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**27 members have voted**

Quote:WizardAt the end of the day, I think the lottery is a tax on the mathematically challenged. All I can do is try to teach some math and hopefully save at least some people from wasting their money on the sucker bet that the lottery is.

And you are good at it. Have the casinos offered to pay you to just shut-up?

Quote:WizardIf somebody will get equal entertainment value between betting $20 on the lottery as $200 on slots, then, yes, you'll lose less money on average on the lottery. However, I'm a math guy. I view the house edge as the cost for playing. I will strive for the most action at the least possible cost wherever I can.

Sorry if this sounds like I’m arguing semantics.

But the cost of playing a negative expectation game is the amount wagered minus the EV of that wager.

It probably takes less than 20 minutes to run more coin through a slot machine than what even a heavy lottery player wagers in a week.

I think it’s somewhat misleading to the mathematically challenged general public and Nathan to say that slots are a better deal.

That’s just my opinion, I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers.

Quote:gamerfreakIt probably takes less than 20 minutes to run more coin through a slot machine than what even a heavy lottery player wagers in a week.

I've never been big on factoring time into the equation. I'll mention it casually, but it doesn't figure into my math. Anyway, I think any disagreement we have is semantic in nature. I suggest we drop it.

Quote:WizardIf your point is that slots are a better value than the lottery, then you're absolutely right.

I was actually implying that The Lottery is a better game than Slots. I won $18 on multiple lines on a slot game at .50. I won $100 on .50 on a Lottery game.

Quote:NathanI was actually implying that The Lottery is a better game than Slots. I won $18 on multiple lines on a slot game at .50. I won $100 on .50 on a Lottery game.

Let's just agree to disagree, shall we?

new jackpot estimated at $868M

Quote:100xOddsno one won.

new jackpot estimated at $868M

Come on they can’t find an extra 132 mil to toss in ?

1 billion jackpot headlines would be huge

Quote:100xOddsQuote:michael99000If you are trying to quantify the overall entertainment/enjoyment of a losing $2 ticket, you also have to subtract the disappointment afterwards.

And if you say there is no disappointment because you never really believed you had a chance to win , then the net entertainment value is zero.

can you elaborate cause I cant wrap my head around the net being zero?

You buy a ticket, but you feel you have zero chance of winning. The drawing occurs, you don’t win.

Where’s the high and low here? Where’s the enjoyment? There’s no rush, no joy. Only a loss of $2. A lottery ticket is never “close to winning”. You either won or lost in a blink.

Take blackjack on the other hand. I can get dealt 20 and I’m happy. Dealer makes 21, I’m upset. It’s a rollercoaster. Highs and lows. Card by card adrenaline rush.

Quote:michael99000Come on they can’t find an extra 132 mil to toss in ?

1 billion jackpot headlines would be huge

868 millions is still phenomenal. Let's put this into perspective. Vince McMahon has had a successful Wrestling Company for roughly 36 years. Vince is worth roughly 3 and a half billions. So, just for $2, you win almost a quarter of what a CEO of a successful CEO in business for roughly 36 years is worth. A quarter of 3.5 billion is a really huge chunk(To be fair, you actually win more like 500 million after taxes, so more like 15 percent of Vince's net worth, which is still a really huge chunk even after taxes, ;)

Quote:100xOddsno one won.

new jackpot estimated at $868M

Saw that. Unbelievable. I remember when a few million made people run to buy tickets.

source.

I'm glad it didn't hit. I like to see long lines of people giving state governments money willingly.

Quote:WizardEvery Mega Millions and Powerball player seems to make this argument in one way or another. Let me ask the players of the 9-figure lotteries this question. How much entertainment value do you get from a losing $2 ticket?

I get more entertainment from a $2 lottery ticket, than a $2 slot pull. The discussions about what we would do if we won the lottery last for hours, whereas a slot pull is over in a few seconds. Perhaps a better comparison would be horse track or sports betting, since the anticipation of the decision can last days and the event itself lasts longer than a few seconds.

Now that the Mega is approaching 900MM, is it a poorer value due to splitting than Powerball which is @360MM?

Quote:AyecarumbaNow that the Mega is approaching 900MM, is it a poorer value due to splitting than Powerball which is @360MM?

