United States Member #164727 March 12, 2015 2672 Posts Offline

Posted: January 15, 2016, 11:05 pm - IP Logged

The last PB winning numbers were 4-8-19-27-34--10

I'll bet anyone who is willing any amount they choose, that this combination won't show again for many millions of simulations. Just like 1-2-3-4-5 and 6,

United States Member #167585 July 21, 2015 60 Posts Offline

Posted: January 15, 2016, 11:51 pm - IP Logged

I agree that a sequence like 1-2-3-4-5-6 will never be drawn. With math and probability you can prove that it would with say a random number generator. However, Powerball is a ball drawn game which doesn't follow the mathematics of a RNG. If you were to truly look at the possible combinations in Powerball you would have to study the machine that is used to draw them including the timing, the order the balls are dropped, and the behavior of how the balls are mixed. Trying to evaluate something with mathematics useful, but applying them to a ball drawn game is not the same. I'm betting depending on the timing, weighting, order, and physical function of how the machine operates over an infinite data set all combinations do not have the same probability at all. Hence you will see certain numbers that have a statistical advantage over others. So applying mathematics to this issue does not good, because it's apples and oranges. Just like in roulette the physical function over a roulette wheel will prove that there numbers that have a higher probability over others. The same goes for Powerball, so will it is possible for a 1-2-3-4-5-6 combination I would say the probability and odds are a lot worse based on the above. If you were to obtain a Powerball machine i think you could run enough simulations to get the possible combinations down to half given they don't change the order of how balls were dropped into the machine or the timing which I doubt they do.

United States Member #171734 January 11, 2016 127 Posts Offline

Posted: January 16, 2016, 8:54 am - IP Logged

Quote: Originally posted by Zebekyia on January 15, 2016

I agree that a sequence like 1-2-3-4-5-6 will never be drawn. With math and probability you can prove that it would with say a random number generator. However, Powerball is a ball drawn game which doesn't follow the mathematics of a RNG. If you were to truly look at the possible combinations in Powerball you would have to study the machine that is used to draw them including the timing, the order the balls are dropped, and the behavior of how the balls are mixed. Trying to evaluate something with mathematics useful, but applying them to a ball drawn game is not the same. I'm betting depending on the timing, weighting, order, and physical function of how the machine operates over an infinite data set all combinations do not have the same probability at all. Hence you will see certain numbers that have a statistical advantage over others. So applying mathematics to this issue does not good, because it's apples and oranges. Just like in roulette the physical function over a roulette wheel will prove that there numbers that have a higher probability over others. The same goes for Powerball, so will it is possible for a 1-2-3-4-5-6 combination I would say the probability and odds are a lot worse based on the above. If you were to obtain a Powerball machine i think you could run enough simulations to get the possible combinations down to half given they don't change the order of how balls were dropped into the machine or the timing which I doubt they do.

A sequence like 1-2-3-4-5-6 will likely never be drawn not because it is a sequential set of numbers but because ANY set of 6 powerball numbers will likely never be drawn.

A random number generator need not be based on "mathematics", ie a formula.

Roulette is a very random process and powerball has orders of magnitude more randomness to it that a single steel ball traveling around a rail on a rotating roulette wheel and no there is no proof that some numbers are more likely than others in roulette despite those who mistakenly try to read some meaning into the past results at a roulette table. You greatly misunderstand the variations that occur in the process of the Powerball picking and how futile it is to even think that using the very small number of games played to detect flaws in the process. Mathematics tells me that too.

Once a roulette ball has been put into motion there IS a mathematical way to determine with better than random chance what set of numbers the ball will end up in. Based on the wheel, the speed of the wheel and the speed of the ball it can be determined approximately at what point on the wheel the ball will fall off the rail. Roulette relies on the variability of the speed of the wheel, release speed and point of the ball AND bans the use of computing devices to determine the more likely sequence of numbers. It also allows players to bet after the three factors have been fixed. The bouncing of the ball on the diamonds and pocket separators are modest but effective randomizers IF the player doesn't have the advantage of a computer and camera to predict where the ball will fall off the rail.

Powerball is substantially different. It uses a shuffling mechanism to randomize the balls along with the variability of the pick time. So once the balls have been shuffling for a few seconds there is no similarity in position, rotational vectors or speeds of the balls. So even if you could take a snapshot of those parameters a few seconds in it would be of no value after a couple more seconds of motion. And Powerball doesn't let you sneak a peek at two seconds into the shuffle and then place a bet.

All of nature involves randomness, at the subatomic level quantum mechanics recognizes that the position of an electronic is only a probability function and quantum objects can pop in and out of existence randomly. Frequency of light is determined entirely by electronics that move from one orbit to another without bothering to actually be anywhere in between those two orbit. Mathematics describes that and mathematics says you can't predict better Powerball numbers either. You really can't.

