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View Full Version : One dollar lottery tickets: Chance it daily?

Iamme
26th November 2003, 07:01 PM
My friend just stepped out to buy his lottery ticket. It is a ritual for him. I don't gamble at all. Nadda. The last I ever gambled was probably almost 25 years ago when I got in on football lotteries at work. (or whatever you called those things). Before that, I would play Friday night poker with the guys.

When my friend got back from the store, I had the thought for this thread pop into my head (hey...it rhymes!). I said to him, "I wonder what the odds are if someone played the \$1 lottery every day, what the odds are that you would at least get your money back (\$365 in a year)? IF the odds were let's say 1:50 that you could do quite handsomely...would you take that chance, even if you weren't the gambler type? I need to know the odds before I would consider it.

Yahweh
26th November 2003, 08:22 PM
I really dont think buying 1 ticket a day will improve the odds you winning by any significant amount...

roger
26th November 2003, 08:29 PM
The expected payback does not change the more you pay.

And, since lotteries operate at a profit, if you play daily, you will lose (on average).

toddjh
26th November 2003, 08:35 PM
Originally posted by roger
And, since lotteries operate at a profit, if you play daily, you will lose (on average).

True. But, like most forms of gambling, not by much. My parents played the state lottery daily for quite a few years. My dad, being somewhat obsessive-compulsive, kept track of it. They very nearly broke even overall, and sometimes they were even ahead. The lottery they played had six numbers, with smaller prizes (\$50-500) if you got four right.

Jeremy

roger
26th November 2003, 08:52 PM
Sure. For example, this site (http://mcraeclan.com/Graeme/CaliforniaLottery.htm) shows that the expected value of a \$1 ticket from the CA lottery is \$0.97. There are worse ways to spend 3 cents than to buy a lottery ticket, I suppose.

Iamme, what the expected value means, is, that on average, a \$1 dollar ticket will win \$0.97. Of course, most of the time you lose, other times you match a few numbers and win \$2, \$10, once in a great while \$100 or so. But on average you will lose more than you win, at the rate of 3 cents per ticket bought. Buying more tickets just means losing that much more money.

The Don
27th November 2003, 04:31 AM
I the UK, only 50% of money goes into the prize fund, the rest goes to good causes and the lottery operator.

We do however have Premium Bonds which are a tax free savings vehicle. You buy a bond and it is added to the draw which is conducted every week. The maximum prize is £1million and there are many many smaller prizes. The bond continues to be in each draw until you redeem it (for the price you paid).

If you have enough premium bonds (say £10,000 worth) you can expect a tax free return currently running at about 3%.

A no-lose gamble (except for erosion of your original stake due to inflation) a rare beast indeed

Jon_in_london
27th November 2003, 05:41 AM
Originally posted by The Don
If you have enough premium bonds (say £10,000 worth) you can expect a tax free return currently running at about 3%.

A no-lose gamble (except for erosion of your original stake due to inflation) a rare beast indeed

With inflation currently around 2%, that pretty good. Lend me ten bags anyone?

Iamme
27th November 2003, 11:04 AM
Interesting so far, guys. Keep 'em coming. If you want, you can expand this thread to take on higher wagers that have bigger payouts...IF this will change your opinion at all, as to if you are better off playing the nickle ante stuff, or taking bigger chances, but less often.

Solitaire
27th November 2003, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by roger
Sure. For example, this site (http://mcraeclan.com/Graeme/CaliforniaLottery.htm) shows that the expected value of a \$1 ticket from the CA lottery is \$0.97. There are worse ways to spend 3 cents than to buy a lottery ticket, I suppose.

Iamme, what the expected value means, is, that on average, a \$1 dollar ticket will win \$0.97. Of course, most of the time you lose, other times you match a few numbers and win \$2, \$10, once in a great while \$100 or so. But on average you will lose more than you win, at the rate of 3 cents per ticket bought. Buying more tickets just means losing that much more money.
But of course, if you figure in state and federal taxes then the rate of return
goes down a little bit.
:p

Kimpatsu
27th November 2003, 04:16 PM
Without sounding like a total thrill junkie who needs to contact GA, I play the UK lottery every week, using the same numbers every time. Now, as a pure risk/benefit calculation, it's a daft thing to do ("the lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math"), but let's not forget that there's a thrill dimension to this as well; put simply, I get a kick out of checking the lottery numbers each week. What's that worth? In the words of MasterCard--priceless!

toddjh
27th November 2003, 04:23 PM
Originally posted by Kimpatsu
Without sounding like a total thrill junkie who needs to contact GA, I play the UK lottery every week, using the same numbers every time. Now, as a pure risk/benefit calculation, it's a daft thing to do ("the lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math"), but let's not forget that there's a thrill dimension to this as well; put simply, I get a kick out of checking the lottery numbers each week. What's that worth? In the words of MasterCard--priceless!

