Winning The Lottery

I thought I’d start my blogging career with a bang, a desperate push for immediate attention if you will. And what better way than by explaining how to win the freaking lottery.

Wait, don’t click away! It’s not a scam (or even a particularly practical guide to winning the lottery, but we’ll get to that). We’ve all seen the scams, either claiming you have already mysteriously won huge sums of money or asking for you to pay for their foolproof technique for picking the right numbers. I am definitely not claiming to have millions of pounds to give you and I am not asking for any payment whatsoever. Being a student I will obviously accept any donations (monetary or alcoholic), but I’m not demanding anything. I’m nice like that.

Incidentally, one of my favourite lottery ‘techniques’ is to pick your numbers based on what kind of streak they’re on, presumably because some lottery balls are better at wiggling their way out of the machine than others (although, there’s likely to be some differences in probability given the minute discrepancies in the size and weight of the balls. While I’m confident the differences in probability are negligible, the thought is worth a little digression) . Do not pick numbers based on hot streaks. Please, it makes statisticians cry.

Pictured: Mario's 'hot' balls

Of course, there are ways to maximise your potential winnings. These include  keeping your numbers secret from friends and family and avoiding popular choices of numbers. The latter requires avoiding sequences played by thousands of other people, like 1 2 3 4 5 6 (the former requires a sociopathic dislike of everyone close to you). This rules out the terrifying prospect of winning the lottery but having to split it with thousands of less deserving people. Because when it comes to winning millions, nobody likes to share.

Unfortunately, none of this actually increases your chances of winning that jackpot. There is, however, an unbelievably simple, nay foolproof, way to double your chances every time you play. All you have to do is buy another ticket. Triple your chances? Buy a third! In fact, you can increase your chances of winning by whatever factor you wish by buying more and more tickets. I think you can see where I’m going with this.

So many chances!

All you have to do to guarantee you win is buy every combination of ticket (I did warn you it wasn’t a terribly practical guide). Simple, eh? Not quite. There are nearly 14 million combinations in the UK lottery and each one is going to cost you a pound. That’s a fairly massive investment. Still, it’s still worth it, right? If the jackpot is at £15 million that’s still a £1 million profit, not a bad weeks work if you ask me.

Unless someone else also wins, then you’re in trouble. That £7.5 million return isn’t looking great compared to your original investment, and that’s if only one other person wins. It’s looking less and less worth the risk with every additional leach on your prize money. But at what point does it become worth it? What size does the jackpot have to be for it to be profitable to buy every ticket?

Let x be the jackpot. If 40% of the time no one wins, 35% of the time there’s one winner, 15% of the time there’s two winners and 10% of the time there’s three winners, then the expected value of the investment would be (0.4 *x) + (0.35*½x) + (0.15*x) + (0.1*¼x) = 0.65x. This means that you would expect a profit when your investment is 65% or less of the jackpot. In the example of the UK lottery, buying every ticket would become profitable when the jackpot reached about £21.5 million (although even in this case you lose money if there’s another winner).

Ok, so the theory is pretty solid, but realistically its impossible. There’s no way anyone could raise millions and get all the tickets required to win. Unless you’re the Australian syndicate who won $27 million in the 1992 Virginia State Lottery in the USA. That’s right, these guys chucked a few quid together and literally bought as many lottery tickets as possible. Even then they only managed to buy about 70% of the combinations, resulting in what must have been the most tense lottery draw in history.

So, looking for something to do this summer? Grab some friends, find a few thousand investors and wait for a big rollover. You’ll be rolling in cash in no time.

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38 Comments on “Winning The Lottery”

  1. Sally Says:

    Awesome lad, may not be definitely winning the lottery, but one can always hope.


