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# How Much Money Do You Spend Playing the Lottery in a Week?

Topic closed. 38 replies. Last post 3 years ago by psykomo.

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United States
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June 2, 2012
5431 Posts
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 Posted: February 8, 2014, 12:24 am - IP Logged

Sounds like you are the one misunderstanding.

For a player, it doesn't matter that the prospect of realizing the payoff is non-existent. If they are going to play in a negative situation, the most logical option other than not playing is playing in the least negative situation. Hence playing during higher payoff situations.

I could also go into the maths of expectation values and variances and such, but I won't bore you with that.

As far as being happy winning \$30 million, sure I would. Just not on PB or MM, where that size prize does not justify the odds. My state lottery, absolutely.

If they are going to play in a negative situation, the most logical option other than not playing is playing in the least negative situation. Hence playing during higher payoff situations.

This confirms to me you don't get it.

When you use the phrase "Least negative situation", a red flag goes shows up. You're basically saying that the least negative situation somehow gives you some kind of an edge, but it in reality, it doesn't in anyway or fashion.

Happyland
United States
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September 1, 2013
1139 Posts
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 Posted: February 8, 2014, 12:45 am - IP Logged

I have not used the term or implied the use of an "edge." I used the term negative situation, which is completely opposite of an edge, a positive situation. Least negative is better than worst negative, and this can actually be proven mathematically. For simplicity, excluding taxes and ticket cost:

• Odds of 1 in 25,000,000 with Jackpot of \$12,500,000 has an expected value of \$0.50
• Odds of 1 in 25,000,000 with Jackpot of \$25,000,000 has an expected value of \$1.00

It doesn't matter that your chances of realizing the payout are astronomical. It is still logically (and mathematically) better to play the higher jackpot.

It may be difficult to see how this would affect the result, but it does. I mentioned earlier that I had about \$800 in wagers last year but only \$18 in winnings from draw tickets. The other ~\$500 in winnings came from scratch-offs. Yet I purchased 3 times more draw tickets than scratch-off tickets. So how did I do so much better on so fewer tickets? It wasn't one or two big wins on scratch-offs. It was all about mathematical expectation.

If the chances of winning the jackpot are so slim, why play when the jackpot is so small? Your chances never change, but the potential payoff does.
If a crystal ball showed you the future of the rest of your life, and in that future you will never win a jackpot, would you still play?

2017: 0% (0 tickets)
P&L % = Total Win(\$)/Total Wager(\$) - 1

United States
Member #93947
July 10, 2010
2180 Posts
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 Posted: February 8, 2014, 1:22 am - IP Logged

I have not used the term or implied the use of an "edge." I used the term negative situation, which is completely opposite of an edge, a positive situation. Least negative is better than worst negative, and this can actually be proven mathematically. For simplicity, excluding taxes and ticket cost:

• Odds of 1 in 25,000,000 with Jackpot of \$12,500,000 has an expected value of \$0.50
• Odds of 1 in 25,000,000 with Jackpot of \$25,000,000 has an expected value of \$1.00

It doesn't matter that your chances of realizing the payout are astronomical. It is still logically (and mathematically) better to play the higher jackpot.

It may be difficult to see how this would affect the result, but it does. I mentioned earlier that I had about \$800 in wagers last year but only \$18 in winnings from draw tickets. The other ~\$500 in winnings came from scratch-offs. Yet I purchased 3 times more draw tickets than scratch-off tickets. So how did I do so much better on so fewer tickets? It wasn't one or two big wins on scratch-offs. It was all about mathematical expectation.

Your analysis would only be correct if every jackpot winner received the full amount, \$12.5M or \$25M in your example.  But they don't.  You must notice that the higher the jackpots get, the more ticket sales increase, and more winners tend to share the pot.

Happyland
United States
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September 1, 2013
1139 Posts
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 Posted: February 8, 2014, 1:33 am - IP Logged

Your analysis would only be correct if every jackpot winner received the full amount, \$12.5M or \$25M in your example.  But they don't.  You must notice that the higher the jackpots get, the more ticket sales increase, and more winners tend to share the pot.

