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Explorer
27th August 2003, 11:02 PM
Soon after our lottery started in the UK I tried buying tickets for a few weeks without a single win. Early one morning I was partially awakened and in my drowsiness thought of some lottery numbers. The first four numbers out of six, came into my head very clearly. The last two were not so clear. Anyway, when fully awake, I wrote them down and bought a ticket later that day.

That evening when the draw started, I not only got the first four numbers correct, but also in the right order of draw. At that point I was beginning to sweat, but as you can probably guess the last two were wrong. I won about £55 GBP for getting four numbers right.

OK, not particularly impressive, and nothing is proven other than that coincidences happen, but none the less interesting, and I have sworn not to do the lottery again unless I have a similar " semi-sleep" experience.

Any mathematicians care to work out the odds of getting the first four numbers correct and also in the right draw order?

reprise
27th August 2003, 11:17 PM
Check the Lotto Strike odds on this table (http://www.nswlotteries.com.au/oddstable.html), taking into account that these odds are based on playing nine games.

Explorer
28th August 2003, 11:25 PM
reprise

To take your example of 6 games. The odds were over 1000:1 drawn presumably, in random order. My question is, what are the odds against getting the first four numbers in actual drawn order? This must be several fold greater.

Regards

Explorer

reprise
28th August 2003, 11:40 PM
To win Lotto Strike you have to guess the first four numbers drawn in the correct order, Explorer. The odds quoted on the website I linked to assume that you have played nine games (and - presumably - have not taken the same 6 numbers in all nine games).

Lotto Strike is won fairly often.

Even Powerball is won fairly often, and the odds of winning the first prize in Powerball are 1 in 54, 979, 155.

davidhorman
29th August 2003, 01:52 AM
The UK National Lottery (Lotto! :rolleyes:) is 6 balls from 49 (and a bonus ball, but that's not important here). So the chances of getting only the first four right are

1/49x1/48x1/47x1/46x44/45x43/44

or about 1 in 5,000,000. Getting only four right in any order would only be about 1 in 7000.

Then if you're talking about getting at least four numbers the odds go up, but only a little.

David