NY State United States Member #92609 June 10, 2010 3813 Posts Offline

Posted: January 28, 2013, 8:02 pm - IP Logged

Quote: Originally posted by yoho on January 27, 2013

1 2 3 4 5 6

4 13 21 35 43 47

Can you guess which one is more likely to win the lottery? I think most of you "know" the answer - its the same. Yet how many of you would buy in with choice 1?

I'm sure most players would be more comfortable with a sequence like choice 2 rather than choice 1. Most people "know" the answer, but don't "believe" in it.

So that's my intro. For this post, I will address 3 common fallacies people tend to make here, and the only two LEGAL ways to improve your chances to win;

although I do look forward to possible methods that I may have not thought of.

Fallacy #1:

This is commonly known as the "gambler's fallacy". If you flipped a coin 9 times, and it returned heads every time, what's the probability that the next flip will

be heads?

The answer is 1/2.

Similarly, even if a number in a lottery has not appeared in the last 10 or 20 or 50 draws, it doesn't make it any less or more likely to appear the next draw. The

same can be said of "hot" numbers. Even if a number appeared every time the past 10 draws, that doesn't mean it will also appear in the next draw. There's not

much more to say about this fallacy, but it does bring us to

Fallacy #2:

It seems that a lot of people on this forum try to look for patterns from draws, and made various outrageous conclusions, for example saying that if the number

1 appears, then the number 15 will also appear or something to that effect.

This is an outrageous and silly claim. The fact is, draws don't affect each other, and drawing a certain ball will not affect the other balls. This fallacy is kind of like

the gambler's fallacy. Let's flip a coin ten times. Theoretically you'll expect that you'll get heads 5 times, and tails 5 times. But what are the chances of getting

HTHTHTHTHT or THTHTHTHTH? Actually it's 2/2^10, which is 1 in 512. Only once out of 512 tries will you get a perfectly alternating sequence of heads and

tails. Every other time you'll have at least two heads or two tails in a row. In reality, it's very likely to have 3 or 4 heads in a row, or say 7 tails out of 10 flips.

That doesn't make it more likely for you to flip tails, or to flip 4 heads in a row. It's simply statistics. With a small sample size, you're going to get some

inconsistent data, you can't really deduce anything from them. A few hundred or few thousand draws may seem like a lot, but with millions of possiblities in a

lottery draw you can't deduce anything from it. Having 1 and 15 appear multiple times together is just like having 3 or 4 heads in a row. Just because such

things happen doesn't make it more likely to happen.

Fallacy #3:

This is the point I really wanted to talk about. Some members of this forum, especially this guy called ronnie something is basically using pseudo math to

confuse others, but most importantly themselves. Honestly such obvious fallacies I'm sure many have addressed already, but seeing so many threads with

similar confusion made by ronnie and others, I felt I really should address it.

Apparently they think they can simply disregard some combinations of numbers, such as a sequence of all even numbers or all odd numbers, or all numbers

under 10 etc. Ronnie said something like 2-4-6-8-10 is less likely to appear simply because they're all even numbers.

This is simply untrue. The fact is, even numbers, odd numbers, prime numbers, pretty numbers, ugly numbers (ya, the last two aren't legit mathematical terms)

are only something humans use to to make life easier. It's like calling a group of objects that people sit on "chair". It's really completely arbitrary. There's no

significance in numbers all being even or odd by themselves.

Sure, if you're picking 6 numbers from 59, its very unlikely that all of the numbers will be under 10 (i.e 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9). That part is true. But the same can

be said of ANY set of 9 numbers, i.e 4,12,14,15,20,35,37,43,51 for example. We put significance in a sequence like 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 because its useful for us

humans in every day life, but for the purpose of a lottery draw, any set of numbers are exactly the same. There's no significance in numbers being odd or even

or pretty or ugly. Like I said in the beginning, 1,2,3,4,5,6 has the same chances of winning as 4,13,21,35,43,47. Don't try to group numbers, use some pseudo

math and convince yourself wrongly that some combinations are less likely to appear than others because all the numbers are prime or start with a 1.