Finally, since the house edge in Powerball is so enormous, finding a small variable to exploit, such as on ball being slightly smaller or heavier, cannot be used to your advantage. You'll continue to lose and lose a lot. It simply doesn't matter and mathematics tells us that the number of games and number of balls means it is IMPOSSIBLE to detect that advantage by analyzing past draws.

You throw a fair dice 6 billion times and you are almost certain to NOT get exactly 1 billion rolls with each of the 6 numbers showing. And that does not mean the dice are not fair. Powerball is like a 69 sided dice and 26 sided dice that get rolled 100 times a year. It would take tens of thousands of years to detect even a relatively substantial difference in one of the balls that gives it a picking advantage. And, as I said before, it would do you NO GOOD because the house edge is so enormous.

If I have some time I might just do a mathematical analysis that presumes a single ball, lucky #7, has a 10% higher probability of being picked than the other balls. That analysis would tell us how it would affect the house edge, your expected return and also how many draws would have to take place for you to determine to some degree of probability that there is in fact a higher probability of that ball.

United States Member #171734 January 11, 2016 127 Posts Offline

Posted: January 16, 2016, 9:15 am - IP Logged

Powerball also uses multiple picking machines and multiple sets of balls, chosen randomly prior to the game. So to compare with roulette, it is like watching the numbers from multiple roulette tables, not knowing what numbers come from which, and trying to determine some wheel bias based on that and then use that to be on a table that likely won't be the one with the bias.

United States Member #171734 January 11, 2016 127 Posts Offline

Posted: January 16, 2016, 9:37 am - IP Logged

Now for something fun.

Since the new Powerball went into affect with only 26 balls there have been exactly 29 drawings.

If I told you that insiders have been cheating and have never used a ball number 26 and instead replaced it with a 2nd ball numbered 10 can you determine from the statistics of those 29 drawings that there is something anomalous with the 26 ball and the 10 ball?

Nope, even though the 10 ball has been picked 4 times and the 26 ball never that tells us exactly NOTHING when there have been only 29 draws.

During the 514 drawings between Nov 5, 1997 and Oct 5, 2002 the #20 ball was drawn over 4 times as often as the #41 ball, surely that is meaningful? Nope, far too few drawings of 42 balls to tell us anything meaningful. It would be like flipping a coin 10 times and when you get tails 8 out of 10 times declaring that there is something wrong with the coin. When you draw from 42 numbers 514 times it wouldn't be unusual that one number (you don't know which one) will be drawn 4 times as often as some other number (you don't know which one). Indeed it was on two consecutive draws that the least likely number was drawn followed by the most likely, does that have any significance? Nope, none at all.

If you did 10,000 draws THEN you would find such a spread highly unlikely. There would still be balls that were drawn numerically a lot more than other balls but the percentage differences would shrink. A the number of draws increased you would find each ball inexorably drawn toward 2.38% of the draws while the absolute difference in number of times the more frequently drawn ball vs the least frequently drawn ball would likely rise (and the most frequently drawn ball and least frequently drawn ball would likely change many times over that 10,000 draws).

Ontario Canada Member #137286 December 31, 2012 93 Posts Offline

Posted: January 16, 2016, 1:46 pm - IP Logged

A few years ago I had a program that a friend wrote for me to simulate 649 draws.

The program would generating about 60 million draws per hour, 1.5 billion draws per day.

I would select the combination and let the program run for a couple of days.

Didn't matter what combination I used (1 2 3 4 5 6, 2 4 6 8 10 12, 1 5 14 23 24 39) the results of how many times each combination would show up were always pretty much the same.

I'll check around and see if I still have the program on one of my old drives. If I do I'll post it so anyone who wants to can play around with it.

United States Member #35335 March 16, 2006 116 Posts Offline

Posted: January 18, 2016, 4:29 pm - IP Logged

Quote: Originally posted by BrunoDog4 on January 10, 2016

Is there any College to Contact that would run a non-stop Powerball Computer Simulation for say a year shooting out winning combinations every 10 seconds or so? The law of probability says all numbers have equal chance of winning. I say this is BS I maintain that if Powerball Lasted 1000 years you'd still never see a winner with 5 consecutive numbers in a row or even 6 numbers in a row ( i.e. Powerball __ 1,2,3,4,5 or Powerball __ 19,20,21,22,23 and so on or 1 Powerball 2,3,4,5,6 Yes Probability wise this can happen but the reality is it never has or won't. I know this sounds like nonsense but is it?

I don't know what a name for what I'm saying is called. I say the same in things like the JFK Assassination as what are the odds that The Magic Bullet Theory would happen in an Assassination Attempt meaning while the odds of the Magic Bullet Theory happening by itself are quite large, the odds of it happening during a Presidential Assassination, are astronomical.

Yeah your probably calling this stupid or idiotic so be it.

If you only played one number per draw for 292,201,338 draws, you are bound to hit at least once. Amiright?

