FinsRule
Joined: Dec 23, 2009
• Posts: 3701
February 18th, 2014 at 4:45:47 AM permalink
Whenever there is a big lottery jackpot, the newspaper will run a story that says this in it somewhere

(From the Reuters story on the \$400 million Powerball drawing Wednesday)

"Chances of winning the big prize, regardless of how many tickets a typical player buys, are one in 175 million, the lottery said."

This obviously is inaccurate (unless I am seriously confused) so why is it reported, and why is the lottery saying it?
BleedingChipsSlowly
Joined: Jul 9, 2010
• Posts: 926
February 18th, 2014 at 5:37:07 AM permalink
Just a mistake I think. If you buy two tickets you have 2 chances in 175 million. Unless you specified the same numbers for both tickets in which case your chances of winning would 1 in 175 million with a larger share of the jackpot should you win.
“You don’t bring a bone saw to a negotiation.” - Robert Jordan, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia
darthxaos
Joined: Nov 9, 2013
• Posts: 87
February 18th, 2014 at 6:27:52 AM permalink
How do you account for the possibility of a jackpot split when trying to calculate whether buying a ticket is +EV, how do you determine the odds of a split without knowing precisely how many people will play?
BleedingChipsSlowly
Joined: Jul 9, 2010
• Posts: 926
February 18th, 2014 at 6:41:02 AM permalink
Quote: darthxaos

How do you account for the possibility of a jackpot split when trying to calculate whether buying a ticket is +EV, how do you determine the odds of a split without knowing precisely how many people will play?

The Wizard has previously done a detailed analysis of this subject. Here is one link discussing his conclusions: Optimal Powerball Jackpot
“You don’t bring a bone saw to a negotiation.” - Robert Jordan, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia
FinsRule
Joined: Dec 23, 2009
• Posts: 3701
February 18th, 2014 at 7:20:38 AM permalink
Quote: BleedingChipsSlowly

Just a mistake I think. If you buy two tickets you have 2 chances in 175 million. Unless you specified the same numbers for both tickets in which case your chances of winning would 1 in 175 million with a larger share of the jackpot should you win.

It's just a mistake that seems to be made often. And I wonder why...
BleedingChipsSlowly
Joined: Jul 9, 2010
• Posts: 926
February 18th, 2014 at 7:40:42 AM permalink
Quote: FinsRule

It's just a mistake that seems to be made often. And I wonder why...

Every story with that error cites Reuters as the source and Victoria Cavaliere as the author. I would guess it's just a case of cut-and-paste journalism.
“You don’t bring a bone saw to a negotiation.” - Robert Jordan, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia
BleedingChipsSlowly
Joined: Jul 9, 2010
• Posts: 926
February 18th, 2014 at 7:44:47 AM permalink
The Reuters article Powerball lottery prize soars to \$400 million already has a comment pointing out the error, but the horse is out of the barn for this one.
“You don’t bring a bone saw to a negotiation.” - Robert Jordan, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia
FinsRule
Joined: Dec 23, 2009
• Posts: 3701
February 18th, 2014 at 8:05:58 AM permalink
Quote: BleedingChipsSlowly

Every story with that error cites Reuters as the source and Victoria Cavaliere as the author. I would guess it's just a case of cut-and-paste journalism.

onenickelmiracle
Joined: Jan 26, 2012