  2. The first rule to winning the lottery, in what I’ve been told is that, “You’ve got to be in it, to win it.”

    Meaning, a lot of people talk of winning the lottery as their ‘dream,’ but they don’t actually ever buy A TICKET. :-)

    ~~~

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

    • mostlymath Says:

      Very true! The only way to guarantee you lose is by not buying a ticket. Buying a ticket gives you an infinitely better chance of winning than not buying a ticket :P. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Chairman Says:

    a whole lot more can win lottery if they know where to go and get the right information
    lotteryexaminers will get you there
    lotteryexaminers

    • mostlymath Says:

      My feeling has always been that if there were any sure ways of winning the lottery then everyone would win all the time. That being said, best of luck to you.


  4. this post rocks! looking forward for more of you posts.


  5. I am inviting you to submit this to the my blog carnival next month. click the link below to submit. that’s one way of increasing your number of hits (visitors).


  6. Sorry, I accidentally hit the submit button. Here’s the link for submission:

    http://math4allages.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/blog-carniva/

    And, by the way, why wait next month. You can submit it before July 9. The Blog Carnival will be posted on July 12.


  7. [...] To those who want to be rich, lottery might be the answer, but before buying a lottery ticket, maybe you should read James Pollock’s article on Winning the Lottery. [...]

  8. Raymond Says:

    I think if you buy a ticket you might win a free ticket ! If your like einstein and theorize numbers given via numbers drawn and use method theories such as time per ball drop per random spin and put numbers on board and put a blind fold on and pick the numbers that way might work also picking out of a hat and than averaging all the methods together via 5 or 6 random numbers you pick might work also picking numbers via 2544324 might work also ! I’m not a scientific genious of the sort but I have gotten 4 out of 7 max lotto number with NO BONUS. So you tell me ! What are your chances of winning the lottery !!!!
    :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):(:)::(:):):):)
    NOW SPOT THE GRUMPY ONES !! HA HA !!!
    I HATE PICKING LOTTERY NUMBERS LOL !!!


  9. I’m an avid lottery participant and lover of all things lottery. I like the concept of the lottery and the history of how lotteries have shaped society over the decades. I love that you come from the vantage point of Math, because so many people fail to understand that what they think of as luck is really just math in disguise. There are no guaranteed lottery wins, but there are ways to improve your odds and make the most of the lottery system your participating in.
    Great Blog.

  10. Sibu Says:

    I know a South African witch doctor who has made 11 lotto winners by throwing bones and gave them the lotto winning numbers on 11 different ocassions. Obviously his expensive but has guaranteed 11 winners and Eight 5 number winners,and none less than 5 numbers just one less from the 6 for jackpot. So he tells that if you are well inclined with your ancestors,then they give him winning numbers4u 2play.

  11. Sibu Says:

    I know a South African witch doctor who has made 11 lotto winners by throwing bones and gave them the lotto winning numbers on 11 different ocassions. Obviously his expensive but has guaranteed 11 winners and Eight 5 number winners,and none less than 5 numbers just one less from the 6 for jackpot. So he tells that if you are well inclined with your ancestors,then they give him winning numbers4u 2play. sbullionare@yahoo.co.za


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  13. Israel Says:

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  15. Hi, the whole thing is going perfectly here and ofcourse every
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  16. lotto Says:

    I will average these numbers and see if we fall in the winning window that we just developed.
    People buy lottery tickets every day in hopes of
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  17. aleem iqbal Says:

    “Godday.” I am aleem iqbal am from UK I have been playing euromillion since i was 15 and i have never won i but instead i waste my money in buying ticket. One day i saw a friend who told me that there is a spellcaster in Africa that can help win this lottery he was so sure of it but what keep him wondering is that he was not sure if he can make me win big, I say let me give a try cause i was so curious in becoming a millionaire so that flunt round bitches. so i give a try and he assure me in 3days i will get result and immediately i went to buy ticket with the number he sent me and i did just that so for sure in 3days time result was out and i was a winner of £22million. I could not rejoice too much cause i was expecting this but was not sure if it really work but now that i have tested it and it work i will be forever grateful to this spell caster and my friend. The most surprising story was that when i came back to show my appreciation of how grateful i am he told me to keep the money to my self that he can not collect money from me cause he was sent to help people across the world and he is not spending much time on the internet for he came on a mission to help people. The offer to show appreciation to this man is to spread his name across the world so that people will be helped, so that what am doing online. Do not waste time the email is (drsoula_b@live.com) NAME is (Dr. Soula) he is the only help you need.


