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Jarrett Heather
Jarrett Heather's Journal
Foolish Powerball Players
I read on MSNBC.com that factory workers in Tennessee chipped in $24,000 to buy Powerball tickets.

They didn't say what kind of factory it was, but I assume they weren't manufacturing calculators.

With that investment, the odds skyrocted from 1 in 80,089,128 to 1 in 3,337. Practically a sure thing. For poker players, those are about the same odds of being dealt four of a kind as a pat hand.

Don't feel too bad for them. Their investment was likely to yeild some winning tickets. They were likely to win 324 $3 tickets, 203 $4 tickets, 154 $7 tickets, and 5 $100 tickets. Total winnings: about $3,362. Return on investment: 14%.

$20,638 wasted. They'd have been better off going to Vegas and putting it all on the roulette wheel. The odds are 1 in 38, and the payoff would have been $864,000.
6 comments or Leave a comment
lordremo From: lordremo Date: August 27th, 2001 01:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Yea, but Jarett...

they lowered their odds by over 79 million. As high as 3400 to one is. If I had the chance, I'd have bought a ticket in that group. My investment would be only a dollar, but the possible return would be many thousands. Sure the higher investors get the bigger share, but on an enormous pie... I can live off those crumbs!
jarrett From: jarrett Date: August 27th, 2001 10:07 am (UTC) (Link)


If the factory workers had bought one of the four winning tickets, someone who invested one dollar in the pool would have recieved a cash option, after taxes prize of about $300.
lordremo From: lordremo Date: August 27th, 2001 06:33 pm (UTC) (Link)


Admittedly, I don't have all the variables at my disposal to factor down the results... but I'll side with ya if you'll pass me the $300. I'm so easy to please!
From: marnanel Date: August 27th, 2001 05:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Any news on how much they actually did win?

BTW, is there a way of picking the relationships between the numbers when you buy a very large number of lottery tickets to increase the chances? (As an extreme example, choosing the same numbers on each ticket wouldn't increase the chances at all.)
From: ex_mrflagg Date: August 27th, 2001 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)

increasing your odds of winning


but you have to make a decision about hedging your bets or going for the glory

im with John Daly on this one

go big, or go home
jarrett From: jarrett Date: August 27th, 2001 10:13 am (UTC) (Link)


I think as long as they purchase 24,000 unique tickets, their chances of winning remains constant.

They could decrease their chances of having to share the prize by picking only numbers 32 and higher. Most people who don't get quick picks play the birthdays of their family members. Avoiding those numbers will not decrease your chance of winning, but will decrease the probability that someone out there picked the same numbers as you.
6 comments or Leave a comment