Student scratches out an idea for app

Student scratches out an idea for app
Scratch This!, a new app created by fourth-year Engineering student Chris Lange, helps lottery players better their odds in picking out a lucky ticket. Credit: Paul Mayne//Western News

Tired of buying scratch lottery tickets, only to come up empty handed? Chris Lange is confident his latest app will give you the "best bang for your buck" next time you get lotto fever.

The fourth-year Engineering student sees no need to waste money on lottery tickets when, in fact, there may be no top prizes left. By using his Scratch This! , you can now find out which ticket offers the best odds.

"I've always been the kind of guy who does his research before making any kind of purchase," Lange said. "So, when a buddy of mine was looking at the OLG (Ontario Lottery Gaming) website, it got me thinking of a new idea to make money."

The app, available on Android, provides users with a quick and easy way to determine which scratch card lotteries offer the best return on investment. While such data is publicly available on the OLG website, Lange said it can be difficult to find. His app makes the sea of numbers make sense.

"I use what it called the ST (Scratch This) score," he said. "I'm not re-distributing the data from the website, but rather reading the data and making my own calculations. There is no guesswork with the algorithm. It straight-up shows you the most money available per printed ticket, plus the dollars you would spend on the ticket, and simply shows you the best bang for your buck."

His app pulls the available data, which is updated daily, and ranks each lottery using an algorithm, which is mostly based off of currently available prizes from the OLG.

While Lange emphasized the app doesn't encourage gambling, nor increase your odds of winning, he said it conveniently provides scratch enthusiasts with a way to make informed decisions.

While only out a short time, early feedback had been good. Should it continue to be successful, Lange said he would look into offering an iOS version of the app and, potentially, expand into other provinces.

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