***

So, with the fallacies addressed, I'll present two REAL ways to actually improve your chances of winning the jackpot, other than buying more tickets, of course.

...

Well, that's enough time for excitement, it's time to break your dreams and hopes again.

What are the ways to improve your chances?

1. Don't buy the same ticket more than once. Ya. That's my advice, haha. Sounds stupid, doesn't it? But well it works. you see news of people buying the same

numbers and then winning, but really its not a good strategy. I don't understand why anyone would buy the same ticket twice, lol.

2.This point is slightly more interesting. To maximize your chances of winning a jackpot, you should spend your whole lottery allowance on a single draw. Note,

your whole LOTTERY ALLOWANCE, not all your money, lol. NEVER spend more money on the lottery than you can afford. With that said, its better if you bought

52 tickets for a single draw than if you bought 1 ticket per week for a year.

Why? Because first of all, we know the expected return is the same. The chances are always 1 in impossibly large number. However, if you buy 1 ticket per

draw, there is a small chance, however small, that you'll win the lottery twice or three times or all 52 times. Ya, I know, dream on. But that chance exists.

If you buy in a single draw, you give up the chance to win the jackpot multiple times in exchange for a slightly higher chance to win the jackpot once. So if

you're not greedy and only need to win once, then putting all your eggs in one basket might not be a horribly bad idea, although it might hurt more when you

lose, which you probably will.

Ya, so the fact is, there isn't a real mathematically sound way to really beat the system. I'm not going to pretend I'm god and that I know everything, because

really, I don't. If god or an alien or your uncle bob told you the winning numbers for next week's draw, great, congratulations. I'm only saying that if you got

your hopes up because of the kind of reasoning I mentioned above, then I'm sorry, they aren't logically sound. Perhaps there's a way to beat the system, but

the kind of thinking above will not get you there.

1. Don't buy the same ticket more than once. I don't understand why anyone would buy the same ticket twice, lol.

Yoho, you dont understand why anyone would buy the same ticket twice?

Here's a reason why someone would buy the same ticket twice. (Or play the same set of numbers on one ticket twice)

Last week in Suffern NY, someone bought the same set of numbers in NY's Sweet Million game at two different convenience stores. Sweet Million isn't pari-mutuel, if three people have the same set of JP winning numbers, then they each win 1 million dollars.

Why dont you ask the guy who won two million dollars by buying the same set of numbers on two separate tickets why he did it? Personally, I think he's got close to two million reasons why he did it.

Gamble much Yoho, do you? I didnt think so.

About playing the lottery -- You will lose more than you win. Until you hit a jackpot. Then everything changes!

Toronto Canada Member #138397 January 26, 2013 179 Posts Offline

Posted: January 28, 2013, 8:35 pm - IP Logged

Quote: Originally posted by GiveFive on January 28, 2013

1. Don't buy the same ticket more than once. I don't understand why anyone would buy the same ticket twice, lol.

Yoho, you dont understand why anyone would buy the same ticket twice?

Here's a reason why someone would buy the same ticket twice. (Or play the same set of numbers on one ticket twice)

Last week in Suffern NY, someone bought the same set of numbers in NY's Sweet Million game at two different convenience stores. Sweet Million isn't pari-mutuel, if three people have the same set of JP winning numbers, then they each win 1 million dollars.

Why dont you ask the guy who won two million dollars by buying the same set of numbers on two separate tickets why he did it? Personally, I think he's got close to two million reasons why he did it.

Gamble much Yoho, do you? I didnt think so.

No, I don't gamble at all, except for the occasional lotto ticket.

When I wrote this, I was only thinking of lottos where the jackpots are shared. If they are not, then it's kind of no different from buying in different lotteries

at the same time. In this case, sure, it makes more sense. I personally wouldn't do it, but it does make more sense.

