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# Odds Don't Change When Jackpot Goes UP

Topic closed. 60 replies. Last post 10 years ago by Stack47.

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Kingston, Ontario
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October 5, 2006
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 Posted: December 2, 2006, 8:09 pm - IP Logged

It surprises me that some people believe the odds of winning a lottery go up when the jackpot gets bigger.  If you're smart (grin), you will realize the odds of winning any prize is the same whether the jackpot is \$2 million or \$35 Million.  I was reading in a few articles that people feel that their chances of winning are much slimmer as the jackpot goes up as more people are buying tickets.  The only thing that changes is the prize structure not the odds. More money is being divided amongst more people...however the odds remain the same.  EG. Lotto 649 (Canada) still one in 13,983,816.   Every ticket has a constant chance of winning.

United States
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June 10, 2005
4526 Posts
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 Posted: December 2, 2006, 8:35 pm - IP Logged

Thanks for sharing the reality of statistics. The misconceptions that are out there floating around are amazing. Welcome to the forums!

~~Is it true, Is it kind,Is it necessary. ~~~

Thanks be to the giving numbers: 1621,912,119 02014

Dump Water Florida
United States
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June 5, 2002
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 Posted: December 3, 2006, 1:04 am - IP Logged

Welcome to Lottery Post.

A lot of what you read is dependent on phraseology, how the question is asked and answered.

Of course the lottery is a closed number universe, the overall odds never change, but there are also odds for every possibility that might occur some dependent on events.

The odds against winning a full jackpot do go up as the jackpot gets bigger because the odds of multiple winners go up as well.

Winning a half or a quarter of a jackpot is NOT winning a lottery jackpot, unless you define jackpot as the default starting amount only.

btw: Is the moon half full or half empty?

BobP

United States
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June 16, 2006
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 Posted: December 3, 2006, 1:21 am - IP Logged

I would think the odds of someone winning a Jackpot would go up if more people were playing it:

If ONE person buys ONE ticket, their chances are 1 in 146 million, but if TWO people buy one ticket each, wouldn't their combined odds be 2 in 146 million ? (assuming they don't have identical numbers).

So I would think the odds of 'somebody' winning the jackpot would be better with more people playing, more tickets sold ?

CA
United States
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December 10, 2003
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 Posted: December 3, 2006, 4:03 am - IP Logged

The odds don't go up but the payout percentage - the expected rate of return - does.

gl

j

Blessed Saint Leibowitz, keep 'em dreamin' down there.....

Next week's convention for Psychics and Prognosticators has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

=^.^=

Wandering Aimlessly
United States
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November 5, 2005
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 Posted: December 3, 2006, 5:29 am - IP Logged

I don't think anyone who understands statistics would believe that a \$50M jackpot is easier to win than a \$2M jackpot.  I think that the reason so many people stand in line when it rolls over a lot is greed. For some strange, unknown reason the average person who earns \$35K a year isn't as interested in or gets more excited about winning \$1 million than \$100 million.

When more people play, the chance of someone winning goes up, but the odds don't change. If you flip a coin, the odds of getting heads or tails is still 50/50 even if 10 more people stand around you. The chance of splitting the jackpot with another player will increase. That's why when the PB or MM jackpot reaches a huge amount and only 1 player wins, it's apparent to me that the odds of winning are next to impossible.

Zeta Reticuli Star System
United States
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January 17, 2006
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 Posted: December 3, 2006, 2:04 pm - IP Logged

Wintariofan

Welcome.  You are certainly a breath of fresh air- therre are people here who sincerely believe purchasing two tickets instead of one "cuts the odds in half."

There is such a things as odds vs 'money odds'. Take a crap table where the 2 pays double and the 12 pays triple in the field.

The odds of the field numbers are 20 combinations not in the field, 16 in the field. So, 20:16 of losing the field bet. But since the 12 pays triple and the 2 pays double, the 'money odds' are 20:19.

Although the jackpots varies the odds on any given matrix are always the same, they have to be.

Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

United States
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June 16, 2006
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 Posted: December 4, 2006, 1:20 am - IP Logged

But what's funny is we have not had a split jackpot for a long time, and overall, we don't have a lot of them.

(I mean multiple winning tickets sold, not multiple people sharing one winning ticket)

Dump Water Florida
United States
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June 5, 2002
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 Posted: December 4, 2006, 2:19 am - IP Logged

Wintariofan

Welcome.  You are certainly a breath of fresh air- therre are people here who sincerely believe purchasing two tickets instead of one "cuts the odds in half."

There is such a things as odds vs 'money odds'. Take a crap table where the 2 pays double and the 12 pays triple in the field.

The odds of the field numbers are 20 combinations not in the field, 16 in the field. So, 20:16 of losing the field bet. But since the 12 pays triple and the 2 pays double, the 'money odds' are 20:19.

Although the jackpots varies the odds on any given matrix are always the same, they have to be.

