|Posted: March 7, 2005, 7:04 pm - IP Logged|
MillionsWanted and four4me,
Thanks you for your explanations. I agree that there could be minor differences in the balls, but I don't think those differences would make any real difference in the outcomes of the drawings.
From my contacts with lottery officials, I know that they test the balls and machines several times before and after each draw. They check the machines to make sure they're functioning properly. They check the outcomes of the test draws and the money draws to make sure they fall within the established parameters of randomness. ( One such standard they use is the Chi-square test, which is an industry standard. Don't ask me to explain it because I can't.) They test the weight and shape of the balls to assure that each one falls withing rather exacting tolerances. They check the finish of the balls and they check the balls for any physical damage.
I'm inclined to think that the lottery officials of any given state would be the first to know if something were out of kilter with the balls or the machines. Any biases in the outcomes of the draws would be detected rather quickly. It's just like the way they change decks of cards and dice in casinos. People running games of chance don't take unnecessary chances. They know that they can get hurt very easily by any deviation from chance due to flawed equipment.
I don't think most lottery games are perfectly random, but I think that any deviations from perfect randomness are usually just short term trends which ultimately balance out. Computer drawings excepted, I'd have to say that the machines and ballsets make the games about as random as possible.
As some other posters have already pointed out, there's really no way of knowing exactly which ballsets or machines might be in use for any given drawing. If the lottery officials discover something wrong in a test draw, they're not going to proceed with the flawed balls or machines. There's no way of knowing when that might happen.
I could be as wrong as two left shoes, but I just don't see how ballsets and machines can be tracked with any certainty. Further, I can't see how any changes in ballsets or machines can make any real difference in the outcomes of the draws. That's just my thinking on the matter. I wish the greatest possible success to those of you who believe otherwise.