What are charity pull tabs?
Pull tabs are paper tickets that are played with the hope of winning money. Particularly popular in states that do not permit more common forms of gambling, they are used to raise money for charities. Pull tabs are sometimes known as Cherry Bells, Break Opens of Lucky 7s. The surface of the ticket will show pictures and the prize value of each winning combination. It will also state how many winners there are for each prize. Each tab is then slid out (by pulling on it… hence the name “pull tab”). The pulled tab will reveal the matching symbols and the prize if any.
Pull tabs are legal in around 20 states in the US. It’s possible to win up to $5000 on one ticket, but some states impose maximum win values of nearer $600.
How do they work?
Pull tabs offer a unique opportunity to raise money for charity since the exact quantity of prizes is already known before starting. Indeed, pull tabs are extremely transparent to players stating how many prizes there are and how many major prizes have already been won are shown on a correlating tally sheet. Let’s say we have a pull tab case. We are selling the tickets for $1 each and there are 3980 cards in the case. We know if we sell all the tickets we will generate $3980. We also know the prize distribution. Let’s suppose there are 160 prizes to be won in the case with the following prize split:
2 winners at $300 = $600 in cash prizes
2 winners at $250 = $500 in cash prizes
2 winners at $200 = $400 in cash prizes
6 winners at $100 = $600 in cash prizes
8 winners at $25 = $200 in cash prizes
140 winners at $5 = $700 in cash prizes
This means the definite payout is $3000, or 75.4% of the total ticket sale value. With 75.4% of $3980 total sale value in prizes, the remaining 24.6% (or “definite profit”) is worth $980. So the amount that will be raised for charity with this case is $980.
It is now possible to play electronic pull tabs. The advantage for the player is that the terminal will show exactly how many prizes are left and the chances for winning each one.
How often do you win at charity pull tabs?
The return to player in this example of 75.4% is quite a typical payout for pull tabs. They can range from as little as 58% or up to 80%. However, when compared to online slots the return is much lower. It is more typical to see return to player payouts of between 93% – 96%.