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Tags lotteries , math puzzles , probability , probability puzzles

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Old 1st February 2012, 07:22 PM   #81
Skeptic Ginger
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Originally Posted by Southwind17 View Post
I think what jp means is that a combination of patterned numbers is less likely than a combination of un-patterned numbers, which, of course, is correct. He just didn't word it very well.



"No" to the first/second sentence or third? If the first, he's correct, and certainly does, seemingly, understand probability theory, at least to that extent.
What is the principle for the patterned and un-patterned combos differing in odds? How is any single 6 number pick any more or less likely than any other single 6 number pick?
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Old 1st February 2012, 08:54 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
What is the principle for the patterned and un-patterned combos differing in odds? How is any single 6 number pick any more or less likely than any other single 6 number pick?
It isn't.

However, if you choose from the same 9 or 10 numbers to fill in all your tickets and the draw includes the same numbers then more of your tickets will win as compared to filling your tickets from random numbers. (OTOH if the draw doesn't include those numbers then none of the tickets win).

In the long run, the expected value of your winnings (or rather, your losses) will be the same no matter what pattern you use to fill in your tickets.
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Old 1st February 2012, 08:59 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
Guy buys $1 ticket and loses, but can deduct $1 from (future) winnings, so lost $1 but will save 35 cents in future taxes, net loss 65 cents.
Is this true in New Zealand? The tax code in the US does not allow gambling losses to be carried forward to later years.
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Old 1st February 2012, 11:13 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I see that as being one of the “other advantages”. If there are multiple winners of First Division the prize money is shared equally between all winning tickets. As you hold ten winning tickets you get ten shares instead of only one (I don‘t care how “messy” that is).

I thought you were better at maths.

Another approach is to simultaneously play every possible game and see which method comes out ahead. There are about 4 million combination for the regular lotto and 10 combinations for the power ball. In each game we are playing 10 tickets. For $1 tickets, we each need to start with $400 million. In each game, matching the regular lotto will pay $1 million divided equally to each winning ticket. Matching the regular lotto with a matching power ball will pay an additional 30 million.

In each game, I will play my 10 tickets on separate numbers:

Ticket 1 = 1,2,3,4,5,6 P1
Ticket 2 = 4,5,6,7,8,9 P2
Ticket 3 = 7,8,9,10,11,12 P3
Ticket 4 = 10,11,12,13,14,15 P4
Ticket 5 = 13,14,15,16,17,18 P5
Ticket 6 = 16,17,18,19,20,21 P6
Ticket 7 = 19,20,21,22,23,24 P7
Ticket 8 = 22,23,24,25,26,27 P8
Ticket 9 = 25,26,27,28,29,30 P9
Ticket 10 = 28,29,30,31,32,33 P10

Each of my tickets will win the lotto jackpot in 10 separate games and the power ball jackpot in 1 game. I will get back $1 Million times 10 tickets times 10 games plus $30 Million times 10 tickets times 1 game for a total of $400 Million.

Now, lets see how you will do. In each game, you buy 10 tickets with all the same lotto numbers and a different power ball number.


Ticket 1 = 1,2,3,4,5,6 P1
Ticket 2 = 1,2,3,4,5,6 P2
Ticket 3 = 1,2,3,4,5,6 P3
Ticket 4 = 1,2,3,4,5,6 P4
Ticket 5 = 1,2,3,4,5,6 P5
Ticket 6 = 1,2,3,4,5,6 P6
Ticket 7 = 1,2,3,4,5,6 P7
Ticket 8 = 1,2,3,4,5,6 P8
Ticket 9 = 1,2,3,4,5,6 P9
Ticket 10 = 1,2,3,4,5,6 P10

Each of your tickets will also win the lotto jackpot in 10 games but since they all win in the same games, the prize each ticket wins is divided 10 ways. Each of your tickets also win a power ball jackpot in one game just like mine. You get back $1 Million split 10 ways times 10 tickets times 10 games plus 30 million times 10 tickets times 1 game for a total or $310 Million.
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Old 1st February 2012, 11:46 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Buying two tickets in the Big Wednesday doubles the chances (attempts at winning) the first draw but it doesn’t halve the odds. The winning odds of the first ticket are virtually the same as for the second. Covering the second coin toss draw with the two tickets changes the odds from being 1 in 2 to being a guaranteed win.
To make things simple, let's assume that the chances of getting all six numbers right are one chance in 10 million, and the coin-toss reduces your chances of any given ticket winning to one chance in 20 million.