  18. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and
    was wondering what all is required to get setup?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?

    I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% certain. Any suggestions
    or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it

  19. Chavez Says:

    Hello out there i am grateful sharing this great testimonies with you, The best thing that has ever happened in my is how i win the lottery. I am a woman who believe that one day i will win the lottery.finally my dreams came through even if i did not win millions but it is still ok with me cause i have come a long way spending money on ticket just to make sure i win. But i never know that winning was so east until the day i meant the spell caster online which so many my people has talked about that he is very great, so i decide to give it a try.I contacted this man and he did some rituals and he gave me the winning numbers for the lottery i was not that sure that i will win. But believe me when the draws were out i was among winners i never believe in voodoo or magic but from now on i will cause i have seen for myself so i decide to share it with other this is the man that will make you rich forever. contact dr. Soula today via drsoula_b@live.com

    Helen Chavez

  20. Dashiel Florez23 Says:

    I go by the name Dashiel Florez. i won $1,000,000 in the powerball lottery, I took an advice from some person who talked about this great spell caster called Dr. Soula the person placed a testimonies on a blog saying how dr. soula helped him win the lottery by sending him the winning number i was curious and i thought it was all joke not until i contacted this spell caster to know for myself how this work cause i have spend a lot buying tickets and i never win. I contacted him and he told me the necessary thing that need to be done and i did it and he told me to wait for 3days and truly he gave me the winning numbers to play the lottery which i did, Can you believe my name was the first among winners. He told me (my son all i need you to do for me is make sure that you share this testimonies to others so that they can also win the lottery cause i do not have much time to spell on the internet) so that is why i am sharing this testimony with you that if you want to win the lottery this is the way online tips can not help you drsoula_b@live.com is the only answer to that your problem of winning the lottery


  21. Thanks guy for the info about dr. soula i also win the lottery with his help. I am grateful

    • Anonymous Says:

      WELL DR.SOULA GOT MONEY OUT OF ME AND I AM A SINGLE MOTHER AND HE DIDNT GIVE ME ANY NUMBERS MATTER OF FACT I WOULDVE HAD TO SEND MORE MONEY TO A DIFFERENT PERSON SMH…


  22. I have read your articles it’s really very interesting and helpful for me about lottery winning. I have never read such type of articles before. Hope here all the info will holp me in winning the lottery. But thanks for your posting it here.Please update us form such type of helpful information in future.

  23. Kevin223 Says:

    It was hard for me to believe when i saw a comment on the internet regarding how Dr. Soula help people winning lottery by sending them the winning numbers. This winning numbers are 100% guarantee that you must win the lottery. I give it a try and i won $159,000. My comment looks funny but it the truth, The email is drsoula_b@live. com and i promise you that it will not be funny when you win and share a testimony with others. This is a secret to win lottery so i advice you do that same. the name is Kevin Kuenzler from Carlsbad, New mexico

  24. Neil Rotter Says:

    my name is Nicky Ottaway the wife of Neil Trotter
    from Great Britain,i want to testify about a
    great spell caster that help me and my lovely husband
    win the lottery this year // See winning page

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-26627075

    i have never believed in magical powers
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    spell caster,in case you need the help of this
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    will be over,once again i say
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    keep your good work because people need
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    contact him on his email:drzulusspiritual@hotmail.com

  25. valentine Says:

    very true thx i have 500 dollars


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  28. Dr. Soula is a scammer just trying to get your money. They are from Nigeria and this is just another way of scamming people out of money.


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