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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»



72 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-11-25 04:51:36 PM
Win = Don't throw your money away on the lottery.
 
2012-11-25 04:54:07 PM
Only way to win is to buy a ticket and cross your fingers. Your set of numbers has the same odds as everyone else's does at getting picked. Some numbers are more likely to be picked by others (birthdays, etc), but they're all equally as likely to be the winning numbers.
 
2012-11-25 04:57:24 PM
How to increase your chances of winning? Buy more tickets.

Wow, I never would have thought to apply science and get that strategy.
 
2012-11-25 04:57:58 PM
PROBABILITY DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!

"International Science Times", my ass.

/death to subby for linking to an autoplay ad
 
2012-11-25 04:59:41 PM
Throwing my $4 into the kitty tomorrow. If I win I'm buying Drew a beer. Just one. It will most likely arrive warm and badly shaken. Sucks to be him.
 
2012-11-25 05:00:11 PM
Here's how:

1 - Buy Ticket
2 - Defeat Math
3 - Profit

/that's my system
 
2012-11-25 05:04:51 PM
The only winning move in lotteries is not to play. Even the points when they seem "mathematically worthwhile" are rendered otherwise by the limitations of the human lifespan.
 
2012-11-25 05:05:36 PM
Eh. $2 is worth a small chance at winning some $200 million after taxes.
 
2012-11-25 05:11:23 PM
I had a browse through some other articles on that site:

Born in the Fall? You May Live Longer Than Others

New York Smokers Spend 25% of Income On Cigarettes

Looking At Cute Animal Pictures Good For Productivity

This isn't science reporting, this is John Tesh and Ric Romero in labcoats.
 
2012-11-25 05:12:08 PM
Kelly criterion

Unless you already have a few billion sitting around, the only winning move is, as mentioned above, not to play.

(For those who don't wish to do the math, the Kelly criterion in this case works out to betting $1 for every $730M you have available to play with.)

Now, is a couple bucks worth some fantasizing? Depends on your brain's chemistry.
 
2012-11-25 05:14:43 PM

Bondith: PROBABILITY DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!

"International Science Times", my ass.

/death to subby for linking to an autoplay ad


the last part about consecutive numbers is complete bullshiat. anyone who writes for "International Science Times" should know that you can't effect your odds of winning with your number choices.
 
2012-11-25 05:15:37 PM

BZWingZero: Only way to win is to buy a ticket and cross your fingers. Your set of numbers has the same odds as everyone else's does at getting picked. Some numbers are more likely to be picked by others (birthdays, etc), but they're all equally as likely to be the winning numbers.


I'd say it's worth picking numbers unlikely to be common. Since every number combo has exactly equal chance of being picked, I'd rather pick a set less likely to result in a split jackpot.

A quick pick with completely random numbers may end up with you splitting the pot with a couple other tickets. If you play popular numbers (like 4-8-15-16-23-42) and win, you get to split the pot with a ton of other people.
 
2012-11-25 05:19:02 PM
whatever....i bought a ticket....not going to win shiat most likely but IF i do....well lets just say I'll be posting on fark from exotic locations
 
2012-11-25 05:20:33 PM
Bondith: PROBABILITY DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!

"International Science Times", my ass.

/death to subby for linking to an autoplay ad


Love NoScript, but GODDAMNIT I AGREE.



nburghmatt: the last part about consecutive numbers is complete bullshiat. anyone who writes for "International Science Times" should know that you can't effect your odds of winning with your number choices.


My HS Chemistry teacher used to play 1 2 3 4 5 6 on his birthday every year just for the hell of it. Got kicks out of having to explain things to people trying to convince him it was a dumb idea, plus "as much of a long shot as it is, if you don't throw down a dollar you have absolutely no shot of winning, so I just increased my chances by infinity".

/I liked that guy
 
2012-11-25 05:20:49 PM
There is no way to increase the odds of any one ticket winning. 1,2,3,4,5,6 has the same probability of being drawn as any other combination.

There was only one bit of useful information, and that is that the numbers chosen by many players are not random. They are based on birthdays or other "magic" numbers. You cannot increase your odds of winning, but you can decrease the odds that you will pick the same numbers as someone else.
 
2012-11-25 05:26:05 PM

Mr. Eugenides: There is no way to increase the odds of any one ticket winning. 1,2,3,4,5,6 has the same probability of being drawn as any other combination.

