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 06-22-2009, 04:21 PM #1 stranger   Join Date: Jun 2009 Posts: 1 Do lottery betting systems work? Do lotto betting systems work? there's this site, www.helpyouwinthelottery.com that claims to have a system of picking numbers to increase your odds of winnig. Does it work? Have you heread of it? What do you think?
06-22-2009, 04:49 PM   #2
journeyman

Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 390
Re: Do lottery betting systems work?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by pavenet1 Do lotto betting systems work? there's this site, www.helpyouwinthelottery.com that claims to have a system of picking numbers to increase your odds of winnig. Does it work? Have you heread of it? What do you think?
Yep it works, you buy more tickets, which means you have more chances of winning.

Course you return rate is exactly the same.

 06-22-2009, 07:49 PM #3 veteran   Join Date: Jan 2009 Posts: 3,125 Re: Do lottery betting systems work? Yes – having a lottery betting system most definitely works if you play it right. You set up a system, cleverly advertise it and get people to subscribe. You can make a lot of money that way. More seriously, a lottery betting system works about as well as a roulette playing system – not! Here is how a lottery works in the simplest of terms. Assume there is only one winner. Each person picks a number between 1 and 100. If they pick the right number, they win. If more than one pick the right number, they share the prize equally. The key element is the prize. Suppose 1000 people buy tickets for \$1 each. The maximum prize pool is then \$1000. But, expenses have to be subtracted out. Say they are \$100. Then the lottery owner (say the state) has to take its share, say another \$100. That leaves \$800 as the prize pool You, the lottery player, have a 1/100 chance of selecting the right number. But, your share of the prize pool is 1/10 of that since there are 1000 players and each of them has the same chance of getting the right number. So, your EV is (1/100)* (1/10)*\$800 - \$1 = -\$0.20 Assuming a fair lottery, each dollar removed from the prize pool reduces your EV, which starts out at 0. There is no system that I can think of that can change that EV. The only smart thing to do in a lottery (except perhaps to not play them) is to choose those that have better payoffs. One more point. I used to think lotteries were really stupid to play. But, I’ve kind of moderated that position and that is because of the concept of utility. The chance to win a million dollars, say, as small as it is, is for many people worth the likely small loss to play each week. But, for many others, playing the lottery may be taking food off the table or needed medicines and then the worth is questionable.
06-22-2009, 07:54 PM   #4
Carpal \'Tunnel

Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Psychology Department
Posts: 7,766
Re: Do lottery betting systems work?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by statmanhal One more point. I used to think lotteries were really stupid to play. But, I’ve kind of moderated that position and that is because of the concept of utility. The chance to win a million dollars, say, as small as it is, is for many people worth the likely small loss to play each week. But, for many others, playing the lottery may be taking food off the table or needed medicines and then the worth is questionable.
Your example only focuses on the cost side of the equation (i.e. it costs poor person more to play than a wealthy person). However, consider the benefit side of the equation. If you make \$500K a year, winning a \$1,000,000 prize probably won't affect you as much as someone who makes \$16K a year.

I suspect that a utility function would be curvilinear such that the middle class would gain the most in utility from playing the lottery.

Sherman

06-22-2009, 08:08 PM   #5
veteran

Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,125
Re: Do lottery betting systems work?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Sherman Your example only focuses on the cost side of the equation (i.e. it costs poor person more to play than a wealthy person). However, consider the benefit side of the equation. If you make \$500K a year, winning a \$1,000,000 prize probably won't affect you as much as someone who makes \$16K a year. I suspect that a utility function would be curvilinear such that the middle class would gain the most in utility from playing the lottery. Sherman
I'm surprised by that comment. I specifically was thinking of the poor or middle class person who is more than willing to lose \$1 to only gain \$0.80 in real money expectation because his utility function is not linear. In other words, I agree 100% with your example, and perhaps was not clear in how I presented the argument.

