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Buying More Tickets Does Not Increase Your Odds.

Topic closed. 184 replies. Last post 5 years ago by THRIFTY.

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Kentucky
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Posted: March 2, 2012, 12:45 pm - IP Logged

"I kinda thought this would be obvious."

Some people can't understand some things no matter how simple or obvious they are. Here's an explanation I've used before in trying to explain it to people who are challenged by the obvious.

Sort all 175,711,536 possible combinations into 2 groups of 87,855,768 based on whether the mega ball is odd or even. Buy 1 ticket with a mega ball number that's odd and 1 ticket with a mega ball number that's even. If the mega ball number in the winning combination is odd you have a 1 in 87,855,768 chance of winning. If the mega ball number in the winning combination is even you have a 1 in 87,855,768 chance of winning. Since the only possible results are that the mega ball is odd or it's even your 2 tickets gives you a 1 in 87,855,768 chance of winning.

The same reasoning makes it obvious that buying 46 tickets makes you 46 times as likely to win. Buy 1 combination for each mega ball number, and no matter what mega ball number is drawn you have a 1 in 3,819,816 chance of having the 5 regular numbers that were drawn on the ticket with that mega ball number.

I would think that this would make it completely obvious to even the dumbest of people, but experience has proven me wrong.

"Buy 1 combination for each mega ball number, and no matter what mega ball number is drawn you have a 1 in 3,819,816 chance of having the 5 regular numbers that were drawn on the ticket with that mega ball number."

We could buy 460 tickets using each mega ball ten times and say we have a 1 in 381,981.6 chance. Or we could really gamble on 46,000 tickets using each mega ball 1000 times and get a 1 in 3820 chance, which is much better than the chance of one ticket winning a pick 4 game. It looks good on paper but there are still 3,818,816 combos we don't have and only getting a 0.002186% chance of winning the jackpot doesn't make it a very good bet.

"I would think that this would make it completely obvious to even the dumbest of people, but experience has proven me wrong."

If I were planning on buying 46 tickets it makes perfect sense to me to use each mega ball once and know at the very least, I'll get back 2 bucks and have a guaranteed 1 in 3,819,816 chance of winning the jackpot. But to the vast majority of players buying 5 tickets and under, it makes no sense. They know for every extra dollar they spend only reduces the total of 175 million plus combos they don't have by one. While six tickets are better than five, it's still only minutely better.

Who is the real dummy; the player spending $46 knowing they'll probably lose $44 or the player buying a dream for a $1?


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    Posted: March 2, 2012, 12:46 pm - IP Logged

    Hey KY, I think referring to any percentage of our LP members as "dumbest of people" was a pretty "dumb" remark on your part.

    Even Einstein had humility and respect for those not as gifted as he. If you show respect you'll receive in return. In your case you

    can't expect much more than contempt from others reading your posts.  No No

    ArgueArgueBashChair

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      The Quantum Master
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      Posted: March 2, 2012, 12:53 pm - IP Logged

      The correct wording should be, "Buying more tickets does not dramatically increase you probability of successfully winning the jackpot."

      And, the key word is 'dramatically'; because buying more tickets does improve your probability of success; some, depending on the lottery game type.

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        NEW YORK
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        Posted: March 2, 2012, 12:55 pm - IP Logged

        Buying more tickets does in fact improve your odds.  You have odds and chances mixed up.  Your odds get mathematically better the more tickets you buy, but your overall chances remain low.

        The odds never change Todd. The lottery equation stays the same.

        Odds of winning mega millions and powerball are 1 in 175 millions. If you buy 2 tickets your chances of winning are not 2 in 175 millions. You have 1 in 175 millions twice.

        If the odds of winning with two tickets in mega millions or powerball are 1 in 175 millions. You have  two tickets each with 1 in 175 millions not 1 ticket with 1 in 87 millions.

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          NEW YORK
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          Posted: March 2, 2012, 12:59 pm - IP Logged

          "Buy 1 combination for each mega ball number, and no matter what mega ball number is drawn you have a 1 in 3,819,816 chance of having the 5 regular numbers that were drawn on the ticket with that mega ball number."

          We could buy 460 tickets using each mega ball ten times and say we have a 1 in 381,981.6 chance. Or we could really gamble on 46,000 tickets using each mega ball 1000 times and get a 1 in 3820 chance, which is much better than the chance of one ticket winning a pick 4 game. It looks good on paper but there are still 3,818,816 combos we don't have and only getting a 0.002186% chance of winning the jackpot doesn't make it a very good bet.

          "I would think that this would make it completely obvious to even the dumbest of people, but experience has proven me wrong."

          If I were planning on buying 46 tickets it makes perfect sense to me to use each mega ball once and know at the very least, I'll get back 2 bucks and have a guaranteed 1 in 3,819,816 chance of winning the jackpot. But to the vast majority of players buying 5 tickets and under, it makes no sense. They know for every extra dollar they spend only reduces the total of 175 million plus combos they don't have by one. While six tickets are better than five, it's still only minutely better.