You're absolutely right Jimmy. I was just using a simple example.

The true expected value of any given pari-mutuel jackpot depends on the number of tickets sold. You can use either the Poisson or Binomial formula and basically just multiply the prize by the probability of only 1 winner. For example, with odds of 1 in 25,000,000 and jackpot of \$25,000,000 and sales of 5,000,000 tickets, the expected value is \$22,658,656 which comes out to about 91 cents (again, taxes not figured).

It is important to point out though, that even with higher sales, the higher jackpot will still always be better. Higher sales only affect the rate of increase in the expected value. The reason that this holds true is because higher sales inherently lead to a higher jackpot. In other words, while one roll may improve the expectation by 20 cents, the next roll may only improve it by 15 cents. But the next roll will still carry a higher overall expectation.

Continuing my example above:

Roll 1 - Jackpot \$25,000,000 - Sales 5,000,000 - Expected \$22,658,656

Roll 2 - Jackpot \$27,500,000 (half of sales) - Sales 10,000,000 - Expected \$22,665,497

Even with only half of sales contributing to the next jackpot and double sales on the next roll, the expectation is still higher.

Something else that can affect expectations but can't really be quantified without internal lottery data: conscious selection bias. You may only have sales of 1,000,000 but if those people are playing a pattern that comes up then you will have excessive winners versus the expected number.

If the chances of winning the jackpot are so slim, why play when the jackpot is so small? Your chances never change, but the potential payoff does.
If a crystal ball showed you the future of the rest of your life, and in that future you will never win a jackpot, would you still play?

2017: 0% (0 tickets)
P&L % = Total Win(\$)/Total Wager(\$) - 1

New York,
Panama
Member #73078
April 4, 2009
3490 Posts
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 Posted: February 8, 2014, 4:19 am - IP Logged

Since the question is how much do I spend playing the Lottery a week?

Answer: too Much,  but I am a Player and a "Digit Investor.... Yep, I invest in my Digits["

Now, does it count??

*Jr\$ina

Columbus, Ohio
United States
Member #128906
June 5, 2012
599 Posts
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 Posted: February 8, 2014, 7:06 am - IP Logged

Between \$20-\$26 a week

Los Angeles, California
United States
Member #103813
January 5, 2011
1530 Posts
Offline
 Posted: February 8, 2014, 10:37 am - IP Logged

You're absolutely right Jimmy. I was just using a simple example.

The true expected value of any given pari-mutuel jackpot depends on the number of tickets sold. You can use either the Poisson or Binomial formula and basically just multiply the prize by the probability of only 1 winner. For example, with odds of 1 in 25,000,000 and jackpot of \$25,000,000 and sales of 5,000,000 tickets, the expected value is \$22,658,656 which comes out to about 91 cents (again, taxes not figured).

It is important to point out though, that even with higher sales, the higher jackpot will still always be better. Higher sales only affect the rate of increase in the expected value. The reason that this holds true is because higher sales inherently lead to a higher jackpot. In other words, while one roll may improve the expectation by 20 cents, the next roll may only improve it by 15 cents. But the next roll will still carry a higher overall expectation.

Continuing my example above:

Roll 1 - Jackpot \$25,000,000 - Sales 5,000,000 - Expected \$22,658,656

Roll 2 - Jackpot \$27,500,000 (half of sales) - Sales 10,000,000 - Expected \$22,665,497

Even with only half of sales contributing to the next jackpot and double sales on the next roll, the expectation is still higher.

Something else that can affect expectations but can't really be quantified without internal lottery data: conscious selection bias. You may only have sales of 1,000,000 but if those people are playing a pattern that comes up then you will have excessive winners versus the expected number.

Oh LottoMetro, reading your post, I am reminded of some famous words by Macbeth:

It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

Once again, you hijack a discussion and take it off topic with some meaningless unrequested mathematical gobbeldygook.