There was only one bit of useful information, and that is that the numbers chosen by many players are not random. They are based on birthdays or other "magic" numbers. You cannot increase your odds of winning, but you can decrease the odds that you will pick the same numbers as someone else.


Going in with coworkers but making sure you have stuff sorted out was wise.

I'm too damn tired and rusty to do the math, but what's the chances that this fun factoid:

Powerball jackpots have added up to between 104 and 176 (not including the bonus ball)

Was either cherry picked from the past few weeks (hey, intern) and/or is actually in the range you'd expect from a random number generator?
 
2012-11-25 05:35:06 PM

nburghmatt:
the last part about consecutive numbers is complete bullshiat. anyone who writes for "International Science Times" should know that you can't affect your odds of winning with your number choices.


Google thinks "Mo Mozuch" is a stand-up comedian.

I'm going to make it a point not to like this rag.
 
2012-11-25 05:45:12 PM
Borrow Obama's time machine?
 
2012-11-25 05:47:02 PM
my boss who likes playing with numbers once input all the wining numbers for the last year in an attempt to see what hit more often. he still comes to work everyday so i'm guessing it wasn't a wining strategy.
 
2012-11-25 05:48:00 PM

Curious: my boss who likes playing with numbers once input all the wining numbers for the last year in an attempt to see what hit more often. he still comes to work everyday so i'm guessing it wasn't a wining strategy.


It is a whining strategy, though.
 
2012-11-25 05:53:30 PM
Ya gotta play to win!

If I do win, I'll spend a ton of money on prime time ads ridiculing Farkistan's asinine political groupthink.
 
2012-11-25 06:02:19 PM
The $2 spent is worth the day dreaming.

The writer is terrible and bad at statistics. There is no reason not to pick groups of numbers or consecutive ones. The chances are the same no matter what. I do agree about picking higher numbers if you don't want to share the prize.
 
2012-11-25 06:03:59 PM
in the late 80's i had a boss who played the same pick 3 number straight every single day [ie #123] for $50 bucks. he said the number never hit in the history of the state lottery so it was due. he always bought single tickets because he said when he wins he won't be taxed because each ticket wasn't enough to tax. he played that number for 3 years that i'm aware of and it never won and he was at the point if he wins he just breaks even. 300 bucks a week was a nice piece of change 25 years ago or at least it was to me. when he was having marital problem his wife would 'forget' to buy the tickets. he'd call from work to check if she did. the drawing was at 7pm and he'd go bat shiate if he couldn't get away to buy tickets.
 
2012-11-25 06:15:44 PM
FTA: Pick a mix of numbers in the low range (1-27) and the high range (28-59).

Really? So, the way to win is to pick a mix of numbers between 1 and 59? Gee, I wish I had thought of that.


/facepalm
 
2012-11-25 06:15:51 PM
There's a lottery pool where I work. People pitch in $5 a week. They've been doing this since February. The most they have won is $7. I'm so glad I keep my $5 a week
 
2012-11-25 06:24:54 PM

parkerlewis: There's a lottery pool where I work. People pitch in $5 a week. They've been doing this since February. The most they have won is $7. I'm so glad I keep my $5 a week


Voluntary tax on people who are bad at math.

I don't understand the appeal of casinos either.
 
2012-11-25 06:45:39 PM
25, 13, 41, 9, 20, 48

You're welcome.

I get all my tickets as quick-picks or from fortune cookies. Same odds as any other method.
 
2012-11-25 06:53:18 PM

Saberus Terras: 25, 13, 41, 9, 20, 48

You're welcome.

I get all my tickets as quick-picks or from fortune cookies. Same odds as any other method.


23,49,52,54,22,18

6d59 using the online D&D dice roller.

(Had to reroll once to swap out a duplicate 49. Apparently it was really certain about 49.)
 
2012-11-25 07:14:46 PM
There was a time frame when I bought tickets pretty regularly on my way into work on Wednesdays. I think I had all of 3 numbers match up in the entire time I was buying tickets.

I'll probably scrape all my change together and buy a ticket on Tuesday... I know there's no real chance to win, but it's fun. And damn, what a Christmas it would be...
 
2012-11-25 07:44:27 PM

parkerlewis: There's a lottery pool where I work. People pitch in $5 a week. They've been doing this since February. The most they have won is $7. I'm so glad I keep my $5 a week


but you can't lose!
 