That's why I don't give recreational gamblers a hard time anymore. My boss came back from a week in Las Vegas \$100 down. He had a great time. That's downright cheap for a week of entertainment. If you have some self-control and take steps to limit your potential losses, I don't think it's a bad thing at all.

Jeremy

Kimpatsu
27th November 2003, 04:25 PM
Originally posted by toddjh
That's why I don't give recreational gamblers a hard time anymore. My boss came back from a week in Las Vegas \$100 down. He had a great time. That's downright cheap for a week of entertainment. If you have some self-control and take steps to limit your potential losses, I don't think it's a bad thing at all.
I went to Las Vegas last year. I lost all my stake money--eventually--but I had a blast doing it. The trick to gambling is never gamble more than you can afford to lose. That way it's entertainment. If you start gambling the rent money, you need to seek help. And fast.

rockoon
27th November 2003, 05:47 PM
Originally posted by Kimpatsu
Without sounding like a total thrill junkie who needs to contact GA, I play the UK lottery every week, using the same numbers every time. Now, as a pure risk/benefit calculation, it's a daft thing to do ("the lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math"), but let's not forget that there's a thrill dimension to this as well; put simply, I get a kick out of checking the lottery numbers each week. What's that worth? In the words of MasterCard--priceless!

My advice tho is to use randomly generated numbers each drawing .. how will you feel if you forget to buy the ticket one week and "your" number comes up?

rockoon
27th November 2003, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by Synchronicity

But of course, if you figure in state and federal taxes then the rate of return goes down a little bit.
:p

Its actualy quite hard to figure in taxes because you can write off gambling losses from gambling wins (at least in america). In such a situation if you lose money each year (as is expected) then you owe no tax at all. Save those losing tickets.

WildCat
27th November 2003, 05:54 PM
The state lottery is such a suckers game that there is a parallel black market, mafia-run lottery here that actually pays better than the official state lottery does, using the same winning numbers of course.

Kimpatsu
27th November 2003, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by rockoon
My advice tho is to use randomly generated numbers each drawing .. how will you feel if you forget to buy the ticket one week and "your" number comes up?
I've bought a block of one year's worth of tickets, with the same numbers entered each time. No chance of forgetting that way.

Tony
27th November 2003, 08:46 PM
Originally posted by Kimpatsu

I went to Las Vegas last year. I lost all my stake money--eventually--but I had a blast doing it. The trick to gambling is never gamble more than you can afford to lose. That way it's entertainment. If you start gambling the rent money, you need to seek help. And fast.

What do you play?

Kimpatsu
27th November 2003, 08:59 PM
Originally posted by Tony
What do you play?
Blackjack, roulette, and the slot machines.
Of them all, roulette is the one with the least chance of winning. :p

BillyJoe
28th November 2003, 03:19 AM
rockoon,

Originally posted by rockoon
.. how will you feel if you forget to buy the ticket one week and "your" number comes up? How would you feel if you forgot to set your alarm and you were hit by a meteor?

BillyJoe

Jaggy Bunnet
28th November 2003, 04:37 AM
Originally posted by Kimpatsu
Without sounding like a total thrill junkie who needs to contact GA, I play the UK lottery every week, using the same numbers every time. Now, as a pure risk/benefit calculation, it's a daft thing to do ("the lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math"), but let's not forget that there's a thrill dimension to this as well; put simply, I get a kick out of checking the lottery numbers each week. What's that worth? In the words of MasterCard--priceless!

There is also the utility of cash to consider. For example the difference in lifestyle between having 50 pounds in your pocket or 49 as a result of buying a lottery ticket is relatively low (for most people).

The difference in lifestyle if you win the jackpot is massive.

