## Patterns in Lottery Numbers 563

markmcb writes

*"Most everyone is familiar with the concept of the lottery, i.e., random numbers are selected and people guess what they will be for a cash prize. But how random are the numbers? Matt Vea has conducted a pattern analysis of the MegaMillions lottery, which recently offered a sum of $370M (USD) to the winner. Matt shows that the lottery isn't as random as it may seem and that there are 'better' choices than others to be made when selecting numbers. From the article, 'A single dollar in MegaMillions purchases a 1 in 175,711,536 chance of landing the jackpot ... a player stands a mildly better chance of winning a partial prize through the selection of weighted numbers.'"*Includes some excellent charts of his analysis.
## Conclusions... (Score:2)

"Interesting as these trends may be, they will not assist in making the odds of winning the MegaMillions lottery any better if the system is truly fair and random. However, in the event there is some peculiar factor skewing the ball selection such that any of these trends continue, a player stands a mildly better chance of winning a partial prize through the selection of weighted numbers."## Re:Conclusions... (Score:5, Insightful)

## Re:Conclusions... (Score:5, Insightful)

Thats like 1/.48^13th.

Random things.. happen.

Randomly- some poor investing sod out there has made every choice correctly and been hammered by random market events.

Likewise- some lucky fool (that thinks he is brilliant) has picked google or tasr or crox on some non-logical basis and won big.

That's why you use Mutual Funds and ETF's. You get average performance. You lose the home runs, but you also lose the strike-outs.

## Re:Conclusions... (Score:5, Insightful)

Thats like 1/48^13.

Random things.. happen.

And guess what? Last night in Vegas, the roulette wheel spun this:

Red, Black, Black, Red, Black, Red, Red, Black, Red, Red, Red, Black, Red.

That's like 1/.48^13th.

A lot of people would be better off in understanding "randomness" if they would just realize that these two situations have exactly the same probability. Humans just assign more "meaning" to certain sequences than others.

## Interesting scam based on that (Score:5, Interesting)

Pick some random stock, send email to 2*10 suckers that it will go up, and to an equal number of suckers that it will go down.

Whichever direction it moves, divide that batch of suckers in two, pick some other random stock, send half email taht it will go up and half email that it goes down.

Repeat until you have only a few suckers left. They will see you as a genius who has correctly predicted the last {n} stock moves correctly. It may be the final sucker, or the last 2, or 4, etc.

Now tout a stock you have just bought and make some money!

## The Simpsons have done everything (Score:3, Funny)

Homer: Denver just won the ballgame!Lisa: Oh, the Broncos won?Homer: Why didn't I bet on them like Professor Pigskin told me to?Lisa: Who's Professor Pigskin?Homer: (Holding Professor Pignskin pamplet) He's a pig who can predict football winners in advance!Lisa: How is that possible?Homer: Because he's got something no gambler's ever had: a system! I've gotten the pamphlet four weeks in a row, and every time, the pick-of-the-week has been right on the money.Lisa: Ah... I get it. Every week, th## Re: (Score:3, Informative)

## Re:Conclusions... (Score:5, Informative)

Can you win at roulette by betting there will be "only 8 reds in the next 13 spins"? No, you have to say *which* spins will be red of those 13. In other words, you're arguing here that order doesn't matter...but it clearly does.

## Re: (Score:3, Informative)

So frankly, I think that your comment is incorrect, overrated, and probably designed for karma whoring.

## And yet, one truth escapes the analysis (Score:5, Funny)

You're already losing by buying the ticket.

## Re:And yet, one truth escapes the analysis (Score:5, Interesting)

Instead of using absolute dollar figures for your analysis, you should use lifestyle impact.

e.g. One dollar a week == no lifestyle impact; $370MM payout == off the charts lifestyle impact.

This is why people will continue to play the lottery, even if mathematically it's a poor choice.

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

I have participated in both lotteries (and have won up to $1000 in them, and made more than I ever spent).

I have also participated in raffles - and won similar payouts.

As to the lifestyle impact, it is a provable truism that most maximum payout winners do not actually improve their lives.

It's like when I got an inheritance - the best thing you can do with that is max out your retirement funds and pay off debt, and then put much of the rest in paying down your mortgage

## Re: (Score:2)

## Blinded by the glamor (Score:3, Insightful)

You have to admit that driving to work 5 days a week has less of an impact (good or bad) on someone's lifestyle than getting killed in a car crash does (again, good or bad).

