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Why Quick Picks win...Hint: It's *NOT* what you think, folks!

Topic closed. 38 replies. Last post 10 years ago by MegaWinner.

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letitride$'s avatar - Lottery-067.jpg
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Posted: April 8, 2007, 1:49 am - IP Logged

Many here have observed the oft repeated assumption that QPs win because the majority of PURCHASES are QPS, and as such most of the eventual winners are QP users. I have a different take. Nobody wants to admit ( I think that drives the prejudice against QPs) that having control over your selection matters in reducing the odds of winning not a whit. Nobody wants to think that a person who follows draw history cannot even come close to the mindless terminal, because of the illusion of controlling one's destiny by picking with one's own hand is so comforting. It is the very randomness, the mindless number allocation, free of "lotto draw statistics" application,  that is the strength of the QP. It is not constrained by the opinion of some nerd. 

Tonight's QP in Lotto TX produced a 75 million dollar windfall...probably for some schmuck who never heard of lottery statistics program, Gail Howard, random number probabilities. Some dude (no doubt) who walked into a Quickie Mart bought a QP and won the entire ball of wax that has been building for eons to near record levels  for a State game win, approaching Mega Millions territory, and it is not a multi state game!

Why? I'll tell ya why. Look at the winning numbers! Would YOU have picked them? "Educated" gamblers and such, would have never picked those numbers. QPS have the advantage of being relatively random and unbiased, in a matter of sorts. So Joe Schmoe goes in and lets the computer pick, and he gets the stupid looking 7-9-11-30-33-53 for all the loot. % of 6 ODD numbers. But, the experts tell us, the typical draw is a mixture. Too many low digits, the "educated" bettor would not pick it because of the "Birthday" picker factor! Think about it...a QP being random is its very advantage, its randomness permits combos "thinking" players would not and do not select due to their prejudices about odds and evens, lows and highs, and so forth.  Just look at all them "3's" in that draw, not a one of 'ya would have picked that piece of work!

Face it, folks, the six pack buying trucker who NEXT wins Mega Millions is not going to be some dweeb with a calculator, who studies past draws, diligently forecasting the next ball chute arrival, it is going to be won with a "highly unlikely: combo coming from a terminal like, oh, say, 2-3-4-13-56 MB 1 because it does not believe all those lotto books and programs and their "low and high" "odds and evens" number total sums, etc. (insert your favorite geeky statistical model here, feel free) and the winner is going to forget it on his truck mirror for a week before checking it and saying, "gee, whiz, how "bout them apples?" before becoming famous for letting the store clerk check his numbers for him, trusting his honesty like he did the machine that gave him a fortune for a buck.

Meanwhile, the guys who wheeled, and spent buckets of cash on those numbers assumed due and hot, wins 3 bucks. Maybe 10.

The QP is unbiased. it ALLOWS 3 consecutive numbers, an "unlikely winner" according to the pencil headed authorities. You know the drill, you buy a QO and say "that thing has no chance of winning, just look at it, all odd numbers, too much low too much high, not enough of both number groupings, and in fact, that, or one just like it, turns out to be the winner.

Sorry, but my feeling is if MOST bought numbers like 70%  but did NOT use QPS, (in other words, like it is for QPs in the real world) there would NOT be as many winners proportionately, but that the much maligned QP would still carry the day. Just a theory of mine, but just looking a these winning QP's shows that many of them are NOT "types" of combos that lotto nerds would forecast, and that, my friends, is precisely the point! Obviously, if 70% were picking by self selection of nuimbers, I am NOT saying it the QPs would have more winners in sheer countable numbers among them, but *relative to amount of picks made* for each group of possible selection method I do not doubt the QPs would still rule the roost. Doubt me until you see that guy who wins Powerball with 1, 21, 31, 41, 51, PB 11...with a QP, natch!

No Pity!Let it ride, the winner said, just before losing it all...

    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
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    Posted: April 8, 2007, 2:27 am - IP Logged

    Now that you've explained your theory on "Why QPs win" what's your theory on "Why QPs lose"? 

    I pick my own numbers and the other day I matched 4/5 in the MegaMillions game and when I cashed my winning ticket the clerk told me she had worked at that store for 6 months and that was the first winner over $50 that she had ever cashed.  A few years ago I had a 5/6 SuperLotto winner at another store and the store owner verified the winning ticket and helped fill out the form for me to go to a bank for the cash and she told me that was the first time she had ever done that since she bought the business four years earlier.  70% of the winners may be QPs but so are 70% of the losers.  Both stores sell a lot of QPs and they seldom if ever see any big winners of either type.

     * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
       
                 Evil Looking       

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      Posted: April 8, 2007, 2:52 am - IP Logged

      You're right that plenty of people avoid birthday numbers, but that doesn't mean they avoid them completely. Two of those winning numbers aren't birthday numbers, and that's enough to significantly reduce the chances of sharing the jackpot.

      You're right that a lot of people would look at those numbers and think they're "unlikely"  but those are only people who think they're educated gamblers. Those who are truly educated know that combination had exactly the same chance as any other combination. The educated gambler, and probably most of the uneducated gamblers see two numbers from the 30's but not an unusual number of 3's.

      You're right that a lot of people will think that two sets of numbers that are close is "unlikely" but there are also a lot of people who specifically pick combinations like that. For an excellent example of how many people play some of the combinations that most would think are extremely unlikely to win (they're right, but for the wrong reasons), you can look at the NY lotto result for 7/29/06, when 6 tickets, none of which was a QP, matched the winning combination of 5 - 10 - 15 - 25 - 30 - 35.

      You're right that plenty of people avoid combinations that have "too many" low, high, odd, even, birthday, or whatever numbers, but those combinations only account for a small percentage of the possible combinations, and the "plenty of people" is only a small percentage of the players who choose their own numbers. In the entire history of lottery games with numbers that go beyond 40, perhaps 100,000 combinations have been drawn.  That's perhaps 1% of the possible combinations.  99% of the possible combinations, whether the "likely" ones or the "unlikely" ones, have never been drawn, so whether or not they were played has never had any influence at all on the ratio of QP to non-QP winners.

      You're right that choosing a combination based on birthday numbers, typical winning "patterns" or whatever does absolutely nothing to increase your chances of winning, but playing a QP also does absolutely nothing to increase your chances of winning. That means that unless one of those two methods reduces your chances of winning we should expect that the ratio of QP winners to non-QP winners should be a pretty close match to the ratio of QP buyers to non-QP buyers. Since your whole argument is that all of those "unlikely" combinations are really as likely as any other combination, there's also no valid argument that any of the "likely" combinations are actually unlikely.

      It's funny how you have so many things right, but still don't have a clue.

        four4me's avatar - gate1
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        Posted: April 8, 2007, 3:11 am - IP Logged

        birthday numbers that have hit a jackpot

          Tuesday, November 08, 2005 08 · 16 · 21 · 25 · 27 + 16 mega ball 3    $225 Million
           
          justxploring's avatar - villiarna
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          Posted: April 8, 2007, 4:17 am - IP Logged

          Although I play my own numbers every week, I also buy QPs once in a while and agree that many times the numbers don't follow any type of logical sequence.  However, I believe when we are dealing with games with odds exceeding 1:140 million or even the state lottery games with odds over 1:20 million, there ARE NO logical number sequences.  I mean, if out of over 100 million possible combinations only 6 balls are drawn, the so-called experts are spitting into the wind.  If you were playing Blackjack, even with a 6-deck shoe, we know there are certain general strategies to follow. I would usually stand on a 17, for example, but there is no guarantee I won't get a 5 or higher. If I have 15 or 16 on the other hand and the dealer has a 10 showing, I should probably hit, but unless I have X-ray eyes, I don't know what's coming next. Still, most players use some kind of personal strategy when gambling, even though the house always has the edge.  So to me the difference between someone who uses a "strategy" and someone who hasn't a clue, is mainly the amount of time it takes to walk away a loser.

          At least in a game of Blackjack, each card is removed from play. So even with over 300 cards to start out with, there is some chance of counting them as the shoe becomes smaller and we know it's heavy with 10s and face cards at the beginning.  But what do we know about the bin that holds all those ping pong balls?  In a game of cards, a split second doesn't change what comes next. Even if a player spends an extra 5 seconds deciding if he wants to double or buy insurance, that next card at the dealer's fingertips is waiting for him.  However, when balls are dancing around and then sucked up through a tube, every second counts.  So you are also playing against factors not even considered in most gambling.  Imagine a dealer in poker dealing one card and then shuffling the deck, another card and then shuffling...and so on. 