Kimpatsu
28th November 2003, 08:56 AM
Originally posted by Jaggy Bunnet
The difference in lifestyle if you win the jackpot is massive.
I'll cross that bridge if I come to it. (My god, what a burden! :rolleyes: )

WildCat
28th November 2003, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by Jaggy Bunnet
For example the difference in lifestyle between having 50 pounds in your pocket or 49 as a result of buying a lottery ticket is relatively low (for most people).
Man, those kilts must have some big pockets. ;)

Kimpatsu
28th November 2003, 04:28 PM
Originally posted by WildCat
Man, those kilts must have some big pockets. ;)
Not as big as what's under them! :p :D

American
28th November 2003, 07:05 PM
You can't win if you don't play. The key is to have a system. If you're losing, you probably didn't stick to it (not enough discipline), or you have to wait and ride it out until your luck turns around. Just don't get too greedy, and know when to quit - you can't lose!

Kimpatsu
28th November 2003, 08:06 PM
Originally posted by American
You can't win if you don't play. The key is to have a system. If you're losing, you probably didn't stick to it (not enough discipline), or you have to wait and ride it out until your luck turns around. Just don't get too greedy, and know when to quit - you can't lose!
It's people like you who keep the bookies in business...

69dodge
28th November 2003, 11:54 PM
Originally posted by Jaggy Bunnet
The difference in lifestyle if you win the jackpot is massive.Originally posted by Kimpatsu
I'll cross that bridge if I come to it. (My god, what a burden! :rolleyes: ) Huh? He meant it was a good difference.

BillyJoe
29th November 2003, 04:11 AM
Jaggy Bunnett and America....

YOU - ARE - NEVER - GOING - TO - WIN - THE - LOTTO.

Bjorn
29th November 2003, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by American
You can't win if you don't play. The key is to have a system. If you're losing, you probably didn't stick to it (not enough discipline), or you have to wait and ride it out until your luck turns around. Just don't get too greedy, and know when to quit - you can't lose! Please show me a system where I can't lose. I need the money.

By the way, if the system guarantees that you can't lose, why do you have to wait 'until your luck turns around'? ;)

BobK
29th November 2003, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by roger
Sure. For example, this site (http://mcraeclan.com/Graeme/CaliforniaLottery.htm) shows that the expected value of a \$1 ticket from the CA lottery is \$0.97. There are worse ways to spend 3 cents than to buy a lottery ticket, I suppose.

Iamme, what the expected value means, is, that on average, a \$1 dollar ticket will win \$0.97. Of course, most of the time you lose, other times you match a few numbers and win \$2, \$10, once in a great while \$100 or so. But on average you will lose more than you win, at the rate of 3 cents per ticket bought. Buying more tickets just means losing that much more money.

I checked out the site roger posted and as far as I could tell, none of the figures posted on the page are correct. The site doesn't even have the correct number of balls.

Ergo, that \$0.97 return on a dollar is BS.

In the long run, most state lotteries return \$0.50 on the dollar or less.

Rat
29th November 2003, 05:41 PM
I kind of expected a more hostile reaction in this thread. I play the lottery. I'm not ignorant of the odds, and I can comprehend what a million means no better or worse than anyone else.

There is no system, at least for the casual entrant. You will almost certainly lose. But then, the small prizes, when they come, are very welcome, while the pound or two in stake here and there are not missed.

If you can fantasize about what to do with the winnings without entering, then you have a better imagination than mine. Well done.

It is entertainment. Anyone who sees it as anything else is indeed deluded. But I just paid £400 for a television. That will provide no more entertainment per pound than the (considerably less) amount that I spend on the lottery this year.

Cheers,
Rat.

BillyJoe
29th November 2003, 06:18 PM
Beats me what entertainment people get out of entering the lotto when they know that they cannot win.

Bjorn
29th November 2003, 08:35 PM
Originally posted by BillyJoe
Beats me what entertainment people get out of entering the lotto when they know that they cannot win. Ehh ... of course you can win. Someone wins almost every week? :confused:

I saw an experiment where people were given 100,000 and then asked if they would bet the money in a set-up like this:.

Given a fifty percent chance of winning 300,000, would you bet your 100,000?