Buying two tickets with the same six numbers, but a different heads/tails option would mean that together those two tickets give you a one in 10 million chance of winning the main prize, because the coin toss is now irrelevant.

But... if buying a ticket gives you a one in 20 million chance of winning the main prize, then buying two tickets with different numbers would double your chances of this happening, giving you a one in 10 million chance of winning the main prize.

In both cases, the chances of winning the main prize is the same, with the same number of tickets purchased. There is no advantage either way.

ETA:

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
The winning odds of the first ticket are virtually the same as for the second.
And since you have two tickets this doubles your chances of winning, compared to having only a single ticket.

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Covering the second coin toss draw with the two tickets changes the odds from being 1 in 2 to being a guaranteed win.
In other words, this doubles your chances of winning, from 1 in 2 to 2 in 2, if you get the right six numbers, but halves you chances of getting the right six numbers compared to buying the same number of tickets with different numbers.

If you double your chances and halve them, nothing has changed.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 04:18 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
What is the principle for the patterned and un-patterned combos differing in odds?
Consider 6 consectutive numbers, in a 6/49 lottery there's 44 combinations, then if they increase by 2 instead of 1 each time there's 39 combinations. Try to think of other ways that 6 numbers out of 1-49 could form some sort of obvious pattern. You could come up with a few thousand maybe, but that's out of 13983816 combinations and the remainder of those have a more random appearance.
Say you could see some sort of patterns in 10000 different cominations then you'd have:

10000 patterned
13973816 un-patterned

so the chances of seeing some sort of pattern drawn are lower than 1 in 1000

Quote:
How is any single 6 number pick any more or less likely than any other single 6 number pick?
No single 6 number pick is any more likely than any other, it's just that there are many more un-patterned combos so it's more likely to be one of them.

Any 6 numbers you choose have the same odds as 1,2,3,4,5,6 of coming up but since an obvious pattern is rarely seen (less than 1 in a thousand draws if you take my example above) then some people think they have a better chance by choosing a more random looking combo.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 04:48 AM   #87
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How many of you here would play a "fair" lotto with "good" odds, if one existed?

(Having fun making up an example...)

Let's say you have a lotto called Fortune Four, where you pick four numbers from 64. Tickets cost $4 (plus newsagent or paypal fee). If you get all four numbers right, you win $1,500,000. If you get three numbers right, you win $13,000.

In this case, the lotto would be returning 90% of the money it receives to the players, and players would have a 1 in 635,376 of winning the $1,500,000.

Probably the only public lotto to give better than one in a million chance to win more than a million dollars.

Someone who played 4 games a week would have a better than 1 in 100 chance of winning the $1,500,000 within 31 years.

Would you consider this to be a lotto worthwhile playing, or still a waste of money?

(I hope I worked out all the figures right. No doubt someone will correct me if I haven't.)
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Old 2nd February 2012, 05:05 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
How many of you here would play a "fair" lotto with "good" odds, if one existed?

(Having fun making up an example...)

Let's say you have a lotto called Fortune Four, where you pick four numbers from 64. Tickets cost $4 (plus newsagent or paypal fee). If you get all four numbers right, you win $1,500,000. If you get three numbers right, you win $13,000.

In this case, the lotto would be returning 90% of the money it receives to the players, and players would have a 1 in 635,376 of winning the $1,500,000.

Probably the only public lotto to give better than one in a million chance to win more than a million dollars.

Someone who played 4 games a week would have a better than 1 in 100 chance of winning the $1,500,000 within 31 years.

Would you consider this to be a lotto worthwhile playing, or still a waste of money?