Uh-huh and the states that sell two tickets for a dollar don't know how to figure the odds of their game either.  New York always cut their true odds in half to reflect their two plays for a dollar, though in Canada they appear to agree with you.

If buying two tickets doesn't cut the odds in half, and four tickets into quarters, etc. then how do you explain working it all the way through to buying all the tickets cuts the odds to 1in1?

BobP

Zeta Reticuli Star System
United States
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 Posted: December 4, 2006, 2:34 am - IP Logged

Easy, theoryhetically each additional ticket would cut the odds established by the ticket before it in half, and you would "run out of odds" long, long beffore you ran out of possible combinations.

Even if the above did work (which is a fallacy, but follow) that would assume a solo hit, and you can never assume a solo hit. Granted mnost are, but all anyone with deep enough pockets would need to do would be buy a huge amount of tickets thinking they had a 'lock'.

Old Abbot and Costello routine:

You are 40 and your niece is 10.

You are four times older than her.

Five years go by. You are now 45, she is 15.

You are now three timess older than her.

Another five years pass.

You are 50 and she is now 20, you are two and one-half times older than her.

So how long do you have to wait before you and her are the same age?

Tha answer of course is you will never be the same age.

And that is the flaw in thinking an addittional ticket halves the odds of the previous ticket.

Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

United States
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April 22, 2004
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 Posted: December 4, 2006, 2:46 am - IP Logged

BobP wrote:

A lot of what you read is dependent on phraseology, how the question is asked and answered.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That pretty well sums it up. This has been discussed ad nauseum on these boards. It mostly amounts to a lot of people talking past one another because they're all asking and answering different questions in different terms.

Some people understand odds and probabilities; some people don't. I've never seen anyone's mind changed in these debates.

United States
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 Posted: December 4, 2006, 9:56 am - IP Logged

Uh-huh and the states that sell two tickets for a dollar don't know how to figure the odds of their game either.  New York always cut their true odds in half to reflect their two plays for a dollar, though in Canada they appear to agree with you.

If buying two tickets doesn't cut the odds in half, and four tickets into quarters, etc. then how do you explain working it all the way through to buying all the tickets cuts the odds to 1in1?

BobP

Regardless of how many plays you get per dollar, NY Lotto has the lowest payout percentage of any US lottery game. The payout is only 38%-40%.

Wandering Aimlessly
United States
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November 5, 2005
4461 Posts
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 Posted: December 4, 2006, 11:27 pm - IP Logged

Easy, theoryhetically each additional ticket would cut the odds established by the ticket before it in half, and you would "run out of odds" long, long beffore you ran out of possible combinations.

Even if the above did work (which is a fallacy, but follow) that would assume a solo hit, and you can never assume a solo hit. Granted mnost are, but all anyone with deep enough pockets would need to do would be buy a huge amount of tickets thinking they had a 'lock'.

Old Abbot and Costello routine:

You are 40 and your niece is 10.

You are four times older than her.

Five years go by. You are now 45, she is 15.

You are now three timess older than her.

Another five years pass.

You are 50 and she is now 20, you are two and one-half times older than her.

So how long do you have to wait before you and her are the same age?

Tha answer of course is you will never be the same age.

And that is the flaw in thinking an addittional ticket halves the odds of the previous ticket.

Okay, I understand this but Who's on First?

BTW, this is a very good analogy.  Simple but true.  I like it.  to continue...  "In 10 years you are 60 and she is now 30. You are twice her age.  in 20 years you are 80 and she is 50.  and in 15 years you are dead and she is enjoying the money you left her thinking "I had to be nice to that old fart for over 60 years, but it finally paid off."

Zeta Reticuli Star System
United States
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January 17, 2006
10351 Posts
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 Posted: December 5, 2006, 12:05 am - IP Logged

..."I had to be nice to that old fart for over 60 years, but it finally paid off."

"and since I've read some of those posts, I wonder when we would have become the same age....."

Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

NY
United States
Member #23835
October 16, 2005
3474 Posts
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 Posted: December 5, 2006, 3:16 pm - IP Logged

Easy, theoryhetically each additional ticket would cut the odds established by the ticket before it in half, and you would "run out of odds" long, long beffore you ran out of possible combinations.

Even if the above did work (which is a fallacy, but follow) that would assume a solo hit, and you can never assume a solo hit. Granted mnost are, but all anyone with deep enough pockets would need to do would be buy a huge amount of tickets thinking they had a 'lock'.

Old Abbot and Costello routine:

You are 40 and your niece is 10.

You are four times older than her.

Five years go by. You are now 45, she is 15.

You are now three timess older than her.

Another five years pass.

You are 50 and she is now 20, you are two and one-half times older than her.

So how long do you have to wait before you and her are the same age?

Tha answer of course is you will never be the same age.

And that is the flaw in thinking an addittional ticket halves the odds of the previous ticket.