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(International Science Times)   How to win this Wednesday's PowerBall jackpot. Here's the science   (isciencetimes.com) divider line 72
    More: Unlikely, exact science, office pools  
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5386 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Nov 2012 at 4:47 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-25 11:23:37 PM  
Here's a question for all the people here who say that they'll probably buy a ticket: "How many tickets will you actually buy?"

My guess, is that most people will not just buy one or two tickets, but will buy as many as they think is reasonable and that number will likely increase with the size of the jackpot.

I won't claim that I haven't had the fantasy of what to do with 200 million dollars, but for me anyway, the fantasy remains a fantasy. I don't take the step of buying a ticket (or 20) to try to fulfill that fantasy. Weirdly enough, I've *never* purchased a lottery ticket (not even when I was young and stupid!) so I'm intrigued by the idea of moving the fantasy to a possible reality (buying a ticket).

I don't hate on the ticket buyers, I'm just curious how and why the ticket buyers do what they do.
 
2012-11-25 11:29:51 PM  

Son of Byrne: Here's a question for all the people here who say that they'll probably buy a ticket: "How many tickets will you actually buy?"

My guess, is that most people will not just buy one or two tickets, but will buy as many as they think is reasonable and that number will likely increase with the size of the jackpot.


Not with me or my wife. We don't get one for every drawing (they're what, 3 times a week yeah?) we do tend to buy them more regularly the larger the kitty gets. Essentially the more we hear about it, the more likely we are to get one for a particular drawing. The exception being if we both happen to buy one on our way home after work, without realizing that the other has gotten one as well. On average I would say we get a total of 2-3 a month.
 
2012-11-25 11:38:16 PM  

Son of Byrne: Here's a question for all the people here who say that they'll probably buy a ticket: "How many tickets will you actually buy?"

My guess, is that most people will not just buy one or two tickets, but will buy as many as they think is reasonable and that number will likely increase with the size of the jackpot.

I won't claim that I haven't had the fantasy of what to do with 200 million dollars, but for me anyway, the fantasy remains a fantasy. I don't take the step of buying a ticket (or 20) to try to fulfill that fantasy. Weirdly enough, I've *never* purchased a lottery ticket (not even when I was young and stupid!) so I'm intrigued by the idea of moving the fantasy to a possible reality (buying a ticket).

I don't hate on the ticket buyers, I'm just curious how and why the ticket buyers do what they do.


because $2 isn't shiat for a chance to never have to worry about living paycheck to paycheck again

i know the chance of winning is less then slim to none, but you sure as hell are not going to win if you don't play (and probably won't win even if you do, but I'll give up one soda for that chance)
 
2012-11-25 11:44:58 PM  

tweek46420: i know the chance of winning is less then slim to none, but you sure as hell are not going to win if you don't play (and probably won't win even if you do, but I'll give up one soda for that chance)


That's exactly my mentality. I wont bet my paycheck (or anything significant) on it to be sure, but for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week; a shot at being able to do all the things I could ever dream of? Besides, they say that (half?) the profit goes towards the schools in the area of where you by the ticket, and lord knows they need as much funding as possible.

I wonder if that means I can write off my lotto purchases as a donation to the education department? lol.
 
2012-11-25 11:59:00 PM  

Son of Byrne: Here's a question for all the people here who say that they'll probably buy a ticket: "How many tickets will you actually buy?"


Well I tend to buy tickets when it gets over 200 million and I happen to notice while buying gas. I used to buy $5 in quick picks, but since they raised the price to $2/ticket I bought $10 in quick picks last Saturday.

I'd rather spend $5 than $10, but $4, $6 or $8 seems psychologically wrong somehow.
 
2012-11-26 12:01:33 AM  

Shan: but you sure as hell are not going to win if you don't play


I always wanted to be smart enough to figure out what the odds were of winning the jackpot, even if I didn't buy a ticket, and compare that to what the odds were if I actually purchased a ticket.
 
2012-11-26 12:10:23 AM  

Shan: That's exactly my mentality. I wont bet my paycheck (or anything significant) on it to be sure, but for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week; a shot at being able to do all the things I could ever dream of? Besides, they say that (half?) the profit goes towards the schools in the area of where you by the ticket, and lord knows they need as much funding as possible.

I wonder if that means I can write off my lotto purchases as a donation to the education department? lol.


This makes me think that lotteries ought to be run by the communities that we live in. For instance, my credit union runs a raffle every quarter or so that I can enter and win some small prize (20,000 or so) for a small entry (10-20 bucks). They are transparent on the financials side of the raffle and show where the money went (usually some charity for kids). I don't believe lotteries are inherently evil and I can certainly understand the math behind running one. I just don't like the idea of a private enterprise taking charge of redistributing the earnings on the back end with a statement like: "Half of all profit goes toward schools/etc" OTOH, I'm not so sure that I'd be all that trusting of a governmental agency running it either...
 
