If you understand blockchain lotteries, then SmartBillions.com might interest you. Blockchain refers to a digitized, decentralized public ledger of cryptocurrency transactions (thanks to Investopedia). SmartBillions claims to be the first global lottery that is fully decentralized. It is managed by Ethereum’s “Smart Contract”. From Ethereum’s site “This enables developers to create markets, store registries of debts or promises, move funds in accordance with instructions given long in the past (like a will or a futures contract) and many other things that have not been invented yet, all without a middle man or counterparty risk.” It’s not a real currency like US dollars or Euros. But it does look like you have to pay some real currency to get your ticket lines.
The Game at SmartBillions.com
Players start by creating a MetaMask Wallet with a password and reminder phrase. Next, you’ve got to put some money in the wallet to be able to play. There is no information about any minimum amount or the type of currency they will take. The game involves picking six numbers from between 0 and 15 in a specific order. Hit all six numbers in the correct order and you win somewhere between 7,000 and 7 million ETH (Etherum). ETH is their coin currency. The amount you win depends on how much you put in between .001 and 1 ETH. There are 5 prize tiers down to matching 2 numbers in a row. What’s really strange is there is no actual information on how regularly the games are played. Sitting online watching the draw history, it looks like it’s ongoing (3 draws popped up in the course of one minute). I’m not sure how this works with purchasing ticket lines.
SmartBillions and Winning
Winnings are automatically transferred to your account in your MetaMask Wallet. I’m not sure what you can do with them except play more games – maybe. There is no actual information. There are no terms and conditions and click on the FAQ and nothing happens. I get these guys are new so maybe they aren’t sure what people will be asking. They say that 90% of the money that goes into ticket line sales goes to the jackpot. There is no information on whether this rolls up or the jackpot stays fixed. The other hilarious thing is that under their “Draw History” it shows the number of bets – and there hasn’t been any for several draws. I guess as it’s not a currency, it’s not taxable.
Who Is SmartBillions?
Don’t look to go and ask questions to SmartBillions.com. There is no snail mail address, no phone numbers, and no email addresses on their website. It took some serious digging to finally get an email address and they still haven’t answered. SmartBillions launched themselves by funding with an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) of 252 million tokens. Each token is worth ETH 0.001, the equivalent of US$ 0.30 at that time. I say at that time as now that the ICO has been launched the actual value can shift depending on – well, that’s what I am trying to get my head around. It looks like it depends on what people are willing to pay for it. This is not a real currency, but a token that needs to be converted somehow.
One of the things SmartBillions did to check the security of their system is run a “hackathon”. Yes, they were hacked and one lucky winner took away 400 ETH or US$ 120,000. There is no information whether they got cash or simply got tokens.
The Bottom Line at SmartBillions.com
The simple fact I can’t contact these folks, there is no information on who they are or where they are is enough to give me pause. Add to that, I can’t see how I can convert my tokens to hard cash. Looking once more at their site, I wonder if this has to do with a comment at the top of their site “Your Bet (Beta Version)”. From my experience, beta usually means this is a trial.
Independent/No Tax Applied to Winning
Winnings Straight into Your Account
No Information on When Games are Played
No Information on How to Change ETH to Spendable Cash
No Information on Who These Folks are and No Way to Contact Them
SmartBillions.com gets a thumb’s down. I’m going to stick to the usual US Powerball or EuroMillions where I know what I’m going to win and I can imagine how I’m going to spend it.