# Odds: 1 in 23,000,000,000,000

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by peter2002, Dec 11, 2002.

1. ### peter2002 macrumors 6502

Joined:
Aug 1, 2002
Location:
Dallas, TX
#1
These games must be rigged. Some guy name Angelo Gallina won 2 lotterys in 1 day, winning the California \$17 million SuperLotto Plus jackpot and the \$126,000 Fantasy 5 top prize.

He said he will "eat cake".

Jeez, I have been playing these state lotterys for years and the most I have won is \$13.

One in 23 trillion" said Mike Orkin, a professor of statistics at California State University, Hayward and author of "What Are the Odds?" a book about games of chance and the odds of everyday occurrences.

Orkin arrived at that figure by multiplying 41 million by 575,000, resulting in 23,575,000,000,000. He noted that a more accurate reflection of the odds for this particular win would vary depending on how many tickets the couple bought and how often they played the lottery.

But are the odds of this occurrence almost astronomical?

"You can take off the almost," Orkin said.

http://www.sacbee.com/state_wire/story/5548247p-6526816c.html

Peter

2. ### zimv20 macrumors 601

Joined:
Jul 18, 2002
Location:
toronto
#2
lottery: a tax on people who are bad at math.

3. ### Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

Joined:
Nov 1, 2001
Location:
VA
#3
Someone was having a good day - lets hope it doesn't try and equalize tomorrow....

4. ### strider42 macrumors 65816

Joined:
Feb 1, 2002
#4
they are still going to come out ahead, but in an interview I heard on the radio about this, the guys said he played the lotto every day for like the last 30 years. He played 10 bucks a day. That works out to about 108,000 dollars this guy spent to win the lotto. Think about the poor suckers who never win but spend that much or more. The only time I play is if we have an office pool when the winnings get really high. The worst would be if everyone you worked with won but you didn't.

5. ### NMR Guy macrumors newbie

Joined:
Jul 22, 2002
#5
Mathematically speaking, your odds of winning the lottery jackpot are essentially the same whether you buy a ticket or you don't.

6. ### solvs macrumors 603

Joined:
Jun 25, 2002
Location:
LaLaLand, CA
#6
1 in 23 million is better than 0 in 23 million. I play once in awhile. I used to win \$5 or replays. Even won like \$100 once. Haven't played lately, though.

Maybe I should, cuz I'm just that lucky.

Oh wait, no I'm not.

7. ### Over Achiever macrumors 68000

Joined:
Jul 22, 2002
Location:
Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
#7
I heard somewhere that some guy won a 10 million dollar jackpot. What did he do? He went out and bought a thousand dollars in lottery tickets a week.

The payoff?

After ten years, he won some "cash for life" jackpot where he gets a certain amount of money for the rest of his life (I don't remember how much off the top of my head).

I'm doing a google search right now for that article

8. ### drastik macrumors 6502a

Joined:
Apr 10, 2002
Location:
Nashvegas
#8
Here in Tennessee we just voted to ammend the state constitution to allow a lottery. I played a little bit when I lived in Boston, but never more than scratch tickets. I can't comprehend spending ten bucks a day, the reduction in odds wouldn't be enough to help you out, really. Here its a delimma. Poor people play the lottery more than the wealthy, so it is essentialy taxing the poor. But it is voluntary and the money here is set aside for public schools (who desperrately need it.) Don't know how I feel about it, really, but I'll probaby play when it starts up next year.

9. ### e-coli macrumors 68000

Joined:
Jul 27, 2002
#9
Re: Odds: 1 in 23,000,000,000,000

lotteries are a second tax on the poor.

10. ### mcrain macrumors 68000

Joined:
Feb 8, 2002
Location:
Illinois
#10
Actually, because people who have money rarely play the lottery, it is better characterized as a tax on the poor.

(edit) e-coli, I didn't see your post before I hit submit.
(edit 2) drastik, I didn't see your post either!

11. ### cr2sh macrumors 68030

Joined:
May 28, 2002
Location:
downtown
#11
I don't know how 'mathematically' you're speaking, but the fewer tickets you buy, the closer the odds of you not winning get to infinity.
1:27,000,000,000,000 is NO WHERE CLOSE to infinity, mathematically speaking.

On a side note, I once correctly picked 4 out of 5 numbers on the Ohio Lottery, 3 times in a row....

<edit>
Its great, as if you need tremendous math skills to know that the odds of you winning the lottery are slim. As if probability rates that are printed on the back of the ticket require a keen ability to understand - and you are one of the few who possesses this rare ability. I play because I enjoy it, it offers me a chance to fantasize (when my engineering is done at the end of the day), and I'm not in a position where a frivolous dollar hurts me... and you just called me dumb.

12. ### MisterBlack macrumors member

Joined:
Nov 4, 2002
#12
But realistically speaking the two are pretty close.

