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Posted: 5/26/2002 9:24:14 PM EDT
Guy in front of me plunked down a dollar to buy ONE lottery ticket and said "I hope this is a winner this time."
In the Arizona Lottery the odds are 1:4,496,388 for the jackpot (1:34 to get $2 winner) In my mind this is what just happened: Dim Guy: "I wanna play" Clerk: "Cost ya a dollar" Dim Guy: "Okay here" Clerk: "Good  now pick a number from 1 to 4,496,388" Dim Guy: "Ummmm... 3,604,182?" Clerk: "Nope. You lose. Play again?" Dim Guy: "Doh! Next week FOR SURE!" [b]Do any of you play the lottery??[/b] 

don't you have to be an illegal alien and/or not speak english to win these things?


That's why I always buy TWO lottery tickets. Cuts the odds in half.
[smiley] 

I have never won even 1 fricken dollar in that BS game and I have played for 5 years. could have owned a brand new upper by now.


I may buy a scratch off ticket, but I can't remember the last time I purchased an actual Lotto ticket.
medcop 

Yeah, I still play the Az. lotto and the power ball once in a while, when the pot is high enough to think that someone will actually win it.
I figure over the last fifteen years or so I figure I've lost about $8000. I used to play a lot more than I do now. Then again. I used to waste $2000 on a weekend in Vegas. I don't go there any more. 

Quoted: Guy in front of me plunked down a dollar to buy ONE lottery [/b] View Quote Consider yourself lucky. I always seem to get stuck behind someone who wants at least the following: his/her pile of last weeks quick pick Powerball tickets scanned, a variety of $1.00  $10.00 scratchers, and a new pile of Powerball tickets. 

... You're right [b]The_Macallan[/b] except some statisticians believe you need to divide that number one more time.
... Actually the odds are 1 : 8,992,776 

While some people play the lottery way too much, others just spend a couple bucks a week. This in my mind seems reasonable...I mean think about it...your stuck in a factory working day after day after day, with no hope of escaping (family to support, bills to pay, etc.) and you spend $2 a week on some large payout lottery. After a year if you don't win anything you are out $104. That isn't much money...but it does give a person something to hope for(no more financial worries, being able to do all the things you ever wanted to do but didn't have the $$$).
On the other hand, having worked at a convenience store, I have seen people spend upwards of $100 a week on scratchoff tickets with very little to show for it. I have also seen some coworkers purchase tickets of the type that is losing because they know that a winning ticket has to be coming up soon...75% of the time they end up money ahead, and who is paying for it? The customers buying scratchoffs. IMHO big payout tickets aren't evil, but scratchoffs are if not evil, then at least not worth the money. 

Quoted: Consider yourself lucky. I always seem to get stuck behind someone who wants at least the following: his/her pile of last weeks quick pick Powerball tickets scanned, a variety of $1.00  $10.00 scratchers, and a new pile of Powerball tickets. View Quote LOL [:D] 

Quoted: ... You're right [b]The_Macallan[/b] except some statisticians believe you need to divide that number one more time. ... Actually the odds are 1 : 8,992,776 View Quote How's that? 

Quoted: 14  what'da I win? View Quote Go see [b]Imbro[/b]. He handles the money. [;)] 

In response to the idea of the 711 clerk buying tickets from a roll of tickets that has had a lot of sequential losers: its a bad idea.
Assuming that the sequence of winning and losing scratcher lottery tickets in a roll of tickets is actually randomly generated, which I believe it is, than buying a ticket from whichever roll 'has been losing' will NOT improve your odds of winning. Those odds will be exactly the same. If you flip a quarter 10 times, and it comes up heads every time, what is the odds it will come up heads again on the eleventh toss? Fifty/fifty. The odds of flipping eleven consecutive heads, calculated before the first flip would be long odds indeed. But when the previous ten have already occurred they are unable to influence the outcome of the eleventh flip, it remains 50% as are all INDIVIDUAL random coin flips. The same holds true with lottery tickets or spins of a slot machine. Say the odds of winning are one in three, and 20 consecutive cards are losers. The 21st card still has a one in three chance of winning. It IS NOT the same odds as calculating the chance of 21 consecutive losers prior to the first one, and the unusually long sequence of losers is not able to some how magically influence the outcome of the 21st ticket. Lotteries are voluntary taxes, paid by the gullible. Although on ocassion I buy a Powerball ticket myself. After all, statistics don't apply to me, right? 

... Although I’m not a gambler, some statisticians believe that when you’ve finally reduced the odds to a win there is one more iteration to the equation.
The one that says you will win and relating to this is the chance that other(s) will share your good will and reduce your pot by 50%. 

