I've played the Powerball simulator for 1,092 years and have lost 91% of my money


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I love powersall.


The lottery is a tax on people who don’t understand math.


My dad (a computer scientist) once told me that when the Powerball gets really, really big, he buys one ticket.
When I asked why, he answered that if you don’t buy a ticket, your chances of winning are 0. If you do buy one ticket, your chances are (technically) not zero, which is an improvement. Any additional ticket purchases beyond that were a waste as they didn’t actually improve your chances (practically speaking).
Kinda my attitude.


Yeah this. Next to nothing odds for 2 bucks every few weeks or so and nice 5 minute pipe dream is okay. And cheaper than a short cappuccino at Starbucks. Spending more than that is dumb though.


@frauenfelder PowerSall?


Same here, I figure that I can fantasize about winning just as easily with one ticket as with ten. The other things that I do are I have rolled dice to pick a random set of numbers rather than choosing numbers (people tend to choose non-random numbers) or letting the machine pick the numbers (psuedo random is not the same as random) which lowers the chance of splitting the prize. Of course that does nothing to change the chance of winning. The other thing that I do is pay the extra dollar for the “power play” option which increases the amount of non-jackpot prizes. I figure that I’m 25 times more likely to win a million dollars than the jackpot and I’d be kicking myself for not paying the extra dollar.


people tend to choose non-random numbers

I think what you mean are that people tend to pick similar numbers and so that means if those numbers are the winning numbers, the prize is going to be shared among lots of people.

From the perspective of the tumbling balls, no combination of numbers is more or less random than some other combination. 1-2-3-4-5-6 is just as likely to hit as 5-11-17-43-44-50.


“Somebody will win the $1.3 Billion Powerball lottery, but it won’t be me and it won’t be you.”


In other words the first ticket improves your chance of winning by an infinite multiplier. The second ticket merely doubles it.





It’ll be Biff Tannen.


the innumerable innumerate


I don’t buy powerball tickets because I consider my odds at finding a winning ticket on the ground nearly the same to going in the store to buy one.


S is really close to the correct letter on the keyboard, it’s easy to see where it went awry.

Obviously he meant PowerWall. What Trump wants to install.



But the ticket you find on the ground has vastly smaller odds of being a winner than one you find at the counter.

Even more insignificant than the insignificant odds of winning in the first place.


I suppose I wasn’t clear. I don’t think that you can pick numbers that affect your chance of winning. But you CAN at least pick numbers that MIGHT affect your chance of splitting the prize if you do win, so long as your method* of picking “random” numbers isn’t one used by a large number of other players.

*even if others are using percentile dice to pick numbers, so long as the irregularities in their dice aren’t the same as the ones on your dice, your chance of splitting the prize is less than if you used the same dice or the same pseudo-random number generator.