Your reasoning is fundamentally flawed. And the discussion of Expected Value (EV) with respect to Jackpot lottery games is a fool's errand. It is a misapplication of the term. Even your simplistic example is using garbage numbers.

Onlymoney and Jimmy are both right.

It is foolish and misleading to imply that that people should play PB/MM when there is positive EV for that draw. That's no better than people who play when the JP is high just because of the excitement. You are not superior to them just because you can attach some meaningless numbers to it.

TX
United States
Member #121193
January 4, 2012
1638 Posts
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 Posted: February 8, 2014, 11:18 am - IP Logged

Per week ???....Well...Let's seeeeeeeeeeeeeee   <tapping head like Winnie the Pooh>

5 goes into the 3.....times the square root of the pythagorean theorem which is cubed on Wednesday and Friday...carry the 4....<erasing the 6 because its supposed to be an 8>......OKAY, I have it

\$9.00

Unless its a 13/16's moon, during a leap year...Then it goes to \$11.00..but only on alternative weeks based on my dreams, as a result of being abducted by aliens, about Nancy Pelosi getting divorced to marry Rush Limbaugh.

Stay Positive, Believe and good things will come your way

Happyland
United States
Member #146344
September 1, 2013
1139 Posts
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 Posted: February 8, 2014, 11:26 am - IP Logged

Oh LottoMetro, reading your post, I am reminded of some famous words by Macbeth:

It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

Once again, you hijack a discussion and take it off topic with some meaningless unrequested mathematical gobbeldygook.

Your reasoning is fundamentally flawed. And the discussion of Expected Value (EV) with respect to Jackpot lottery games is a fool's errand. It is a misapplication of the term. Even your simplistic example is using garbage numbers.

Onlymoney and Jimmy are both right.

It is foolish and misleading to imply that that people should play PB/MM when there is positive EV for that draw. That's no better than people who play when the JP is high just because of the excitement. You are not superior to them just because you can attach some meaningless numbers to it.

onlymoney made it out like there was something I didn't get. So I responded with logic and math. Jimmy pointed out something very important, which I followed up on with math for those on the forum who may not know what he was talking about. I didn't intend to take the thread off track, but if it is against the rules to clarify my posts or provide deeper explanations, then be my guest and complain.

You claim I use garbage numbers or misapply terms, but apparently you know nothing about statistics. The numbers I provided and their method of calculation, particular those about the expectation with consideration for tickets purchased, were 100% accurate and fully applicable to the topic at hand. If you disagree contact your local statistician and ask his opinion (I know you won't do that since you're too high and mighty).

Like I said to onlymoney, it does not matter that the prospects of realizing the expected value are slim to null. It would be misleading to say this gives a person an edge, which is specifically why I used the term least negative. I am fully aware that the variance of these games (want me to calculate that too?) make it so that the time to realizing the EV is too long to bother. But it is still least negative and thus better to play in more positive expected value situations. I don't think being better educated or playing in better payoff scenarios make someone superior, just smarter.

If people won't take the lottery seriously they cannot expect to win. Using statistics I have been able to reduce my losses and actually average better than random. How is what I'm doing any worse than those who believe that some sort of magical pattern will manifest themselves in the numbers? I could start a whole new thread on that and prove statistically that almost every lottery drawing in this country is 100% random. But, let's not get further off topic here.

If the chances of winning the jackpot are so slim, why play when the jackpot is so small? Your chances never change, but the potential payoff does.
If a crystal ball showed you the future of the rest of your life, and in that future you will never win a jackpot, would you still play?

2017: 0% (0 tickets)
P&L % = Total Win(\$)/Total Wager(\$) - 1

Texas
United States
Member #86154
January 30, 2010
1683 Posts
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 Posted: February 8, 2014, 11:30 am - IP Logged

I really enjoy reading all the responses relating to when folks think it's 'the best' time to play on a JP game. Every one of them seems to care less about playing when it's 'not worth it'...just \$20-\$30M to win. But, here most people are hovering around what...a \$30K - \$40K salary (+-)? We have loans out, bills, misc. debts, mortgages, etc. and not quite living paycheck to paycheck but, one major boo-boo, and that's it. Yet, they still have the audacity to consider even \$10M not worth playing for.

