Gas Station Worker Reveals Secrets to Winning Money From Scratch-Off Tickets

There are a few things he says can give you better odds.

Hitting a major lottery jackpot is a dream for many of us, but there's still something to be said about the thrill of winning a few bucks from a scratch-off. If the fates allow, you can even win hundreds of dollars off of a single ticket. But while you may think it all comes down to the luck of the draw, you'd be mistaken. A gas station worker in California says there are a few things you can do to help you pick a winner. Read on to find out the secrets to winning money from scratch-off tickets.

RELATED: 5 Secrets About Playing the Lottery, According to Experts.

Consider the value of the ticket you're buying.

Lottery ticket Never Buy
Icatnews / Shutterstock

TikToker and gas station worker Alexander Rosas (@alexcal760) offered his advice for selecting scratch-offs in a Jan. 10 TikTok video (with the caveat that these are just observations he's made while working at both a liquor store and a gas station).

Scratch-off tickets are sold at different price points, with more affordable options at the $1, $2, and $3 marks. In terms of the $1 tickets, Rosas says they're essentially a waste.

"Think about it. Each packet comes with about 200 [tickets]," he says in the Jan. 10 TikTok video. "Out of those 200, maybe one will pay you 50 bucks, but usually, the majority of them don't win. They'll win a dollar [or] two."

From what he's seen, Rosas says that the maximum you'll win from a $1 ticket is $10 to $15 "unless you're like really, really, really lucky."

"I know someone's gonna say, 'Oh, well, my friend won $1,500 off one of those dollar [tickets].' Like I said, that's like one in a couple million chance of winning, but everybody, it's your money, waste it how you want," he concludes.

Never buy $2 tickets.

holding scratch-off lottery tickets
Erin Deleon / Shutterstock

While $1 tickets might be a waste, Rosas also says that $2 tickets aren't common winners.

"Two-dollar tickets I've seen are probably the ones that lose the most. Always lose," he says. "I'd never recommend. I'd never buy $2 tickets."

If you have your heart set on these, however, Rosas recommends the crossword and bingo scratch-offs.

"Those are pretty good," he says. "The most I've seen it pay out [was] $20, $25, but usually, they're just more for like fun."

RELATED: 7 Tips on Playing the Slots Without Losing It All.

Buy from the same book of tickets—but never buy a whole roll.

rolls of lottery tickets
Eric Glenn / Shutterstock

If you really want to win some money and not leave as much up to the fates, Rosas suggests buying multiple tickets from the same roll, as opposed to picking a bunch of individual tickets.

"Don't buy one here, one there," he says. "I highly recommend, if you're going to buy some, buy some of the same one, the same book, buy multiple of those. Don't scatter and make your chances of winning lower by scattering."

However, Rosas doesn't recommend buying a whole roll of scratch-offs because it's "not worth it."

He uses the example of a couple who frequently buys the whole roll of scratch-offs from him. They may spend $400 to purchase it, but then they come back and only win about $230 to $250.

"They're always losing about $180, $160," he says.

Be selective with $5 tickets.

five dollars in a man's wallet
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When it comes to $5 tickets, Rosas says you should avoid the poker-themed tickets, although he doesn't provide the exact name. Instead, go for holiday tickets.

"[With] the holiday ones—I guess they're giving out more, and it only lasts a couple of weeks, so usually they like to give out more winnings because it's only gonna be from this period to this period," he explains.

Other $5 tickets worth grabbing are those that say win an amount like $500 or $1,000, or even $100 or $200. He uses the specific example of the $500 Loaded! scratch-off ticket.

"Those are pretty good because they're pretty much saying, you can either win the $500, the $1,000, or win nothing at all," Rosas notes. "Off of those ones, I've seen people with the $500, I've seen people win the $100, I've seen people win the $200. Usually, those are the best ones I recommend."

Another one he suggests skipping is the Lotería ticket, as people will buy up to 10 tickets and only come back with one winner.

RELATED: 4 Casino Games That Will Always Take Your Money

Don't be afraid to ask the cashier.

cashier at gas station
Laboo Studio / Shutterstock

Rosas also says it's worth it to ask the cashier about the number of the ticket you're buying.

"I personally do not recommend the first four off a brand new roll," he shares. "They usually don't win."

In his experience, winning tickets are usually followed by the ticket that wins the advertised prize money.

"That's what I've seen a lot of times—not all the time, but a lot of times, where if it gives you a ticket, the next one will be the money one," he explains, noting that on the back of the scratch-offs, it'll also tell you your odds of winning.

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Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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