|Posted: March 5, 2007, 2:58 pm - IP Logged|
It doesn't work like that.
Each indivicual ticket (ticket meaning one line of numbers, $1) is up against the same odds of 175,711, 536 to 1.
What's really intersting here is that the people saying the second ticket cuts the odds in half seem to be stopping there. When we take it to the point like justxploring did, of $14 reducing pick 4 odds down to being too tempting to pass up for the player, it's "Oh no, that's not it."
No matter how many tickets are played only one combination can win, and of 175,711,536 combinations only one can be drawn.
If Bob plays one ticket and Debbie plays 101 tickets, Debbie may think she's got 100 more chances of hitting than Bob, but in a world of 175,000,000 + 100 is still infintesimal.
Let's say you're at a beach and there are 175,711,536 grains of sane on this one spot. Oneo of those is dyed a different color than regular sand, but you're blindfolded. You're on a game show and rthe idea is to pick out the colored grain of sand, blindfolded. But you answer a trivia question and to give you a "break", they color one additional grain of sand.
No one is going to say, "I can't believe I didn't pick a colored grain of sand since my chances doubled."
This should be a mantra for everyone on this board:
"Each individaul ticket is up against the same odds."
"No matter how many tickets are played only one combination can win, and of 175,711,536 combinations only one can be drawn."
People are saying if I buy 2 tickets I'm cutting the odds in half and buying 10 tickets will reduce the odds to 17.5 million to 1. So I took their advice and bought 10 tickets but when I got home, read the Mega Millions website and looked at my tickets; I think I got ripped off!!!
When I looked at my 10 tickets, I noticed I had 10 different mega ball numbers. The MM site says they will draw 5 balls out of 56 balls on one machine and draw 1 megaball out of 46 balls on another machine and to win the jackpot I need to match all 5 numbers in the first draw with the mega ball from the second. The reason I think I was ripped off is though I have 10 chances to win, I can only win on 1 ticket.
Are my odds of hitting the jackpot 1:17,571,153.6 (10:175,711,536) or are they 1:175,711,526?
Depending on how it's expressed, both are true and I can prove it.
If I buy 46 tickets and each ticket has a different mega ball number, I can express the odds of winning the jackpot as 46:175,711,536 or 1:3,819,816 and to prove it, I'll use 1-2-3-4-5 on every ticket. And though doing it would be very difficult, someone or a group of people could buy all the 3,819,816 combinations in the 5/56 matrix and get a 1:46 chance of getting an almost 100:1 return on their money. And since there are secondary prizes (don't want to cramp my brain figuring out much), they are not risking all their money.
I can also say for a fact I just bought 45 tickets that can't hit the jackpot and subtract them from the all other combinations that can't hit the jackpot either.
From the Ohio Lottery Q&A section:
Why are the odds of correctly matching the Mega Ball number 1 in 75 rather than 1 in 46?
The odds are calculated based on the entire wager a player makes, and a wager is made on two pools of numbers.
The 1 in 75 calculation includes the odds of matching zero numbers in the white ball pool (1 out of 56) and correctly matching the Mega Ball number in the second pool (1 out of 46). A player cannot make a wager on the Mega Ball number only.
It looks like fuzzy math but they are factoring in the odds of hitting 1 + the mega ball and saying the odds of "ONLY" hitting the mega ball are 1 in 75.