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January 12, 2104 update - The option described in this article no longer applies since the subscription based groups have been retired.
Option to join a group for just one draw - how it works
May 10, 2012
The option to join one or more regular groups for just one draw is offered for most group plays. This article is an explanation of how it works. First, an explanation of why the option is offered.
First, the regular groups only buy Lotto Max and Lotto 649 tickets when the jackpot are large. Sometimes, one or two months can pass before there is a large jackpot. Meanwhile, the regular groups continue to collect monthly dues and hold the money. When the opportunity finally arises to buy tickets, the amount of money held by a group can be very large resulting in a relatively high cost to join. The cost to join a group is calculated by dividing the amount of money in the group by the number of shares and rounded up to the nearest dollar.
Second, when a group is holding a large amount of money, rarely does the group spend all the money on a single group play.
Third, a new member may want to try out joining a group for the first time and does not want to commit a lot of money.
And fourth, a member may want to join 6 groups at $5 each for a single draw, rather than pay the full cost of say $30, for a single group.
For the above four reasons, the option to join a group for a single draw is usually offered. The cost to join is only enough to cover what the group plans to spend per share on the next draw. The following is a detailed explanation of how the accounting works with a specific example.
Say Group R1 is holding $900 and has 30 shares. The cost to join Group R1 is $30 ($900 / 30). In an upcoming draw, the plan is to only spend $5 per share. The option to join Group R1 for the single draw at a cost of $5 is offered. When a member joins the group for just the next draw, the effective cost is only $5 but to ensure proper accounting, the full $30 is charged to the member. Therefore Group R1 now shows a balance of $930 ($900 + $30) and 31 shares. The account balance for the member shows a negative balance of -$25 (the $30 charge to join minus the $5 paid).
Now say, for example, Group R1 spends $155, $5 per share, in the draw and does not win anything. The group now has a balance of $775 ($930 - $155). The member that joined for just the draw, quits the group and receives a credit of $25 ($775 / 31) which removes the negative balance they had before the draw.
Another variation. Group R1 spends $155 in the draw and wins $65. The group now has a balance of $840 ($930 - $155 + $65). The member that joined for just the draw, quits the group and receives a credit of $27 ($840 / 31) which removes the negative balance and leaves the member with a positive account balance of $2 - their share of the $65 won in the draw.
The above example will most likely illicit the following question. Why would a group holding $900 only spend $155 on a draw? The following are the main reasons groups usually do not spend all the money they are currently holding on a single draw.
1. The regular groups are subscription based groups. Members pay monthly dues and are covered for all draws. If a group play occurs during the early part of the month, money is held for possible future group plays later in the same month.
2. Less money is spent on Lotto Max draws than on Lotto 649 draws since Lotto Max draws usually have a much lower payout than Lotto 649 draws.
3. In general, the smaller the estimated payout, the less that is spent.
4. If it is anticipated there will be a series of large jackpots (for example, bonus draws), then money is spread out across all the draws.