Final scratch-off ticket


One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to continue to cut back on lottery and gaming.

I decided to go for lunch at Johnny’s to watch Iowa at the Outback Bowl and Penn State-USC at the Rose Bowl. Before going there, I stopped at North End Shell to buy gas and get a scratch-off ticket.

While working at Casey’s, I’ve seen a lot of customers come in with the new WPT Texas Hold’Em scratch off ($5). I’ve been an on-and-off fan of the World Series of Poker, so this ticket appealed to me. Texas Hold’Em isn’t a complicated game to play, but does come with a lot of instructions that can throw lottery players off.

One of my Casey’s customers, who was a Shell regular of mine for years, thought he won $200 on such a ticket. He had a flush and thought it was better than a full house. I had to remind him that a full house beats a flush and only quads, a straight flush, or a royal flush beats a full house.

This seemed like a ticket I could get hooked on, but I want to remain conservative about it and NOT waste my money. I bought this one ticket knowing that I wasn’t going to pay absolute attention to either bowl game sitting at the bar.

On this ticket, you have six playing areas and a simple matching-number area at the bottom. In each of the six boxes, there is an area with your two cards, an area for the opponent’s two cards, and an area for the five community cards. Using a playing technique that my old friend and super regular Bill Schrader used when he scratched off his tickets, I tried to create suspense with each game.

I scratched off my two cards and the opposition’s two cards. Each of the six games had that all-in feel to it. Then I scratched off one community card at a time, instead of a usual three-card flop. With each card, I tried to figure out all of the winning possibilities, outs, and such. Each card has the number on top and the suit under it. On a couple of occasions, I needed a certain card to make a flush. I’d scratch off the top of the card, finding out whether it was black or red. Then scratched off the suit.

I lost on each game.

The ticket is on my fridge as a reminder to not buy scratch-offs again.


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