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I play the lottery on occasion. I just checked my ticket from Wednesday's drawing and it turned out that all of my numbers were exactly one higher than the numbers from the drawing.

I'm not normally the kind of person to do the whole "well if only this number would have been different I would have won \$X" thing.

So I share this infomration with a coworker. They respond "Wow. What're the odds of that happening?"

"Umm. The same odds as winning."

"Oh. That sucks."

This discussion was created by StalinsNotDead (764374) for no Foes, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

## Well damn

• #### Why I hate statistics (Score:2)

To my way of thinking the odds should actually be greater than the same. Picking the winning numbers say is x. Now you not only have pick x, but pick x with constraint y. To me that seems like it should be more difficult because you're now doing 2 thing instead of 1.

I'm not saying my way is mathematically correct (though I do sometimes deny a connection between statistcs and math other than a similar set of symbols), just that that is what makes sense to me.

• #### Re: (Score:1)

I took the view that quick picks give you a lesser chance of winning because your relying on the same 6 six numbers getting selected randomly twice. Yeah, I know it's faulty logic, but that's my favorite kind in discussions like this.

But if you select and play the same numbers every week and forget once and your numbers do come up, I think one would be a trifle upset.
• #### Re: (Score:2)

To do it right: Compare raw numbers, random/picked-their-own-numbers to winners-random/winners-picked-their-own-numbers.

Any real statistician is defined by their grumbling about the data universe being too small to be meaningful yet... (people who pick their own numbers are easily lost as noise to the random buyers...)
• #### Re: (Score:1)

hating statistics is easy - been doing it for years - the problem is that they are easy to calculate and people think they understand things like what an average is AND impute meaning.

My main beef with quick picks (even though I buy them coz I'm lazy) is that you do not necessarily get the full range of numbers you get N games at 6 numbers/game - but you won't necessarily get each number from 1 to 45 (or whatever it is) - it does happen here.

The moral: Never bet against the 2nd law of thermodynamics, always
• #### Re: (Score:1)

That's interesting. Where did you get the information about quick picks not giving you options from the full range of numbers?
• #### Re: (Score:1)

"about quick picks not giving you options from the full range of numbers"
Experience - checking the numbers drawn off and not finding it, happens infrequently for 24 game ticket for a 6 main and 2 supplementary number game, but go for a 12 game ticket - you can only expect (6+2)*12/45 of each number so not really surprising one of them isn't there occassionally.

It may be different where you are - different software for quick picking numbers from the operator of the game.
• #### Splitting hairs (Score:2)

I would say that the odds are exactly twice as much, since if the numbers that came up had been all one below your numbers, you would probably have been equally surprised.
• #### Lotto cheating (Score:1)

My bio-dad once told me he'd written a program that analyzed the numbers that were coming up on the Michigan lotto (they had one of those televized things where a punch of plastic numbered balls would line up), and gave him enough good picks for small prizes that he was turning a profit.

As for the odds...with a good and secure random number generator, the likelyhood of any outcome is exactly the same as any other outcome with an identical number of digits. But I agree you can probably finagle your constrai

The herd instinct among economists makes sheep look like independent thinkers.

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