Most of the lotteries come with Quick Pick Tickets. According to Powerball, Quick Picks are the most popular way of buying tickets with between 70% and 80% of players opting to do this. As you may expect from the law of averages, this means the majority of jackpot winning tickets come from Quick Picks, including the Powerball jackpot wins and the Mega Millions jackpot win.
But that is not true as Quick Picks are not necessarily unique and it is possible for the same batch of numbers to be chosen for other players. This occurred on August 7 2013, when the $448 million Powerball jackpot was shared by three ticket holders two of whom had opted for Quick Picks.
There are many other cases to report
In the ticket above you can see four identical quick pick lottery numbers were all made within seconds of each other (circled) from the same Louisianna Lottery machine.
That means there will be many other players out there with the identical numbers, and when that happens the prize will be divided up among you. Of course, you can also win multiple prizes with a number of identical tickets too, but that scenario is very rare. Generally multiple duplicates for losing tickets just means wasted money for most players.
In a Louisiana Lottery game a player assumed they were buying four computer quick pick chances to win at a cost of $2 each. It turns out the tickets at the store were all duplicate numbers, so in reality they had paid $8 for only a single chance. The advantage would only happen after a win, when they would receive 8 times the number of prizes. But most players would not want to pay this amount for losing numbers.
In another example, back in 2012 a glitch affecting Illinois Lottery machines led to thousands of duplicate quick-pick tickets being printed. The Chicago Tribune reported that 3,000 tickets were affected out of more than 6 million sold between last Saturday and Tuesday.
The problem is it’s impossible to avoid getting duplicate sets of numbers, which don’t help at all. If you go all in and buy 20,000 tickets, you have a 50/50 chance of having repeat sets. Also that’s among the nearly 300 million possible combinations! As pointed out in the New York Daily News, state and federal governments, as well as lottery officials, have a vested interest in selling you duplicate tickets.
One player, Mary Ellen Reiter, said she felt like she got one losing ticket for the price of two after discovering that eight sets of numbers on one Illinois Lottery QuickPick ticket that she bought matched eight sets of numbers on another.
According to Lottery spokesman Mike Lang the glitch occurred while new software was being uploaded to the machines. Lang says some machines weren’t clearing numbers out of their memories from the previous ticket issued. That meant old numbers were being printed onto the next ticket. The lottery learned of the problem several days later and it was fixed, but not in time for a number of players to share their prizes.
Customers were reimbursed with new quick-pick tickets, leaving some players thinking they had got one losing ticket for the price of two. There were 340 duplicate prizes that were won according to Lang so many people won twice though only small cash prize.
Another QuickPick duplication also raised a few eyebrows in Phoenix, Arizona, where employees at Hughes Performance were part of a pool for Mega Millions.
According to AZ Family, Jan Bleichroth, who owns the company, collected money from employees for the big Mega Millions drawing. Bleichroth collected $145 and went to a QT convenience store where she purchased 145 tickets using the QuickPick selection. But after bringing the tickets back to her shop and making copies for everyone, one of her employees noticed something peculiar about two seemingly normal tickets. It was that two tickets were exactly the same. The 60 numbers on one ticket were the exact same as the tickets on the second ticket. At first, Bleichroth thought the Quick Pick machine accidentally spit out a duplicate ticket. But a closer look at the validation numbers at the bottom of the tickets reveal they were not copies.
So avoid falling into the trap of buying QuickPick tickets. QuickPick tickets are not controlled, and generally there’s no comeback if you find duplicate numbers. You can find this in Minnesota State Lottery FAQ
Question: If I buy a quick-pick ticket, can anyone else get those numbers?
Answer: Yes, more than one person can receive the same quick-pick numbers. The numbers produced on Lottery quick-pick tickets are created using a random number generator within the lottery ticket printer. The ticket printer uses several calculations based on the printer’s internal clock and mathematical algorithms to produce the sets of numbers. The formula has no regard for previously selected sets of numbers and is tested extensively for randomness.
So what’s the choice. It is to avoid having Quick Pick tickets and doing the number work manually or you can say fill your lucky numbers by hand. At least you are on safer side.