The odds are strongly in favor of betting, but most people declined - 100,000 in the hand is better than even very good odds to win three times as much. It is simply too much to lose.

A dollar lost on the lottery won't change your life. But if you win ... :)

BillyJoe
29th November 2003, 09:56 PM
Bjorn,
my soft pupil....

Originally posted by Bjorn
Ehh ... of course you can win. Someone wins almost every week? :confused: Someone wins every week but it is NEVER going to be you.
NEVER.
Are you learning the lesson my little one?

BillyJoe

American
29th November 2003, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by BillyJoe

Someone wins every week but it is NEVER going to be you.
NEVER.
Are you learning the lesson my little one?

I bet you NEVER thought you'd reach 4000 posts, or that you'd meet your wife or homosexual lover, or that you'd be arguing on the internet about winning the lottery.

You need to learn to LIVE, my man... how to let go and ride free. Let me know when you're ready.

BillyJoe
30th November 2003, 12:09 AM
American,

You need to raise your hand if you wish to speak in class.
Now please sit down and listen.

Repeat after me....

I AM NEVER GOING TO WIN THE LOTTO.
I AM NEVER GOING TO WIN THE LOTTO.

BillyJoe.

ceptimus
30th November 2003, 01:54 AM
There are (rare) occasions when the UK Lotto is actually a good bet. Normally half the prize money goes in tax, donations to 'good causes', and ludicrously high charges by the lottery organiser, 'Camelot'. So it's normally a game with a 50% expected return.

But in the case of a double rollover, there is sometimes more money in the prize fund than is collected in ticket sales, so on these rare occasions, the expected return can be over 100%.

Bjorn
30th November 2003, 08:29 AM
Originally posted by BillyJoe
Bjorn,
my soft pupil....

Someone wins every week but it is NEVER going to be you.
NEVER.
Are you learning the lesson my little one?

BillyJoe Pessimists never win a sh*t .....:con2:
The odds against me being born were worse, and yet here I am! :clap:

American
30th November 2003, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by BillyJoe

I AM NEVER GOING TO WIN THE LOTTO.
I AM NEVER GOING TO WIN THE LOTTO.

Bjorn said it pretty good.

Look at it this way- it takes dough to make dough, and that's no matter if you play Lotto or not. If you have the extra cash (cause you're a rich guy), then it's a lot like putting money into stocks. You might win, but don't even try if you don't got the extra scratch to spare. It's like riding on empty, you're car could die at any moment. It's better to have a little rainy day money stashed away, and if you have lots of it, then go ahead and play. You might get lucky!

BillyJoe
1st December 2003, 03:07 AM
Bjorn,

Originally posted by Bjorn
Pessimists never win a sh*t .....:con2: I am a REALISTIC optimist.

Originally posted by Bjorn
The odds against me being born were worse, and yet here I am! :clap: The result is already out so it is nonsensical to speak of the odds of it ocurring......
But draw up a genotype - any one you like - and wait around to see if anyone gets born with this genotype.

You will NEVER win.

BillyJoe.

BillyJoe
1st December 2003, 03:14 AM
America,

Originally posted by American
Bjorn said it pretty good.:D

Originally posted by American
Look at it this way- it takes dough to make dough, and that's no matter if you play Lotto or not. If you have the extra cash (cause you're a rich guy), then it's a lot like putting money into stocks. You might win, but don't even try if you don't got the extra scratch to spare. It's like riding on empty, you're car could die at any moment. It's better to have a little rainy day money stashed away, and if you have lots of it, then go ahead and play. You might get lucky! The chances of you getting lucky with the lotto are ZERO.

Are you listening yet, America?

BillyJoe.

Jaggy Bunnet
1st December 2003, 03:48 AM
Originally posted by BillyJoe
Jaggy Bunnett and America....

YOU - ARE - NEVER - GOING - TO - WIN - THE - LOTTO.

You are certainly correct in my case. Mainly because I never buy a ticket :)

However if this is meant to be a response to my comment about the utility of money being relevant to people's decision as to whether or not to buy a lottery ticket, then perhaps you could explain how it is in anyway relevant?