Guess what? When there was no Powerball or MM's, they only had their 'regular' state lotteries to play which never came anywhere near the highs seen with MM's and PB. They were TICKLED TO DEATH for a chance to win that \$15-\$20M then. Now, it's just not enough money involved for them the bother with when the MM's and PB are just 'so darned low'. This is a great place to study peoples' trains of thought process. It's very revealing.

L.L.

Small games, frequent wins, and regular payouts 'cause.....

There are seven days in the week...'Someday' isn't one of them.

#lotto-4-a-living

Los Angeles, California
United States
Member #103813
January 5, 2011
1530 Posts
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 Posted: February 8, 2014, 11:41 am - IP Logged

onlymoney made it out like there was something I didn't get. So I responded with logic and math. Jimmy pointed out something very important, which I followed up on with math for those on the forum who may not know what he was talking about. I didn't intend to take the thread off track, but if it is against the rules to clarify my posts or provide deeper explanations, then be my guest and complain.

You claim I use garbage numbers or misapply terms, but apparently you know nothing about statistics. The numbers I provided and their method of calculation, particular those about the expectation with consideration for tickets purchased, were 100% accurate and fully applicable to the topic at hand. If you disagree contact your local statistician and ask his opinion (I know you won't do that since you're too high and mighty).

Like I said to onlymoney, it does not matter that the prospects of realizing the expected value are slim to null. It would be misleading to say this gives a person an edge, which is specifically why I used the term least negative. I am fully aware that the variance of these games (want me to calculate that too?) make it so that the time to realizing the EV is too long to bother. But it is still least negative and thus better to play in more positive expected value situations. I don't think being better educated or playing in better payoff scenarios make someone superior, just smarter.

If people won't take the lottery seriously they cannot expect to win. Using statistics I have been able to reduce my losses and actually average better than random. How is what I'm doing any worse than those who believe that some sort of magical pattern will manifest themselves in the numbers? I could start a whole new thread on that and prove statistically that almost every lottery drawing in this country is 100% random. But, let's not get further off topic here.

I see that you still don't understand the fundamental flaw in your argument. You're too caught up in stroking your own ego, I get it LottoMetro. That's what you do!

You are referring to the EV of a jackpot lottery game, when in actuality you are talking about the single draw payout assuming all combinations purchased. EV is the average of a random variable over a long period of time or infinity. That's not what you are calculating.

I notice you even mention this yourself, but it yet it still failed to click:

...the time to realizing the EV is too long to bother.

Yep, you said it right there. EV is the long term average. Not a single draw hypothetical payout calculation which is fraught with error.

Now go back to school little man and discuss this with your statistics professor.

Los Angeles, California
United States
Member #103813
January 5, 2011
1530 Posts
Offline
 Posted: February 8, 2014, 11:42 am - IP Logged

I really enjoy reading all the responses relating to when folks think it's 'the best' time to play on a JP game. Every one of them seems to care less about playing when it's 'not worth it'...just \$20-\$30M to win. But, here most people are hovering around what...a \$30K - \$40K salary (+-)? We have loans out, bills, misc. debts, mortgages, etc. and not quite living paycheck to paycheck but, one major boo-boo, and that's it. Yet, they still have the audacity to consider even \$10M not worth playing for.

Guess what? When there was no Powerball or MM's, they only had their 'regular' state lotteries to play which never came anywhere near the highs seen with MM's and PB. They were TICKLED TO DEATH for a chance to win that \$15-\$20M then. Now, it's just not enough money involved for them the bother with when the MM's and PB are just 'so darned low'. This is a great place to study peoples' trains of thought process. It's very revealing.

L.L.

It tells a lot about the character (or lack thereof) of a person.

Happyland
United States
Member #146344
September 1, 2013
1139 Posts
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 Posted: February 8, 2014, 12:10 pm - IP Logged

I see that you still don't understand the fundamental flaw in your argument. You're too caught up in stroking your own ego, I get it LottoMetro. That's what you do!

