|Posted: April 28, 2004, 11:03 am - IP Logged|Quote: Originally posted by ayenowitall on April 27, 2004 Quote: Originally posted by prob987 on April 27, 2004
>This means that if you play the same powerball for 154 draws (a year and half) there is a 94.7% chance you will win three dollars. <
Actually, my post was referring to probability of a given number being selected as the PowerBall in a single drawing. I have to wonder exactly what the value is of knowing that the PowerBall has a 94.7% chance of repeating somewhere in a series of 154 draws. As your post pretty well pointed out, it seems to be a fairly useless statistic. I really don't see how that gets anyone any closer to winning the big one and I don't see how it tells us anything more than we could reason by common sense. In fact, that 94.7% probability might lure some of us into a false sense of virtual certainty. Over the years, I've seen that those small percentages accounting for adverse outcomes can be the very undoing of otherwise sound systems. Even though it helps to win a little ammo along the way, I don't really play the lottery for the purpose of winning the smaller secondary prizes. I'm out to win the big one any way I can, so I don't knock anyone's methods. Even dumb luck and errors can produce the winning numbers. I could care less about winning a debate; I want to win the lottery. Good luck!
Actually I made an error (which RJOH caught) and the correct number for the likihood of a repeat is around 120. Interestingly, the last time that a powerball number repeated was 02/03/04 (if my quick scan is correct) which was about 120 drawings ago. That's something of a coincidence.
Interestingly there were two winners on that drawing, even though the probability of there being two winners (assuming that all purchases were quick picks, which of course they weren't) was less than 1%. This may or may not be an artifact of a belief on the part of one or more of the players that the previous draw predicted the next draw. Even if the idea is not mathematically valid, the fact is that they are rich for having believed that, and I am not rich. (heh, heh)
The laws of probability of course are not predictive in the short term sense. It is possible, if improbable, that the powerball will repeat for the next three draws or even ten draws. Of course, expecting the improbable is why everyone plays the lottery.
Again though, if you think about the analysis I did above, it's clear that some methods of playing are better than others. If you think about it in a deeper sense, you will recognize that this holds true even if your only objective is to win the big one. (We're all there.)