A good example is the various guises of Millionaire shows. If you have two remaining answers, simple logic would dictate that you should always guess as the expected outcome is higher than the amount staked. (For example in the UK if you are on £125,000 and answer correctly you go up to £250,000. If you are wrong, you still get £32,000. Average outcome if two answers remain is £141,000) Yet people regularly do not play in these situations. If you were to ask them to play a game where they tossed a coin once and if it was tails, they gave you a pound but if it was heads, you would give them £2, do you think they would play?

And the chances of someone who buys a ticket winning are not zero. They are very close to zero, but to say they are zero is incorrect.

LW
1st December 2003, 06:02 AM
Originally posted by BillyJoe
[B
The chances of you getting lucky with the lotto are ZERO.[/B]

BillyJoe, I thought that you had participated in enough of these lotto odds threads to finally realize that:

1/15380937 > 0

(or whatever the changes are for lotto near you).

The changes of me getting lucky on lotto are 1 - (15380936/15380937)^k where k is the number of times I play lotto [currently somewhere along 10-15].

No matter how many times you look at that number and which k you use, the probability is greater than zero.

If I played lotto each week for 50 years, I'd have approximately 1.7 / 10000 changes of hitting the jackpot at least once.

Bjorn
1st December 2003, 10:38 PM
Originally posted by BillyJoe
The result is already out so it is nonsensical to speak of the odds of it ocurring......Yep. And you might say the same to those who won the lottery last week.

It was impossible, but it happened. :p

BillyJoe
2nd December 2003, 03:09 AM
My dear pupils,

WHEN I SAY NEVER AND ZERO, I AM exaggerating.

Okay?

I do hope you have learnt the lesson though ;)

BillyJoe

BillyJoe
2nd December 2003, 03:15 AM
My poor little Bjorn,

You need to study harder the exams are drawing near. :(

Originally posted by Bjorn
Yep. And you might say the same to those who won the lottery last week.

It was impossible, but it happened. :p But it did't happen to you did it Bjorn?

And it NEVER will.

BillyJoe

LW
2nd December 2003, 03:43 AM
Originally posted by BillyJoe

WHEN I SAY NEVER AND ZERO, I AM exaggerating.

Then perhaps you should stop doing it. The name of this forum contains the word 'mathematics' in it, you see.

rockoon
2nd December 2003, 04:26 AM
Originally posted by BillyJoe
Bjorn,

I am a REALISTIC optimist.

BillyJoe.

I considered trying to think positiveabout things but then I thought it probably wouldn't work anyways.

Bjorn
2nd December 2003, 09:19 AM
Originally posted by BillyJoe
My poor little Bjorn,

You need to study harder the exams are drawing near. :(

But it did't happen to you did it Bjorn?

And it NEVER will.

BillyJoe I clearly see why you're getting desperate - your pupils are proving you wrong ....:p

I have some media contacts, and could arrange for you to make a little speech next Saturday to ALL the California lottery ticket buyers. If you stick to your script, you will tell all the 'Bjorns' that they will never win.

A few hours later one of us will win. And be rich. Proving you wrong. The rest of the 'Bjorns' will be one dollar poorer.

You, BillyJoe, will be exactly where you were before. Forever. No chance of winning. :(

Optimists and pessimists might predict the future equally well.
But I know who has more fun in the meantime. :clap:

delsydsoft
2nd December 2003, 11:19 AM
Slightly OT. but funny:

Last year, my Grandmother bought her first lottery ticket at age 87. She didn't win. Her response---"Well, I won't be doing that again."
Ahh...You've gotta love midwestern farm families. :p

hgc
2nd December 2003, 12:14 PM
I've hardly ever bought lottery tickets, but a few years ago someone at work gave me a lottery ticket for Christmas. I won \$100. I'm way ahead!

Valmorian
2nd December 2003, 01:06 PM
2. Every day, put a dollar in a "pot" jar.
3. Immediately after, roll percentile dice.
4. If you roll 100, take all the money in the jar out and spend it.
5. If you roll 1-99, leave all the money in the jar.

There you go, 100% return on investment, AND a thrill to see if you "win!".

---

For an added bonus, change the dice roll to something else you are unlikely to succeed at but find entertaining.

