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 Science, Math, and Philosophy Discussions regarding science, math, and/or philosophy.

03-30-2012, 05:51 PM   #16
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Re: lottery odds

Playing this lottery is super -ev ainc.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Stu Pidasso I'm guessing 256 million tickets will be sold(educated guess based off information from the mega millions website).
This number is way too low. The current jackpot estimate is 600mil, and they always claim to give conservative estimates.

Quote:
 I figure 1.45 winning tickets will be sold.(256/175.7)
This math is approximate if you play and don't win. If you play and win, that would mean that 1.45 OTHER winning tickets are sold.

Last edited by ZeeJustin; 03-30-2012 at 06:00 PM.

03-30-2012, 06:06 PM   #17
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Re: lottery odds

Quote:
 Originally Posted by ZeeJustin This number is way too low. The current jackpot estimate is 600mil, and they always claim to give conservative estimates.
Yeah I know....Jaytee showed were my error was in coming up with that number.

 03-31-2012, 09:51 AM #18 undeserving     Join Date: Oct 2007 Location: What's next? Posts: 2,423 Re: lottery odds Okay, so the odds are approximately 1 in 175.8 million. If I bought 46 tickets and used all 46 numbers of the mega ball, with all the other numbers being random, how would that change my odds? Would it be 46/175.8 million, or would it be better because I had one number that was needed to win the jackpot?
 03-31-2012, 10:01 AM #19 Carpal \'Tunnel     Join Date: Jan 2008 Location: \$13.38/hr in 2012 Posts: 13,084 Re: lottery odds I think it would still be 46/175.8M Guaranteed \$2 rebate tho
 03-31-2012, 10:50 AM #20 banned   Join Date: Jan 2012 Posts: 289 Re: lottery odds don't forget that if you buy 180,000,000 tickets the jackpot goes up by ~90,000,000,000. And you get like an extra 4.7m - taxes for picking all the right #s but not the powerball. Add that up for an extra 5-7% EV
 03-31-2012, 11:00 AM #21 banned   Join Date: Jan 2012 Posts: 289 Re: lottery odds So... anyway, 3 people won and if you bought 180M tickets your share's worth 185M- lump sum fee of prob 60M - 40M taxes for a grand loss of around (100M).
03-31-2012, 11:12 AM   #22
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Re: lottery odds

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Kyle Mulhesta don't forget that if you buy 180,000,000 tickets the jackpot goes up by ~90,000,000,000. And you get like an extra 4.7m - taxes for picking all the right #s but not the powerball. Add that up for an extra 5-7% EV
Actually it only goes up around ~\$64 million. Only 32% of a ticket purchased goes towards the jackpot.

03-31-2012, 12:12 PM   #23
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Re: lottery odds

Quote:
 Originally Posted by masque de Z I dont think so unless one can get a substantial rebate in terms of loss by tax adjustments. If the volume wasnt over 500 mil tickets that it seems will prove this time it would be plus EV. The only plus EV idea i see right now with the current projected tickets sold is to try top over 31 numbers for all 6. I believe that everyone that buys a ticket today using top numbers is making a very rare plus EV lotto bet lol. Of course who cares really, that EV wont be realized until a few million trials are made lol. Just feels good at least to know that buying these kind of tickets today is not a bad idea as it is usually. The typical lottery ticket with small jackpot is probably a -40% investment right away, the worse possible bet one can take even worse that pushing all in with 72o from UTG in a table of 9 with 100 bb depth that people assign you a 5% or tighter range unaware of the audacity lol! But today its positive for these numbers.
And, more importantly, that EV is, what, like \$1.08 for a \$1 ticket? Quickly becomes even more obviously stupid when you consider opportunity cost.

As usual, if you get entertainment and joy out of buying it, and that joy has some value for you >\$1, then go nuts, but even in extreme situations it is very unlikely it is TRULY a good bet.

