Surely you concede I deserve it

More on the world-shattering lotto story:

Psychologists warn that some Lotto winner wannabes may be struggling with their failure to win.

Swinburne University psychology professor Glen Bates described the post-lotto hangover as difficult to deal with for the massive numbers of people who entered the draw with high hopes that a win would solve their life problems.

Never having not won $53 million dollars myself, I can’t really imagine how they must be feeling. But I hope they get help soon.

ELSEWHERE: David Starkoff has a theory:

Winning division 1 in Oz 7 Lotto requires picking the seven winning numbers from 45: 45,379,620 combinations. Since you can buy a 12-game ticket for $12.70, the entry cost to buy every combination is therefore a shade over $48,000,000… This suggests that a brute force attack may be efficient: i.e., buying every combination and making a profit.

But I think he’s got the maths wrong by a factor of about ten. $12.70 multiplied by 45,379,620 is $576,321,174, not $48 million. Unless I’m missing something.

UPDATE: I was missing something. The expression “12-game” before the word “ticket”. D’oh.


8 responses to “Surely you concede I deserve it

  1. Learning statistics in school? Nah. Obviously has no real-world application.

    And “Massive numbers of people”? I assume by that he means “pretty much everyone”.

  2. I’m just surprised that only 2 winners were announced. The larget the draw the more people enter and your ridiculously low odds of winning become even more ridiculous. But people do seem to believe in the odds of jumping straight onto easy street without hard work or discipline.

    And we wonder why property seminar spruikers, ‘Nigerian letter senders’ and other con artists still manage to suck people in!

  3. What he’s really got wrong is he has to buy every ticket.

    Let’s say a normal week there are 10 tickets sold (low numbers to make the example easy).

    He decides in a jackpot week that buying 10 tickets guarantees him the win, so he buys 10 tickets. The other normal contestants each buy 1 ticket just as they do every week.

    He now has a 50% chance of winning, not 100% because he only holds 1/2 the tickets.

    Which is another way of saying that while he can cover every combination, his payout will only be half as much because he’s still sharing it with other people.

  4. I don’t think that’s right – there’s no guarantee that anyone will win. You can have 50% of the tickets, but if that’s not 50% of the possible combinations, you don’t have a 50% chance of winning the main prize.

    But I’ve never really looked into lotto all that closely, so who knows.

  5. The $48 million figure quoted looks right. There are 12 games per ticket which Jeremy missed in his calc.

  6. Ah – I didn’t know that.

  7. Yes you did know that – you quoted it in the initial post! Or don’t you read what you quote and appear to want to discuss? Perhaps you could say, “I read it but overlooked the 12 game reference.” Heck we all stuff up – no criminal offence.

    JM – if you buy every combination, you win 100%. This isn’t a bloody raffle ffs. The other entrants can also win, but their odds are somewhat less.

  8. Hence the update. Duh.

    What a pathetic gotcha – after the person has conceded that the thing they’d expressed uncertainly with “I think” was wrong, coming on and declaring HA HA! You were wrong! Well bravo.

    PS The Starkoff reference was a later addition (hence “elsewhere”) that wasn’t part of the original post. I suppose if it had been the actual post itself I might have looked more closely into this “12-game ticket” thing. I don’t buy lotto tickets, so the fact that that means 12 sets of combinations didn’t immediately leap out at me.

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