That the odds of ending up terminated on a highway are far higher than getting an "off the charts lifestyle impact" lottery payout doesn't seem to affect anyone's choice in making that daily drive.

## Re:Blinded by the glamor (Score:5, Funny)

## How I got Lucky in a Government Lottery (Score:5, Funny)

I didn't win the green suit, M-16 rifle, and two-year all-expenses-paid vacation to exciting tropical Vietnam, or the grand prize magic bullet with my name on it, and since my number was high enough to get classified as 1-H, I didn't even win the third-prize government-health-care physical exam. Haven't bought another ticket from those bastards since then.

## Re: (Score:2)

I believe that what you say is true.

But, I would further suggest that anybody who gets a $370 Million payout and has anything less than an off the charts lifestyle impact is a complete moron with no imagination.

## Re:And yet, one truth escapes the analysis (Score:5, Interesting)

Basically it buys you a dream, and an opportunity to share your dreams with your friends/co-workers who are in on the ticket. Really no different from buying a piece of art for a conversation piece.

At work, we buy lottery tickets together when the jackpot is huge, and then we get to talk about the things we'd do if we won, which in effect buys me a mental vacation from the reality of having to work for a living. For a dollar every now and then, it's worth it. Besides, a losing ticket just buys social assistance projects where I'm from anyways, so it's not really a big loss.

## Re:And yet, one truth escapes the analysis (Score:5, Insightful)

e.g. One dollar a week == no lifestyle impact; $370MM payout == off the charts lifestyle impact.

## Re: (Score:2)

## Re:And yet, one truth escapes the analysis (Score:5, Funny)

Lou - Look Math! I won 100 bucks on the lotto!

Math - *scowling* How much did you spend on that ticket?

Lou - Well, uh 10 bucks so it's like I made $10 dollars on ever dollar I spent!

Math - *smiling evilly* Oh really? Was that the only ticket you bought this week?

Lou - Well no, but...

Math - AND... did you win on any of those tickets? How much did you spend altogether this week?

Lou - Well no but it was only another 10 so it's like I made 5 on...

Math - Please, spare me. How much have you spent this month?

Lou - Uh 80 but...

Math - and won?

Lou - with this it would be 120.

Math - Aha! You're return is more like

Lou - But overall...

Math - Lies! Statistically this year you've lost more money than you gained!

Lou - It was disposable income!!

Math - How much would that have made long term investments!

Lou - I don't know!

Math - Or how much you would have saved on your mortgage!

Lou - I don't know, I don't know!

Math - Fool, now go make me a one minute egg.

Lou - Fine, right after I put some money in a stocks so we can retire.

Math - Idiot, why bother? You have a higher probability of making money on the stock market by random selection. A monkey can make money on the stock market better than you!

Lou - *sobbing uncontrollably* I hate you! I hate you!

Math - Wait till he hears about his income tax. Muhahahaha!

I may have had to improvise some parts but that's fairly accurate.

## Re:And yet, one truth escapes the analysis (Score:5, Funny)

Also, for 1 dollar a week you are buying a mild emotional high when checking the numbers and a mild emotional low when you find out that math pwned you again.Yes, but for less than one dollar a day (that's less than the cost of a cup of coffee), you can help change a child's life. Imagine the feeling of joy you'll get when you receive a personalized card in the mail from the child you sponsor. Call the number on your screen right now to make a donation.

## Re:And yet, one truth escapes the analysis (Score:4, Funny)

Figure there's a chance I'll make one really happy kid. Why people hate making kids really happy so much?

## Re: (Score:3, Funny)

## Re:And yet, one truth escapes the analysis (Score:5, Interesting)

Also, for 1 dollar a week you are buying a mild emotional high when checking the numbers and a mild emotional low when you find out that math pwned you again.Yes, but for less than one dollar a day (that's less than the cost of a cup of coffee), you can help change a child's life. Imagine the feeling of joy you'll get when you receive a personalized card in the mail from the child you sponsor. Call the number on your screen right now to make a donation.

Turned out the kid had been dead for years. Someone kept collecting the money, though, and wrote letters.

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

## Re: (Score:2)

You're already losing by buying the ticket.No, not really. Your state is getting paid revenue (supposedly for education around here - not always). Also, you are getting a chance to win the Jackpot...