(I hope I worked out all the figures right. No doubt someone will correct me if I haven't.)
if I bought 635,376 tickets I would be guranteed to get over 4.5M back. Yes, I'd play.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 05:59 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by alexi_drago View Post
if I bought 635,376 tickets I would be guranteed to get over 4.5M back. Yes, I'd play.
Assuming noone else plays the game and shares the prize with you?
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Old 2nd February 2012, 06:12 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by DazzaD View Post
Assuming noone else plays the game and shares the prize with you?
Quote:
If you get all four numbers right, you win $1,500,000. If you get three numbers right, you win $13,000.
He didn't mention sharing.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 06:22 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Undesired Walrus View Post
For years, I've been telling people that it's as likely for you to get the above numbers as something like 35,32,18,16, 28, 21.

People can't seem to believe it. Is this actually the case, or am I making a fool of myself?
You're correct (as others have said already), and you're also not alone, as the exact same question was addressed on the excellent More or Less. The podcast version is here; the January 6 edition has the item, and there's a follow-up in the Jan 13th one (they had the correct explanation, but they got the announcement wrong in the illustration they did; they got the regular lottery announcer to read out the numbers, but tacked on "in that order", which does change the probabilities involved).
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Old 2nd February 2012, 05:31 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by alexi_drago View Post
if I bought 635,376 tickets I would be guranteed to get over 4.5M back. Yes, I'd play.
Ah, I guess I did make a mistake with the figures. I worked out the wrong number of minor prizes possible, and therefore the wrong return for them.

According to a different quick calculation (which is probably also wrong because I'm distracted by watching House at the moment) shows that the minor prize should only be about $88 ("about" because I'm rounding it up to a more aesthetically pleasing value).

ETA: No, that is wrong too. I'll figure it out later.

ETAA: Let's see...

Four numbers drawn from 64 leaves 60 incorrect numbers. So out of the 635,376 tickets, 60 will have only the first number wrong, 60 will have only the second number wrong, 60 will have only the third number wrong, and 60 will have only the last number wrong.

That's 240 minor prizes.

(($4 * 635,376 * 0.9)-$1,500,000)/240 = $3,280.64

So the minor prize should be $3,300 instead of $13,000.
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Last edited by Brian-M; 2nd February 2012 at 06:02 PM. Reason: Re-calculated
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Old 22nd February 2012, 03:07 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
I would imagine your best chance of not having to share the payout if you do win is to pick whatever numbers came up the previous week. They have exactly the same chance of coming up this week as any other combination, but you'll likely to be the only person playing them.
Not so. This actually happened here in Bulgaria: www dot dailyfinance dot com/2009/09/18/bulgaria-lottery-repeats-winning-numbers-and-winners-abound/
And guess what? 18 people won the second time!
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Old 22nd February 2012, 08:29 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by vladi View Post
Not so. This actually happened here in Bulgaria: www dot dailyfinance dot com/2009/09/18/bulgaria-lottery-repeats-winning-numbers-and-winners-abound/
And guess what? 18 people won the second time!
Each one won around 7600 $US.

The lottery chooses six number from 1 to 42 without replacement. The odds of hitting all 6 are around 1 in 5.2 million. If the grand prize (before the split) was around 140,000 $US than the lottery is pretty much a suckers' game designed to separate rubes from their money.

Vladi's link:
http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/09/...inners-abound/

That story cites odds of 1 in 4.2 million. That probability was calculated by a mathematician who assumed that small flaws in the balls cause the same numbers to be repeated more often that probability would predict. Also, some stories cite $7300 and others cite $7643.

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Old 22nd February 2012, 08:43 AM   #95
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And just because it happened once doesn't prove the probability is not astronomically small.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 09:59 AM   #96
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Yes, but it proves that there are enough people that play with last week's numbers and you are not very likely to be the only one that wins in such occasion Some people may consider them nuts but... they won

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Old 22nd February 2012, 10:50 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by vladi View Post
Yes, but it proves that there are enough people that play with last week's numbers and you are not very likely to be the only one that wins in such occasion Some people may consider them nuts but... they won
Yes. They won.
They won one-eighteenth what the average jackpot winner would win. They can each buy a somewhat crappy used car.
ETA: unnecessary snarkiness removed.
[I wonder if there is a record for tiniest jackpot]

The other thing that sucks is that usually when one has a one-in-five-million story to tell, one can at least get some free drink in the pub for telling a good story. But with this story, others will expect the teller to buy the drinks because he won the lottery.

