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Powerball Odds and Buying Lots of Tickets Often Doesn't Pay.

Topic closed. 16 replies. Last post 11 months ago by wander73.

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Wyomissing, PA
United States
Member #161050
November 15, 2014
301 Posts
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Posted: January 8, 2016, 8:20 pm - IP Logged

The odds for PA Pick-2 is 1 in 100, and it's a struggle to win $50 on that. Powerball at 1 in ~292 million is ~2.9 million times more difficult.

To put it another way, the entire population of California (~39 million) could each buy a ticket, and yet still only a 1 in 7 chance of hitting the jackpot.

While such a large purchase would likely yield some 2nd and 3rd tier winners, a smaller sub-set may not. I regularly check PA Lottery detailed results for Powerball, and there are drawings in which the top base prize (without Powerplay) won in all of Pennsylvania is $100. For the entire state! And I'm not talking right after reset either. Even for super large jackpots. PA Lottery payout detail for Dec-26th when the advertised jackpot was $255 million - http://www.palottery.state.pa.us/Payouts.aspx?id=54573

12/26/15
Winning Numbers: 27  40  44  59  65
Powerball: 20  Power Play: 02

0 PA winners, jackpot rolls to $300,000,000.00
0 PA players matched 5 of 5, each receiving $1,000,000.00
0 PA players matched 4 of 5 and the Powerball, each receiving $50,000.00
22 PA players matched 4 of 5, each receiving $100.00
90 PA players matched 3 of 5 and the Powerball, each receiving $100.00
1,886 PA players matched 3 of 5, each receiving $7.00
1,658 PA players matched 2 of 5 and the Powerball, each receiving $7.00
12,569 PA players matched 1 of 5 and the Powerball, each receiving $4.00
31,705 PA players matched the Powerball, each receiving $4.00

Power Play:
0 PA players matched 5 of 5 and purchased Power Play, each receiving $2,000,000.00
0 PA players matched 4 of 5, the Powerball, and purchased Power Play, each receiving $100,000.00
5 PA players matched 4 of 5 and purchased Power Play, each receiving $200.00
22 PA players matched 3 of 5, the Powerball, and purchased Power Play, each receiving $200.00
502 PA players matched 3 of 5, and purchased Power Play, each receiving $14.00
392 PA players matched 2 of 5, the Powerball, and purchased Power Play, each receiving $14.00
3,185 PA players matched 1 of 5, the Powerball, and purchased Power Play, each receiving $8.00
8,185 PA players matched the Powerball and purchased Power Play, each receiving $8.00

So while it's worth being in the game, buying a million tickets (likely more than that sold for Dec-26 drawing in PA with no 2nd nor 3rd tier PA winners) or just one ticket makes relatively little difference given the insane odds of the game. Even hitting the 2nd tier prize is insanely difficult, since the matrix change. In short, don't bet the ranch on it. There are better ways to wager heavy - payout won't be record-breaking, but neither will the losses.

    ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
    Idaho
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    November 21, 2007
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    Posted: January 8, 2016, 8:49 pm - IP Logged

    I know part of me sees people spending $500, $1,000 or more and I kind of wish I had the money to do that LOL but then I realize in the end even that amount of won't make a dent in the odds so I feel ok with only buying a few tickets.

    "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

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      Arizona
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      Member #165073
      March 24, 2015
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      Posted: January 8, 2016, 9:01 pm - IP Logged

      My favorite statistic for lottery probability is this:

      You're about as likely to win PB or MM as you are to be struck by lightning before the drawing.

        Luminus's avatar - ouskuu

        United States
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        April 3, 2007
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        Posted: January 9, 2016, 3:17 am - IP Logged

        I know part of me sees people spending $500, $1,000 or more and I kind of wish I had the money to do that LOL but then I realize in the end even that amount of won't make a dent in the odds so I feel ok with only buying a few tickets.

        You're right.  It won't.  Even with 640,000 tries, I still failed to get 5/5.  (Each game was $800.  So 800x800 = 640,000.  No real money was spent.)  Just buy 1 ticket, if you're going to play with all of the balls.

          BuyLow's avatar - palm tree.jpg
          Florida
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          May 22, 2008
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          Posted: January 9, 2016, 2:15 pm - IP Logged

          My favorite statistic for lottery probability is this:

          You're about as likely to win PB or MM as you are to be struck by lightning before the drawing.

          Sorry.  Todd's quote is closer to the truth about odds. "Northrop compared the likelihood of winning the Mega Millions jackpot to "being struck by lightning at the same time as being eaten by a shark."

           

          Story here:  https://www.lotterypost.com/news/282678

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            March 12, 2015
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            Posted: January 9, 2016, 2:48 pm - IP Logged

            I bought 8 tickets. Too many?  Jester

             

            I try to find out how many tickets winners buy. Though strictly anecdotal, they appear to buy 5 - 10 lines.  So, yeah, if your number comes up, your number comes up.