2012-11-25 07:56:09 PM

NeoCortex42:
I'd say it's worth picking numbers unlikely to be common. Since every number combo has exactly equal chance of being picked, I'd rather pick a set less likely to result in a split jackpot.


It's hard to pick unlikely numbers though. Just by picking them, you're doing some kind of pattern someone else is doing as well. Ie. to you, you'd think to consequitive numbers doesn't look random, and so does everyone else, bam, you're already sharing with someone.

I'd say the best is let the computer pick for you.
 
2012-11-25 08:03:05 PM

spawn73: NeoCortex42:
I'd say it's worth picking numbers unlikely to be common. Since every number combo has exactly equal chance of being picked, I'd rather pick a set less likely to result in a split jackpot.

It's hard to pick unlikely numbers though. Just by picking them, you're doing some kind of pattern someone else is doing as well. Ie. to you, you'd think to consequitive numbers doesn't look random, and so does everyone else, bam, you're already sharing with someone.

I'd say the best is let the computer pick for you.


I would never have a set of "my numbers" - with my luck, the one time I didn't play them, they'd be the jackpot. Then I'd have to blow my brains out.

/yes, I'm aware of the opening I've left for the snark patrol
 
2012-11-25 08:05:11 PM

spawn73: NeoCortex42:
I'd say it's worth picking numbers unlikely to be common. Since every number combo has exactly equal chance of being picked, I'd rather pick a set less likely to result in a split jackpot.

It's hard to pick unlikely numbers though. Just by picking them, you're doing some kind of pattern someone else is doing as well. Ie. to you, you'd think to consequitive numbers doesn't look random, and so does everyone else, bam, you're already sharing with someone.

I'd say the best is let the computer pick for you.


I agree that quick picks are the only true random sets. There are still obvious sets of numbers to avoid when picking your own. Sets like1-2-3-4-5-6 or the numbers from Lost, or Fibonacci numbers. If there's a really obvious pattern to the set, you can be guaranteed that winning the jackpot woul have you splitting the pot with a hundred other people.
 
2012-11-25 08:15:14 PM
I buy a ticket whenever my bosses are being above-normal asses, so yeah I'll quick-pick one tomorrow. I don't claim to fully understand probability but seems to me my odds if buying just one ticket are as good from a random quick-pick as they are from any "system". The odds are still so great that I don;t ever think I will win, but it is fun to imagine, and I can't trick myself into fun imagining if I haven't bought a ticket. I may drop ten bucks a year on lotto tickets, at that rate, its better for me than buying soda or candy bars anyhow.

However, should I win the powerball...I may just buy everybody a TF sub for a year, after I get the more important tuff out of the way.

1: set up my mom and other family members for life
2: pay off some church mortgages and set up a free tuition endowment for my parish's schools: your kid gets a free ride as long as they and you attend 90 percent or better of sundays and holy days, and as long as your kid is never caught bullying anybody or flunking more than one class.
3: donate to a bunch of charities, local and national
4: some mild consumerism and materialism
5: hire private detectives to track down all my school- age bullies and break their kneecaps.
6: Donate to lots of animal shelters
7: fund a lot of science research.
8: bankroll some really good movie
9 Subsidize FARK for a year.
10 Some travel. Maybe on a 60-foot sailing catamaran.
 
2012-11-25 08:17:38 PM

parkerlewis: There's a lottery pool where I work. People pitch in $5 a week. They've been doing this since February. The most they have won is $7. I'm so glad I keep my $5 a week


And if they win, you'll be the only one in the office on Thursday. That alone is reason to join up.

Also, I seem to recall an old Jefferson's episode where one of the characters picked her numbers from the front page of the paper. She won, and had to split the jackpot with hundreds of others who did the same thing.
 
2012-11-25 08:22:22 PM

Bondith: Voluntary tax on people who are bad at math.


Can we get a cliche tax instead?

I don't understand the appeal of casinos either.

I hear that a lot. People who say it usually think that it's entirely a financial decision, and it's not. If you go to a casino trying to make money the same way you would pick a mutual fund, you're going to lose. But if you look at it as entertainment, the picture changes. You get some fun, a social experience, free drinks, and maybe a comped meal. It's a night out.

I have friends who bash casinos but drop $100 a night at bars and nightclubs. To each their own. But at least there's a chance I'll come home with more than I started with.
 