Last edited by Ladewig; 22nd February 2012 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 11:07 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
No.
With a clear and meaningful refutation of my point like this, I hardly need to ask for clarification, but in what way am I wrong, pray tell?

I know it's hard to actually read what another person wrote, but unless you believe that there are an equal or greater number of patterned sets than non-patterned sets in all of the possible lottery outcomes, I can't see why you'd respond in the negative to the first.

Regarding the second clever response, please explain how a lottery wheel, a tool for generating combinations, can change the statistics of the game itself? Whether I choose a random set of numbers or allow a wheel to generate the numbers for me, in a fair game, either ticket is equally likely to win.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 11:15 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
I know it's hard to actually read what another person wrote, but unless you believe that there are an equal or greater number of patterned sets than non-patterned sets in all of the possible lottery outcomes, I can't see why you'd respond in the negative to the first.
Perhaps it depends what you mean by a 'patterned set'?

For some reason this reminds me of the 'smallest uninteresting number' paradox (the smallest uninteresting number is interesting for that very reason).
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Old 22nd February 2012, 11:16 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
The lottery chooses six number from 1 to 42 without replacement. The odds of hitting all 6 are around 1 in 5.2 million. If the grand prize (before the split) was around 140,000 $US than the lottery is pretty much a suckers' game designed to separate rubes from their money.
I'm fairly sure that most gambling (not all, but most) is a suckers' game designed to separate rubes from their money. That aside, do we know how much a Bulgarian lottery ticket costs? That's going to make a big impact on how bad the game is slanted against players. If you can get a ticket for $0.05 then the prize isn't so bad. If it's $1 per ticket, then wow. Just wow.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 11:17 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
With a clear and meaningful refutation of my point like this, I hardly need to ask for clarification, but in what way am I wrong, pray tell?
Either you misunderstand the situation, or you did not clearly express what you meant to say.

Quote:

I know it's hard to actually read what another person wrote, but unless you believe that there are an equal or greater number of patterned sets than non-patterned sets in all of the possible lottery outcomes, I can't see why you'd respond in the negative to the first.
And I think the latter is what happened. You didn't say that the set of six numbers was more likely to be a non-patterned set than a patterned set. You said:
Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
any set of 6 numbers with a simple pattern is less likely to occur than one of the sets of 6 numbers with no obvious pattern.
I take that what you meant convey is that there are simply more non-patterned than patterned sets of 6 numbers. However, that's not what the words you used actually mean. Any set of 6 numbers with a simple pattern is just as likely to occur as one of the sets of 6 numbers with no obvious pattern, since we're just comparing two sets of 6 numbers.

Now, given your opening sentence,
Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
As has been mentioned repeatedly, yes, you're right, any given set of 6 numbers in a fair lottery is equally likely to occur.
I can believe you understand this, and you just didn't express yourself as clearly as you might have.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 11:21 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
Perhaps it depends what you mean by a 'patterned set'?

For some reason this reminds me of the 'smallest uninteresting number' paradox (the smallest uninteresting number is interesting for that very reason).
Indeed, and in my original post I used the phrase "obvious pattern" and commented on it being a far from perfect term. That said, there are far fewer combinations that involve things like counting by 1's/2's/etc, or that follow some other easily recognized pattern than those that don't. If we wanted to be really obnoxious we could of course claim that any set of 6 numbers has a pattern, which is true (They're all solutions of 0=(x-A)(x-B)(x-C)(x-D)(x-E)(x-F) if nothing else.) but is very clearly not what I meant in my original post, and I stated as much.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 11:22 AM   #103
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I never play the lottery here in the UK, but I do have a question:- Is there a name for the "phenomenon" of lottery numbers seeming obvious after the draw?

