It describes the key factors that have guided Lottery Director's development.
Getting It Done
Advertising and Ethics
Early in 1985, a new software project was started at CDEX.
We set out to create a new set of lottery programs, with an ambitious design goal:
Over the years, Lottery Director has been expanded, with many new features added to the software:
Technical support is available in many ways, and is free of charge.
When the Lottery Director project began, the first job was to set the goals for the performance of the programs.
"Every successful software program needs a good target to aim for", says Joe Roberts, Lottery Director's designer. "You need to set the performance as high as possible. Players would reject a trivial program."
"Day one, we knew we had to be the best. We had to develop the most powerful set of programs that we could make, while staying in touch with players and listening to them. So, we could only have one goal -- to make the absolute best program in the world, period. We knew it would be a challenge, but there was never any other choice for us."
"First, we had to find out from players the kinds of things they wanted. The challenge was to get them to go beyond the usual stuff that they've always seen in lottery software -- tell us what they need, but don't have. That gave us a clear vision of just how far we wanted to go with Lottery Director."
"We never allowed any talk of compromise -- not to meet a cost factor, nor to meet a deadline. Once you start talking in those terms, you might as well close the door and forget about it. We had to aim for the top. That gave us the enthusiasm and pride -- and endurance -- that we needed to do the job."
Getting it Done
How did the programs benefit from this kind of approach?
"I can give you two examples of how we differ from the more traditional programs", continued Roberts.
"First of all, every program tracks the game and analyzes it. All programs do this, and so do we. Beyond that, players had told us about some things they felt were missing in other software. So, we took steps to include them."
"In our Win Pattern screens, we get the best winning pattern for each lottery number. We show a 'Pick Quality' value for each pattern. It's a way for the player to see just how well each pattern has done at picking winners. The player can adjust each pattern for the highest quality in picking winners. It's done with one key, or one mouse click. The program 'remembers' this, as it finds the numbers that are in each pattern now -- ready to play for the next draw."
"Of course there's no guarantee that any method will work in the next draw. However the point is: If some method has worked steadily over -- for example -- the last 10 draws, and the last 20, last 50, and last 100 draws, then why not identify it and show it to the player? And more importantly, why not give the player a choice to play it one more time -- and make it automatic and easy to do? That was our design strategy."
"The user not only 'sees numbers', but has automatic control of their quality for wins. It's continuous feedback -- a self-checking mechanism. It builds confidence, and provides a method for developing a sound playing strategy."
"Here's another example", said Roberts. "It shows the kind of approach we took in our design."
"We knew we had to provide a full set of wheeling filters. We filtered for Sums and Sums History, Even/Odd and Low/High numbers, for Matching Digits, Consecutive Numbers, Adjoining Numbers, and Positional Movement, plus 20 kinds of Repeating Numbers -- and in other ways also. That's a lot of filtering options for any player."
"This raised two questions. First, 'How do you make all of this filtering easy to use?' Second, 'How can the player find out how much filtering is the right amount to use?' We had to get rid of the guesswork."
Making it Easy
"First, we provided a preview of each filter. The player sees exactly what each filter will do, in advance, before using it -- how many combinations will pass through each filtering range, and what the winning chances will be."
"Also, we provided multiple passes through the filters, so the player can test every filter. The player gets a final set of combinations that satisfies the wheeling goals and budget. That's how we made the filters easy to use."
How Much Filtering is 'Enough'
"Second, we got rid of the guesswork about 'how much filtering to use'. We did this in two ways -- before wheeling, and afterward. We had heard of cases where players actually viewed and printed the entire game history -- and then went to it with colored markers and pencils to try to figure out what was winning. We took a totally different approach, and provided an automatic filtered scan through the game's history. Before wheeling, the player sees the game's actual winners with combined filtering applied to them. This shows the filtering levels that are most successful for the game. It's exactly the same strategy that would apply to wheeling and filtering numbers for the next draw. So you see what wins, before going to your wheels and filters. Then you can use the same tools there."