2012-11-25 08:29:13 PM
i195.photobucket.com

/had this laying around...
 
2012-11-25 08:30:07 PM
THIS IS WHO ALWAYS WINS:

i195.photobucket.com
 
2012-11-25 08:31:45 PM
I would definitely take the cash payout option. I'm loath to have someone else in charge of my money and while I'm not always the best at resisting impulse buy's, I'm also not the type to go to a strip joint with 200K in a briefcase so I think I'd do alright.

In the event of a significant windfall (what me and my wife call "stupid money") I would definitely cut ties with nearly everyone I know. Most of my (extended) family are a bunch of leeches already and they wouldn't get anything from me to begin with but I also don't want to have them thrown off my property on a daily basis because they were trying to get more from me.

The entire lump sum (save around 200K to "live" off of the first year) would initially be sequestered away until I could have contracts drawn up for those people that I *would* want to give money to; essentially stipulating that "This is it, you get nothing more than what is listed in paragraph 1; if you ever come asking for more, you owe me the original amount back plus interest."

Once that was all taken care of, I would slowly begin buying out small to mid-sized businesses of various kinds in different industries (gas stations, restaurants, or whatever else tickled my fancy) but not before having two (or maybe 3) separate groups of "smart guys" (accountants, lawyers etc) checked each one out and indicated that it would be a smart deal.

Essentially I would, over time, go from tons of liquid assets to tons of...uh...solid...assets that make me more liquid assets. Would I live long enough to see a direct profit? Who knows but by keeping a diverse portfolio I think I'd manage to at least ensure a steady income for a long time to come, and unlike getting the annuity, I could liquidate my assets at any time I wanted.
 
2012-11-25 08:32:44 PM
Stupid article is stupid. It's get some random numbers and hope for the best.

And for those saying "the lottery is just a tax on dumb people;" at least that money's not being spent on a slot machine, which is an even bigger waste of money (cumulatively) for less gain (slot jackpots aren't getting to 9 figures) and some of the lottery money actually goes to fund state programs instead of some business that looks at every person who walks in to the casino like they're a walking $1000 bill.
 
2012-11-25 08:34:32 PM

ImpendingCynic: Bondith:
I don't understand the appeal of casinos either.

I hear that a lot. People who say it usually think that it's entirely a financial decision, and it's not. If you go to a casino trying to make money the same way you would pick a mutual fund, you're going to lose. But if you look at it as entertainment, the picture changes. You get some fun, a social experience, free drinks, and maybe a comped meal. It's a night out.


Hmm, I don't drink, the meal was only comped because some douchebag wanted to show off how much cash he had (I wasn't about to argue), and the social experience wasn't fun (although that last can be blamed entirely on the person I was there with, not the casino).

The problem could be I'm an antisocial grouch who finds slots boring (you put your money in, and then you never see it again).
 
2012-11-25 08:35:00 PM

Saberus Terras: 25, 13, 41, 9, 20, 48

You're welcome.

I get all my tickets as quick-picks or from fortune cookies. Same odds as any other method.


Not really.

What are the odds of machines picking two identical sets of numbers, versus a machine picking your numbers once?
 
2012-11-25 08:40:01 PM
I used to fantasize about what I would buy if I won the lottery. This morning I fantasized about paying off debt for myself, my wife, my parents, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, my grandmother, and maaaaaaaaybe my uncle and Aunt (too much debt to divorce). It's funny how your idea of throwing around money and what makes you happy as you grow older.

/waiting for the other shoe to drop
 
2012-11-25 08:40:56 PM

parkerlewis: There's a lottery pool where I work. People pitch in $5 a week. They've been doing this since February. The most they have won is $7. I'm so glad I keep my $5 a week


Ohttp://www.biblestudytools.com/concordances/naves-topical-bible/ince s t.htmlurs was twice a week. Anything less than a hundie got rolled back in for more tix. I think I lasted three weeks before I went "Wait, that's $500 a year I'm throwing away."
Thery highest win in the last 10 years was $25. They did that twice. Many MANY weeks they got zilch. I always told them that the time they did win it would be a 20 million jackpot and they'd have to split it with 5 other office pools. You could see the dreams of telling the boss to fark off die as they did the math in their heads.

\will probably drop a fiver on quick picks this week just for the excitement.
 
