tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6708375.post111404165888056233..comments2023-12-09T05:29:38.857-05:00Comments on Canadian Cynic: Lottery tickets and mathematical puzzlers.CChttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11406057201126015750noreply@blogger.comBlogger10125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6708375.post-44364391833456434922008-06-07T06:58:00.000-04:002008-06-07T06:58:00.000-04:00Your chances of winning the lottery are only -slig...Your chances of winning the lottery are only -slightly- increased by actually buying a ticket! ;)SocialTyranthttps://www.blogger.com/profile/08892276539508465324noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6708375.post-1114173404778447582005-04-22T08:36:00.000-04:002005-04-22T08:36:00.000-04:00Gosh, did I actually say that? Let me check ... w...Gosh, did I actually say that? Let me check ... why, no, I said no such thing. Fancy that.<BR/><BR/>The point is (and pay attention so I don't have to explain this twice, please) that <B>many</B> people will never choose a set of numbers like 1,2,3,4,5,6 because, in their minds, it's just too improbable. They see the pattern and think, oh, that can never happen. And they fail to appreciate that it's no less likely than any <B>other</B> set of numbers.<BR/><BR/>I never claimed that <B>I</B> was the only one clever enough to know that. That's not necessary. All that's necessary is for a sufficient number of other people to think the other way.<BR/><BR/>Remember, these are the same people who, after watching a flipped coin come up heads five times in a row, are really, <B>really</B> sure that it's time for a tails. Is that clear enough?<BR/><BR/>And, yes, it really is about human nature.CChttps://www.blogger.com/profile/11406057201126015750noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6708375.post-1114170347565401012005-04-22T07:45:00.000-04:002005-04-22T07:45:00.000-04:00Are you saying that out of the 20-30 million ticke...Are you saying that out of the 20-30 million tickets sold each week that you are the only smarty pants who can see that 1 2 3 4 5 6 is just as likely to be drawn as any other combination?<BR/><BR/>I think you may want to read up on human nature a bit more.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6708375.post-1114116895855358202005-04-21T16:54:00.000-04:002005-04-21T16:54:00.000-04:00Read the question again carefully. I wasn't askin...Read the question again carefully. I wasn't asking how to increase your chance of winning the prize -- that is, picking the correct numbers. As we already know, there's no way to change that, assuming the numbers are drawn randomly.<BR/><BR/>I was asking how to "maximize your expected return", and the only way to do that is to try to pick a set of numbers that others aren't as likely to choose, which means it's less likely you'll have to share.<BR/><BR/>Human nature being what it is, <B>very</B> few people would ever consider picking the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6. "Oh, come on," they'll say, "what are the chances of exactly those numbers being picked?" Then they'll happily pick a different set of six numbers, not appreciating that the chance of <B>those</B> six numbers coming up are exactly the same.<BR/><BR/>Like I said, it's just a human nature thing.CChttps://www.blogger.com/profile/11406057201126015750noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6708375.post-1114115302039323842005-04-21T16:28:00.000-04:002005-04-21T16:28:00.000-04:00There is no "system" to increase your chance of wi...There is no "system" to increase your chance of winning the grand prize in a randomly drawn lottery. Choosing number sets "not as likely" to be chosen by others may increase you chance of not having to share the grand prize with others with the same numbers. But, as has been discussed above, whatever clever scheme you employ will likely have already been put to use by others who don't understand either.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6708375.post-1114080303968208672005-04-21T06:45:00.000-04:002005-04-21T06:45:00.000-04:00No one will pick obviously "patterned" numbers bec...<B>No one will pick obviously "patterned" numbers because they don't look "random"</B><BR/><BR/>But you just did!<BR/><BR/>I don't buy it. Shouldn't you also take into account that some similarly-minded wise guy out there has also thought along those lines and picked the same numbers? As J. Jonah Jameson would say, "What are the odds?"<BR/><BR/>I could propose a strategy such as picking a random set of numbers all greater than 31 so as to not conflict with people whose lucky numbers include their birthdays. But, again, what are the odds that someone else out there has the same idea, thus increasing the odds that we'd conflict?<BR/><BR/>In fact, any attempt to use some sort of system probably has a lower probability of success, I would imagine. In which case, your best bet is to go with a purely random set of numbers.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6708375.post-1114052598320245442005-04-20T23:03:00.000-04:002005-04-20T23:03:00.000-04:00I have definitely got to come up with harder puzzl...I have <B>definitely</B> got to come up with harder puzzles.CChttps://www.blogger.com/profile/11406057201126015750noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6708375.post-1114049800835518252005-04-20T22:16:00.000-04:002005-04-20T22:16:00.000-04:00On the assumption that the numbers are actually ch...On the assumption that the numbers are actually chosen randomly, pick six consecutive numbers, like 1,2,3,4,5,6. No one will pick obviously "patterned" numbers because they don't look "random", though the odds are just as good they will come up. That way, if you win, you won't split the jackpot.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6708375.post-1114042801395863372005-04-20T20:20:00.000-04:002005-04-20T20:20:00.000-04:00All right, that's devilishly clever but, no, in th...All right, that's devilishly clever but, no, in this case, you do have to play. Not playing is not an option.<BR/><BR/>Man, you folks can be such pedants sometimes. :-)CChttps://www.blogger.com/profile/11406057201126015750noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6708375.post-1114042612563015982005-04-20T20:16:00.000-04:002005-04-20T20:16:00.000-04:00Don't buy a ticket, and your expected return is ze...Don't buy a ticket, and your expected return is zero. Much better than the expected return when buying ticketsAnonymousnoreply@blogger.com