## South African Skeptics

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# Lotto

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Brian
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I think therefor I am, I think

 « on: February 15, 2013, 16:15:16 PM »

for those of you statistically minded: if you take out a Lotto ticket and post a set series of numbers (say 34;10:12:4:32;6) every week "religiously' and repeat them without change for say one year (104 times) vs every week taking out a quickpick of new numbers randomly....what are your odds at winning assuming 50 million one line tickets are sold twice a week?
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Mefiante
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In solidarity with rwenzori: Κοπρος φανεται

 « Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 16:35:26 PM »

The same.  It’s called the Gambler’s Fallacy to assume that a Lotto draw is affected by previous draws.  To illustrate, the sequence of numbers drawn this week is just as likely as any other to occur again next week.  However, the quickpick is your best option of being sole winner because the sequences chosen are random and not repeated for a given week’s draw, whereas a patterned series selected by a human such as 7-14-21-28-35-42 is more likely to have more than one instance, and, should it win, the prize would be divided up among those who chose the sequence.

'Luthon64
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BoogieMonster
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 « Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 17:01:49 PM »

I agree with you Mefiante that the odds remain the same. However I don't think that's the question.

I think the question is what are the odds (numerically) if playing the same number over and over. Even if that chance is the same as playing different numbers every time.

No?
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Rigil Kent
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 « Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 17:29:22 PM »

what are your odds at winning assuming 50 million one line tickets are sold twice a week?
Your chances of winning with your single ticket is always the same and independent of the amount of tickets sold in total. However, as the number of total tickets sold increases, so will your chances of having to share the jackpot, if you win.

Rigil
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Mefiante
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In solidarity with rwenzori: Κοπρος φανεται

 « Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 17:33:31 PM »

Okay, if that’s the case then asking if there’s a difference between betting the same sequence repeatedly and using a quickpick is a bit obscure.  (I quote: “if you take out a Lotto ticket and post a set series of numbers … every week "religiously' … vs every week taking out a quickpick…”)

If you’re only interested in the jackpot (six numbers), the odds of winning it are easy to calculate (and have nothing to do with how many tickets are sold in total).  The odds of hitting it with any one specific guess are one in (49×48×47×46×45×44)÷(6×5×4×3×2×1) = 10,068,347,520÷720 = 13,983,816.  If you play n different sequences, the chances are n:13,983,816.  With 50,000,000 sequences sold, you can expect about ¼ of the prize money if your ticket wins.

'Luthon64
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