Whether someone won with this method is completely offtopic. Of course someone's gotta win... It's simple statistics. But winning doesn't imply that it

was a good bet to make... If someone stole 500 million from a bank and got away with it (theoretically, I'm not saying it's realistic) would that make it

a better method of getting rich? No! Giving a single example of a person winning once does not show anything, why can't you guys understand that?

You people are making false assumptions based on your own delusional views of how I think without actually reading what I'm saying. You're making

false accusations I specifically denied, yet you're making the same false accusations again and again.

If you hate me so much, stop posting spam in my thread. If you're not even going to read my posts, then why bother?

New Hampshire United States Member #136492 December 12, 2012 325 Posts Offline

Posted: January 28, 2013, 8:38 pm - IP Logged

GF, Sweet Millions is a pari-mutual game. The maximum top prize payout is $5 million, so once 6 or more ppl win the top prize it goes pari-mutual. According to the NY Lotto website the lower level prizes are also subject to these conditions but it doesn't say at what level of winning tickets that this would kick in.

NY State United States Member #92609 June 10, 2010 3813 Posts Offline

Posted: January 28, 2013, 8:56 pm - IP Logged

Quote: Originally posted by msharkey2001 on January 28, 2013

GF, Sweet Millions is a pari-mutual game. The maximum top prize payout is $5 million, so once 6 or more ppl win the top prize it goes pari-mutual. According to the NY Lotto website the lower level prizes are also subject to these conditions but it doesn't say at what level of winning tickets that this would kick in.

You're quite correct Msharkey!

I didnt get into the details about SM being pari-mutuel if there is more than 5 JP winners because quite franlky there is hardly ever even 1 Sweet Million JP winner! The game has, according to The NYS Lottery "a coverage problem". The fact that there were two JP winners last week was big news among NY Lottery Sweet Million players. The two stores where the tickets were purchased are a block apart on the same street in The Village of Suffern. I've played the same line twice on one ticket on more than one occasion, but I havent won much by doing it. But if I happen to get three numbers, I win 6 bucks as opposed to three, which makes it worth it.

I would imagine the lower tier prizes go pari-mutuel at a much higher number than for the JP.

About playing the lottery -- You will lose more than you win. Until you hit a jackpot. Then everything changes!

New Hampshire United States Member #136492 December 12, 2012 325 Posts Offline

Posted: January 28, 2013, 9:00 pm - IP Logged

Quote: Originally posted by yoho on January 28, 2013

No, I don't gamble at all, except for the occasional lotto ticket.

When I wrote this, I was only thinking of lottos where the jackpots are shared. If they are not, then it's kind of no different from buying in different lotteries

at the same time. In this case, sure, it makes more sense. I personally wouldn't do it, but it does make more sense.

Whether someone won with this method is completely offtopic. Of course someone's gotta win... It's simple statistics. But winning doesn't imply that it

was a good bet to make... If someone stole 500 million from a bank and got away with it (theoretically, I'm not saying it's realistic) would that make it

a better method of getting rich? No! Giving a single example of a person winning once does not show anything, why can't you guys understand that?

You people are making false assumptions based on your own delusional views of how I think without actually reading what I'm saying. You're making

false accusations I specifically denied, yet you're making the same false accusations again and again.

If you hate me so much, stop posting spam in my thread. If you're not even going to read my posts, then why bother?

Yoho, speaking for myself I think hate is too strong a word. Disdain might be more appropriate. As a new member your coming in here and pointing out the "fallacies" of some of our ways of thinking comes across as disrespectful, just like the new guy in the workplace who starts pointing out problems there on his second day on the job. A lot of what you say has merit, however the delivery and timing of the message could have been better. As the saying goes respect is earned not just given.

Columbia, SC United States Member #135285 November 21, 2012 584 Posts Offline

Posted: January 29, 2013, 8:28 am - IP Logged

Quote: Originally posted by rdgrnr on January 28, 2013

Looks like a good adornment for my rock-hard, glistening, six-pack abs.

What is it?

