1994-06-28 - Lotto odds

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From: edgar@spectrx.sbay.org (Edgar W. Swank)
To: Cypherpunks <cypherpunks@toad.com>
Message Hash: 4081552e86cb4bbb6f173e35e0ca2a9fb32905fd6e78aed5f66fc85cc255facc
Message ID: <N8amoc2w165w@spectrx.sbay.org>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1994-06-28 07:08:53 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 28 Jun 94 00:08:53 PDT

Raw message

From: edgar@spectrx.sbay.org (Edgar W. Swank)
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 94 00:08:53 PDT
To: Cypherpunks          <cypherpunks@toad.com>
Subject: Lotto odds
Message-ID: <N8amoc2w165w@spectrx.sbay.org>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Tim May said,

    ...As for lotto, simple calculations tell anyone that the best way
    to win is not to play.  The return _at best_ is 30 or 40 cents on
    the dollar, with the rest going to all the various programs the
    lotto is supposed to support.  The more you play, the more you

Actually, if memory serves, the CA Lotto claims to return 50% of
income in prizes with the remainder divided between schools and
"administration."  Better than 30-40, but still worse than odds on any
casino game or even the "numbers racket" run by organized crime.

However, one can improve the percentage by only playing lotto after 1
or more games where there was no perfect match, as often happens,
where some of the prize money is carried over to the next game, and so
on, until eventually somebody wins the grand prize.

After some number "x" of passed games, the odds turn in favor of the
player; but not by too much since this is just when large numbers of
people play and if more than one perfect ticket is played, the prize
is split.

Calculation of "x" is not "simple", since you also have to figure in
the 20-year (with no interest) payout of large prizes.

One other tip for lotto players:  Never mark your ticket with any
recognizable pattern.  The random "quick pick" is probably best.
Reason: A pattern is equally likely to be picked at random as a "quick
pick" but much -more- likely to also be picked by some other schmuck.
So if your pattern pick wins, you're more likely to have to split the

edgar@spectrx.sbay.org (Edgar W. Swank)
SPECTROX SYSTEMS +1.408.252.1005  Cupertino, Ca