          Who is the real dummy; the player spending $46 knowing they'll probably lose $44 or the player buying a dream for a $1?

          You seem to understand the difference between Odds and Chances.

          The player spending $46 knowing they'll probably lose $44 is the dummy.

            New York's avatar - 103h4yr
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            Posted: March 2, 2012, 1:00 pm - IP Logged

            "I will win one day no matter the the odds. I defy the odds."

            - New York 

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              Posted: March 2, 2012, 1:03 pm - IP Logged

              Thrifty you got it wrong.   If you roll a dice the odds of rolling a three are 1 in 6.   But the odds of rolling a 1,2,3,4,5 is 5 in 6.   The odds of rolling the three don't change... it's still one in 6, but by covering other combinations you increase your odds of rolling a winner.

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                Posted: March 2, 2012, 1:09 pm - IP Logged

                "I will win one day no matter the the odds. I defy the odds."

                - New York 

                Thumbs Up

                I Agree!     Have to completely concur with you on that one N.Y.
                            Especially after looking at all the winners over the years .....Its my turn !!!  or yours  See Ya!

                Stay Positive, Believe and good things will come your way

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                  Posted: March 2, 2012, 1:17 pm - IP Logged

                  Thrifty you got it wrong.   If you roll a dice the odds of rolling a three are 1 in 6.   But the odds of rolling a 1,2,3,4,5 is 5 in 6.   The odds of rolling the three don't change... it's still one in 6, but by covering other combinations you increase your odds of rolling a winner.

                  The odds do not increase or decrease, the odds are still 1 in 6. The fact that you rolled the dice 5 in 6 does not increase or decrease your risk relative to me rolling the dice at 1 in 6. The risk stays the same at 1 in 6 for each of your 5 dice rolls.

                  You are just rolling the dice more to face the same risk of 1 in 6 every time you roll the dice.


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                    Posted: March 2, 2012, 1:38 pm - IP Logged

                    You got my post wrong buddy.   Let's say you put up 1 million dollars.  You charge me $1 to cover a number - say the number three - and give me one roll to roll the number 3 for the million.   My odds of winning are 1 in 6.   Now lets say instead I buy 5 numbers - 1,2,3,4,5 and I get that same one roll for the million.   My odds of winning the million are now 5 in 6.  In the first example the odds of rolling a 3 is still 1 in 6 as are my odds of winning.   In the second example the odds of rolling a three are still 1 in 6... the odds of rolling any number is 1 in 6.   But my odds of winning is now 5 in 6 because I've covered 5 of the 6 possible combinations.

                      savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
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                      Posted: March 2, 2012, 1:38 pm - IP Logged

                      The odds do not increase or decrease, the odds are still 1 in 6. The fact that you rolled the dice 5 in 6 does not increase or decrease your risk relative to me rolling the dice at 1 in 6. The risk stays the same at 1 in 6 for each of your 5 dice rolls.

                      You are just rolling the dice more to face the same risk of 1 in 6 every time you roll the dice.

                      thrifty, if you toss a coin and put 2 bets on havew your odds increased?

                      its 1/2 + 1/2 . is it now  better chance of winning?

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                        Chief Bottle Washer
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                        Posted: March 2, 2012, 1:40 pm - IP Logged

                        The odds never change Todd. The lottery equation stays the same.

                        Odds of winning mega millions and powerball are 1 in 175 millions. If you buy 2 tickets your chances of winning are not 2 in 175 millions. You have 1 in 175 millions twice.

                        If the odds of winning with two tickets in mega millions or powerball are 1 in 175 millions. You have  two tickets each with 1 in 175 millions not 1 ticket with 1 in 87 millions.

                        Oh my gosh.  Well, if you're going to argue with mathematics, I can't contribute any more to the discussion.  Good luck to you.

                         

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                          Posted: March 2, 2012, 1:42 pm - IP Logged

                          It increases the odds, but not much. Depending on what game:

                          one ticket- 175 mill to 1

                          50 tickets  175 mill to 50

                          This is why they suggest you play 50$ at one time, rather then over several weeks. Of course i don't listen.

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                            Posted: March 2, 2012, 1:47 pm - IP Logged

                            It increases the odds, but not much. Depending on what game:

                            one ticket- 175 mill to 1

                            50 tickets  175 mill to 50

                            This is why they suggest you play 50$ at one time, rather then over several weeks. Of course i don't listen.

                            It is not a comulative thing. The 50 tickets will face odds of 1 in 175 millions individually whether you buy them at once or 1 ticket every week for 50 weeks.

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                              Posted: March 2, 2012, 1:54 pm - IP Logged

                              thrifty, if you toss a coin and put 2 bets on havew your odds increased?

                              its 1/2 + 1/2 . is it now  better chance of winning?

                              I have more chances but the risk of me having head or tail is 1/2. Why put two bets to face the same risk of one bet at 1/2.

                                 
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