Let's see, at 2 draws per week, that's 146,100,669 weeks of plays. Divide that by roughly 52.178 weeks a year is 2,800,013 years.

It only takes 2.8 million years. Easy peasy mac and cheesy.

Just saying the odds are astronomical.

Doesn't stop me from dropping a buck or two occasionally.

NY United States Member #23835 October 16, 2005 3502 Posts Offline

Posted: January 19, 2016, 1:23 am - IP Logged

Quote: Originally posted by BrunoDog4 on January 10, 2016

Is there any College to Contact that would run a non-stop Powerball Computer Simulation for say a year shooting out winning combinations every 10 seconds or so? The law of probability says all numbers have equal chance of winning. I say this is BS I maintain that if Powerball Lasted 1000 years you'd still never see a winner with 5 consecutive numbers in a row or even 6 numbers in a row ( i.e. Powerball __ 1,2,3,4,5 or Powerball __ 19,20,21,22,23 and so on or 1 Powerball 2,3,4,5,6 Yes Probability wise this can happen but the reality is it never has or won't. I know this sounds like nonsense but is it?

I don't know what a name for what I'm saying is called. I say the same in things like the JFK Assassination as what are the odds that The Magic Bullet Theory would happen in an Assassination Attempt meaning while the odds of the Magic Bullet Theory happening by itself are quite large, the odds of it happening during a Presidential Assassination, are astronomical.

Yeah your probably calling this stupid or idiotic so be it.

"Yeah your probably calling this stupid or idiotic so be it."

Of course we are. Especially since you said this:

"Yes Probability wise this can happen"

For any particular drawing there may be some very slight variation in how likely some combinations are. That's because there may be very minor differences in the weights of the balls, and the surfaces may have some minor variance in friction, but has absolutely nothing to do with the numbers on the balls. In the short term that's somewhat countered by having multiple sets of balls, and by cleaning each set of balls. If PB lasted for 1000 years those differences would probably become completely meaningless. In terms of random probability every combination has exactly the same chance of occurring. It's just like flipping a perfect coin, where both heads and tails have a 50.0000000000000000000000000000% chance of occurring when you flip it.

Then there's the fact that the drawing is determined by selecting balls, not numbers. The balls don't know they have numbers written on them. The mixing machine doesn't know. The air blowing through the machine doesn't know. Gravity doesn't know. And so on. In terms of the drawing process there's absolutely nothing special about any number or any sequence of numbers. Every single combination is just 5 or 6 balls that happen to be selected, and each one is exactly like the other. Just as as dddwww said, 1,2,3,4,5+6 is no different than the winning combination for the record jackpot drawing, except for the significance we apply to the numbers printed on the balls.

Then there's the limited sample you'd have by using only 1000 years of drawings. 1000 years is a long time for us, but not for probability using a set with 11,283,513 members. Even if you conducted 11,283,513 drawings you wouldn't have every possible combination drawn because you'd get a lot of repeats. If the results matched probability exactly you'd only draw 7,132,541 of the possible combinations. 4,150,972 of the drawings would be repeated combinations, and (wait for it ...) 4,150,972 combinations would not be drawn.

United States Member #172564 January 28, 2016 34 Posts Offline

Posted: February 3, 2016, 6:13 pm - IP Logged

Howdy RL,

Im a newbie to LP but really have enjoyed it not to mention learning lots already. I am curious why you think the balls are loaded premixed? I think that

the way they are counted and loaded are in numbered order. I googled a picture of a drawing and this is what I noticed. Its blurry but I believe i can see the numbers

15,16,17 loaded in the machine right before the 2016 record setting drawing. Not sure how much this helps but one would think it could account for the

Burlington, VT United States Member #173303 February 25, 2016 17 Posts Offline

Posted: February 26, 2016, 1:53 am - IP Logged

There is nothing special about consecutive numbers being drawn. The balls could have Chinese characters on them and the probability of winning would not change, yet the concepts of "sum" and "consecutive" or anything else to do with arithmetic would obviously not exist. We use numbers for the drawing because it's much easier for the players to figure out if they've won than if we used Chinese characters.

Texas United States Member #150797 December 31, 2013 822 Posts Offline

Posted: February 26, 2016, 7:13 am - IP Logged

Quote: Originally posted by Tucker Black on February 26, 2016

There is nothing special about consecutive numbers being drawn. The balls could have Chinese characters on them and the probability of winning would not change, yet the concepts of "sum" and "consecutive" or anything else to do with arithmetic would obviously not exist. We use numbers for the drawing because it's much easier for the players to figure out if they've won than if we used Chinese characters.

I imagine they use Chinese characters in China! Or, maybe not...I bought a Pick 3 ticket while I was in Japan and it had numbers on it.

Also, if you see the winning numbers as merely symbols with no mathematical meaning, how would you go about picking which "symbols" to put on your playslip? QP?

"There is no such thing as luck; only adequate or inadequate preparation to cope with a statistical universe."