Numbers Games are principally a North
American phenomenon, though they are also a significant feature of the Asian
The current format is a natural extension of the illegal
numbers rackets which flourished in the United States prior to the legalization
In all, numbers game are now played in 28 states and Puerto
Rico. Each of the Canadian lottery organizations also offers the games, though
with only moderate to low sales success.
Two other countries bear mention
in terms of numbers games success. Singapore's 4-D game accounts for over 83%
of sales there, and the very sizeable Malaysian market is predominantly numbers
The games come in three and four digit formats, in which players
select a number from either 000-999 or 0000-9999, repectively, in an attempt to
match numbers drawn by the lottery.
There are usually several wagering
options. The level of complexity depends on the market. Not surprisingly
markets with a tradition of numbers games, like those in the eastern United
States, tend to offer the widest array of possibilties, while smaller, less
sophisticated markets will offer as few as three options, usually involving
straight wagers (exact order), boxed wagers (any order) or a combination of the
Most numbers games use a fixed payoff system. Typically, the lottery
will pay approximately half the amount of the odds on any wager, eg., a $1
exact order wager at odds of 1:1,000 will pay $500. Some states use a
parimutuel system, and most states switch to a parimutuel system if the number
of winners exceeds a predetermined level.
In addition, most numbers games
will limit the number of times a particular number can be sold, allowing it to
"sell out" to limit the number of particular winners. Such policies recognize
the publics tendency to play topical nembers.
SOURCE: The Whole World
See Numbers Games Sales