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Lottery Odds

What are the odds of ever winning a lottery?  How about the odds of winning anything whatsoever when you play the lottery?

Obviously, one does not generally play a lottery because the odds are in their favor.  In fact, the odds are stacked strongly against you.  And yet, someone invariably wins.  As the saying goes, nobody ever won the lottery without buying a ticket.  That someone could just as easily be you, and it would be best not to even consider the astronomical odds involved.

However, for the hopelessly curious, the following information is presented.  You will find the odds involved in most lotteries, methods of better covering sets of numbers, and how to methodically lower the odds against you.

It can be done!  Read on ...

  Lottery Probability, & Your Real Chance of Winning

The probability of winning the lottery that you enter depends upon the number of separate numbers drawn, and the total population of numbers they are chosen from.  The smaller the total population, the fewer possible outcomes.

For example, the Canadian 6/49 Lottery has 6 numbers drawn from a total of 49 balls with the numbers 1 through 49 on them.  The probability here is 1 in 13,983,816. 

Before the first ball with a number on it is drawn, or randomly selected, there are 49 balls in the hopper.  The first ball is drawn and put aside.  After this first ball is drawn, there is 48 balls in the hopper.  After the first two balls are drawn, there is 47 balls, or numbers, remaining. This continues until there are 44 balls remaining in the hopper when the sixth winning number is drawn.

The Canadian 6/49 draws a bonus ball, which is drawn from the remaining balls after the sixth number is drawn.  This last, or Bonus, number is used to select a second tier winner, and has amounted to more than $693,000.00.

The Irish Lotto 6/42 has 6 numbers drawn from a total of 42 balls. This brings the odds down to 1 in 5,245,786.  The US PowerBall draws 5 numbers from a total of 45 balls.  Then, 1 number is drawn from a separate set of balls numbered from 1 to 42.  This little detail makes the odds here 1 in 80,089,128.

These numbers may surprise you.  Some are very extreme.   Here is a sampling of the odds of some of the World's Great Lotteries:

LOTTERY TYPE Odds 1 Chance in:
US PowerBall 5/45 + 1/42 80,089,128
US The Big Game 5/50 + 1/36 76,275,360
Australian PowerBall 5/45 + 1/45 54,979,155
California SuperLotto 6/51 18,009,460
New York Lotto 6/51 18,009,460
Texas Lotto 6/50 15,890,700
Spanish Pimera 6/49 13,983,816
French Lotto 6/49 13,983,816
Liechtenstein Plus Lotto 6/49 13,983,816
British Lotto 6/49 13,983,816
Canadian Lotto 6/49 13,983,816
Washington Lotto 6/49 13,983,816
Scandinavian Lotto 6/48 12,271,512
Hong Kong Lotto 6/47 10,737,573
Australian Tattslotto 6/45 8,145,060
Australian Oz Lotto 6/45 8,145,060
Irish Lotto 6/42 5,245,786
You can see from this information that the odds are always very, very long.  Sometime, they can be downright astronomical.

You can also see why the PowerBall lotteries sometimes get so incredibly large - the probability of someone hitting that lottery is very, very remote.  The jackpot accumulates, and then someone hits it.

And therein lies the rub.  Someone hits it.

Somebody wins, and that group only includes people who have bought a ticket.  Therefore, most people discount the odds of winning the jackpot in favor of a transient dream of wealth and independence.

So, buy a few tickets when the jackpot gets large enough to get your attention.  The odds aren't very good, but it does indeed happen to someone.

You may as well put yourself in the 'Qualified Group' - those that actually have bought a ticket.

Good Luck!

Here is a link to the lotteries with the best jackpots versus cost in the world:

Worldwide Lottery Tickets



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