|Posted: January 14, 2016, 1:16 pm - IP Logged|
Lottoreport shows sales of $1,270,206,274, which would be 635,103,137 tickets. A single winner was almost as likely as the most probable result of 2 winners. The actual result of 3 winners was only a bit less likely than 1 or 2 winners. Although it didn't happen, there was a 1 in 9 chance that we'd be reading about a $2 billion advertised jackpot right now.
Here's the theoretical probability, based on all tickets having random combinations:
|Rollover||1 winner||2 winners||3 winners||4 winners||5 winners||6winners|
Since the winning numbers were mostly calendar numbers the actual probability distribution was likely skewed towards more winners. The corollary is that another non-birthday number or two may well have resulted in a single winner or a rollover.
The real winner is the states that sell the tickets. As of mid-January, PB sales for 2016 already stand at $2,611,393,082. That's a hair over 2/3 of the total sales for 2015, and nearly 3/4 of 2014 sales.