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Probability Of Winning The Lottery  Don't Waste Your Money
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When the lottery first came to my state, I played and won like $35, I figured I was ahead and really haven't ever played it again. It's just not in my radar anymore. I also have felt like I never want to be rich or famous because there's too much work that comes with all of that. Let me stay in my obscurity and comfortable security. Everything else can corrupt folks as far as I'm concerned, slow and steady and help others along the way. YMMV

Does anybody remember the old movie "The Lottery"? It is a short film; I was shown it when I was in the 7th grade. I still recall it in detail; it really made an impression.
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I know this thread is a little old, but I wanted to follow up with some research I did. To satisfy my curiosity, I wrote a lottery simulator in python to help me learn the language and to see for myself what real drawings might look like. To model it like a real powerball lottery, it makes the following assumptions:
1. Number of "base" balls = 69 (169)
2. Number of "power" balls = 26 (126)
3. Base numbers drawn = 5
4. Power balls drawn = 1
5. Cost per game = $2
6. Starting jackpot value = $20 million
7. Powerball rules apply for calculating winnings
It defaults by paying for 500,000 games, so that is a cost of $1 million being spent. The results are pretty amazing, and below are a few runs. I've run this maybe 50 times and hit the jackpot just once, and only 2 or 3 times did it win more than was invested. I've also played with the user spending $10 million (5 million games) and the results are similar. You cannot argue with the data!
The jackpot is $200,000,000
You are playing 500,000 games at $2 per game (an outlay of $1,000,000)
ticketBase: [2, 11, 19, 49, 67]
ticketPower: [13]
25% of the way there, drawing about 14,161.0 games/sec
50% of the way there, drawing about 14,218.0 games/sec
75% of the way there, drawing about 13,890.0 games/sec
All done, took 35.9 seconds
No matches: 479,959
Powerball only: 12,955
1 number + powerball: 5,483
2 numbers + powerball: 698
3 numbers, no powerball: 861
3 numbers + powerball: 29
4 numbers, no powerball: 13
4 numbers + powerball: 2
5 numbers, no powerball: 0
5 numbers + powerball: 0
You spent $1,000,000 and won $188,865, making your ROI 81.1%
Which means you just wasted $811,135 chasing your dreams
You hit the jackpot 0 times

The jackpot is $200,000,000
You are playing 500,000 games at $2 per game (an outlay of $1,000,000)
ticketBase: [10, 25, 30, 56, 60]
ticketPower: [17]
25% of the way there, drawing about 13,679.0 games/sec
50% of the way there, drawing about 13,760.0 games/sec
75% of the way there, drawing about 13,908.0 games/sec
All done, took 35.9 seconds
No matches: 479,776
Powerball only: 13,128
1 number + powerball: 5,468
2 numbers + powerball: 711
3 numbers, no powerball: 858
3 numbers + powerball: 46
4 numbers, no powerball: 13
4 numbers + powerball: 0
5 numbers, no powerball: 0
5 numbers + powerball: 0
You spent $1,000,000 and won $91,267, making your ROI 90.9%
Which means you just wasted $908,733 chasing your dreams
You hit the jackpot 0 times

