all with my right pointer finger.
- By the end I had a MAJOR headache, followed by weird finger sensations?!
- I was also frustrated, pissed off, grumpy, and overall just sad.
So, how much did I win? $38 freakin’ dollars. It could have been worse, but it could have also been much better. On the plus side, we generated a lot of money to go out to Project Hopeful! Here’s how it all breaks down – winning tickets & generous matches:
- $1 winners: 12
- $2 winners: 4
- $3 winners: 2
- $6 winners: 2
- MY TOTAL WINNINGS: $38.00
- Add in JerryB‘s match of $38.00
- Along with Sid‘s match of $20.00
- And Forest‘s match of $38.00
- With Michele‘s match of $38.00
- And RainyDaySaver‘s of $25.00
- And finally Brad‘s of $25.00
And we come up with a grand total of donations worth $222! Not too shabby for a random experiment, eh? I’m still reeling a bit from not hitting at least ONE winning ticket over $20 bucks (wtf, right?), but I suppose it just wasn’t my time yet…
When all was said and done though, I came away much more enlightened. I wasn’t the happiest person to be around when finished, but I did learn from this. Here is what I wrote minutes after the last ticket was scratched (I wanted to get my feelings down while they were hot & fresh):
Sometimes it’s more exciting thinking about things than doing them. The *idea* of all those lottery tickets was awesome!!! Going to the store and buying them was awesome! The thinking about “what ifs”, the buzz around it, the whole damn thing was awesome – right up until the point of scratch time. That’s when things started sucking.
Gambling brings out the emotions in you. As soon as I began scratching them off I started getting super competitive. And then mad, and then happy!, and then sad, and then nervous, and then happy!, and then pissed, and then lucky!, and then totally embarrassed. Playing the lottery every now and then is one thing, but playing 100 times in a row is a TOTALLY different experience. You know the odds are greatly stacked against you, but it still doesn’t make you feel any better when you lose 15 or 20 in a row. In fact, it seemed I only won in a row, or lost in a row (w/ the losing spurts being much longer). Truth be told, it was an emotional roller coaster.
Giving back is contagious. I was really happy knowing Project Hopeful would be getting all my winnings, but even more so after some of you decided to play along! While I wish I could have won a helluva lot more for them, it really does go to show what a wonderful community we have here. As soon as one person decided to match, 4 others hopped right on board and that really touched me quite a bit :) Before even scratching we had the opportunity to triple our winnings!
There really can be too much of a good thing. The first 30-40 tickets flew by like crazy and I enjoyed every last second of it. But the more I went along from that point, the less fun I started to have, and the more “chore-like” it became. Maybe it would have been better had I hit it big, but I think that’s really the exception to the rule. That doesn’t mean all the buzz and excitement leading up to it wasn’t great (it was the best part!), but the act itself wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
We didn’t hit the jackpot friends, but I’d still call the $100 Scratch Off Project a success! We learned a little, struggled a little, were entertained a lot!, and all in all had a great time experimenting :) You won’t see me doing it again anytime soon, but I’m really glad I can now check it off the list. And on top of it all we donated more than $200 to charity!!! Not too bad for a random post idea…
I hope you guys enjoyed this! And if you want even more of this lottery craziness, check out today’s post over at My Next Buck – It turns out I wasn’t the only one to do something like this ;) Although I do hate him for beating me like that….See you all tomorrow!
PS: For anyone interested in Project Hopeful, here’s some contact info:
Project Hopeful, NFP
P.O. Box 350
Plainfield, IL 60544
Phone: +1 815-823-3297
DONATE: Click the purple “Donate” Button on the right
E-mail: projecthopeful (at) projecthopeful (dot) org
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!