JUST HOW BAD ARE THE ODDS?
Last Updated: April 20, 2002
|Home||Okay, this is how I got
started. I've always figured that one didn't get much of a return playing the
lottery and so wanted to get some hard numbers on exactly what one can expect over
the long haul. So I wrote a little program to simulate the Wisconsin multistate
Powerball lottery drawing which is drawn twice a week, making 104 drawings per year.
I originally intended on writing a web-based application
(and still do), so that anyone could simulate multiple years in a few seconds, but
I still haven't gotten around to doing that yet.
I kinda skipped posting the 13 and 14 million year marks, so here's 15. Interesting how I'm below average on the top 3 categories. Wonder if that reflects on the randomizer I'm using...
Below is a table giving all of the nitty gritty numbers, but the long and the short is that, on average, you can only expect a little more than 33 cents back out of every dollar you spend. We'll see what the next million years bring.
|Now for some other amusing statistics I've run across...|
|1 pair 1||2.1|
|3 of a kind 1||47.3|
|4 of a kind 1||4,063.5|
|Eating a spider while sleeping||9,496.3|
|Straight Royal Flush 1||649,731.0|
|Struck by lighning 2||400,000.0|
|Killed by lightning||2,750,000.0|
|Killed in plane crash 2||700,000.0|
|Freeze to death 2||3,000,000.0|