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# Best way to play the odds?

Topic closed. 8 replies. Last post 9 years ago by jweber01.

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Dalton, MA
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 Posted: August 27, 2009, 10:33 am - IP Logged

I'm wondering if it's better to place, for instance, 10 bets in one state or 1 bet in each of 10 states? Which method has better odds?

It's nice to be important, but more important to be nice.

mid-Ohio
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 Posted: August 27, 2009, 10:41 am - IP Logged

Which game would you be playing, pick3?

* you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning one *

Kentucky
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 Posted: August 27, 2009, 11:30 am - IP Logged

I'm wondering if it's better to place, for instance, 10 bets in one state or 1 bet in each of 10 states? Which method has better odds?

If you make 10 different bets in one state, you can only win one time but if you make one bet in 10 states you can win multiple times. The potential to win \$5000 opposed to \$500 for a \$10 seems better.

NY
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 Posted: August 27, 2009, 1:07 pm - IP Logged

You're assuming the bets are for different games. If the bets are for the some game then the odds are the same, because either way you have 10 tickets for one game. If the tickets are for 10 different games, you wil have th epossibility of multiple wins, but there's no such thing as a free lunch. The chances of winning multiple games are offset by having a reduced chance of winning even once. If you play all 46 mega balls for Friday night you have a 100% chance of having a ticket with the wining mega ball. If you play one mega ball for each of the next 46 drawinsg you could win multiple times, but you could also lose all 46 times.

If you're hoping to win a jackpot your odds are better if you buy all of your tickets at once instead of spreading them over multiple drawings. Of course with odds of 1 in 175 or 195 million, even if you  buy 1000 tickets the difference is relatively meaningless. If you lose the whole \$1000 it has to hurt less if you do it \$10 per drawing instead of all in one shot.

Dalton, MA
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 Posted: August 27, 2009, 1:45 pm - IP Logged

Which game would you be playing, pick3?

Sorry, I should have been more specific. I would be playing Pick 4, on line. 10 different bets in one state or 1 bet in each of the 10 states. Using 10 states just as an example.

I had considered the possibility of winning in multiple states, but also thinking there might be better odds of winning with multiple bets in one state.  That's my conundrum.

It's nice to be important, but more important to be nice.

NY
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 Posted: August 28, 2009, 3:29 am - IP Logged

Anyway you look at it, making all of your bets in one state is the way to go. If you bet \$10 to play 10 of 10,000 numbers in one state you'll have a 1 in 1000 chance of winning, and a 999 in 1000, or 99.90000% chance of losing. If you spread the 10 bets over 10 states your chance of winning in each state will be 1 in 10,000, and your chance of losing in each state will be 9999 in 10,000, or 99.99000% The chance of losing in all 10 states will be .9990 ^ 10, or 99.90005%. You're more likely to lose by playing in all 10 states than to lose by playing in one state, but the difference is very small.

If you're hoping for multiple wins, the only sensible plan is to play the \$10 all on the same number in one state. Your odds will only be 1 in 10,000, but if you win you'll win all 10 times. Compare that to the odds of winning multiple bets with the same odds. The chances of winning in two states would be less than 1 in 11 million. The chance of winning in 3 or more states makes the odds for powerball look really good.

Kentucky
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 Posted: August 28, 2009, 9:11 am - IP Logged

Anyway you look at it, making all of your bets in one state is the way to go. If you bet \$10 to play 10 of 10,000 numbers in one state you'll have a 1 in 1000 chance of winning, and a 999 in 1000, or 99.90000% chance of losing. If you spread the 10 bets over 10 states your chance of winning in each state will be 1 in 10,000, and your chance of losing in each state will be 9999 in 10,000, or 99.99000% The chance of losing in all 10 states will be .9990 ^ 10, or 99.90005%. You're more likely to lose by playing in all 10 states than to lose by playing in one state, but the difference is very small.

If you're hoping for multiple wins, the only sensible plan is to play the \$10 all on the same number in one state. Your odds will only be 1 in 10,000, but if you win you'll win all 10 times. Compare that to the odds of winning multiple bets with the same odds. The chances of winning in two states would be less than 1 in 11 million. The chance of winning in 3 or more states makes the odds for powerball look really good.

I assumed they meant playing 10 different numbers in one lottery or playing 1 number in 10 lotteries. They would either have 10 chances to match one drawn number in one lottery or have 1 chance to match 10 numbers in 10 lotteries. The 10 in 1 gives them a 1 out of 1000 chances of winning and because there will be 10 numbers drawn by playing in ten lotteries, they get the same 1 out of 1000 chances to win. There is only one number drawn so when you bet 10 different numbers, 9 of those can't possibly win. At best you're only reducing the odds to 9990 to 1 by playing 10 different numbers in one drawing (1 chance in 10 out of 10,000 chances).

Or we could reword the question and say we had \$10 and wanted to know if our chances of winning \$5000 are better if play 10 different numbers in the next drawing or play 1 number in the next 10 drawings. If that's the question, the most we can win by playing different numbers in one drawing is \$5000 and though as you pointed out, the odds against are astronomically high, there is a chance for higher win potential by playing one number in the next ten drawings.

"If you're hoping for multiple wins, the only sensible plan is to play the \$10 all on the same number in one state."

if we're comparing win potential. You still have to overcome odds of 10,000 to 1 to win \$50,000 but those odds are tiny compared to overcoming the same odds nine times in 9 other drawings just to win the same amount of money.

NY
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 Posted: August 28, 2009, 4:49 pm - IP Logged

"because there will be 10 numbers drawn by playing in ten lotteries, they get the same 1 out of 1000 chances to win."

Playing 10 different numbers in one game gives you a 1 in 1,000 chance because you've covered one number for every thousand possible numbers. If you play 1 number in each of 10 different games the odds of winning once are a little bit worse than 1 in 1000. You have the (very slim) possibility of winning multiple times, and that has to be balanced somehow. The very small chance of winning multiple times is balanced by a very small reduction in your chance of winning once.

If you've got a 1 in 10,000 chance of winning in each of 10 games, you've also got a 9,999 to 1 chance of losing in each of those games. That's a probability of .9999 for each game, so the chance of losing all 10 games is .9999^10, which is .99900045. The probability of winning at least one game is therefore 1- .99900045, which is .00099955. That's odds of 1 in 1000.45, as compared to odds of 1 in 1000.000 if you have 10 numbers in a single game. As I said, it's a very small difference, but your odds of winning something are better by betting the \$10 all at once in one game. The chances of winning multiple games is so slim that I don't see the point. That makes my answer to "best way to play the odds?" play the full \$10 in one game. As far as probability goes, there's no advantage to playing a single number 10 times to win ten times or playing ten different numbers to win one time. There's no mathematical difference between ten times as likely to win and winning ten times as much.

Dalton, MA
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 Posted: August 30, 2009, 8:34 am - IP Logged

Thanks to all for your very informative input. It appears that the consensus is to play a single state.

It's nice to be important, but more important to be nice.

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