I ask because several friends have said they have had that feeling.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 11:31 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
I take that what you meant convey is that there are simply more non-patterned than patterned sets of 6 numbers. However, that's not what the words you used actually mean. Any set of 6 numbers with a simple pattern is just as likely to occur as one of the sets of 6 numbers with no obvious pattern, since we're just comparing two sets of 6 numbers.
So you'd prefer that I had said something along the lines of, "It's more likely that a member of the non-patterned sets of numbers will be drawn than that a member of the patterned sets of numbers will be drawn..."? That is definitely clearer, but I have a difficult time believing that a person who actually read what I wrote misunderstood it so thoroughly as to believe that immediately after saying that every set of 6 lottery numbers was equally likely to be picked that I would then say that patterned sets were less likely. Thank you for a thoughtful response, in any case.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 08:55 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
I'm fairly sure that most gambling (not all, but most) is a suckers' game designed to separate rubes from their money.
Indeed. And yet that phrase appears so seldom in the SEC-required quarterly reports from corporate casinos.


Quote:
That aside, do we know how much a Bulgarian lottery ticket costs?
I tried looking ti up, but my Google-fu is weak and every hit that I got was about the repeat-number story.

.....................
ETA: the 6/49 Bulgarian State Lottery charges $0.81 per ticket. I still have no idea how much the 6/42 Bulgarian State Lottery charges per ticket (and for that matter, how many sets of numbers can be played for the price of one ticket).

Last edited by Ladewig; 22nd February 2012 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 10:30 PM   #106
Dan O.
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
I tried looking ti up, but my Google-fu is weak and every hit that I got was about the repeat-number story.

Here is their site:
http://www.toto.bg/index.php?lang=2&pid=6&sid=5
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Old 22nd February 2012, 10:43 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
I'm fairly sure that most gambling (not all, but most) is a suckers' game designed to separate rubes from their money. That aside, do we know how much a Bulgarian lottery ticket costs? That's going to make a big impact on how bad the game is slanted against players. If you can get a ticket for $0.05 then the prize isn't so bad. If it's $1 per ticket, then wow. Just wow.
34 cents (US) buys one set of numbers.
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Old 23rd February 2012, 01:06 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
The lottery chooses six number from 1 to 42 without replacement. The odds of hitting all 6 are around 1 in 5.2 million. If the grand prize (before the split) was around 140,000 $US than the lottery is pretty much a suckers' game designed to separate rubes from their money.
It's not a sucker's game at all - it's the chance to become wealthy for, for most, like I, an insignificant outlay. Sure, the odds of winning are essentially close to zero, but not so close that nobody wins! My only practicable chance of becoming rich right now is the lottery, and for a dollar a week it's worth it. I can afford that with absolutely no loss of amenity. Hell, I'm $3 worse off today than I figured on being just by buying a take out coffee on a whim! Do I expect ever to win the jackpot? Do I hell. Do I hope one day to win? For sure. You gotta be in it to win it, and somebody sure as hell won it last week!

Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
That story cites odds of 1 in 4.2 million. That probability was calculated by a mathematician who assumed that small flaws in the balls cause the same numbers to be repeated more often that probability would predict.
False assumption. The randomness created by the mixing machine completely eliminates any bias that a ball might arguably have by a massive number of factors.

Originally Posted by Almo View Post
And just because it happened once doesn't prove the probability is not astronomically small.
Just because what happended once?

Originally Posted by vladi View Post
Yes, but it proves that there are enough people that play with last week's numbers and you are not very likely to be the only one that wins in such occasion Some people may consider them nuts but... they won
A number of people this week are probably playing with last week's numbers simply by virtue of 'quick pick' number selections (i.e. selected at random by the lottery ticket issuing machines). Not always, but probably most weeks.

Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
Yes. They won.
They won one-eighteenth what the average jackpot winner would win.
For the record the average jackpot winner doesn't win it alone!

Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
The other thing that sucks is that usually when one has a one-in-five-million story to tell, one can at least get some free drink in the pub for telling a good story. But with this story, others will expect the teller to buy the drinks because he won the lottery.
That sucks ... winning the lottery and then having to buy drinks? Are you Scottish, by any chance?! Getting a hole in one at golf and having to buy drinks in the clubhouse, now that sucks. Almost as much as buying cake for the office on your own birthday does!

Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
I'm fairly sure that most gambling (not all, but most) is a suckers' game designed to separate rubes from their money. That aside, do we know how much a Bulgarian lottery ticket costs? That's going to make a big impact on how bad the game is slanted against players. If you can get a ticket for $0.05 then the prize isn't so bad. If it's $1 per ticket, then wow. Just wow.
So you're Scottish too, I take it!

Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
Indeed, and in my original post I used the phrase "obvious pattern" and commented on it being a far from perfect term. That said, there are far fewer combinations that involve things like counting by 1's/2's/etc, or that follow some other easily recognized pattern than those that don't. If we wanted to be really obnoxious we could of course claim that any set of 6 numbers has a pattern, which is true (They're all solutions of 0=(x-A)(x-B)(x-C)(x-D)(x-E)(x-F) if nothing else.)
How is this a pattern?

Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
... but is very clearly not what I meant in my original post, and I stated as much.
Why do you go on about this, JP, I thought we'd cleared up things at Post #74:
Originally Posted by Southwind17 View Post
I think what jp means is that a combination of patterned numbers is less likely than a combination of un-patterned numbers, which, of course, is correct. He just didn't word it very well.
Can it be put more simple than that?!
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Old 23rd February 2012, 09:31 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by Southwind17 View Post
It's not a sucker's game at all - it's the chance to become wealthy for, for most, like I, an insignificant outlay. Sure, the odds of winning are essentially close to zero, but not so close that nobody wins! My only practicable chance of becoming rich right now is the lottery, and for a dollar a week it's worth it.
What exactly is your definition of practicable?

Quote:
I can afford that with absolutely no loss of amenity. Hell, I'm $3 worse off today than I figured on being just by buying a take out coffee on a whim! Do I expect ever to win the jackpot? Do I hell. Do I hope one day to win? For sure. You gotta be in it to win it, and somebody sure as hell won it last week!
I will concede everything that you said in your first paragraph. However, none of that weakens my claim that the lottery is a suckers' game designed to separate rubes from their money.


Quote:
False assumption. The randomness created by the mixing machine completely eliminates any bias that a ball might arguably have by a massive number of factors.
Personally, I agree with you. I was just citing where the number in the newspaper story came from. The reporters asked this particular mathematician to calculate the odds and he figured them very differently from pure chance.


Quote:
Just because what happended once?
18 ticket holders split the jackpot in a 6/42 lottery because they were all playing the numbers from the previous draw.



Quote:
For the record the average jackpot winner doesn't win it alone!
For the record, the average jackpot is not split among 18 different tickets. Other than this particular case, I wonder what the greatest split was? Four-way? Five-way? Six-way?


Quote:
That sucks ... winning the lottery and then having to buy drinks? Are you Scottish, by any chance?! Getting a hole in one at golf and having to buy drinks in the clubhouse, now that sucks. Almost as much as buying cake for the office on your own birthday does!


So you're Scottish too, I take it!
Ethnic jokes. How fun.
The jackpot winners - the folks who picked all six numbers correctly - won about 7600 $US. They bet the equivalent of 0.34 $US on a 5 million to one shot. The odds were 5 million to one and the payout was around 22,000 to one. That's off by more than two orders of magnitude. That, most assuredly, sucks. And if you think that it doesn't suck, then let's play a game: I'll flip a coin and you call it. If you lose, you pay me $10 and if you win, I'll pay you $0.10. The payoffs in that game are closer to the actual odds than the payout in the Bulgarian lottery was to the actual odds.

Last edited by Ladewig; 23rd February 2012 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 24th February 2012, 12:49 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
What exactly is your definition of practicable?
Now that's a sucker's game - win the definition argument!

Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
For the record, the average jackpot is not split among 18 different tickets.
Nor 17 or 19 either, I should imagine.

Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
The jackpot winners - the folks who picked all six numbers correctly - won about 7600 $US. They bet the equivalent of 0.34 $US on a 5 million to one shot. The odds were 5 million to one and the payout was around 22,000 to one. That's off by more than two orders of magnitude. That, most assuredly, sucks. And if you think that it doesn't suck, then let's play a game: I'll flip a coin and you call it. If you lose, you pay me $10 and if you win, I'll pay you $0.10. The payoffs in that game are closer to the actual odds than the payout in the Bulgarian lottery was to the actual odds.
How is that comparable? If I offered to take 34 cents off you in exchange for $7,600 would you tell me to take a running jump because it 'sucks'? Would you hellers!
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Old 24th February 2012, 01:02 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by Southwind17 View Post
How is that comparable? If I offered to take 34 cents off you in exchange for $7,600 would you tell me to take a running jump because it 'sucks'? Would you hellers!
If you offered to pay me 34 cents for a 5 million to one chance to win $7600 from me, I'd take you up on it every time.
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Old 24th February 2012, 04:42 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
If you offered to pay me 34 cents for a 5 million to one chance to win $7600 from me, I'd take you up on it every time.
Of course, because you have predetermined odds and a return that you know don't make for an sensible investment. To convert $0.34 to $7,600, howsoever, is a fantastic return in anybody's book. As such it doesn't suck.
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Old 24th February 2012, 06:03 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
34 cents (US) buys one set of numbers.
Ouch. My google-fu was weak as well. That is a horrible expected value...
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Old 25th February 2012, 07:12 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by Southwind17 View Post
Of course, because you have predetermined odds and a return that you know don't make for an sensible investment. To convert $0.34 to $7,600, howsoever, is a fantastic return in anybody's book. As such it doesn't suck.
If the chances of turning a 34-cent ticket into a $7600 payout consisted of a one in fifty billion chance, then would it suck?

ETA: if such a lottery offered that payout for those odds would it be, in your opinion, a suckers' game designed to separate rubes from their money?

Last edited by Ladewig; 25th February 2012 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 25th February 2012, 07:35 AM   #115
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Here is some additional info.
In the Bulgarian lottery the prize is not fixed, it depends on the revenue for every draw. 50% of the revenue goes for prizes and 40% of it (or 20% of the total revenue) go to those who guessed all six numbers. If no one guessed all six numbers, then this sum is added to the sum for the next draw (jackpot) and grows until someone guesses all six numbers and gets the prize. The biggest jackpot in 6/42 was about $2.6 million won in 2011 by one person. The prizes from the lottery are tax-free.

Last edited by vladi; 25th February 2012 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 25th February 2012, 07:49 AM   #116
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The average expected payout for all of the Brazilian toto games is 50%. For every $0.34 ticket bought, only about $0.17 will be comming back as prizes. This is consistent with most state run lotteries. It's a fool's game for anyone that plays.

However, in the U.S. we make them into even bigger fools by taking back at least 30% of the jackpot winnings through taxes.
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Old 25th February 2012, 07:59 AM   #117
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At least part of the revenue goes for funding sport here in Bulgaria. That's why it is called Sport Totalizator.
And gambling is for fools, anyway

Last edited by vladi; 25th February 2012 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 25th February 2012, 08:28 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by vladi View Post
At least part of the revenue goes for funding sport here in Bulgaria. That's why it is called Sport Totalizator.
In the UK, too, they are up-front that the Lottery is a fund-raising enterprise, and it raises an awful lot of money every week.

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Old 25th February 2012, 08:35 AM   #119
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... And don't forget the joker
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Old 25th February 2012, 09:22 AM   #120
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5.5% of lottery jackpot winners go bankrupt.

If you want to get rich you need to learn to manage your money and invest in yourself. get an education, develop your work skills and advance your career. A small investment made early in life comperable to buying a lottery ticket every week will grow exponentially into a significant life style change that also gives you the skills needed to avoid the bankruptcy trap when your boat does come in.
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