I'm a physicist and not a mathematician, so I never believe mathematics applied to real world situations until it is proven by experiment.
So far, my experiments into the odds of winning the lottery have shown that the odds suck big time. 

"You gotta be in it to win it"
That's how the NY state lotto slogan goes.. I play a dollar all the time. I don't even think about winning, but it would be nice to. 

Quoted: "You gotta be in it to win it" That's how the NY state lotto slogan goes.. I play a dollar all the time. I don't even think about winning, but it would be nice to. View Quote ... You WHORE!!! [;)][;)][;)] 

Quoted: "You gotta be in it to win it" That's how the NY state lotto slogan goes.. View Quote "You can't win if you don't play" is the AZ Lottery motto. Macallan's Corollary: "You can't lose if you don't play". 

You guys are depressing. Now I'm gonna have to buy THREE lotto tickets at a time.


Quoted: In response to the idea of the 711 clerk buying tickets from a roll of tickets that has had a lot of sequential losers: its a bad idea. Assuming that the sequence of winning and losing scratcher lottery tickets in a roll of tickets is actually randomly generated, which I believe it is, than buying a ticket from whichever roll 'has been losing' will NOT improve your odds of winning. Those odds will be exactly the same. If you flip a quarter 10 times, and it comes up heads every time, what is the odds it will come up heads again on the eleventh toss? Fifty/fifty. The odds of flipping eleven consecutive heads, calculated before the first flip would be long odds indeed. But when the previous ten have already occurred they are unable to influence the outcome of the eleventh flip, it remains 50% as are all INDIVIDUAL random coin flips. The same holds true with lottery tickets or spins of a slot machine. Say the odds of winning are one in three, and 20 consecutive cards are losers. The 21st card still has a one in three chance of winning. It IS NOT the same odds as calculating the chance of 21 consecutive losers prior to the first one, and the unusually long sequence of losers is not able to some how magically influence the outcome of the 21st ticket. View Quote Now imagine a roll of 50 lottery tickets, with the odds of winning being 1 in 5. On average there would be 10 winners in the 50 ticket roll, right? Now imagine that the first 30 tickets are bought but only 3 winners are found. According to the average there should be another 7 winners in the remaining 20 tickets. So if there is an unusual amount of losers in the first 3/5ths of the roll the average would more often than not cause the last 2/5ths of the roll to have an unusual amount of winners to compensate for the losers, and therefore keep the average. Right? (It's late, so if this isn't making any sense tell me about it in the morning...goodnight.) 

Quoted: If you flip a quarter 10 times, and it comes up heads every time, what is the odds it will come up heads again on the eleventh toss? Fifty/fifty. The odds of flipping eleven consecutive heads, calculated before the first flip would be long odds indeed. But when the previous ten have already occurred they are unable to influence the outcome of the eleventh flip, it remains 50% as are all INDIVIDUAL random coin flips. The same holds true with lottery tickets or spins of a slot machine. Say the odds of winning are one in three, and 20 consecutive cards are losers. The 21st card still has a one in three chance of winning. It IS NOT the same odds as calculating the chance of 21 consecutive losers prior to the first one, and the unusually long sequence of losers is not able to some how magically influence the outcome of the 21st ticket. View Quote This is ABSOLUTELY correct. Yet somehow you are going to get a dozen responses saying that the odds are better after each loss... and this is where the casinoes and lottery commission make the big bucks... Each roll of the dice has the same odds against it. 

Quoted: Now imagine a roll of 50 lottery tickets, with the odds of winning being 1 in 5. On average there would be 10 winners in the 50 ticket roll, right? Now imagine that the first 30 tickets are bought but only 3 winners are found. According to the average there should be another 7 winners in the remaining 20 tickets. So if there is an unusual amount of losers in the first 3/5ths of the roll the average would more often than not cause the last 2/5ths of the roll to have an unusual amount of winners to compensate for the losers, and therefore keep the average. Right? (It's late, so if this isn't making any sense tell me about it in the morning...goodnight.) View Quote Your example is correct, but it doesn't correspond to the practical situation of scratchoff tickets. Since the winning tickets are distributed among such a large number of rolls, there is not as much statistical "pressure" for the remaining tickets in any given roll to be winners. There is some effect: the remaining tickets from a roll which started with more losers than average have [b]slightly[/b] higher probability of being winners, but it is negligible because that increased probability is spread over all remaining tickets, not just those in the roll. [Could I have made that sentence longer?] 

