Deception by the State Lottery

After the drawing of the winning numbers in the Staatsloterij in August 2009, there was a lot of commotion about the advertising of this lottery. According to the commercials, the jackpot was guaranteed to fall, but it was only partially paid out. In the draw of August 10, 2009, the jackpot of 27.5 million was guaranteed. This is the maximum amount that can be achieved. In that case, the jackpot will certainly fall. If the notary draws an unsold ticket as the winner, a new winning ticket number will be drawn. The prize in this draw was a 1/5th state lottery ticket. These raffle tickets cost 20 percent of the regular price, but 20 percent of the prize is also paid out. The winning ticket is now not worth 27.5 million, but 5.5 million. The Staatsloterij will benefit greatly from this, because the 27.5 million will now be postponed to the September 2009 draw. History proves that this will result in them selling many extra tickets.


The Staatsloterij itself and other organizations, including the Advertising Code Foundation and Lottery Loss Foundation, have received many complaints about the lottery’s working methods. Many people appear not to know that such a prize can also fall on a 1/5th ticket, which means that the jackpot only falls partially. Others were under the assumption that all parts of a 1/5th ticket were sold, meaning that such a prize would go to five different participants with a 1/5th state ticket. It turns out that numbers on 1/5th tickets are also sold only once, so there is a reasonable chance that the guaranteed jackpot will fall on a partial ticket.

Why do participants choose a 1/5th state ticket?

This is caused by the large difference in costs. One state lottery ticket costs no less than 15. For many people, this is too large an amount to spend on a game of chance. By buying a 1/5th ticket you only pay 3. If the main prize falls on your partial ticket, an amount remains, in this case 5.5 million. After the jackpot has been won on a partial ticket, more partial tickets will be sold in the coming months. Many people did not know about its existence and are now more likely to buy more partial lots instead of one complete lot. It’s better to have five chances in 5.5 million than one chance in 27.5 million.

Street of state locks

Participants often also choose a 1/5th state lottery ticket, because they want to buy a street. A street consists of ten tickets with different final numbers from 0 to 9. By purchasing a street, participants are assured of the prizes that fall on the final numbers. A block of full lottery tickets costs 15 x 10 = 150 and a block of 1/5th tickets costs 30. A block of full lottery tickets costs too much, so people choose the cheaper tickets.

A trick or deception?

The biggest objection now is that the 1/5th lottery tickets are unique lottery numbers. The prizes awarded to these numbers are therefore only partially paid out. Making these numbers unique must be a conscious strategy of the Staatsloterij. This way they can promise large amounts of money and only pay out part of it, with the aim of selling many lottery tickets again the next month. The remaining millions move on and can be used again to set new records in terms of the number of lottery tickets sold.