|Posted: July 1, 2014, 3:21 pm - IP Logged|
My thoughts on buying by the roll:
It reduces variance. If the game were a profitable one, then reduced variance is exactly what you want.
Unfortunately, lottery games are far from profitable. So higher variance is really the only thing that can help you "profit."
Over the long run, it doesn't matter much whether you buy 1 ticket 100 times or a roll of 100 tickets because the expected values will converge. You will just reach the expected value faster by buying the roll. The benefit of buying 1 at a time is that you could win and stop, whereas with a whole roll you have to stick with it from start to finish, wins and losses. You guarantee wins (in states where applicable), but you also guarantee losses. On the other hand, with one at a time you have no guarantees. You could lose 100 times, or hit a million on the second ticket. This method is really only useful if you never plan to buy another ticket though, because the stop/start strategy is actually a fallacy (common in casinos, where people play until they're "up" then leave and come back the next day).
Personally, I buy in bulk but have not ventured towards entire rolls. I buy in bulk because of probability. On a single roll, the more tickets you buy the higher chance of a win, again applicable to states that mandate minimum winners. Same reason it is better to buy 10 tickets for 1 draw instead of 1 ticket for 10 draws (not talking EV here, but probability of winning).
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