The jackpot is $200,000,000
You are playing 500,000 games at $2 per game (an outlay of $1,000,000)
ticketBase: [15, 27, 40, 49, 56]
ticketPower: [25]
25% of the way there, drawing about 14,024.0 games/sec
50% of the way there, drawing about 14,121.0 games/sec
75% of the way there, drawing about 14,049.0 games/sec
All done, took 35.5 seconds
No matches: 480,006
Powerball only: 12,890
1 number + powerball: 5,438
2 numbers + powerball: 715
3 numbers, no powerball: 893
3 numbers + powerball: 46
4 numbers, no powerball: 12
4 numbers + powerball: 0
5 numbers, no powerball: 0
5 numbers + powerball: 0
You spent $1,000,000 and won $90,368, making your ROI 91.0%
Which means you just wasted $909,632 chasing your dreams
You hit the jackpot 0 times
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I absolutely agree that buying lottery tickets is a waste of money. The only people who benefit from lotteries are those who sell tickets. To be more precise, I’m talking about old lotteries. Do you remember their ads? They had made a lot of money before the media revealed their secret. On the other hand, there are probably some lotteries that allow you to win something. My friend explained how to buy TOTO online to me. He shared that he had won 1,000 dollars in that lottery. Well, it’s not a lot, but at least it's real money. I'm inclined to buy a lottery ticket if I have a real chance to win something.Last edited by RyanBuckly; 04012021, 05:23 AM.
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In honor of the fact that the Poweball and Mega Millions are up to 2 billion as of 10/20/2018, I am bumping this excellent thread.
To everyone who hasn't run the numbers  the odds of winning the lottery are exceptionally poor. You're better off saving and investing your money.
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Winning a lottery can just change your life completely. It’s the most electrifying way to become rich within a night. But is it that easy? Not at all!
If you participate in a lottery then you are nothing more than a crowd face in which each person is wondering about his winning. Lottery is a game of fortune and you can’t win it until your luck is not with you. However, there are so many other lotteries too, that comprise some kind of pattern in their winning numbers. Well, it is not easy for normal person to trace that pattern as it requite lots of expertise and scientific analysis, but some communities like lottosignals.com and other help players in this regard.
I can’t say that winning a lottery is impossible but only requires some brainstorming and proper guidance.
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I hate to lump socioeconomic categories to behaviors, but my observations are similar to those posted by many here. I've never asked, but I suspect that an occasional "win" of maybe $50 is what keeps many coming back. Keeping track of how much was spent to win that $50 is irrelevant.
Truth is, we play once the jackpots get huge, just for fun. We never put in more than $10, because the improvement in odds is so minute that it doesn't really matter.
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The only good thing about the state managed lotteries is that the state collects some revenue from the poor that otherwise wouldn't contribute anything in terms of taxes. It's kind of a self imposed tax on the poor.
I stop at a convenience store pretty routinely on the way to work to grab a coffee. See the same knuckleheads every morning rushing to work and stopping to get a few gallons of gas, a pack of smokes or chew, a couple lotto tickets, a 20oz soda and a donut or similar. They drop about $20 in the convenience store every morning Mon thru Fri. The lotto tickets are a complete waste of money, and all of the other stuff they buy there could be purchased much cheaper with a little planning.
People with this mentality can't be helped financially, and a big windfall of money from the lotto would likely be fun for a while, but worsen their problems overall.
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May be Powerball
Winning a lottery is just to one's luck. I personally prefer playing Powerball lottery as it offers rather good odds for the main and the multiple prize divisions.
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Sorry to bring this Lottery argument up again! But I came across this forum and this thread while trying to settle an argument I was having with a friend.
Basically he said that if he had £250,000 that could only be spent on the lottery, he would rather spend it on 1 draw on a single day than spread that amount out over years and years, because his chances would be better that way.
I saw jpg7n16 calculations in this thread for basically that exact same argument and it seems that there is pretty much no difference between the 2 methods.
But I just wondered if the amount spent on the lottery goes up, so number of tickets bought increases does that make the difference between the 2 methods increase?? So if he spent £15,000 on 1 draw and I spent £15,000 on multiple draws spread out over 30 years is that difference smaller than if he spent £250,000 on 1 draw and I spent £250,000 on multiple draws over 30 years?
I wish I knew the maths to figure this out, but I don't I'm afraid!!
Can jpg7n16 help me out here?
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There will be winners. Having a better understanding of how to play the game would increase your chances.
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I have come very close to winning the lottery. One time, a store less than 100 yards from my house sold the winning numbers.
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lottory
Ok, instead of going back and forth let me give you some examples. Are you aware of the many number patterns mega and powerball creates. If not do this. Start at any game power or mega. take a playing card and write the winning numbers in order. ex: number comes out 38103135/30...the number 3 will be number 1...8 will be 2..10 will be 3 and so on. go to the old numbers on lottory site and pick a month year whatever. write the winning numbers in example above. keeping in mind, mega and powerball numbers are not seperated, they are one in the same with difference of more numbers when it comes to playing powerball. Now lets say you write enough winning numbers in the play ticket to reach the number 10. The next draw will be the 11th draw. Find the numbers 10 and 1 or any other combination that will equal 11..5&6...9&2..so on. Your winning number will fit those combinations according to the number patterns the winning numbers create. The number patterns are something you have to sit and study as it would take me awhile to describe them. This is just one of many methods to choose your number. My arguement to this is. How can a ball and drum system, a completely random system create souch a precise number pattern or system. Here is another tip. While we are playing there number system left behind by there qoute unqoute ball and drum system, they are playing the numbers the RNG and those who pick there numbers. The world was built on deceit and there is nothing new under the sun.
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Originally posted by Richard Brown View PostSo much has been placed on why you should not play the lottery due to odds. Instead of odds, how about "What makes it so hard to win?"
What makes it so hard to win? The odds.
Is it fate or accident that there are only 912 jackpot winners a year? What are the odds of that?
Welcome to Powerball  Prizes
Actual # of jackpot winners by year:
Powerball  Stories
Which tells me that they probably sold about 2,102,682,120 tickets to get to those 12 winners.
Powerball says they use a drum and ball system, but my observation shows they are using a RNG( Random Number Generator) better knowen as a computer. If this was a honest game there would be more winners.
Powerball  TV Stations
And that computer system looks an awful lot like a drum and ball system...
Powerball Drawing: Saturday, 2/4/2012  YouTube
Have you ever observed a drawing?
My key philosphy in life: Observation. Anything can be solved through Observation.
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Lightning?
Hmmm. But if about 100 people get killed by being struck by lightning in a year, (and given that many lotteries are run on a weekly basis) then in any given week around 2 people will get struck by lightning. At a base population of 265 million, that gives you a 1 in 132.5 million chance of getting struck by lightning per week (or per lottery).
The explanation I like best about lotteries is that it is like getting a bunch of people together to spend 10 dollars to buy five dollars. It is a waste of money, but I don't see how the getting struck by lightning argument works.
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