I'll need to update my spreadsheet with the sales for the last MM draw, but my hunch is Powerball is a better value, because there is a good chance MM will get chopped three or more ways the next drawing.

Quote:Ayecarumba

Now that the Mega is approaching 900MM, is it a poorer value due to splitting than Powerball which is @360MM?

I wouldn’t be surprised if they are the same value. It the past, the sweet spot was about 500MM, though the odds have changed since the last time I analyzed it.

as I wrote, for me the entertainment value is talking with friends about what you would do if you won.Quote:michael99000Quote:100xOddsQuote:michael99000If you are trying to quantify the overall entertainment/enjoyment of a losing $2 ticket, you also have to subtract the disappointment afterwards.

And if you say there is no disappointment because you never really believed you had a chance to win , then the net entertainment value is zero.

can you elaborate cause I cant wrap my head around the net being zero?

You buy a ticket, but you feel you have zero chance of winning. The drawing occurs, you don’t win.

Where’s the high and low here? Where’s the enjoyment? There’s no rush, no joy. Only a loss of $2. A lottery ticket is never “close to winning”. You either won or lost in a blink.

Take blackjack on the other hand. I can get dealt 20 and I’m happy. Dealer makes 21, I’m upset. It’s a rollercoaster. Highs and lows. Card by card adrenaline rush.

basically, social value

Quote:AyecarumbaQuote:WizardEvery Mega Millions and Powerball player seems to make this argument in one way or another. Let me ask the players of the 9-figure lotteries this question. How much entertainment value do you get from a losing $2 ticket?

I get more entertainment from a $2 lottery ticket, than a $2 slot pull. The discussions about what we would do if we won the lottery last for hours, whereas a slot pull is over in a few seconds. Perhaps a better comparison would be horse track or sports betting, since the anticipation of the decision can last days and the event itself lasts longer than a few seconds.

Now that the Mega is approaching 900MM, is it a poorer value due to splitting than Powerball which is @360MM?

Couldn't you just speculate about what you'd do if you won the lottery for free? On the theory that buying a Mega Millions ticket doesn't appreciably increase your chance of winning the jackpot from zero tickets.

Quote:gamerfreakI buy 1 ticket to take my chances from zero to non-zero.

You can still round down to zero.

Jackpot: $667 million

"Sales": $210,196,810

Just the Jackpot sales: $181,146

With that extra data point, I updated my estimated sales formula as follows:

y = 0.000273x2 - 0.049831x + 12.607660

Where:

x = jackpot in millions

y = tickets sold in millions

Right now the jackpot is at $900 million, but I expect that to grow by the day.

Based on $900 million, I show the probability of at least one winner to be 45% in the next drawing.

Again, I hope nobody wins. I think I wrote earlier that I like to see big jackpots, just for the entertainment value, but I wonder if it is more of a sense of schadenfreude in that I like to see these suckers buying lottery tickets lose.

Quote:WizardFor all you players who play for the dream, why buy more than one ticket? With one you can dream. I view winning the lottery like swimming from California to Hawaii. The distance from Los Angeles to Honolulu is 2,558 miles. If we divide that by the 1 in 302,575,350 chances of winning, each ticket is like swimming 0.54 inches. Buying 100 is like swimming 4.46 feet to Hawaii. Does the difference really matter relative to the entire distance to Hawaii?

I wonder how long it would take the machine to print out all 302,575,350 possible combinations?

Quote:Wizard

Again, I hope nobody wins. I think I wrote earlier that I like to see big jackpots, just for the entertainment value, but I wonder if it is more of a sense of schadenfreude in that I like to see these suckers buying lottery tickets lose.

Do you feel the same about all gamblers that make a -EV bet? If not, where is the line? For the record, I contributed $2 to a pool of people buying tickets.

Its only to dream about the money. Usually I come to the conclusion that it would end up being a hassle and negatively affect my children.

Quote:DRichDo you feel the same about all gamblers that make a -EV bet? If not, where is the line? For the record, I contributed $2 to a pool of people buying tickets.

No. I'm responding to the argument that buying tickets gives some value in dreaming about winning. I have no problem making -EV bets if the reason is entertainment value.

