A person speaking to the camera next to a person doing a scratch off card. There is text that says 'Main Character of the Week'

Main Character of the Week: Scratch-off guy

Finance and tech are surging topics of reader interest.


Ramon Ramirez


Posted on Jan 27, 2024   Updated on Jan 27, 2024, 5:20 pm CST

Main Character of the Week is a weekly column that tells you the most prominent “main character” online (good or bad). It runs on Fridays in the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter. If you want to get this column a day before we publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr, where you’ll get the daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.

The internet is a stage, and someone unwillingly stumbles onto it weekly. This makes them the “main character” online. Sometimes their story is heartwarming, like the woman who walked into Burger King and worked a shift; usually it’s a gaffe. In any case, that main character energy flows through the news cycle and turbo-charges debate for several business days.

Here’s the 
Trending team’s main character of the week.

It’s the scratch-off guy.

This week a liquor store and gas station worker uploaded a viral video that explained how to pick out a scratch-off ticket. His insights were deftlived-inhonest, and actionable. His video didn’t play like a get-rich-quick gimmick but rather landed as sage, cautionary advice.

Be mindful of the perforations on the edges of the scratch-off rolls, he said. Don’t bother playing the $2 cards. Remember that most rolls have at least one winner so you’re better off buying multiples from the same rolls instead of grabbing from different rolls. Don’t buy the poker rolls because no one ever seems to walk away a winner. Ditto the gimmicky “Loteria” cards. And don’t buy a whole roll in a sinister arbitrage play because the math won’t be on your side.

The best value and odds, Alexander Rosas (@alexcal760) posits, are the $10 cards. And as one happy reader commented: “You Are Correct !!!!!! $10 Tickets Are The Way To Go & Especially If A White Line Perferation Marker Is There – More Than 50% Winners !!!!!!!” TwoYouTubers tested the perforation theory and came away impressed.

Among our most-read stories of the week, I don’t think it was a story about just playing the odds in order to secure a $25 payday at checkout. I think the story’s success came from its trustworthy creator.

It’s a reminder that, as Socrates taught us, a wise man knows nothing—so listen up because good advice can come from anyone, anywhere. Rosas says he’s regularly worked two separate, 8-hour shifts at a gas station and liquor store since 2009. Who better to point out these subtleties?

As our Social Editor Anna Maria noted during her internal breakdown of our weekly web traffic, finance and tech are surging topics of reader interest. She was referring to a story about Chase Bank raising a customer’s credit card limit arbitrarily and seemingly without warning, as well as a woman’s nightmare tale of her iPhone breaking during an iOS update.

As she put it: “[F]olks are getting really frustrated with these tech and banking entities that run our lives and I have been noticing a general uptick in interest in these kinds of ‘Well damn, I don’t want that to happen to my sh*t’ stories.”

Yet it was Rosas’ parlor tricks and armchair quarterback analysis that reigned as our most-read post. Next to stories about how we’re all getting scammed by our phones, it was the human relief we related to most.

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*First Published: Jan 27, 2024, 6:00 am CST