 06-22-2009, 09:02 PM #6 See my staking thread   Join Date: Dec 2006 Posts: 7,476 Re: Do lottery betting systems work? Basically, a different way to say what you guys are saying is the lottery is effectively a fairly cruel regressive tax (which it is). The people that spam silly lottery systems are just taking advantage of the stupid, naive and desperate. I have nothing against people playing the lottery for fun if they can afford it, but it is really one of the more sinister government sponsored programs that exists (and I am an anti conspiracy type guy). Hard to forget the guy I saw at a store who was buying a few hundred dollars in tickets who claimed that he won some each week. I am sure he did... I assume the only "system" that would be practical is avoiding common sequences of numbers that many others might choose. I cannot even imagine what methodology the people who sell systems even pretend to use, but then again there are tons of roulette systems being sold, so I guess enough people exist out there who will by that garbage.
 06-22-2009, 10:28 PM #7 Carpal \'Tunnel     Join Date: Jun 2005 Location: Psychology Department Posts: 7,766 Re: Do lottery betting systems work? "The lottery is a tax on people who are bad at Math." ~ Woody Paige as seen on Around the Horn
06-23-2009, 01:26 AM   #8
old hand

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Professional Flamer
Posts: 1,912
Re: Do lottery betting systems work?

Well, the lottery can have overlays.

One example: (From lottery-group.co.uk)

Quote:
 Guaranteed Lottery Wins From History To our knowledge there is only one known occurrence of somebody guaranteeing a lottery win by purchasing all possible lottery number combinations - and this happened on a May 1992 bank holiday Irish National Lottery. A Polish-Irish businessman and a syndicate team of 28 Dublin based players decided they would purchase every single possible combination on the lottery, and thus guarantee a win on the lottery. On the Irish National Lottery at that time there were just 36 numbers in the draw and you had to match 6 of these, leaving odds of winning the lottery at 1 in 1,947,792. These lottery tickets each cost just £0.50, meaning that every possible lottery ticket combination could be purchased for £973,896. The jackpot prize on the May 1992 bank holiday lottery draw stood at £1.7 million. This meant that they could guarantee a profit of over £700,000 by purchasing every lottery number combination. This is of course providing that nobody else wins on the lottery draw too. Despite a last ditch attempt by the lottery organisers to prevent the organised Dublin based syndicate to purchase the tickets, the group went ahead to win the lottery - but they weren't the only ones. Somebody else also won on the draw, and so the jackpot was split. The syndicate still ended up with a slight overall profit though, due to the other prizes for matching 5, 4 and 3 balls on the lottery. However it is certain that due to the time spent organising the whole operation, the overall profits were actually very small and not worth the time spent arranging the scheme.
Also, I remember some time ago that a lottery in the US was hit by a group attempting to purchase every combo. They only managed to buy about 72% if I recall correctly.*

They must have been sweating that drawing out, but they managed to hit and make a nice profit.

At that time you could buy bulk purchases in sequence from the main lottery location (don't know what to call it). After this win they changed the rules---got to buy them one at a time retail.

*All of the above is from memory. For the most part I believe it to be accurate. Google searches have come up empty so far. I seem to recall the drawing being on the east coast. Penn? Ohio? Virginia? Florida?

EDIT: found it

from Betasia.com

Quote:

Last edited by Sevenfold; 06-23-2009 at 01:34 AM.

06-23-2009, 02:11 PM   #9

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 866
Re: Do lottery betting systems work?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by pavenet1 Do lotto betting systems work? there's this site, www.helpyouwinthelottery.com that claims to have a system of picking numbers to increase your odds of winnig. Does it work? Have you heread of it? What do you think?
I don't know what's out there as far as betting systems go, but as far as improving ones EV in playing these, there are 2 considerations to take into account that I know of to improve ones EV:
1. Avoiding ties
2. Prize money rollover
When you tie, you have to share your prize money and this impacts your EV, so you pick seat of numbers not likely to be picked by other people. For example, people like to pick numbers that correspond to dates in a calender, so avoiding numbers 1 thru 31 and especially 1 thru 12 is a reasonable idea. There are other tie avoidance ideas besides this one. You just want to go against the herd one way or another.

When there is no winner in a given drawing, prize money is rolled over into the next jackpot. In theory, if enough money gets rolled over relative to the number of participants, then EV can actually be positive despite the huge "rake." I don't know if this actually pans out in practice. The "rake" is so huge.

BTW, I don't play in these things. Its just seems to be too much of a long shot to be worth my time and effort.

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