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Myths versus Facts

Electronic Gambling (VLT and Slot Machines)

Myth: Some machines are “due” to pay.
Fact: VLTs and Slot Machine games are designed and programmed to pay out randomly no matter how many wins or losses occurred in the past. A machine that has not paid out for some time has no greater chance of paying out in the future. The result of the last game played has no bearing on the result of the next game.
Myth: Players can control the outcome.
Fact: It is impossible to control the outcome of any spin. In fact, the outcome is determined as soon as players presses the spin button.
Myth: The AGLC adjusts the payout whenever a machine is paying out too much.
Fact: While there is a central computer system that monitors the machines, the purpose is to communicate information. The central system cannot make changes to the payout percentage. A computer chip within each machine is programmed with the payout percentage. In Alberta this is on average 92%.
Myth: Pressing the stop button at just the right moment will cause a winning combination.
Fact: Winning combinations are randomly selected by the computer chip within each machine. There is nothing a player can do to influence the outcome.
Myth: Gambling machines tend to pay out higher amounts or more frequently at certain times.
Fact: All machines operate randomly. This means the next outcome on a machine is not predictable and is not linked to time of day or calendar.

Lottery Tickets

Myth: Playing the same numbers every week gives me a greater chance at winning the Jackpots.
Fact: All numbers have the same chance of being selected for every draw, therefore your chances of winning are no better using the same numbers or using the quick pick method of selecting numbers.
Myth: There are “hot numbers” that are drawn more often than others.
Fact: Every number has an equal chance of being drawn, so every set of lottery numbers has the same chance of winning.
Myth: There are ways to forecast the outcome of lottery draws.
Fact: It is impossible to predict when a number will be drawn - all draws are random. A random guess has as much chance as a fortuneteller’s forecast.

If you are experiencing problems with alcohol, gambling, tobacco or other drugs – Alberta Health Services can help. Call 1-866-332-2322 for information, support, and referral or visit

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