Aoidoi
2nd December 2003, 02:37 PM
Originally posted by LW
If I played lotto each week for 50 years, I'd have approximately 1.7 / 10000 changes of hitting the jackpot at least once. Didn't check your math on that, but 50*52 = \$2,600. So at the least you're paying that much for a less than 1 in 5000 chance at a big win. Somebody who actually remembers the interest formulas can work out how much interest you could have made investing that. According to the expected value after 50 years you'll have \$1,300 and lots of memories of losing tickets. :)

(taking an expected value around .5, which is the usually cited value)

I have nothing against people playing the lottery for fun and a longshot at winning, it's the people who do it as an investment strategy that worry me. Spending a large portion of your weekly paycheck on something where you expect to lose 50% of your money is not exactly a plan for long term financial security.

And no, 1 chance in a billion doesn't = zero, but I'll bet you a hundred bucks that no one on this thread wins the jackpot... with the caveat that I get to hold the money until you win. :D

Brown
2nd December 2003, 02:48 PM
I once posed the following question to a friend:

Imagine that you came to the Twin Cities and you wanted to call me, but you didn't know my area code or phone number. So you just picked one of the local area codes at random, followed by seven random digits... and lo and behold, you reached me on the first try!

Which is more likely: that you will reach me on the phone according to that procedure, or that you will win the Powerball lottery?

(I refer to the lottery as "The tax that I choose not to pay.")

Kimpatsu
2nd December 2003, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by Brown
I once posed the following question to a friend:

Imagine that you came to the Twin Cities and you wanted to call me, but you didn't know my area code or phone number. So you just picked one of the local area codes at random, followed by seven random digits... and lo and behold, you reached me on the first try!

Which is more likely: that you will reach me on the phone according to that procedure, or that you will win the Powerball lottery?
But once again, this misses the point that the "maybe, just maybe" agony of hope that punters feel at each draw is not to do with actually winning or losing; it's to do with thrill seeking. Brown, you're treating the lottery as a business proposition.

Brown
2nd December 2003, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by Kimpatsu
But once again, this misses the point that the "maybe, just maybe" agony of hope that punters feel at each draw is not to do with actually winning or losing; it's to do with thrill seeking. Brown, you're treating the lottery as a business proposition. No, not really. My friend understood that the lottery was just for fun, and she often said that she never expected to win, but she had a hard time understanding how unlikely her chances of winning really were. People often talk about hitting holes in one and being struck by lightning when discussing the lottery, but those comparisons are too abstract. The telephone example is a little easier to grasp.

As far as I know, my friend continues to buy lottery tickets when the jackpots get really big. She enjoys the thrill. And as long as she's not gambling the rent money or otherwise causing financial hardship, fine.

Bjorn
2nd December 2003, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by Brown
As far as I know, my friend continues to buy lottery tickets when the jackpots get really big. She enjoys the thrill. And as long as she's not gambling the rent money or otherwise causing financial hardship, fine. Wise friend. :p

Here in CA, the lottery regularly gives odds in our favour. The odds for winning are about one to 45 million, and the last jackpot just now was more than 90 million dollars.

The biggest? \$193 million on February 16th, 2002. It wasn't me ...:(

Brown
3rd December 2003, 02:34 AM
Originally posted by Bjorn
Here in CA, the lottery regularly gives odds in our favour. The odds for winning are about one to 45 million, and the last jackpot just now was more than 90 million dollars. Technically speaking, the odds aren't really in your favor. Playing only for large jackpots means that, in the long run, you will probably receive more in winnings than you paid out for tickets. In the context of a lottery, the "long run" would be several million years.

There are also a couple of other bits of fine print. Multiple winners have to share the jackpot, and there is no guarantee that if you win you won't have to share. Also, the advertised jackpot amount is always inflated, representing a paid out amount over time rather than a present value.

BillyJoe
3rd December 2003, 03:11 AM
LW,

Originally posted by LW
Then perhaps you should stop doing it. The name of this forum contains the word 'mathematics' in it, you see. Well, I can't argue with that. :(
But then again you weren't exactly accurate with my quote either. ;)

regards,
BillyJoe.