Jimmy4164: "Initially, I felt this way too. However, I soon came to realize that there are only a few vocal obfuscators here. I call them the "squad" or the "cabal."

Making "The Squad" tshirts.........

"If you can DREAM it, you can DO it!"- Walt Disney

Dump Water Florida United States Member #380 June 5, 2002 3112 Posts Offline

Posted: January 29, 2013, 3:56 pm - IP Logged

Quote: Originally posted by yoho on January 28, 2013

Again, if you don't like my wording, I can't do anything about it. I clearly stated in my post that you CANNOT increase the overall chances. If you continue to choose

to purposely interpret my post in the wrong way, I cannot help you.

However, your third paragraph makes a point. I may not have been clear enough. For my first point, I meant you should not buy the same ticket more than once

in the SAME DRAW. Of course the chances of 4-13-21-35-43-47 has an equal chance of appearing in any draw. There's no difference in playing that every draw

than to play something different every draw. What IS different, however, is if you're buying the same ticket more than once for the same draw. Instead of increasing

your chances to win the jackpot, you're increasing the number of times you will win, if you win.

If you want to see math, then I'll show you some. Let's take a really simple lottery game, where there is only a jackpot and no other prizes, because that's what

most players are after and care about, and is what I addressed in my points. Let's say the goal is to hit 2 numbers, with replacement, from 1-10.

Now, Let's say you bought 10^2, or 100 tickets for the same draw, each one being different. You covered all the possibilities, so you have a 100% chance of winning

the jackpot.

Now suppose you bought 2 tickets per draw for 50 draws. You're still buying 100 tickets in total, but clearly there's a chance you might not win the jackpot at all.

But to compensate, you might win the jackpot twice, or 3 times or 50 times.

Now suppose again, that you bought 100 tickets for the same draw, but you bought the SAME numbers 100 times. The odds of you winning are still 1%. It's just

that if you win, you win with all 100 tickets.

Make sense?

My claim was that if you disregard winning the jackpot many times, i.e treat it the same way as winning once, then buying different tickets for the same time

increases your odds of winning the jackpot.

Put mathematically, if your odds of winning the jackpot with a single ticket is 1/x, then:

Odds of winning once or more with y unique tickets for a single draw is:

y/x

Odds of winning once or more with y tickets but only y - z unique tickets for a single draw is:

(y - z)/x

Odds of winning once or more with 1 ticket for y draws would be:

(1)1/x +

(1 - 1/x)(1/x) + <--- this is because 1/x of the time, the condition has already been satisfied, so you only look at the remaining cases.

(1 - 1/x - (1 - 1/x)(1/x))(1/x) + <--- again, the condition has been satisfied by some more cases so you only look at the remaining ones.

^--- each time you have to subtract the cases that satisfies the condition from above and multiply by (1/x), which is the chance of winning in that draw

So, if you call each of these cases C_{y} where C_{y } denotes the probability of having won the jackpot for the first time at draw y, then the total probability comes to

Since C_{y } > 0 for all y > 0, (y - (y - 1)C_{1} - ... - C_{y-1}) < y.

Thus (y - (y - 1)C_{1} - ... - C_{y-1})/x < y/x, as is the desired result.

Also, (y - z)/x < y/x when z > 0, i.e there are duplicate tickets.

If you have anymore concerns, feel free to ask. I'm sorry I didn't resort to name calling and insults, it's just not my style. If I realized I was wrong, as I often do,

I may be slightly embarassed but I will admit my error.

Edit: added cases for duplicate tickets

The odds may be the same for every combination, but not for every set of combinations.

To keep things simple consider the old New Jersey 6/48 game. Odds 1 in 12,271,512

If, instead of any 8 lines, what if we use ALL the numbers randomized among 8 lines?

As only 6 numbers are drawn, no more then 6 lines can contain all the winning numbers among them thus effectively changing the game size from 6/48 to 6/36. Odds of winning a jackpot drop from 1 in 12,272,512 to 1 in 1,947,972