03-31-2012, 02:54 PM   #24
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Re: lottery odds

Quote:
 Originally Posted by vhawk01 And, more importantly, that EV is, what, like \$1.08 for a \$1 ticket? Quickly becomes even more obviously stupid when you consider opportunity cost. As usual, if you get entertainment and joy out of buying it, and that joy has some value for you >\$1, then go nuts, but even in extreme situations it is very unlikely it is TRULY a good bet.
There is no tax on the sale of the ticket in most states, with winnings taxed over a certain amount. In Texas for example, it is \$599 before a claim form needs to be filed.

03-31-2012, 06:05 PM   #25
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Re: lottery odds

Quote:
 Originally Posted by MonkeyPox There is no tax on the sale of the ticket in most states, with winnings taxed over a certain amount. In Texas for example, it is \$599 before a claim form needs to be filed.
Just for the record, in the United States all gambling winnings are subject to federal income tax, not just those over a certain amount. (This is true of all gambling winnings.) There is a difference between the reporting requirement, which kicks in at various thresholds for different kinds of gambling winnings, and liability for tax, which is always there.

My experience (I was a tax pro for a while) is that a majority of people do not know this — not only do they not report and pay tax on winnings under the reporting thresholds, they don't even know they're committing violating the law. (Most of them would do it even if they knew, though.)

03-31-2012, 11:39 PM   #26
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Re: lottery odds

Quote:
 Originally Posted by vhawk01 And, more importantly, that EV is, what, like \$1.08 for a \$1 ticket? Quickly becomes even more obviously stupid when you consider opportunity cost.
What opportunity cost? My next best alternative was a McDouble.

The gamble was +EV but, man, this game has some sick variance

03-31-2012, 11:52 PM   #27
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Re: lottery odds

Quote:
 Originally Posted by vhawk01 As usual, if you get entertainment and joy out of buying it, and that joy has some value for you >\$1,
That is the entire point. I happen to not get any joy out of a lottery ticket, but I can take into account that some people do.

 04-01-2012, 12:38 AM #28 veteran     Join Date: Aug 2009 Location: Stanford, CA USA Posts: 3,320 Re: lottery odds I dont get any pleasure either but fully realize that these 3 that won over 130 mil each after taxes now wouldnt have won without playing! So since the game is not badly minus ev when so big i play fully aware of the futile nature of it all but with the understanding that at least i refused to be a complete cynic. I have no other current activity that experiences payouts of over 100k or 100mil within minutes after playing and my tickets were generated 5 minutes before the end of the period because clearly i would find it ridiculous to wait in any line. I played all big numbers as i suggested and hit nothing but at least i am convinced that the plan works as you noticed even in this one the existence of 2 big numbers took the total to 3 not the avg 4 or 5 winners expected for such activity. I maintain that playing over 31 numbers at such cases like yesterday is of decent ev so i only play the lottery every 1-2 or 3 years.
04-01-2012, 12:43 AM   #29
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Re: lottery odds

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Aaron W. Use a Markov chain. Here's an example with dice-rolling: http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/56679.html
Aaron, when our matrices have dimensions like 175M, as in this problem, is the Markov method still computationally feasible?

04-01-2012, 01:17 AM   #30
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Re: lottery odds

Quote:
 Originally Posted by gaming_mouse Aaron, when our matrices have dimensions like 175M, as in this problem, is the Markov method still computationally feasible?
I'm not sure. It's certainly a big computational problem, but it would be a pretty big computational problem using any sort of enumerative process, so it's entirely possible that the problem is simply not computationally feasible at all.

Since the structure of the matrix is very simple (zeros everywhere except the main diagonal and super-diagonal) and it's of a form that's not too difficult to express, it wouldn't surprise me if there's some slick way of rewriting it to reduce the computational complexity. Though I must admit that I have a distaste for matrix algebra, so I never really learned the "classical" forms of matrices that can be used to help these types of problems.

Alternatively, it's possible that from the Markov chain representation of the problem that you could come up with an approximation via some power series expression.

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