Nareed
Nareed
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July 1st, 2010 at 2:24:58 PM permalink
I've had it with superstitious gamblers (good lotto bet atfer the rant). I don't mind if someone has a private superstition. If you want to keep a rabbit's foot in your pocket and stroke it, if you want to rub the dice against the table, if you want to tap your cards before looking at them, fine by me.

But don't ever tell me I can affect the outcome of a random event, or some event I have no influence, much less control, over, like a football game. And don't ever blame me if your long, long, long, long, really long shot doesn't pay off, just because I pointed out how long the shot was. And most of all don't blame me for affecting the outcome after it's been decided. If I could travel in time, I'd make better use of that ability than to screw up some flea bets.

Ok. Here's the very good bet for lotto: bet any lotto player $500 (or any amount) he won't win the jackpot, give him any odds you can cover. 1,000 to 1 is a very low risk (don't bet no one will win it, though; with millions of tickets sold, the odds are good someone will win).

Resuming rant.

Once upon a time I used to play lotto every week. I stopped once I relaized just how low my chances were of winning, not just the jackpot but any significant prize. I decided almost any other use for that money was better. Mind, if you derive nejoyment from lotto even if you always lose, or you're always way behind in your lifetime play, that's fine. I didn't enjoy it.

Now I will play when the jackpot grows very large. I know my chances are still microscopic, to put it charitably, but I can afford it and an extremely low chance is still real (ie measurable). But I also try to pool money with other people. That's when the problems start.

Here are some of the things I've heard, followed by my usual answers:

"Pick the winner this time." If I knew in advance which combo will win, I'd buy it by myself and woulnd't need to pool money. Hell, I'd buy the same combo several times to reduce the impact should someone else pick it.

"Buy it at some other agency this time" (the assumption here is that another vendor might be luckier). well, given all agencies sold tickets last time and no one hit the jackpot.... need I go on?

"Well, with that attitude we won't win!" (meaning I point out how bad the odds are, or words to that effect). Buy it without me, then. Don't let me drag you down.

(After the drawing has been held and the results published) "Let me check. We never win when you check." See what I said above about time travel.

So I probably should 1) quit playing lotto entirely or 2) quit pooling money with the ignorant and superstitious. I know....
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
slyther
slyther
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July 1st, 2010 at 2:32:01 PM permalink
I don't begrudge people their superstitions. If that's how they derive enjoyment from the game then so be it.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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July 1st, 2010 at 2:39:49 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

....like a football game....

It was at this point that I realized that this was going to be a hilarious post, in a "those people are idiots" sort of way.



Quote: Nareed

So I probably should 1) quit playing lotto entirely or 2) quit pooling money with the ignorant and superstitious. I know....

Pardon the pun, but, you're in a no-win situation:

If you don't win, um, you don't win.
If you buy tickets on your own, and the group hits, you don't win.
If you quit playing and the group hits, you don't win.
And if you buy tickets on your own, and your ticket hits, you win, but you still don't win with the group.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
Nareed
Nareed
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July 1st, 2010 at 2:44:57 PM permalink
Quote: slyther

I don't begrudge people their superstitions. If that's how they derive enjoyment from the game then so be it.



If they want to think they dind't win because I said "your odds of wining are 120 in 32,469,000," that's ok by me. What bothers me is they do say we'd win if I didn't quote the odds. If all it took was not mentioning the odds, I'd have won the very first time I played. I was 17 years old and had no idea what the odds were.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
teddys
teddys
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July 1st, 2010 at 2:46:47 PM permalink
Actually, that is the best strategy when the jackpot becomes so large that you actually have a player advantage (with EXTREME variance!). So the best move to make would be to buy all the tickets possible. Not really feasible. (Although I heard some millionaires in Australia tried this once). The next best move is to increase your chances by buying a lot of tickets, or pooling your money. This is why you usually hear of the really big lottery winners coming from a group of people at work who put their money together. (Recall those meat factory workers in Omaha that was a big story some years ago). So you're actually helping out your co-workers.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
Nareed
Nareed
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July 1st, 2010 at 2:53:26 PM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

It was at this point that I realized that this was going to be a hilarious post, in a "those people are idiots" sort of way.



I wasn't going for hilarity then. I merely meant I've no influence or control over the outcome of a football game.

One of my co-workers really believes the Cowboys do badly in the playoffs, and before that in December, because I bet him they'd lose this or that game, not because they are the Cowboys (that was meant to be funny, both ways).

And yes, those people are idiots.

Quote:

Pardon the pun, but, you're in a no-win situation:



Ok. But:

Quote:

And if you buy tickets on your own, and your ticket hits, you win, but you still don't win with the group.



No, that's a win situation. I get more money because I don't have to split it twelve ways with people I don't like.

I don't like to gloat, though, and if they've been playing on and off with me for some time I'll even give them some of the prize money, sort of an envy bonus; just nowhere near as much as what they'd have won in a pool.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
cclub79
cclub79
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July 1st, 2010 at 2:58:34 PM permalink
Quote: teddys

Actually, that is the best strategy when the jackpot becomes so large that you actually have a player advantage (with EXTREME variance!). So the best move to make would be to buy all the tickets possible. Not really feasible. (Although I heard some millionaires in Australia tried this once). The next best move is to increase your chances by buying a lot of tickets, or pooling your money. This is why you usually hear of the really big lottery winners coming from a group of people at work who put their money together. (Recall those meat factory workers in Omaha that was a big story some years ago). So you're actually helping out your co-workers.



