interesting little experiment, works just like VB6 in that a call to RND(-1) always starts you at the same place in the list, brings up some interesting questions...
1.) does their RNG continue along the same path (no RNG(-1) call)?
2.) does the date play a factor?< RANDOMIZE(NOW()) vs. RANDOMIZE(TIMER) >
3.) are they using hardware sources for entropy or does the state's choice of COBOL as a programming language play any type of contributing factor?
I whipped up a userForm to play with the RNG in excel a bit. clicking the button initialized a variable to TIMER, printed it in a textbox, printed contents of (NOW()) in a second text box, and finally did another variable as TIMER and printed out the results in a third text box... just to see the amount of time it takes to perform the calculations.
they (microsoft) say that TIMER returns a single precision number that counts the number of seconds elapsed since midnight...
by program output, right now, TIMER = 75538.98 (9:00 PM)
by calculation, 9:00 PM in seconds since midnight = 76000 (guess I pushed GO a bit quick, but it is in the ballpark)
PA begins the RNG festivities at "approximately 1:10 PM" (results not till 1:35PM, and are first fed into an animation program... I don't like the intermediate step there)
1:10 PM = 47400 seconds since midnight, hence TIMER = approx. 47400.00
so I guess the first step is to run a "seed sweep", looking for values for RANDOMIZE that will produce an INT ((10-1+1)*RND+1) = chosen result first digit of the mid-day game (or INT((1000-1+1)*RND+1) for pick 3 at once and INT((10000-1+1)*RND+1) for pick4 at once.)................ and now I have a central number to begin with... 47400 ;-)
now, how far to go to hit "approximately 1:10PM"? 5 minute window? 10 minute window? and at what interval? .01 seconds? .001 seconds?
then, does the list need to be reset with each iteration?
first I will list a few numbers, try to match by seed sweep, which seeds (if any) can correctly pick a few in a row WITHOUT the RND(-1) call at the start. Now, how many draws? back 10? 100? 1,000? all of 'em?
so many questions, and the only answers will be empirical...