          So now I don't know if I am agreeing or disagreeing.  Yes, I think a QP is a good way to buy lottery ticket, because it's fast & easy. But I also believe people who use wheels and pick their own numbers have an equal shot at winning since every game is a new game and any 6 numbers has a chance of being picked.   By "equal shot" I mean just as improbable.  I don't think the lottery fairy stops to ask "quick pick?" before she sprinkles her magic dust on you.

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            Posted: April 8, 2007, 5:10 am - IP Logged

            "with odds over 1:20 million, there ARE NO logical number sequences."

            I guess it depends on what you mean by sequence.  Most combinations won't have a pattern, but whatever combination turn up it's always a logical combination because they're all logical. Being logical doesn't mean they're predictable.

            Letitride makes a valid point about what a lot of people expect a winning combination to "look" like.  Those people have a reasonable chance of predicting what the winning combination will look like because an awful lot of combinations look alike. About 2/3 of combinations will have a mix of 2 odd and 3 even or 3 odd and 2 even. If you predict that the winning combination will fit that pattern you'll be right about 2/3 of the time, but betting on that 2/3 chance doesn't get you any closer to predicting the specific combination that wins. With blackjack there are far fewer combinations, and you don't need an exact match to win (or lose).  That means that betting on the "pattern" that will be dealt is more likely to be successful.  If the dealer has 18 and you hit on a 16, 12 of the 52 possible cards in a deck will make you the winner.

            The only advantage to QP's is that a random combination may give you a better chance of  having a jackpot all to yourself, based on the assumption that people play certain combinations more than others. Of course birthday numbers are the most common example, and a lot of people know not to play all birthday numbers. In reality, there are so many combinations for PB and MM that even then you're unlkely to split a jackpot.  The last time that all 5 balls were birthday numbers and there was a winner was 7/27/04. The last time that all 5 balls and the mega ball were birthday numbers and there was a winner for MM was 2/20/04. The latter was for $230 million, which means ticket sales would have been high enough that a significant percentage of combinations would have been repeated, but both jackpots were claimed by a single winner. In a game with odds of 1:25 million  I'd avoid birthday numbers, but for PBand MM it doesn't mean much.

              justxploring's avatar - villiarna
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              Posted: April 8, 2007, 7:14 am - IP Logged

              "but betting on that 2/3 chance doesn't get you any closer to predicting the specific combination that wins. With blackjack there are far fewer combinations, and you don't need an exact match to win (or lose).  "

               

              I think that's what I was saying, but maybe we don't speak the same language.  Have a nice Easter.

                letitride$'s avatar - Lottery-067.jpg
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                Posted: April 8, 2007, 10:35 am - IP Logged

                Perhaps I should have called the thread WHY SELF PICKS DO NOT WIN  instead of a positive based assumption regarding QPs. But in theory, as KY Floyd points out, or seems to, each combo has an equal theoretical chance of winning. Most of gambling geeks who read that a majority of winning combos are 2/3 odd even or vice versa pick from those sets, while QPs will "choose" at random between ALL possible combo sets, whih in the end, gives them their subtle micro edge in real world terms, capish?  

                Nevertheless, it also true that with 176 million combos, something like Mega Millions will not exhaust the possible total combinations in many of our lifetimes, or even come close. The difficulty in winning a JP is that it is like saying "pick a number between 1 and 176 million, any number, I am thinking of one,  and if you guess right you win the loot" when obviously if it was like picking the Ace of spades of deck of cards, 1 in 52, it would happen soon enough, but not here, unless lightning strikes. You can expect to win once in something like 435,000 years, in MM, supposedly, for example, the techie boys tell us. So, you simply cannot achieve it realistically, no matter what method of picking numbers you use, in your lifetime, or ten lifetimes.

                As KY Floyd suggests, picking the 2/3 odd even, low high, etc. does not help much because in odds that steep, even if you pick from those "high percentage" pick zones, where MOST draw wins "come from" it does NOT aid you in finding the SPECIFIC combo needed to win on that given day. True. There are TONS of those possible combos that follow the even/odd,  low/high, number sums, to pick from, and even though DRAWS in a majority of cases might be shown, despite their randomness, to fit in those zones, you are helping yourself in a nominal way with regard to actually selecting the winning combo, at best. 

                My point was the randomness of the QP IS its strength, due to its less biased nature, all possible tries are going be covered by the prospective picker, who cannot apply HIS bias over "likely combos" to the pick. He cannot "overthink" the selection. Sheer short term freak luck carries the day in most of these lotto games, with any significant odds in the odds of winning, such as lotto TX. No matter how much work you do, you cannot increase your odds in any significant way with either QPS OR self picks. Neither is scientifically better than the other.