The thing about waiting for the Player Advantage is that it is not as beneficial (for me personally) as a Player Advantage in low stakes games. Here's why: The relationship between values in the millions is not linear for me. For example, if the house has an edge at $50 Million, but the player gains one at $100 Million, some people would wait till the jackpot is higher. But if you are buying the same number of tickets, you have the same chance of winning. And for me, $100M is NOT worth twice as much as $50M. While the number is double, the value to me of paying everything off and buying anything I could conceivably want is definitely lower than 50M. So while it would be nice to have twice that amount, it would most certainly not be "twice as nice". I'd be 99.99% financially secure with 50M, so how much more happy can 100M make me? So why wait till the "math" shows that the value of playing a ticket is now "in my favor" because the jackpot got to an astronomical level?
Nareed
Nareed
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July 1st, 2010 at 3:33:51 PM permalink
Quote: teddys

Actually, that is the best strategy when the jackpot becomes so large that you actually have a player advantage (with EXTREME variance!). So the best move to make would be to buy all the tickets possible. Not really feasible. (Although I heard some millionaires in Australia tried this once). The next best move is to increase your chances by buying a lot of tickets, or pooling your money. This is why you usually hear of the really big lottery winners coming from a group of people at work who put their money together. (Recall those meat factory workers in Omaha that was a big story some years ago). So you're actually helping out your co-workers.



The jackpot topped off at 607 million pesos (roughly US $46 million). But this is missleading. The lotto game is divided in two drawings. I'll post a sumamry of the rules:

The games are called "Melate" (rough translation is "I've a hunch") and "Revancha" (exact translation "Rematch"). There are 56 possible numbers of which you pick 6.

First they draw the numbers for Melate. Six "natural" numbers are drawn, plus one "additional" number (exciting names, hey?). Jackpot is the six naturals. the additional detemines second place and other lower prizes.

Next the Revancha numbers are drawn. This time only six naturals out of 56 possibles. Jackpot is all six naturals.

So in order to win the 607 million pesos, you need to hit two drawings.

Ok so far?

If you buy only Melate the price is 15 pesos. If you add Revancha, the price is 20 pesos. the thing is the same combination plays in both drawings (allegedly revancha is a bonus second drawing, giving you more chances to win). You can neither buy nor play only Revancha, you must also play Melate.

Ok, so fifty six possible numbers in combos of 6 numbers each means, if my math is correct:

(56*55*54*53*52*51)/6! or 32,468,436 possible six number combinations.

At 20 pesos per ticket, assuming no taxes are paid on the wins, the break even point if you buy all possible combos is: 649,368,720 pesos. So it got close (one jackpot hit yesterday).

Taxes are paid on the wins, but I don't know exactly how much. There is a 7% tax retained by the lotto agency on all wins (even the small prizes), but there must be some income tax payable later, at the latest on the anual income tax return. the 7% retained may or may not be aplied towards the income tax. I don't know (I figure if I win I'll pay my acountant to tell me, and to deal with the taxman).

So let's assume no taxes. for the sake of simplicity.

We also need to consider the logistics of buying all combinations. You can buy tickets in person at around 7,000 vendors all voer Mexico. But I suppose we'd stay within Mexico City and nearby towns like Toluca. So let's say there may be 500 vendors.

You can buy tickets online, too, at the lotto agency. I've never done that, though, and I don't know whether you can pick numbers or not. Let's assume you can.

Finally you can buy muyltiple combinations of up to ten numbers each (ie pick numbers 1 through ten and divide them in 6-number combos without repeating a number).

So if you only buy all combinations when the prize reaches the break-even point, you'll lose money on logistics.

I've no idea how to calculate the cost of logistics (too many factors involved), but let's say the cost is 250,000 pesos. Since you already have over 649 millions, that would be small change. and also a lot of work for a small gain.

I suppose software could be set up to fill out the optical reader cards, along with banks fo PCs and printers to fill them all in with 10 number multiple combos. Regardless of cost, this will take time. Also the vendors probably take cash only, at elast I've never seen nor heard of anyone paying for lotto with anything else (except online). Many are tiny stands with just a counter and the lotto machine. Moving that much cash around is a huge risk.

That's why it's not feasible to buy up all combinations.

Lastly the bigger the jackpot, the more tickets are sold. If as few as 8 millions combinations are sold (aside from your attempt to buy all 32+ millions), there's roughly one chance in four that somene else will hit the jackpot. If that ahppens, you win less (more than half because of the drawing rules now approximately six miles upwards from this line).

I may just have set the site record for the longest pointless post!
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luckyjackg
luckyjackg
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July 1st, 2010 at 4:11:37 PM permalink
I look at the lotto as a 50% probability. It is either me or someone else who wins!
Nareed
Nareed
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July 1st, 2010 at 4:20:10 PM permalink
Quote: luckyjackg

I look at the lotto as a 50% probability. It is either me or someone else who wins!



Speaking only of the Jackpot, it's a 33.33333333333% (aprox.) probability as either 1) you win, 2) someone else wins, or 3) nobody wins.

So there! :P
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