2012-11-25 08:41:49 PM

Chevello: parkerlewis: There's a lottery pool where I work. People pitch in $5 a week. They've been doing this since February. The most they have won is $7. I'm so glad I keep my $5 a week

Ohttp://www.biblestudytools.com/concordances/naves-topical-bible/ince s t.htmlurs was twice a week. Anything less than a hundie got rolled back in for more tix. I think I lasted three weeks before I went "Wait, that's $500 a year I'm throwing away."
Thery highest win in the last 10 years was $25. They did that twice. Many MANY weeks they got zilch. I always told them that the time they did win it would be a 20 million jackpot and they'd have to split it with 5 other office pools. You could see the dreams of telling the boss to fark off die as they did the math in their heads.

\will probably drop a fiver on quick picks this week just for the excitement.


Heh, clipboarded link from another thread bit me!
 
2012-11-25 08:46:19 PM
OK this is how you really win or at least increase your odds (although you will definitely win something):

step one: always wait till the payout of the lump sum after taxes is in excess of 175 million dollars. This happens almost never but buying before this point makes this even more of a suckers bet because at this point you are getting correctly rewarded for your risk.

step two: buy exactly $70 worth of ticket. You can buy more but you must by them in increments of $70. That means you get 35 tickets. You can do this obviously with or without a pool of people.

step three: Don't buy just any 35 tickets, fill out the sheet only selecting the powerball number in consecutive order and disregard the first five number on the sheet. You want to buy every possible powerball and not worry about the random 5 number portion. You can have the computer randomly generate the five numbers but you need to fill in like seven sheets with each consecutive powerball number chosen. Keep the sheets for the next drawing as well.

This guarantees that you will never completely lose all of your $70, you will get at least $4 back so you will only lose $66. You also GUARANTEE that you have at least one ticket capable of beating the remaining 5.1 million to one odds of winning the jackpot. If you buy $200 worth of tickets and dont get every powerball (1-35) you have loads of tickets but you haven't covered all your bases and could end up guaranteeing a chance to never get the jackpot since you lack a few missing power ball numbers.

For a single ticket the odds of getting three numbers AND the powerball is 12,000+ to one. Since you hold 35 tickets and you are definately holding one with the right powerball number the odds of getting three regular numbers is 360 to one. Instead of getting paid 7 dollars because you dont have the powerball you could end up with $100 instead and now you made money (only if you beat 360 to 1 odds though which obviously still sucks).

The point is cover all bases. gonna buy $200 worth? buy $210 and get three of each. Only have $35 - find a friend with $35 and you cover your bases. This is as close as you will ever come to getting any kind of "edge" in the game (which is impossible obviously). You also have the fall back plan of getting three or more numbers on the non-powerball tickets as well but remember youa re dead in the water from the jump without every powerball base covered.

/your welcome
//don't buy any tickets, just go buy yourself something that costs $70 dollars, like two one once silver coins.
 
2012-11-25 09:27:10 PM

deanayer: //don't buy any tickets, just go buy yourself something that costs $70 dollars, like two one once silver coins.


Or a bottle of mid tier scotch perhaps.
 
2012-11-25 09:51:53 PM

LazarusLong42: Kelly criterion

Unless you already have a few billion sitting around, the only winning move is, as mentioned above, not to play.

(For those who don't wish to do the math, the Kelly criterion in this case works out to betting $1 for every $730M you have available to play with.)

Now, is a couple bucks worth some fantasizing? Depends on your brain's chemistry.

the criterion is only valid when the investment or "game" is played many times over, with the same probability of winning or losing each time, and the same payout ratio.

 
2012-11-25 10:17:49 PM

Bondith: parkerlewis: There's a lottery pool where I work. People pitch in $5 a week. They've been doing this since February. The most they have won is $7. I'm so glad I keep my $5 a week

Voluntary tax on people who are bad at math.

I don't understand the appeal of casinos either.


One of FARK's most overused cliches.
 
2012-11-25 10:31:44 PM

JuicePats: Bondith: parkerlewis: There's a lottery pool where I work. People pitch in $5 a week. They've been doing this since February. The most they have won is $7. I'm so glad I keep my $5 a week

Voluntary tax on people who are bad at math.

I don't understand the appeal of casinos either.

One of FARK's most overused cliches.


It significantly predates Fark.

You may be looking for DIAF.
 
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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