                Since each draw is a fresh trial, the draws are re-using all balls, and the law of independent trials applies, the Math profs will argue, and that applies each time no matter which picking method you use, which is also an unrelated event. 

                KY Floyd, we cannot test the theory regards QPS vs non, in these games, because we all know most WILL buy QPS. As I said, I suspect the QP WOULD win in head to head, not because the odds were better using them but that the users who relied on their draw histories and such would pinhead themselves out the odd JP ot 2 by their very pickiness of making sure they only submitted "balanced" low/high, sums, odd/evens, etc. while QPS cover the gamut in an unbiased way, allowing them in the end to potentially cover a wider field as a net for any given draw. I understand all of YOUR arguments, (except your *comparison* points about QP ratios vs the non, etc. this might need a bit more explanation) have heard them by several analyzers many times and am the biggest skeptic on this board, regards odds, FYI... :)

                No Pity!Let it ride, the winner said, just before losing it all...

                  Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
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                  Posted: April 8, 2007, 11:15 am - IP Logged

                  From what I've read re: playing birthdays or not, the deal is not to play anything but birthdays, that is not to use birthdays as all your numbers, because so many people do just that. If you were to hit 6 for 6 doing that, the thought is you're going to be sharing the jackpot, possibly many ways. 

                  From tracking winner's list e-mails from a state lottery or two, what I have seen is that when all the numbers are lower the jackpots are indeed much more likely to habe multiple winners.

                  As far as QP's / number of QPw inners as a percentage of players, etc... I'm just going to say this - if anyone was willing to put up $100 a jackpot for a bet that says they'll pay you $100 for every non-QPk pick winner if you will pay them $100 for every QP winner, they wouldn't have any takers or they'd get stiffed as far as collecting thier winnings. 

                  Regarding systems, Gail Howard, odd/ even., etc...don't forget, every system out there (including systems for everything from betting horses to betting Blackjack) is based on millions of decisions.  

                  You're not going to play a million lottery drawings - you don't have the time, and if you had enough $$$ to do that you wouldn't be playing it on lottery anyway (unless you've got a real problem),

                   Talking systems, many blackjack books says never take insurance. That's fine until you're playing and you're normally a $5 bettor and this is the night you've got a $200 bet out there and the dealer has an Ace up and looks at you and says, "Insurance?"

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

                  Lep

                  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.

                    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
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                    Posted: April 8, 2007, 12:29 pm - IP Logged

                    I think the only conclusion one can come to from this thread is a lottery player is lucky to win a big prize regardless of how he picks his numbers.  Buying QPs is easier and less time consuming but if a player enjoy picking his own numbers then he's getting an additional thrill similar to that of a gambler trying to beat the house odds.

                     * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                       
                                 Evil Looking       

                      time*treat's avatar - radar

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                      Posted: April 8, 2007, 4:01 pm - IP Logged

                      30 is an even number, so it's 5/1 not 6/0.

                        Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
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                        Posted: April 8, 2007, 6:17 pm - IP Logged

                        30 is an even number, so it's 5/1 not 6/0.

                        Huh?Confused

                        Gonna win.Big Smile

                          MegaWinner's avatar - Lottery-029.jpg
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                          Posted: April 8, 2007, 11:05 pm - IP Logged

                          Thats why I buy half QP's and half picked!  I get the best if both worlds!  But if I only had a dollar in hand, i'd get a QP unless I REALLY felt like picking numbers off the top of my head.

                          Sun Smiley I got my fingers crossed ready to win!!! Sun Smiley

                            time*treat's avatar - radar

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                            Posted: April 8, 2007, 11:32 pm - IP Logged

                            Huh?Confused

                            The winning combo had 5 odd nums / 1 even num, not 6 odd nums.

                            A 5/1 split is more likely than a 6/0 split.

                              Amazing Grace's avatar - lion
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                              Posted: April 9, 2007, 12:01 am - IP Logged

                              When I buy a quick pic at the store the retailers dread me, and i just started doing it this way so nothing to back up my theory yet.

                              One at a time not 5 or 10 together, so if i spend 20 dollars and they cost 2 buck each i buy 10 single plays.

                               

                              I am thniking the more noise the machine makes the better!

                               

                              we will see!

                              Secret to $uccess=Law of Attraction