## Re: (Score:2)

## Re: (Score:2)

## Re: (Score:2)

Approximately 27.1 cents of every dollar spent on the Missouri Lottery benefits Missouri's education programs; 63 cents goes back to players as prizes, 3.8 cents is used for administrative costs and 6.1 cents goes to retailers in the form of commissions, incentives and bonuses. In all, more than 96 cents of every dollar stays in Missouri!I remember there was some sort of scandal 5 or 6 years ago, but I can't find any info on it at the moment...

## Re:And yet, one truth escapes the analysis (Score:4, Insightful)

You're already losing by buying the ticket.No, not really. Your state is getting paid revenue (supposedly for education around here - not always).

Which is just the excuse they used to get it through.

But money is the ultimate fungible commodity. (That's its whole purpose, after all.) Any amount that the lottery puts into the schools the state government can neglect to put in when they set the next budget. So the effect is that the lottery money goes to the pet projects of the legislature (in a roundabout-on-paper fashion).

Also, you are getting a chance to win the Jackpot...Yep.

For the smaller ones the payoff is small enough to not matter. Further, the odds are short enough and the players play often enough that the payoff quickly approaches the expectation - usually $0.50 for every $1.00 played. (They take your money and give half of it back in chunks.)

For the big jackpots the odds are typically in the ballpark of being hit by lightning 10 times. And while the payoff typically has a "half the pot" number, it's paid out over a long enough period that you're just getting the INTEREST on the payoff, while the state keeps the principal, making the effective value much lower. (In some cases you have the option to select getting a much lower payout right away, which proves the point...) And then the federal government takes a cut. So the expectation is 'WAY less than $.50 out for every $1.00 in.

Lotteries are a voluntary tax on innumeracy (mathematical illiteracy).

## Re: (Score:2)

## Re: (Score:2)

You're already losing by buying the ticket.This is pedantic BUT sometimes (rarely) the lottery's jackpot will grow big enough that you aren't already losing, and you actually have good odds.

Example: the chances of winning could be 1 in 107 million but the jackpot has unexpectedly grown to 150 million. Hypothetically, you could buy all 107 million tickets and still win money.

## Re: (Score:2)

## Re: (Score:2)

This is pedantic BUT sometimes (rarely) the lottery's jackpot will grow big enough that you aren't already losing, and you actually have good odds.But in calculating the odds you have to include more than the payout ratio:

- Payout is over time, lowering the effective value of the money.

- Even if exempt from state taxes, payouts are subject to federal tax.

You need a dollar value expectation FAR more than 1:1 for the actual expectation to exceed 1:1. But this pretty much never happens. The s

## Re: (Score:2)

You're already losing by buying the ticket.The multi-state Powerball odds of winning the jackpot is 1 in 146,107,962. I used to figure that their one time payout number was something like half the prize total, so if you wanted a $1 per $1 expected return, you should only buy the tickets when the jackpot is over $290 million. But that is assuming a single winner.

Now, most likely, when you start to get that big of a jackpot, a lot more people will play, so you end up usually having on average about 2 winne

## Re: (Score:2)

Alternately, I'm making a contribution to a cause I support, ...What cause is that? Higher taxes? Slower economic growth? Greater government corruption?

We ARE talking about the government lotteries here.

If it's a private lottery by a charity you support your position makes perfect sense. But in those cases the payoff is typically a (sometimes large) token contributed by another donor, rather than money in amounts that would make you "fabulously wealthy".

## Your best bet. (Score:5, Funny)

## Re: (Score:2)

1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32

## Re: (Score:2)

2,3,5,7,11,13

or.....

3,1,41,59,2,65

## Re:Your best bet. (Score:5, Funny)

## Re: (Score:3, Funny)

## Re:Your best bet. (Score:5, Funny)

## Re: (Score:2)

## Conclusion: (Score:2, Informative)

## So It's Pretty Darn Random Then? (Score:5, Insightful)

These differences aren't that compelling. To me I would say, "Congratulations, you have found some deviation from equal frequency for all balls. But this would happen in any instance of drawing these balls."

I'm concerned that this has been an exercise in deviation in pseudo random systems. The same could be done with a computer simulation and similar results would be found.

I hate to say it but this study points out to me that the lottery is actually pretty much as close to random as it could get. In fact, the summary of the paper states that

ifthere were some event to skew this, then you could achieve a small bonus:## Lottery vs. poker (Score:3, Interesting)

## Re: (Score:3, Informative)

## Misleading summary (Score:2)

## Interesting, but... (Score:2)

## How about ANY random numbers? (Score:2)

## Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

## Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

One method is to take each pair in the sequence as coordinates in a plane and plot them.