I commend you, by the way, for buying only one ticket.

buy 2 tix.Quote:WizardFor all you players who play for the dream, why buy more than one ticket? With one you can dream. I view winning the lottery like swimming from California to Hawaii. The distance from Los Angeles to Honolulu is 2,558 miles. If we divide that by the 1 in 302,575,350 chances of winning, each ticket is like swimming 0.54 inches. Buying 100 is like swimming 4.46 feet to Hawaii. Does the difference really matter relative to the entire distance to Hawaii?

divide the odds by 2.

best multiple?

also, 'just the jackpot' minimum is 2 tix

:)

$200M sales and only $181k on just the jackpot?!Quote:WizardFor the math heads on the forum, LottoReport has updated their ticket sales page for Tuesday's drawing:

Jackpot: $667 million

"Sales": $210,196,810

Just the Jackpot sales: $181,146

that's seems odd!

is that because only some states have Just the Jackpot?

ie: md and pa does NOT have the just the jackpot option

Hopefully they can interview the "hookers n blow" dude again!Quote:WizardAgain, I hope nobody wins. I think I wrote earlier that I like to see big jackpots, just for the entertainment value

Quote:100xOdds$200M sales and only $181k on just the jackpot?!Quote:WizardFor the math heads on the forum, LottoReport has updated their ticket sales page for Tuesday's drawing:

Jackpot: $667 million

"Sales": $210,196,810

Just the Jackpot sales: $181,146

that's seems odd!

is that because only some states have Just the Jackpot?

ie: md and pa does NOT have the just the jackpot option

My state (CO) also doesn’t have the just the jackpot. I might play if it was available, but I’d rather play for just the second prize.

My dream, though, is that my ex-wife wins; it will burn her ass to pay me child support.

Quote:sodawaterQuote:AyecarumbaQuote:WizardEvery Mega Millions and Powerball player seems to make this argument in one way or another. Let me ask the players of the 9-figure lotteries this question. How much entertainment value do you get from a losing $2 ticket?

I get more entertainment from a $2 lottery ticket, than a $2 slot pull. The discussions about what we would do if we won the lottery last for hours, whereas a slot pull is over in a few seconds. Perhaps a better comparison would be horse track or sports betting, since the anticipation of the decision can last days and the event itself lasts longer than a few seconds.

Now that the Mega is approaching 900MM, is it a poorer value due to splitting than Powerball which is @360MM?

Couldn't you just speculate about what you'd do if you won the lottery for free? On the theory that buying a Mega Millions ticket doesn't appreciably increase your chance of winning the jackpot from zero tickets.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” - Wayne Gretzky

Quote:JoemanHopefully they can interview the "hookers n blow" dude again!

Hopefully he saves some of that money for something frivolous

Quote:WizardI'll need to update my spreadsheet with the sales for the last MM draw, but my hunch is Powerball is a better value, because there is a good chance MM will get chopped three or more ways the next drawing.

On that, a lottery idea hit me yesterday when I saw the billboard. I work a different courthouse now so do not see the big one where the highway splits daily, so the high number was a surprise. But to the idea.

What would the effect on jackpots be if you could pay a fee to "lock out" your number combination? IOW, I want the prize all to myself, so instead of $2 I pay $4 or 5 so that when the computer picks my numbers it will not pick that combination again for that draw. Of course someone could have all but one number the same for the lower prizes, but I would get the big one alone.

Assume the programming could be done to the computer and it would work. The question is how much might this affect things from a math sense? More money in the pot but fewer numbers to choose from.

FWIW I am so glad I do not work among a group begging me to buy into a pool. Would be more entertaining to just superglue a couple whites to the sidewalk and watch people.

Agree that its entertainment, not investment.

I see too many people at the supermarket who play five or six lottery games each week and also play a host

of scratchoff games.

Quote:FleaStiffI believe the Irish Sweepstakes and Spanish Lottery are winner takes all.

Agree that its entertainment, not investment.

I see too many people at the supermarket who play five or six lottery games each week and also play a host

of scratchoff games.

To be fair, those people playing scratch off and five or six draw games each week are probably only playing like $50 at the most, not really all that much. Many people spend 10 times that much in Casino games.

