I took waaaay too much math in high school and college to go anywhere near those things, and mostly just get annoyed when someone in front of me at the convenience store is mulling over their lottery crap while my soda is getting warm.
Eh, I know the odds suck. I have this rule.. all of the change that collects in my "cup holder" (now change holder) in my car throughout the day.. on Fridays, I'll use it for a couple of Sobe's and what's left goes to scratchers.
i think i won a free scratcher once.. but i rarely play.
i read a recent story about a man who walked into a store, the customer before him ordered a couple scratchers and then didnt pay for them, so the clerk asked the customer if he wanted to help him out and buy them, because apparently they cannot put them back. anyway, the guy decided to buy them and won $10,000.
I've never been into the instant tickets, but my brother used to play them all the time. I would always get annoyed when I had to wait around for him to buy his tickets and scratch them off. One day while this was going on, he was telling me that I really needed to play. He did this every time he bought tickets and I was there, and I never listened to him. He said he was only going to buy one more ticket, and I finally caved and said I'd buy one as well. He let me go first, and I bought the ticket that he was about to buy. I won $100. He'd never won more than $2. He was furious and wouldn't talk to me the entire way home. The only other time I played (aside from when I received them as gifts), was two weeks later. I bought one ticket and won $88.
A friend of mine once won $5,000. He played the instants all the time, and this was his only big jackpot. He spent $200 on a big drinking binge, then spent the rest on more tickets, putting any resulting winnings toward even more tickets until he had nothing left. His net profit was one wicked hangover.