I'm no statistician, but everything I've read says that your chances of winning are really no greater if you buy a lot of tickets (say, 1000) than if you only buy one. So it appears that the lottery [b]can[/b] be a tax on the stupid folks who blow a large portion of their paychecks on the hope that buying 100 tickets reduces the odds against them from 9,000,000:1 to 90,000:1. If you're like me and buy 1 or 2 tickets a week, well....let's just say that anyone who smokes, drinks beer regularly, etc, has no room to talk about [b]me[/b] being stupid! [:D]


Somebody WILL win!
Just not you... [img]http://www.stopstart.fsnet.co.uk/smilie/biggrin2.gif[/img] 

Quoted: Quoted: Now imagine a roll of 50 lottery tickets, with the odds of winning being 1 in 5. On average there would be 10 winners in the 50 ticket roll, right? Now imagine that the first 30 tickets are bought but only 3 winners are found. According to the average there should be another 7 winners in the remaining 20 tickets. So if there is an unusual amount of losers in the first 3/5ths of the roll the average would more often than not cause the last 2/5ths of the roll to have an unusual amount of winners to compensate for the losers, and therefore keep the average. Right? (It's late, so if this isn't making any sense tell me about it in the morning...goodnight.) View Quote Your example is correct, but it doesn't correspond to the practical situation of scratchoff tickets. Since the winning tickets are distributed among such a large number of rolls, there is not as much statistical "pressure" for the remaining tickets in any given roll to be winners. There is some effect: the remaining tickets from a roll which started with more losers than average have [b]slightly[/b] higher probability of being winners, but it is negligible because that increased probability is spread over all remaining tickets, not just those in the roll. [Could I have made that sentence longer?] View Quote Yep, I realize all of this now...I don't seem to think right when I am tired(played paintball for over 8 hours yesterday). The odds are improved, but by such a small amount that it's barely worth thinking about...kind of like flipping a coin isn't [u]exactly[/u] 50/50... more like 49.95%/50.05% in favor of tails(due to the extra weight of the heads side). 

Quoted: Consider yourself lucky. I always seem to get stuck behind someone who wants at least the following: his/her pile of last weeks quick pick Powerball tickets scanned, a variety of $1.00  $10.00 scratchers, and a new pile of Powerball tickets. View Quote You must be going to the store on the corner near my office. Ugh I always get stuck behind the little old gambling ladies when I am in a hurry, and they all have some superstitious theory about which of the 89 different Scratch off games to buy a ticket fromit is kind of sad when you realize these are the women who live at the fixed income residence and only have social securitybut I guess if they are having their $ 1 worth of fun out of thinking they might win for minute or two... 

Nope but I can tell you your odds if you don't but a ticket. 0
Bob [:D] 

I played the GA lottery several years ago and came within one number of winning $27M. My wife and I didn't sleep a wink for 2 days.
Anyway, due to the way I picked the numbers, that one ticket netted me $5280 total. If I play about $100 a year, it will be at least 50 years before I have another lottery loss. Man, what I would have done with that $27M! Merlin 

Quoted: You guys are depressing. Now I'm gonna have to buy THREE lotto tickets at a time. View Quote Shit, buy 5. Its only 2 more dollars. [:D] 

Quoted: Quoted: If you flip a quarter 10 times, and it comes up heads every time, what is the odds it will come up heads again on the eleventh toss? Fifty/fifty. The odds of flipping eleven consecutive heads, calculated before the first flip would be long odds indeed. But when the previous ten have already occurred they are unable to influence the outcome of the eleventh flip, it remains 50% as are all INDIVIDUAL random coin flips. The same holds true with lottery tickets or spins of a slot machine. Say the odds of winning are one in three, and 20 consecutive cards are losers. The 21st card still has a one in three chance of winning. It IS NOT the same odds as calculating the chance of 21 consecutive losers prior to the first one, and the unusually long sequence of losers is not able to some how magically influence the outcome of the 21st ticket. View Quote This is ABSOLUTELY correct. Yet somehow you are going to get a dozen responses saying that the odds are better after each loss... and this is where the casinoes and lottery commission make the big bucks... Each roll of the dice has the same odds against it. View Quote That is correct for a series of independent trials. But not all random events follow that model. Example: I pick a card from a wellshuffled deck of 52 cards. The probability that I'll draw an ace is 1/13 (4 aces, 52 cards). But suppose I've drawn 47 cards from the same deck without getting an ace. The probability that I'll draw an ace on my next pick is 4/5 (4 aces, 5 cards remaining). BTW, I have no idea whether the state lotteries calculate winning instant tickets on a ticket by ticket basis or whether they "shuffle" a given number of winners into each roll. 

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