|Posted: January 11, 2007, 12:09 pm - IP Logged|
I think most states do a decent job of telling people that QP's are generated randomly, so having the question in thier FAQ pretty much suggests that a lot of people don't quite understand what random means.
FWIW, the last part of the answer is wrong. The odds of buying a ticket with "the same numbers as someone else" depend on how many you buy and how many other people buy. If you buy 1 ticket and there is only one other ticket sold then the odds of matching are 1 in about 145 million (seems they haven't updated their FAQ in a while), but if you buy 5 tickets and there is only 1 other ticket sold there's a 1 in 29 million chance that one of your 5 tickets will a match the other ticket. If you buy 5 tickets and 30 million tickets are sold there's a very good chance that you will have bought the same numbers as somebody else. Probability suggests that once 5% of the combinations have been played 1 out of the next 20 tickets sold will be a duplicate, so selling another 20,000 tickets would result in about 1000 duplicates. Of course that's based on numbers being picked randomly, so it applies more to QP's than numbers chosen by the players.
*If* one of your tickets happens to have the winning numbers, then each of the numbers played by other people has a 1 in 145 million chance of matching yours, exactly the same as each ticket has a 1 in 145 million chance of winning. If 20 million combinations have been played then there's about a 1 in 7 chance that one of those 20 million will also match the winning numbers. If the answer given was really true as written we would only expect multiple winners in 1 out of 145 million drawings.