              RL-RANDOMLOGIC's avatar - usafce

              United States
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              March 13, 2008
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              Posted: January 9, 2016, 3:09 pm - IP Logged

              I purchased 2 self pick lines, I don't have any better odds of winning then anyone else but part of the fun

              is picking my own numbers.  Playing more tickets does offer better odds but better in this case, does not

              amount to much.  You could spend $200,000,000.00 for 100,000,000 tickets and still have around a 1 in 3

              chance of winning.  Entertainment only, it's kind of exciting to think you might be the one and I hope my line

              beats the wife's.

              RL

              Working on my Ph.D.  "University of hard Knocks"

              I will consider the opinion that my winnings are a product of chance if you are willing to consider

              they are not.  Many great discoveries come while searching for something else

              USAF https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_Base_Engineer_Emergency_Force

                US Flag Trump / 2016 & 2020  

                Romancandle's avatar - moon
                Upacreek
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                Posted: January 9, 2016, 3:50 pm - IP Logged

                Sorry.  Todd's quote is closer to the truth about odds. "Northrop compared the likelihood of winning the Mega Millions jackpot to "being struck by lightning at the same time as being eaten by a shark."

                 

                Story here:  https://www.lotterypost.com/news/282678

                Well then... "here's to swimmin with bowlegged women" (in a thunderstorm) LOL

                Cheers to whomever hits it tonight

                -RC

                  psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

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                  Posted: January 9, 2016, 3:54 pm - IP Logged

                  This powerball jackpot caught me by surprise cause don't pay alotta attention to POWERBALL anymore. WHY

                  we all of a sudden get a BILLION $$$ JACKPOT "now" and got all those "crapy" pots right after they DID

                  change the MATRIX and payout tier, "IT just don't COMPUTE to ME"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                  Yes, they looked like Mega Million jackpots for a long spell BUT, there POWERBALL  pots  were getting hit about the same as MEGA MILLION wons over and over again and again with low jackpots and HIGHER odds. 

                  People are spending $200 and more like CRAZY and Psyko was told at one place they had a customer returning

                  over and over buying 50 tickets each time? GO get that BILLION $$$ all you LOTTERY POST member'$$$ !

                    LiveInGreenBay's avatar - driver
                    Green Bay
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                    Posted: January 9, 2016, 4:26 pm - IP Logged

                    Is it possible to have 10,000 winning tickets?  Yes it is, not likely though.  Think of it, each winner would receive 80 thousand.  LOL!

                    Never give up.  Banana

                      music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
                      Happy California
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                      August 2, 2014
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                      Posted: January 9, 2016, 5:21 pm - IP Logged

                       This Power Ball is an equal opportunity chance of winning or losing. The odds do not improve that much with thousands of dollars bet by one person.

                       I will not enjoy hearing,"This is the first time I played". But it is possible.

                       I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

                       Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

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                        Kentucky
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                        Posted: January 9, 2016, 6:46 pm - IP Logged

                        I know part of me sees people spending $500, $1,000 or more and I kind of wish I had the money to do that LOL but then I realize in the end even that amount of won't make a dent in the odds so I feel ok with only buying a few tickets.

                        With overall odds of 1:24.8671 and at $2 a ticket, players need to spend $50 just to expect to win something. If they want to spend that much, they could add another $10 and use each of the 75 numbers twice and each bonus number once.

                        Unless a player buys multiple tickets with the same five numbers and the same bonus number, only one ticket can win the jackpot regardless if a player buys 500 tickets or 2.

                        Good Luck!

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                          Arizona
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                          Posted: January 9, 2016, 7:25 pm - IP Logged

                          Sorry.  Todd's quote is closer to the truth about odds. "Northrop compared the likelihood of winning the Mega Millions jackpot to "being struck by lightning at the same time as being eaten by a shark."

                           

                          Story here:  https://www.lotterypost.com/news/282678

                          Nope. Let's look at the actual numbers.

                          Probability of being struck by lightning in a given year: about 1 in a million.

                          Probability of being struck by lightning on a given day: about 1 in 365 million.

                          Probability of being struck by lightning in a two-day period: about 1 in 182 million.

                          Probability of winning PB: 1 in 292 million.

                          Probability of winning MM:1 in 259 million.

                          Given that most people buy their tickets in the day or two before the drawing, their odds of winning are very close to their odds of being struck by lightning before the drawing.

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                            New Member

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                            Posted: January 9, 2016, 7:35 pm - IP Logged

                            Nope. Let's look at the actual numbers.

                            Probability of being struck by lightning in a given year: about 1 in a million.

                            Probability of being struck by lightning on a given day: about 1 in 365 million.

                            Probability of being struck by lightning in a two-day period: about 1 in 182 million.

                            Probability of winning PB: 1 in 292 million.

                            Probability of winning MM:1 in 259 million.

                            Given that most people buy their tickets in the day or two before the drawing, their odds of winning are very close to their odds of being struck by lightning before the drawing.

                            So what's the point of these stats...

                             

                            odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime is 1 in 3000 [National Geographic]. If your going to get struck by lightning might as well do it in style with $400 Mill

                              Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                              Chief Bottle Washer
                              New Jersey
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                              Posted: January 9, 2016, 7:38 pm - IP Logged

                              <Moved to Jackpot Games forum>

                              Please post in the appropriate forum ... thank you.