Eg, you have a dripping tap. You take the time between drips as your number. Then two successive intervals get plotted on a plane and you can start finding a resulting pattern.

I once did this with pseudo-random number generators as provided with various libraries.

The results were interesting.

Each different PRNG would produce a distinct pattern and the same pattern every single time regardless of whether

## Fl. lottery... (Score:3, Interesting)

Now I'm not a math guy, but I *know* that all 50whatever balls aren't identical. Should there be some (very) slight preference for a particular ball, or set of balls, over a series of draws over time? I seem to remember an article in a Dragon magazine about dice and using math to find out if yours had a preference for a particular number...

## Re: (Score:2)

I seem to remember an article in a Dragon magazine about dice and using math to find out if yours had a preference for a particular number...That's "Be thy die ill-wrought?" in Dragon 78; it's also in the collection "The Dragon Compendium, Volume 1". The article talks about using the chi-square test in order to quantify your dice rolls. A similar article that pushes all the math to your computer is at Are my dice random? [godsmonsters.com].

## true in theory, destroyed in practice (Score:2)

Plus, if the prize pool is 50%, then you'

## Lottery Equation??? (Score:2)

Closest I got to winning the lotto jackpot here was with 4 numbers, out of 6.

## yes, indeed there *Are* patterns (and not) (Score:5, Insightful)

And if you look up in the night sky, you'll see an archer, a bull, a big and a small dipper.

What's your point?

## You can't lose if you don't play (Score:5, Insightful)

At the astronomical odds against winning, I figure my chances of finding a winning ticket on the ground are only marginally worse than my chances of buying a winning ticket. So rather than give extra money to the government so it will be funnelled to politically connected rich people, I just watch the ground.

-mcgrew

## Re:You can't lose if you don't play (Score:5, Interesting)

One of the slogans for the Illinois lottery used to be "you can't win if you don't play", but I figured every time I didn't play, I won $1. Its both stupid and ironic that many of the same people bitching about taxes pay this voluntary tax!

At the astronomical odds against winning, I figure my chances of finding a winning ticket on the ground are only marginally worse than my chances of buying a winning ticket. So rather than give extra money to the government so it will be funnelled to politically connected rich people, I just watch the ground.

I play the Mega Millions every time the numbers are drawn. We have a standing office pool with 4 of us, and we play 4 numbers every time the balls are dropped, the same 4 sets of numbers each time.

What have we won? Well, one time we won $150. But aside from that, we know that the lotto money goes into the public school system. So, in effect, I'm donating $8 - $9 minus administrative fees to the school system every month.

I'm ok with that.

And on the off chance that I ever win the lotto, none of you will ever hear from my fat ass again.

~Wx

## Re:You can't lose if you don't play (Score:5, Insightful)

## Re:You can't lose if you don't play (Score:5, Interesting)

They try to encourage people to play the lottery by telling them the money all goes to schools. So they direct the whole of lottery income to the schools, on paper. But the school budget is planned in budget meetings, and the ammount the lottery brings in has no effect on school budgets. For every extra dollar brought in by the lottery, that's one less dollar of general fund money that goes to the schools, and one more dollar of total money in the government's general fund.

They can write out the accounting anyway they like to and say, "see, these dollars went here," but dollars are fungible. At the end of the day, the acid test to see if it means anything to say "lottery money goes to schools" is to see what the marginal effect on school funding is of purchasing lottery tickets. That effect is 0.

## If your office mates win, and you're not in it... (Score:3, Interesting)

It's not gambling, it's "gloating ex-co-worker insurance."

## Re: (Score:3)

## Re: (Score:3)

But aside from that, we know that the lotto money goes into the public school system.For every dollar that goes to the schools from the lottery, they take a dollar away from the general fund. More lottery income does not increase school funding. The school budget is set, and the funds are paid, it's just the buckets change. That last $ you put in went to the governor's dog's food dish, not to the schools.

## Re: (Score:2)

Why is that stupid and ironic? Lots of things become unacceptable when you make them involuntary.

## Missing data (Score:5, Insightful)

While you can analyse the numbers that come up, the

interestingdata isn't usually available to you: namely what numbers people are betting on. For example in the UK lottery it is known that about 10,000 people a week bet on 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. So that automatically is a really bad choice because if that combination came up, you would get £prize / 10,000.Example: if lots of people bet on (eg.) birthdays, then you'd expect the people to select numbers > 31 less frequently, which means you could try to cover bets with numbers > 31 and have a greater payout. Without the distribution of betting numbers though you can't tell.