Quote:NathanTo be fair, those people playing scratch off and five or six draw games each week are probably only playing like $50 at the most, not really all that much. Many people spend 10 times that much in Casino games.

And what has the higher return - playing $50 in the lottery or playing 10 - $50 hands of blackjack....

Quote:FinsRuleAnd what has the higher return - playing $50 in the lottery or playing 10 - $50 hands of blackjack....

Playing $500 in Blackjack game has much more chance of losing money than $50 in the Lottery.

Quote:NathanPlaying $500 in Blackjack game has much more chance of losing money than $50 in the Lottery.

That is 100% inaccurate.

Quote:NathanTo be fair, those people playing scratch off and five or six draw games each week are probably only playing like $50 at the most, not really all that much. Many people spend 10 times that much in Casino games.

$50 once a week is over $2500 per year. Most scratch off until it is all gone in pursuit of some kind of huge payoff. $2500 per year! That is life-changing if you would put it away in even a utility fund. A big reason the poor stay poor.

Quote:AZDuffmanWhat would the effect on jackpots be if you could pay a fee to "lock out" your number combination?

A fair fee would depend on the number of tickets sold, which is highly correlated to jackpot size. If I played the lottery, I wouldn't like it. It would feel like an "extra fee" shakedown, like you get when you fly. If I say "no," I'll be put into a smaller poll of shared numbers and be more likely to have to chop. Part of the game is winning, but another part is hoping you don't chop if you do win, and hoping nobody else wins if you don't.

Quote:AZDuffmanOn that, a lottery idea hit me yesterday when I saw the billboard. I work a different courthouse now so do not see the big one where the highway splits daily, so the high number was a surprise. But to the idea.

What would the effect on jackpots be if you could pay a fee to "lock out" your number combination? IOW, I want the prize all to myself, so instead of $2 I pay $4 or 5 so that when the computer picks my numbers it will not pick that combination again for that draw. Of course someone could have all but one number the same for the lower prizes, but I would get the big one alone.

Assume the programming could be done to the computer and it would work. The question is how much might this affect things from a math sense? More money in the pot but fewer numbers to choose from.

FWIW I am so glad I do not work among a group begging me to buy into a pool. Would be more entertaining to just superglue a couple whites to the sidewalk and watch people.

What would happen if I bought a ticket using that “look out” option, and then before the drawing someone walked into a store somewhere and it’s a person that likes to choose their own numbers for their ticket , and the numbers they choose to play match mine?

I guess the clerk would have to say sorry sir you can’t play those numbers it’s already taken

Quote:michael99000What would happen if I bought a ticket using that “look out” option, and then before the drawing someone walked into a store somewhere and it’s a person that likes to choose their own numbers for their ticket , and the numbers they choose to play match mine?

I guess the clerk would have to say sorry sir you can’t play those numbers it’s already taken

That would suck majorly. I'd imagine the person who TRIED to play those numbers would be rightfully majorly pissed off if those numbers won. It would create bitter resentment. :/

Quote:michael99000What would happen if I bought a ticket using that “look out” option, and then before the drawing someone walked into a store somewhere and it’s a person that likes to choose their own numbers for their ticket , and the numbers they choose to play match mine?

I guess the clerk would have to say sorry sir you can’t play those numbers it’s already taken

That is exactly what would happen. It happens now on the regular numbers games to protect against a huge payout and make a fix unprofitable.

0 tickets: odds of winning = 0Quote:WizardFor all you players who play for the dream, why buy more than one ticket?

With one you can dream.

1 ticket: odds of winning = 1/300M

2 tickets: odds of winning = 2/300M = 1/150M

3 tickets: odds of winning = 3/300M = 1/100M

etc..

I guess the best is either:

1 ticket where the odds of winning goes from 0 to non-zero.

or 2 tickets where you slash the odds in half.

it's diminishing returns after that.

And 'Just the Jackpot' is 2 tickets for $3. :)

https://lifehacker.com/the-best-time-to-play-the-powerball-lottery-according-1484889171

even if you take the annuity on a $380M jackpot (which is what he's writing about), wont that still max you out at the top tax bracket?

I think the owners of my company get in the office pool for just that contingency!Quote:gamerfreakI always think if one of these office pools hits and there is a sudden mass exodus, a company could go out of business.