Skip to comments.Ohio Woman Admits Lying in Lotto Case
Posted on 01/08/2004 10:02:49 AM PST by AppyPappyEdited on 04/29/2004 2:03:40 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
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You should read the posting I was replying to (actually -- you have to go back several postings to see the full context).
Someone claimed that the potential return on a lottery ticket is larger than the statistical odds of winning, once the jackpot grows large enough. I simply pointed out that one must compare the odds of winning to the cash value of the jackpot, not the advertised jackpot.
This woman tried to commit a major league fraud and just happened to get caught. She deserves to be punished a lot worse than merely filing a false police report will permit. Were it not for that receipt, she just might have been able to put the other woman's rightful win in legal jeopardy (or just delay it) long enough to extort a decent little settlement just to go away.
"Not quite. For it to be 100%, every possible combination of numbers would have to be purchased by one or more players. For the drawing in question, 1,130,918 tickets won various amounts of money for matching the "mega-ball". Since there are 52 balls, a uniform distribution of mega-ball picks would mean about 58.8 million tickets were sold."
No, you miss the point. I didn't say that every prize would be won, nor did I say the the jackpot would be won on every draw. If there is no jackpot winner, the prize rolls over to subsequent draws UNTIL there IS a winner. Thus, that money will ALWAYS be won - eventually. Thus, the 100% certainty that someone WILL win THAT jackpot. No matter how many draws it takes.
I never ever play the Lotto games, but an argument like that is enough to make one want to plunk down $20 the next time a jackpot gets out-of-band!!! ;)
I've never begrudged anyone playing the big Lotto games. How much time does it take from one's day anyway? What gets me is all those people playing Bingo. It can be an absolutely gorgeous day or evening, and they'll be in a smoke filled room, spending their time! A very precious and very limited resource.
No, I didn't miss the point. I just misinterpreted what you said. You are correct that the jackpot will eventually be won. I didn't realize you were referring to multiple drawings.
However, even over multiple drawings, the chance someone will win is actually still less than 100%. The probability gets smaller and smaller as more drawings occur (and a progressively larger number of tickets are purchased each time). And, it eventually gets so close to 100% that it is effectively certain.
I'd have to go back to my statistics textbook to find the actual name of the distribution that describes the phenomena.
A correction: the probability (of a winner) gets larger and larger. I inadvertantly inverted my thinking to the chance that someone will not win (that does indeed get smaller and smaller).
I think the correct description of the phenomena is the binomial distribution. It gets more difficult to compute when you have multiple drawings (with different probabilities for each single drawing), but the concept is the same.
There is just no way the Ohio authorities would have stood for that -- it would be bad for business, and they'd have less lottery money for their favorite vote-buying programs in the future.
That's why I'd bet [rimshot] that Battle was given a choice between recanting and being charged with filing a false police report, or sticking it out and being charged with felony fraud.
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