13. ### cr2sh macrumors 68030

Joined:
May 28, 2002
Location:
downtown
#13
I concede your point, the odds of winning are very small - but it is also true, someone has to eventually win. I once heard it phrased that 'Your odds of winning are only slightly increased if you buy a ticket.'

14. ### macktheknife macrumors 6502a

Joined:
Jan 24, 2002
#14
If you've ever taken a course in statistics, you will find out just how the odds are stacked against you when you gamble. As my instructor loved to say, "If you're gonna gamble, you know what? Just give me the money. Just give it to me instead of the casinos." As many of you have pointed out, lotteries are indeed a tax on the poor since the poor are more likely to buy them than the affluent.

In the end, however, as my friend said about lotteries: "Someone is going to win, just buy a ticket and keep yourself in the running."

15. ### Hemingray macrumors 68030

Joined:
Jan 9, 2002
Location:
Ha ha haaa!
#15
So, what are the odds of drastik, e-coli, and mcrain all posting the same thing one after another without realizing it?

I've never played the lotto. McDonald's scratch-off prizes is about as close as I've gotten.

16. ### buffsldr macrumors 6502a

Joined:
May 7, 2001
#16

Arrgghh. Why do people equate probability with statistics? We are speaking of probabilities here, not statistics. It sounds like you had a Probability/Statistics Class, likely for non-majors. Were you a psych major or something?

Joined:
Oct 28, 2002
#17
Odds Are...

18. ### elohim01 macrumors newbie

Joined:
Sep 25, 2002
#18
Grr...No gambling in a few cases is not gambling at all. Some games are skill (although a VERY MINOR amount of luck is involved)

For instance, the same 10 or so guys make it to the final round of the World Championship of Poker every year...what are these guys, the luckiest guys in the world? No, of course not!

Poker and Blackjack (to a lesser extent than poker) are more of a skill game for the professional.

19. ### diorio macrumors 6502a

Joined:
Aug 22, 2002
#19
All I can say is I feel sorry for the suckers who buy lotto tickets. As some famous guy said, "there is a sucker born every minute"

20. ### buffsldr macrumors 6502a

Joined:
May 7, 2001
#20
Must not be that famous if we refer to him as "some famous guy"

21. ### cr2sh macrumors 68030

Joined:
May 28, 2002
Location:
downtown
#21
Random distribution is statistics. Although I do agree what they said was silly, as if you need to take ANY course to understand that the odds of you winning are poor. Why must they insist that they're SMARTER because they avoid gambling? Hence, they are my superior.. because they don't enjoy a game of chance. At what point did you're personal taste make you smarter than me? (Unless you're hobby is reading and mine is huffing gasoline.)

It's a FUN GAME. For people who like to HAVE FUN. If you don't enjoy it fine, but don't think for a second that you're superior to everyone who does. Also, if anyone can point me to a study that shows that poverty stricken individuals play the lottery more than any other group in our society, I would love to see it. I also feel that that stereotype (like most) is total bunk.

22. ### macktheknife macrumors 6502a

Joined:
Jan 24, 2002
#22
One of the many things you learn in statistics (besides regression, sampling, correlation, etc.) is probability or frequency theory. It was one of the most fascinating subjects in our class, and it served as the foundation for the binomial formula and standard distribution. No, I was not a psych major, but the class I took was an intro to statistics course required of all stat majors.

As for the statement "Why must they insist that they're SMARTER because they avoid gambling?", I hope you didn't think I equated intelligence with aversion to gambling. I merely wanted to spell out how statistics show in clear black and white one's chances for winning. It hasn't stopped me from buying a ticket every now and then (see my comment on keeping yourself in the running), but anyone who buys lots of tickets on a regular basis is asking for trouble. I remember reading on CNNfn about how someone considered his \$250 monthly binge on lottery tickets as an "investment" that could yield some huge gains.

23. ### macktheknife macrumors 6502a

Joined:
Jan 24, 2002
#23
You're actually right. In games like blackjack and poker, the player actually does have an even chance against the casinos. Card counting can get you pretty far too for those games. The chances of roulette, however, definitely favors the house (the law of averages explains why).

24. ### cr2sh macrumors 68030

Joined:
May 28, 2002
Location:
downtown
#24
Understood.

Whenever I go up to Windsor to play at the casino, I go with a certain mindset. If I sat down at the table thinking "I'm going to lose all this money!" I would never play. Instead I like to look at it as a bank. Somedays I go into the bank, and make a deposit. In fact, most days I go in to make a deposit. .. that doesn't matter. One day I'm going to go in and make a big withdrawl. They're just holding my money for me and it's collecting mad interest.

That's a very optimistic mindset, but I always have fun and I'm always carefull not to put anymore down than I am willing and capable of 'depositing.'