BillyJoe
3rd December 2003, 03:33 AM
Originally posted by Bjorn
I clearly see why you're getting desperate - your pupils are proving you wrong ....:p :D Good one Bjorn :D

Originally posted by Bjorn
I have some media contacts, and could arrange for you to make a little speech next Saturday to ALL the California lottery ticket buyers. If you stick to your script, you will tell all the 'Bjorns' that they will never win. ....and I will NEVER be wrong.
(oops, sorry LW, almost never ;))

Originally posted by Bjorn
A few hours later one of us will win. And be rich. Proving you wrong.: ...but it won't be YOU and a million others like you. :D

Originally posted by Bjorn
The rest of the 'Bjorns' will be one dollar poorer. Ah, I see my message is sinking in..... :)

Originally posted by Bjorn
You, BillyJoe, will be exactly where you were before. Forever. No chance of winning. :( .....just like you. :D
(Again, apologies to LW and mathematics)

Originally posted by Bjorn
Optimists and pessimists might predict the future equally well.
But I know who has more fun in the meantime. :clap: Don't worry I 'm having plenty of fun - especially on this thread ;)

Seriously though.....

Once you appreciate the odds against you winning, I can't see what fun you get out of it. Perhaps this might put it in perspective for you.....
The chance of you winning with your particular selection of numbers is the same as the chance of the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 coming up.
Do you think you'll ever see that?... Not in a million years!

regards,
BillyJoe.

Kimpatsu
3rd December 2003, 07:43 AM
Originally posted by Brown
In the context of a lottery, the "long run" would be several million years.
More than that, as the odds reset themselves each time.

Bearguin
3rd December 2003, 08:28 AM
BJ beat me to it, but I always use the example of 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1.

How many people would buy a ticket with that number on it despite the fact that it is just as likely as any other number (at least with how the local lotto works).

In BC (and I think most lotteries in Canada), the average payout is 50 cents, with 5 cents to the vendors and 45 cents to the government. It is simply another source of revenue (or a tax on the mathematically dis-inclined). Like Brown, I choose not to pay that tax. I think I purchased two or three in my life.

But the odds of winning are not zero. They are as close to zero to be effectively zero, but they are greater than zero.

I like Browns phone example, except what if the other person claim it as proof that they are psychic ;)

Bjorn
3rd December 2003, 08:40 AM
Originally posted by Brown
Technically speaking, the odds aren't really in your favor. Playing only for large jackpots means that, in the long run, you will probably receive more in winnings than you paid out for tickets.Technically speaking, isn't that pretty much the definition of odds in my favor? :)

In the context of a lottery, the "long run" would be several million years.Only if you assume that I play for a dollar only. I could take my chances and buy 45 million tickets to cover all possible combinations. I would win every week. However:

There are also a couple of other bits of fine print. Multiple winners have to share the jackpot, and there is no guarantee that if you win you won't have to share. Also, the advertised jackpot amount is always inflated, representing a paid out amount over time rather than a present value. Correct, although one can take the (smaller amount of) cash and run.

In the 190 million dollar week, my potential 45 million dollar bet would have increased the jackpot to well above 200 million dollars. The cash payment option leaves the winner with about 52% of that amount, in other words more than 100 million dollars that week. Even with one or two more winners I would have made some money ....

All this just to show that sometimes odds are good - I would, of course, never risk \$45 million on any bet at all. Unless it was my weekly payment. :(

California needs the revenue!

Kimpatsu
3rd December 2003, 02:53 PM
I like Browns phone example, except what if the other person claim it as proof that they are psychic ;)
They'd have to do it more than once to demonstrate that.

Halbert
3rd December 2003, 03:35 PM
then it's a lot like putting money into stocks. This comment (and this thread reminded me of a story I heard about Binyon's casino. Binyon (teddy, I think) was famous for taking all sorts of crazy wagers of any size. One day, in walked man in a suit, with 2 identical suitcases. One full of cash, and one empty.

He wagered the entire suitcase against one throw (or one series maybe) at a craps table.

He walked out with two full suitcases.

I heard this about 39th hand, so don't take it too seriously. Craps gives much better odds than the lottery, though. Significantly so.

edit: Oh, and it struck me as similar because the man supposedly said "It's no worse than the stock market lately."

Kimpatsu
3rd December 2003, 03:46 PM
I always thought my marriage was a gamble... ;) :D

Jaggy Bunnet
4th December 2003, 02:44 AM
Originally posted by BillyJoe
My dear pupils,

WHEN I SAY NEVER AND ZERO, I AM exaggerating.

Okay?

I do hope you have learnt the lesson though ;)