You are referring to the EV of a jackpot lottery game, when in actuality you are talking about the single draw payout assuming all combinations purchased. EV is the average of a random variable over a long period of time or infinity. That's not what you are calculating.

I notice you even mention this yourself, but it yet it still failed to click:

...the time to realizing the EV is too long to bother.

Yep, you said it right there. EV is the long term average. Not a single draw hypothetical payout calculation which is fraught with error.

Now go back to school little man and discuss this with your statistics professor.

JonD, have you actually ever taken statistics, or do you just use Wikipedia as your trusted source? There is the temptation for me to quit responding to your idiotic posts, but I trudge on, hoping one day that you will get your head out of lala-land.

I am not talking about a single draw payout- that would be inaccurate. Using the example I posted, if someone won the jackpot they wouldn't get \$22,658,656 or whatever...they would get the whole amount. I know what EV is and exactly how to calculate it, what it can and cannot be used for.

The term "long-term average" is deceptive in itself, as this varies game to game. Depending on the game's variance, it's "long-term" may not be so long at all. If you apply the analysis to one game, you must apply it to them all. I think that's where you are missing the point. No matter how meaningless this seems, it's still the way of the stats. This is what I do and it works.

Reiterating what I said earlier, people poke fun at those who only play during high jackpots, but how is this any worse than being convinced your method of picking numbers will help you win? I can prove mathematically that my way is least negative, but you cannot prove mathematically that your number-picking is superior (at least, I haven't seen anyone perform within statistical significance). I can also prove mathematically that it is better to play in 1 draw versus multiple, yet people are convinced that is the worst way to play. There are opinions and then there are facts. I try to play the lottery with facts....not necessarily because it will give me an edge, but just because it is the most optimal way to play such a bad bet.

Prove me wrong, using mathematics, and I'll concede my point.

If the chances of winning the jackpot are so slim, why play when the jackpot is so small? Your chances never change, but the potential payoff does.
If a crystal ball showed you the future of the rest of your life, and in that future you will never win a jackpot, would you still play?

2017: 0% (0 tickets)
P&L % = Total Win(\$)/Total Wager(\$) - 1

United States
Member #93947
July 10, 2010
2180 Posts
Offline
 Posted: February 8, 2014, 3:23 pm - IP Logged

You're absolutely right Jimmy. I was just using a simple example.

The true expected value of any given pari-mutuel jackpot depends on the number of tickets sold. You can use either the Poisson or Binomial formula and basically just multiply the prize by the probability of only 1 winner. For example, with odds of 1 in 25,000,000 and jackpot of \$25,000,000 and sales of 5,000,000 tickets, the expected value is \$22,658,656 which comes out to about 91 cents (again, taxes not figured).

It is important to point out though, that even with higher sales, the higher jackpot will still always be better. Higher sales only affect the rate of increase in the expected value. The reason that this holds true is because higher sales inherently lead to a higher jackpot. In other words, while one roll may improve the expectation by 20 cents, the next roll may only improve it by 15 cents. But the next roll will still carry a higher overall expectation.

Continuing my example above:

Roll 1 - Jackpot \$25,000,000 - Sales 5,000,000 - Expected \$22,658,656

Roll 2 - Jackpot \$27,500,000 (half of sales) - Sales 10,000,000 - Expected \$22,665,497

Even with only half of sales contributing to the next jackpot and double sales on the next roll, the expectation is still higher.

Something else that can affect expectations but can't really be quantified without internal lottery data: conscious selection bias. You may only have sales of 1,000,000 but if those people are playing a pattern that comes up then you will have excessive winners versus the expected number.

Nice explanation LottoMetro.  Here's a youtube video that gets at this indirectly.  Be sure sure to watch to the end for the lottery example.

--Jimmy4164

nj
United States
Member #145657
August 10, 2013
1013 Posts
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 Posted: February 8, 2014, 3:27 pm - IP Logged

about 10-30% from the previous week winnings;so this only works if you are a good player like me.

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