Wrote for Luck

Some interesting comments on frequencies in the National Lottery. I stopped playing when it went up to £2. I figured a pound wasn’t too high a price for a small frisson of excitement when the draw was taking place, but two pounds was too much…

quantixed

Fans of probability love random processes. And lotteries are a great example of random number generation.

The UK National Lottery ran in one format from 19/11/1994 until 7/10/2015. I was talking to somebody who had played the same set of numbers in all of these lottery draws and I wondered what the net gain or loss has been for them over this period.

The basic format is that people buy a line of numbers (6 numbers, from 1-49) and try to match the six numbers (from 49 balls numbered 1-49) drawn from a machine. The aim is to match all six balls and win the jackpot. The odds of this are fantastically small (1 in ~14 million), but if they are the only person matching these numbers they can take away £3-5 million. There are prizes for matching three numbers (1 in ~56 chance), four numbers (1 in ~1,032),  five numbers (1…

View original post 577 more words

One Response to “Wrote for Luck”

  1. While the numbers are random (if the lottery is fair), you can improve your winnings by sticking to numbers >31, since many people used dates as the basis of their picks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: