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Old 01-10-2016, 09:54 AM   #101
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Not buying. DW may or may not get one.
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:25 AM   #102
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A friend posted on facebook that it might be worthwhile to buy all possible number combinations. The math still isn't even close.

A jackpot of $1.3B has an immediate payout of $806M, I've read. Take out 40-50% for taxes, depending on your state, and you're under $500M, maybe close to $400M. The cost of the 292M+ tickets is $584.4M. So you've already lost close to $100M or more.

But the jackpot might go higher, you say, especially with you buying so many tickets? Great, you might break even or even win a bit. IF you're the only winner. If someone else also picks a winner, you split the jackpot and lose big. Very big.
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:34 AM   #103
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A friend posted on facebook that it might be worthwhile to buy all possible number combinations. The math still isn't even close.

A jackpot of $1.3B has an immediate payout of $806M, I've read. Take out 40-50% for taxes, depending on your state, and you're under $500M, maybe close to $400M. The cost of the 292M+ tickets is $584.4M. So you've already lost close to $100M or more.
Are you forgetting that gambling losses can be deducted from winnings?

Thus you get a payout of $806M and you can deduct about $600M from the losing tickets, thus you only pay tax on $206M.

It is actually a mathematical win right now if nobody else picks the same number.

edit: You would need to itemize instead of taking the standard deduction :-D
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:53 AM   #104
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Are you forgetting that gambling losses can be deducted from winnings?

Thus you get a payout of $806M and you can deduct about $600M from the losing tickets, thus you only pay tax on $206M.

It is actually a mathematical win right now if nobody else picks the same number.

edit: You would need to itemize instead of taking the standard deduction :-D
Good point. Yeah, I forgot to consider this.
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:05 PM   #105
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How much closer does buying an additional ticket get you to winning the Powerball?

You are standing in New York City. You are walking to San Francisco, CA. Your first move is 1 and a half inches to the west. Yay! That's about how much closer you are to your goal with each added ticket.
Or take one typical stride towards the West-- to get that kind of increase in chance in the Powerball you need to buy about $50 more in tickets...and you are only one step closer to San Francisco.


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Old 01-10-2016, 12:17 PM   #106
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You can look at odds from other angles. There are good odds that you will not even live until age 70 but we all save and plan for much longer life.

How much does OMY really increase the odds you will have a very rewarding birthday at age 90. Probably less than that stride toward San Francisco.
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:27 PM   #107
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There was no winner.

Good grief, it is up to 1.3 billion now.
Which is so unfortunate as I will have to listen to the mouth-breathing media talk about it incessantly for the next 3 days. Ugh.
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:28 PM   #108
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You can look at odds from other angles. There are good odds that you will not even live until age 70 but we all save and plan for much longer life.

How much does OMY really increase the odds you will have a very rewarding birthday at age 90. Probably less than that stride toward San Francisco.
Really? My odds of living to 70 are way over 50/50, and you want to compare that somehow to a lottery?

If OMY increases my odds at 90 from 95% to 96%, that's about 29 miles toward SF. If it only increases it from 95% to 95.1%, that's still about 3 miles.

Not sure what angle you are looking at this from, or what point you are trying to make.
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Old 01-10-2016, 01:34 PM   #109
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I went overboard and bought 10 tickets and won $4. Am using my winnings to buy 2 more tickets.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:22 PM   #110
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Is there any mathematical justification for pooling money to buy lottery tickets?
I can see that the chance of having a winning number among the group is increased, but it also guarantees that those winnings have to be shared.
I suppose it provides an improved likelihood of being able to say "I won", but I can't see there being any increase in the "return" on the outlay.

Am I wrong about that?
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:34 PM   #111
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Is there any mathematical justification for pooling money to buy lottery tickets?
I can see that the chance of having a winning number among the group is increased, but it also guarantees that those winnings have to be shared.
I suppose it provides an improved likelihood of being able to say "I won", but I can't see there being any increase in the "return" on the outlay.

Am I wrong about that?

No, you're not wrong, but with numbers like that would you really care if you spent $5 on tickets and had to share the winnings with 10 other people? I sure wouldn't.

For myself, after the first $10m or so I'd have trouble thinking of what to spend it on.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:59 PM   #112
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It does increase your odds, and you have to split the pot. If you pooled 100 tickets your odds are still 2,920,000 to one against.
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:02 PM   #113
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Is there any mathematical justification for pooling money to buy lottery tickets?
I can see that the chance of having a winning number among the group is increased, but it also guarantees that those winnings have to be shared.
I suppose it provides an improved likelihood of being able to say "I won", but I can't see there being any increase in the "return" on the outlay.

Am I wrong about that?
Actually since it is mathematically correct to buy a ticket now (the expected value is greater than the purchase price), I would think pooling money would make for a better ROI.

If you had a large group of people who could organize the purchase of $100,000 in tickets, the group would have a 1/6000 chance of hitting the jackpot. 2000 people kicking in $50 each.

The lump sum is going to be about $900 million now. That would be $450,000 per person.
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:16 PM   #114
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Suppose you had the choice of surely getting $1M, and a chance of winning $200M with a 1% odd, what would you choose? The latter has the higher expected value of $2M.

I would choose the surer bet. It's the same with people who pool money to buy more tickets, to get more chance to win a smaller amount.

In the 1700's, Bernoulli explained that this was indeed logical in his solution to the so called St. Petersburg Paradox. See: Wikipedia - St. Petersburg Paradox.
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:32 PM   #115
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In the 13.7 billion year history of the universe, we happen to exist at a time during which a computerized lottery like this is possible. We have each already beaten the odds.
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:19 PM   #116
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So our hometown Chief's go there to play the Pats. And the wife and I bought two quickpick Powerball tickets.

Odds?

Hope springs a turtle.

heh heh heh - where she go that one I'll nver know.
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:37 PM   #117
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I saw this article on the Web comparing the odds of 1 in 292 million of winning the PowerBall jackpot to other odds in life.
  • Have an IQ of 190 or greater (1 out of 107 million)
  • Give birth to quadruplets, even without the help of fertility treatments (1 in 729,000)
  • Be killed by an asteroid strike (1 in 700,000)
  • Being an American billionaire (1 in 575,097)
  • Be killed by a lightning strike (1 in 164,968)
  • Die by drowning (1 in 1,113)
  • Be struck by lightning, while drowning (1 in 183 million)

Note the risk of asteroid that ReWahoo is so fond of mentioning. And I wonder who's the poor fellow who got struck by lightning while he was drowning. Darn! Talk about bad luck of getting doubly killed.

But death of drowning is 1 in 1,113? I could not believe that, so looked for some substantiation.

The CDC reported that in 2005-2009, there were an average of 3,533 deaths by drowning that were not boating related, plus 347 deaths that were boating related. That's 3,880 drowning deaths/year.

And then, there are about 2.5 million deaths in the US each year. So, it worked out to 1 in 644 chance of death by drowning, twice as high as the article claims.
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:48 PM   #118
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I am not sure about that killed by an asteroid strike figure.

Edit: I guess it comes to 1 in 700,000 because every 700,000 years or so everyone is killed.
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:57 PM   #119
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I am not sure about that killed by an asteroid strike figure.

You would need to be an astronaut to be killed by an asteroid. I do not believe any of our space ships or space stations have ever been hit nor an astronaut killed.

I guess it could happen, but the odds have to be much larger than 1 in 700,000.
I hadn't realized the millions? of dinosaurs killed by the asteroid that hit near the Yucatan peninsula were in the space program but what do I know...
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:07 PM   #120
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I hadn't realized the millions? of dinosaurs killed by the asteroid that hit near the Yucatan peninsula were in the space program but what do I know...
What? Dinoastronauts are an integral part of space history!
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