And speaking of chances, I did some digging and discovered a few things I did not know about the odds of winning the lottery. Now let me share all these wonderful calculations with you so the bunch of us can say that we are at least a little more knowledgeable for having spent the five bucks to buy a ticket.
Wikipedia has an article entitled “Lottery mathematics” which details how to figure out the odds. However we are told that spreadsheets have a wonderful function which will do all the work for us. In my Excel, I put in “=combin(49,6)” to describe the parameters of my game, that is, the range of numbers goes from 1 to 49 and I must match 6 numbers to win. This turns out to be 13,983,816 which means for Lott 6/49 that I have one chance in approximately thirteen million. With Lotto Max, there are seven numbers to choose so this means I put “=combin(49,7)” in Excel and end up with 85,900,584. Wait a second! The OLG advertises that my chances of winning are one in twenty-eight million. What gives? Simple: each Lotto Max ticket has three numbers so the correct odds are one in 28,633,528, that is eight-five million divided by three.
Hmmm, now since we have a total of 40 prizes, does this mean our chances of winning are now 28,633,528 divided by 40 prizes or 715,828.2? Well, I’ll go with that. But that still is more than getting hit by lightning which stands at one in 500,000.
Lotto Max: Fri Apr 15: $50 million plus 39 MaxMillions
Lotto Max: One chance in 715,828.2 (28,633,528 divided by 40 prizes of a million or more)
6/49: Saturday, April 16, 2011: $7,000,000
Lotto 6/49: One chance in 13,983,816
All the latest winning numbers
You can visit the Lotto web site and check out all the latest winning numbers including Poker, 49, Lottario, Keno, Pick 4, Pick 3 and Payday. Of course, all the Encore numbers can be found there as well.
Click HERE to read more from William Belle
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