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How the lottery generates the ticket numbers

Topic closed. 8 replies. Last post 1 year ago by Tialuvslotto.

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Posted: January 14, 2016, 10:11 am - IP Logged

I imagine this has been discussed before, but I couldn't find the answer. Mainly, I am wondering if its method insures that no two identical  easy picks can be generated before all numbers are covered. In other words, if less than 272M are bought in powerball, can we assume that no more than 1 winning ticket will be by easy-pick?

I have never seen the actual algorithm for generating these tickets discussed. Psuedo Random Number Generator?

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    The Quantum Master
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    Posted: January 14, 2016, 10:23 am - IP Logged

    There is Absolutely No Guarantee all Quick Picks (Easy Picks) will be absolutely different from each other, meaning two or more are not the same combination.

    In California, as far as we know, the Quick Picks are generated at a central computer.

    Ref. Lottery Post News topic: California Lottery computer glitch shuts down terminals

    "...

    Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso says there was a loss of signal that prevented the terminals from connecting to the system that generates the numbers.

    ..."

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    Jehocifer

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      Posted: January 14, 2016, 12:09 pm - IP Logged

      OK, that surprises me but preventing it also seemed like a formidable task. A Pseudorandom number generator has a cycle before it repeats, so I assumed they had used some variant of this and had them synced to a central computer.

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        The Quantum Master
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        Posted: January 14, 2016, 12:13 pm - IP Logged

        Hotbits would be a better way to generate random numbers.

        It's based on radioactive decay.

        Wink

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        Jehocifer

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          Posted: January 14, 2016, 3:39 pm - IP Logged

          I imagine this has been discussed before, but I couldn't find the answer. Mainly, I am wondering if its method insures that no two identical  easy picks can be generated before all numbers are covered. In other words, if less than 272M are bought in powerball, can we assume that no more than 1 winning ticket will be by easy-pick?

          I have never seen the actual algorithm for generating these tickets discussed. Psuedo Random Number Generator?

          Two people can have the same numbers on a Quick Pick, even in the same state. That's how you end up with multiple Jackpot or 5/5 winners.

            MillionsWanted's avatar - 24Qa6LT

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            Posted: January 14, 2016, 4:49 pm - IP Logged

            I remember reading in one of Gail Howard's books several thousand lottery tickets with the 1-2-3-4-5-6 combination was created as quick picks in every draw in New York state.

            The jackpot would only be a few hundred dollars if this combination won.

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              Posted: January 15, 2016, 1:08 am - IP Logged

              I remember reading in one of Gail Howard's books several thousand lottery tickets with the 1-2-3-4-5-6 combination was created as quick picks in every draw in New York state.

              The jackpot would only be a few hundred dollars if this combination won.

              Gail Howard's books are full of incorrect statements, including the oft repeated claims that some combinations of numbers are more likely to come up than others.

              I doubt she said that quick pick has chosen one particular combination thousands of times in an a single drawing.  It is true that that combination is chosen by people quite frequently because people are lousy at choosing random numbers as well as lazy so they check off the first 6 numbers and submit it.

              I do give her credit for using the only system that actually can make you money off the lottery, selling books.

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                Posted: January 19, 2016, 2:15 am - IP Logged

                OK, that surprises me but preventing it also seemed like a formidable task. A Pseudorandom number generator has a cycle before it repeats, so I assumed they had used some variant of this and had them synced to a central computer.

                The story referenced by JadeLottery is almost certainly in error. Assuming it is, it's a safe bet that the reporter got accurate info from the lottery spokesman and then screwed it up. Just about every reliable source says that the terminal generates the numbers, and the job of the central computer is to create a record of each play and after that record is created authorize the terminal to generate the ticket.

                I'm not sure what you think is difficult to prevent. If you think it would be difficult to prevent repeat combinations you can easily demonstrate it to yourself by flipping a coin or rolling a die. With a coin every time you get 2 heads or tails in a row you're seeing how random probability results in repeats. With a die you should get a repeat with 2 rolls once out of every 6 tries. Getting all 6 possibilities from 6 rolls should happen once out of every 65 tries, so you can expect t repeat at least one number in 64 of 65 tries. Random probability guarantees that repeats will happen. The odds are different, but the exact same principle applies to generating combinations for lottery tickets.

                Preventing repeats would also be easy, but would require actively preventing the repeats that naturally occur.  Te central computer would have to check each terminal request against all previously issued tickets, and require the terminal to  generate a different combination if a repeat is requested. When ticket sales are only a tiny percentage of the possible combinations there would be relatively few repeats, but as sales increase there would be more and more overhead. Preventing repeats across state lines would be more difficult because there are  far more tickets involved and all of the states would have to be linked together, but it's certainly possible. Of course that would completely eliminate a main point of QP's - they're randomly selected combinations.

                  Tialuvslotto's avatar - Jailin
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                  Posted: January 19, 2016, 8:32 am - IP Logged

                  The story referenced by JadeLottery is almost certainly in error. Assuming it is, it's a safe bet that the reporter got accurate info from the lottery spokesman and then screwed it up. Just about every reliable source says that the terminal generates the numbers, and the job of the central computer is to create a record of each play and after that record is created authorize the terminal to generate the ticket.

                  I'm not sure what you think is difficult to prevent. If you think it would be difficult to prevent repeat combinations you can easily demonstrate it to yourself by flipping a coin or rolling a die. With a coin every time you get 2 heads or tails in a row you're seeing how random probability results in repeats. With a die you should get a repeat with 2 rolls once out of every 6 tries. Getting all 6 possibilities from 6 rolls should happen once out of every 65 tries, so you can expect t repeat at least one number in 64 of 65 tries. Random probability guarantees that repeats will happen. The odds are different, but the exact same principle applies to generating combinations for lottery tickets.

                  Preventing repeats would also be easy, but would require actively preventing the repeats that naturally occur.  Te central computer would have to check each terminal request against all previously issued tickets, and require the terminal to  generate a different combination if a repeat is requested. When ticket sales are only a tiny percentage of the possible combinations there would be relatively few repeats, but as sales increase there would be more and more overhead. Preventing repeats across state lines would be more difficult because there are  far more tickets involved and all of the states would have to be linked together, but it's certainly possible. Of course that would completely eliminate a main point of QP's - they're randomly selected combinations.

                  It really isn't in the interests of the Lottery to prevent repeat tickets from being sold.  The possibility of repeats is what keeps a syndicate from buying all possible tickets when a large JP is available.  Well, that and the gargantuan nature of the task!

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