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Duplicate Quick Picks?

Topic closed. 2 replies. Last post 10 years ago by KY Floyd.

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Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
Zeta Reticuli Star System
United States
Member #30470
January 17, 2006
10351 Posts
Posted: January 11, 2007, 2:33 am - IP Logged

Interesting question on quick picks from the Missouri lottery:

Question: If I buy a Quick Pick ticket, can anyone else buy those numbers using Quick Pick?

Yes. Quick Pick tickets are generated randomly by the terminal at the retailer, and there is no central computer that is controlling ticket generation. The odds of buying a Powerball ticket with the same numbers as someone else are the same as the odds of winning the jackpot -- about 1 in 120 million.

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.

    justxploring's avatar - villiarna
    Wandering Aimlessly
    United States
    Member #25360
    November 5, 2005
    4461 Posts
    Posted: January 11, 2007, 5:35 am - IP Logged

    I always figured this was the answer, since it's the same for state games, at least here in Florida, although rarely do 2 people ever win the Florida Lotto jackpot.  Most of the year there is only a single winner.  Makes one realize how difficult it is to win when so many tickets are being bought and the jackpot keeps rolling. Fantasy 5 often has multiple winners who bought quickpicks, but the odds of winning are "only" 1 in 377,000, plus it's played daily.  Occasionally the FL MegaMoney game (4 + 1 MB) has 2 QP winners who share the prize.  Regarding the odds, if the numbers are all randomly drawn, then what is written above has to be true.

    I once sent an email at the FL site (a long time ago) and asked the same question. At first I thought a central computer might be generating the numbers, but the numbers are picked by the store terminal.

      United States
      Member #23835
      October 16, 2005
      3474 Posts
      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.