Rich.

## Re:Missing data (Score:5, Interesting)

## Re: (Score:2)

That's interesting, thanks.

I haven't played the UK lottery, ever, so I don't know if they have the "quick pick" feature over here.

But on the other hand, it means I've won £1/week every week for the past 15 or so years by not playing, with only a miniscule chance that I could have won the big prize!

Rich.

## Re: (Score:2)

I noticed, whether true or not, that when I chose numbers this way, there was a higher chance that numbers I had already chosen would also be chosen by the computer.

I then changed things around and had the first and last games chosen by the computer while my manually chosen numbers were in the middle. This s

## Re: (Score:2)

Do you want to think about that some more?

You are saying that lottery winning / 10,000 is worse then not winning at all.

No if you want to optimize the amount of many you could win if the numbers come up, then I would bet all my numbers over 31.

Personally, when I do play I just let the machine pick. I would never use the same numbers because if they happened to win and I didn't bet that wee

## Re: (Score:2)

## Don't play the lottery, play the players... (Score:3, Insightful)

Rather, observe the following. When a progressive jackpot gets large enough, a single winner would have a positive expectation value, but multiple winners have negative value.

Thus what you need to do is not pick something that is "more likely", you need to pick combinations that normal players would NOT choose, as your odds of winning are the same, but your odds of having to share a win go way down.

EG, something like 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Given the raw stream of what numbers people choose, there are probably lots of such "less likely" patterns you could use.

## Re: (Score:3, Informative)

You would be lucky to take 1/3 of the value of the jackpot even if you are the sole winner. In that case

the expected payoff is no longer in your favor.

## Re: (Score:3, Funny)

Any statistical deviation in the balls is going to be microscopic.Speak for yourself.

## I've known people that used patterns (Score:2)

I have known people that have used patterns and formulas to pick lottery numbers weekly and overall come out on top. Now this was with regular state lottery which has a far better chance of being won anyway. Also, it certainly wasn't anything they could live off of, wasn't consistent, and took a few thousand dollars that you could risk losing to get started with and keep spending monthly.

Overall, though, the guys that I have

## Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

Overall, though, the guys that I have known who have done this sort of stuff have won, though. Not tons, maybe an average of a couple hundred dollars per month at best with the risk of losing thousandsIt sounds like a classic case where someone is staying just ahead of Gambler's Ruin [wikipedia.org]--so far. If you don't properly model what happens when you run out of money, there are any number of gambling systems that seem like they work in the short-term, but in reality don't if you run them long enough. The simplest

## The way I see it (Score:2)

Chance of dying from a car accident: 1 in 18,585

## Re: (Score:2)

Chance of dying from a car accident: 1 in 18,585Bad statistical analogy there. You see, 18585 is your chances of dying in an auto accident in your entire life. Multiply this by the number of car trips you take and take the odds on winning any lottery and divide that by the number of times/sets of numbers you play. I'm sure someone can come up with some variations on that.

But as we both know it's all just a bit crapshoot anyhow... when the Great Cthulhu "calls you home" there is no winning odds for an esc

## Evidence and changing beliefs (Score:2)

## Ummm.... (Score:4, Insightful)

2) You don't get an edge in the lottery by picking numbers that are more likely to come up; you get it by picking numbers that other players are

lesslikely to choose (e.g. >31), so that you don't have to split your win with as many others.## Let's try some simulations shall we? (Score:4, Informative)

Examine the results and look for patterns. Odds are, you will see minor variations from "average." After all, if you flip a coin 1000 times, odds are you won't get exactly 500 heads and 500 tails.

Next, let's repeat this 100 times. Odds are you will see such patterns in most of the experimental runs, but the patterns will vary from run to run.

Think of the real-life MegaMillions lottery as a single experimental run.

How do you counter this?

You could slice-and-dice the MegaMillions into 100 "experimental runs" each consisting of a random 10% of actual drawings. While the overall trend of this slice-and-dice will reflect the real history of MegaMillions, the results of the individual "experimental runs" should vary enough to convince people that this is just a statistical fluke, or at least it's flukiness can't be ruled out.

In particular, let's slice MM into 10 time periods with an equal number of drawings. Odds are the most recent time period's statistical anomalies won't match those of earlier times.

The bottom line:

There is nothing to suggest the statistical anomaly of the history of MM so far will continue.

## Ah, lotteries... (Score:2)

the tax on people who can't do math.