"Then, we handled the 'after wheeling' part. We provided a means for checking the wheeled and filtered combinations -- before playing them -- against the game's history of winners. The program shows the jackpot matches, as well as second and third prize matches. This answers a main question that players ask, 'How well would I do with this wheeling and filtering, if I used it consistently?'. The choices can be tested before playing them."
"By putting this information together, the player can see how good the wheeling and filtering choices are, both before and after making them. This gives the player the options of using a larger wheel -- with a larger field of numbers, and better matching chances in the next draw. Or perhaps, a wheel with a higher win goal can be played. The main idea is to help the player make informed decisions, because the right kind of information is there."
Putting it Together
"I think there's a way to summarize how we went about developing Lottery Director. Personal computer users have seen some high-quality software programs, by top software houses -- for example, the best spreadsheet programs, word processors, and 'personal productivity' programs. Some of them are famous for their quality around the world. There's no reason why PC users should settle for less in the software they're using for their lottery games. Its quality should be even better than other kinds of software. They should be able to use it with pride."
Advertising and Ethics
Here are quotes from the advertisements for four other lottery programs:
Lottery Director takes a different approach. We describe our programs in a lot of detail, so customers can make informed decisions. We trust in our customers' ability to choose.
"Lottery software houses have a particular kind of responsibility to the players", says Joe Roberts, Lottery Director's designer. "It's different from, say, describing a word processor. Word processors handle text and graphics. There isn't much risk to the user. With a lottery program, the user might be deciding to spend money for the next draw. The decision is an important one."
"This raises our responsibility for accurate and complete information to a much higher level than for the other kinds of software. We owe it to the user."
"You never see 'the bag full of cash', or the 'fist full of money', or the 'treasure chest overflowing with coins' in our ads. These images can be misleading, taken by players as implying a 'sure win'. Our advertising remains very conservative."
"We also have responsibility to the industry. People form opinions from things they see. We maintain compliance to formal law in USC 18/1302, Federal Trade Commission regulations, State law and other requirements, but there is also a public standard to maintain. Sometimes the whole industry (of public lotteries) gets criticized, mainly from those who think it may not be beneficial to the public good. I believe the criticism is unjust and not well founded", continues Roberts. "Public lotteries provide local revenue, they support major public programs, and they're voluntary. We want them to succeed. But this means that we have to set in front of the public the highest standards for any kinds of businesses."
"The last thing the public needs is some kind of 'get rich quick' image to be associated with public lottery games. A more accurate one would be: Games can be enjoyed at a low cost, by players who understand the odds. Fortunate players will have wins that will change their life. The need for this image applies to all lottery-related products, including lottery software."
"Software can be a legitimate tool, in three ways. One, it can help serious players to see exactly how their game works. Two, it can help them to see the effects of their strategies on the desired outcome -- which is winning. And three, it can help them to control their costs. Advertising should reflect these goals. No exaggerated claims. Just full descriptions of what the products do, and how they help the players to understand the lottery processes. There are some problems that arise from time to time with the newer, smaller programs. But in general, I believe most major lottery software houses see the higher standard and adhere to it."
Comments from Lottery Director users:
"It is not only easy to use, it saves money and puts the user in control of wheeling. It gets an 'A plus' from me." ...Illinois
"I am extremely satisfied with all ... your fine products have gained my trust ... with perceptive and painstakingly researched software that captures the hearts and minds of Lotto players. Thank you for making public this information." ...Louisiana
"I have over 35 lottery programs. I use Lottery Director ... Also, you treat the customer in a professional manner." ...Virginia
"A first class program. I use it daily with pleasure." ...Florida
"I think Lottery Director is the best. I ought to know, I have over 80 Lotto programs." ...Canada
"A superb program. Very powerful and worth the cost." ...Missouri
"It is a beautiful program. " ...Georgia
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