2012-11-26 12:15:32 AM  
Shan: but you sure as hell are not going to win if you don't play

I always wanted to be smart enough to figure out what the odds were of winning the jackpot, even if I didn't buy a ticket, and compare that to what the odds were if I actually purchased a ticket.

Doesn't take much. www.powerball.com says the jackpot ia 1 in 1 in 175,223,510.00, or 5.7e-9.

So the difference in probability between zero (probability of winning 0.0) and one ticket is 0.0000000057.

/Think I counted the right number of zeroes.
 
2012-11-26 12:18:44 AM  

Son of Byrne: Shan: but you sure as hell are not going to win if you don't play

I always wanted to be smart enough to figure out what the odds were of winning the jackpot, even if I didn't buy a ticket, and compare that to what the odds were if I actually purchased a ticket.

 
2012-11-26 12:19:58 AM  

Son of Byrne: Shan: but you sure as hell are not going to win if you don't play

I always wanted to be smart enough to figure out what the odds were of winning the jackpot, even if I didn't buy a ticket, and compare that to what the odds were if I actually purchased a ticket.


i.qkme.me
 
2012-11-26 12:22:00 AM  
Well, I guess I'm not very smart at all, considering that powerball is a conglomerate of state lotteries (I guess that it already is state run).
 
2012-11-26 12:24:45 AM  
Actually, zero is not the actual odds of winning when you don't purchase a ticket. You could be given a ticket, find a ticket, or some other chance happening that would increase your odds from zero to *something*. Those odds are incredibly small, but are they smaller than 0.0000000057?
 
2012-11-26 12:46:40 AM  
I picked six numbers at random the first time I played Powerball, about 18 years ago. Been playing them ever since. I think I've won about $50, all told.

My subconscious sucks.
 
2012-11-26 12:47:37 AM  

acanuck:
What are the odds of machines picking two identical sets of numbers, versus a machine picking your numbers once?


Slightly higher than the odds of you having a basic understanding of independent events and probability.
 
2012-11-26 01:10:37 AM  

Son of Byrne: Actually, zero is not the actual odds of winning when you don't purchase a ticket. You could be given a ticket, find a ticket, or some other chance happening that would increase your odds from zero to *something*. Those odds are incredibly small, but are they smaller than 0.0000000057?


They are, since you're combining the low odds of obtaining a ticket without purchasing it with the low odds of any single ticket winning.
 
2012-11-26 02:32:36 AM  
The odds of finding a powerball ticket someone lost before the drawing is held are dramatically better than winning the jackpot.
 
2012-11-26 02:46:46 AM  
I was just thinking yesterday about how miniscule the chances of winning are.

I played some slots 2 weeks ago at the casino. I imagine that winning the powerball is like hitting a progressive on a machine with 6 reels, with what... 50 positions on each reel? I could barely hit a nickle on a 3 reel machine with (correct me if I'm wrong) way less than 50 positions on it.

Or maybe spinning around in circles, blindfolded, in the center of a circular room with a 100 foot radius, trying to hit a random target the size of a pencil lead. Then factoring how I can never get the darts to stick in the first place.

If you do the math on the actual size of that room, you don't need to win the lottery. You're already the best.
 
2012-11-26 03:34:22 AM  

Doctor Funfrock: I was just thinking yesterday about how miniscule the chances of winning are.

I played some slots 2 weeks ago at the casino. I imagine that winning the powerball is like hitting a progressive on a machine with 6 reels, with what... 50 positions on each reel? I could barely hit a nickle on a 3 reel machine with (correct me if I'm wrong) way less than 50 positions on it.

Or maybe spinning around in circles, blindfolded, in the center of a circular room with a 100 foot radius, trying to hit a random target the size of a pencil lead. Then factoring how I can never get the darts to stick in the first place.

If you do the math on the actual size of that room, you don't need to win the lottery. You're already the best.


It's more like an over-375-foot radius.
 
2012-11-26 06:20:37 AM  

Anarchangel:

It's more like an over-375-foot radius.


Gah, maybe if I threw with my fappin' arm. That's way too far. I guess my two bucks is going to cigarettes. Because that's smarter.
 
2012-11-26 08:34:36 AM  

Bondith: This isn't science reporting, this is John Tesh and Ric Romero in labcoats.


LMAO.
 
2012-11-26 01:31:44 PM  
Don't play birthdays because they get used a lot, but 1-2-3-4-5-6 is genius? I bet every douchebag who thinks he's smarter than everyone else plays that.
 
2012-11-26 02:04:43 PM  
I'll go with one quick pickpick. $2 to maybe get to go anwhere I want (including space, you can buy that ticket with this jackpot), or learn anything I want (how to sail, weld, climb mountains, comparative religion, quantum physics) AND have the free time to do it in?

Hell hire a PR firm to turn you into a Wilmer Valderama and just bang every starlet that comes along for the next 20 years.
 
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