Patterns? Oh sure there are patterns... But consider, if you look at the moon, you might see a face there too... there's a definite pattern there! Or if you look at clouds you might see familiar shapes.

The point of what I'm saying being that the human brain is the ultimate pattern recognition engine, and it's going to see patterns arising even when their really aren't any.

Any increased likelihood that using such "patterns" to predict the outcome of discrete rand

## Statistically bankrupt (Score:2)

interestingquestion is whether or not the pattern analysis can be put to use.## College stats course (Score:5, Interesting)

What stuck with me though we a couple of ideas:

heads, but the odds of the next penny landing head or tails is still 50/50.## Best choice is numbers over 31 (Score:2)

I win $1 every week!

The only ticket's I've ever bought were to give out as party favors.

## Heads, heads, heads, heads, ... (Score:4, Funny)

Guildenstern: Is that what you imagine? A new record?

Rosencrantz: Well...

Guildenstern: No questions? Not a flicker of doubt?

Rosencrantz: I could be wrong.

Guildenstern: Consider: One, probability is a factor which operates *within* natural forces. Two, probability is *not* operating as a factor. Three, we are now held within un-, sub- or super-natural forces. Discuss.

Rosencrantz: What?

## the pi symbol graphic (Score:2)

fractals, numerology, obsession, madness, religion, finding patterns in randomness, etc.

great movie if you haven't seen it

## I buy my tickets on eBAY (Score:2)

## My first question (Score:3, Interesting)

Looking at statistical weighting of ball frequency in a huge aggregate is fine. But I'm guessing (but not betting) you can't translate it directly into predictions in the short term, because of this random set issue. Now, if you want to make multiple analyses based on the specific historical performance of each set, then you have something more practical. But then you need to buy multiple sets of tickets based on the multiple predictions you get. I don't think his data source will tell him what ball set was used.

(Early on, when Lotto Texas was new, I used to guess 2 or 3 of the numbers based on simple frequency analysis, in every single drawing. But they kept adding ball sets. And Texas did tell people which ball set they used. After the fact, of course. And then I think they changed the number of balls picked. So I gave up my paper trials.)

## Lottery and the Mob (Score:5, Interesting)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbers_game [wikipedia.org]

http://marketplace.publicradio.org/features/underground/1114undergroundpm.html [publicradio.org]

## Sample Size (Score:3, Informative)

## Re: (Score:2, Informative)

not winning:One ticket: chance of not winning = 1/2

Two tickets: chance of not winning = (1/2)^2 = 1/4

N tickets: chance of not winning = (1/2)^N

So, even with 100 tickets, you still have a (1/2)^100, or about a one in a thousand billion billion billion, chance to still not win.

## Re: (Score:2)

For e

## Re: (Score:2)

if you have 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 and the drawing will be for one of those numbers.

If you buy 1 number, you chance are 1 in 10

2 number 2 in 10.

.

.

.

10 different numbers, 10/10

Now the lottery has gotten to an amount where if you bought every possible combination, you would of course win, and make money, but:

You would have only made money if only you won, and more importantly, you can not get the machines to produce that many selection in the time between drawings

## Re: (Score:2)

## Re: (Score:2)

## Re: (Score:2)

And you have to win more then you would have otherwise gotten in interest.

And if you cash out, you get half minus taxes. So get about 1/4 of the total amount. If you are not going to cash out, then it is pointless to spend your money this way. So in your example the jackpot would need to be about 700,000,000. Not unheard of.

On the plus side, you can write off the lossing tickets against any winnings so you could probably do

## Conspiracy theories are easy to disprove (Score:2)

Let's say there are 50 ping pong balls in the lottery bin. If somebody chooses number 1

anywhereon their lotto card then the conspirators need to inject radon into balls 2 through 50. Ifanybodychooses number 2 then the conspirators have to limit the radon to balls 3 through 50.The only way to prevent somebody from winning, even if the radon were 100% effective, would be for one of the 50 numbers to be unchosen by all of the thousands of lotto players. Otherwise, the guaranteed appearance or nonappea

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

In other words, if I flip a coin 10 times and see Heads 10 times, that's not a guarantee that the 11th time will be heads; in fact, the probability of getting 11 heads is so small that you'd be better off betting on tails.Classic Gambler's Fallacy. How on earth could previous coin flips influence the probability of the current flip? Try brushing up on your own statistics, instead. There are plenty of GOOD criticisms of this guy's work -- yours isn't one of them.