Posted September 19, 2016 (edited) So, everyone knows what the lottery is I'm assuming. You pick a set of numbers for a range of numbers, and hope they are picked out in the draw. I was super duper bored last night and I decided to see if I can figure out a formula to predict the lottery Is it possible? Probably not. But I'm bored so I'm going to try. This thread is for anyone that wants to also wants to try and use math to win the lottery and also anyone that just wants to discuss the math, or yeah. Please don't make any posts just saying that it isn't possible. I know that. This is more for fun than actually thinking I will win. Although this video applies to me, even though I haven't even bought a ticket yet Warning There may be rude or offensive language in the comments Edited September 21, 2016 by AppleMango Share this post Link to post

Posted September 19, 2016 The answer is no, there is no formula to predict the lottery. Otherwise I would have been rich a very long time ago. Share this post Link to post

Posted September 20, 2016 Hey, maybe you just didn't figure out the right formula. I have heard that sticking with the same numbers time after time can somewhat increase your chances of winning something, but I don't know if that's from a study or confirmation bias. It would make sense statistically that successive attempts with the same numbers would boost that set's win chances because of multiple trials. Share this post Link to post

Posted September 20, 2016 A lot of the "lottery math" is based on on faulty understanding of statistics. Numbers aren't due, and for something with a 50/50 chance, there isn't a higher chance that the next one will be Y when there has been four Xs already, and so on and so forth. The fifth chance is still "50/50". The previous throw doesn't affect the next, so to speak. What is a bit more probable (if also unlikely and most likely negligible in effect), is the possibility that the "RNG mechanism" in use is a bit faulty. Maybe one of the balls is a bit heavier, maybe whatever algorithm is used for the draw is a bit skewed towards one number or another - things like that. Share this post Link to post

Posted September 20, 2016 That's just gambler's fallacy. I mean, look at a coin. Heads or tails is approximately 50/50 odds. Each time you flip that coin, the probability of hitting heads remains the same: 1/2. It doesn't matter how many times you pick heads or if you change your answer, it doesn't change the actually probability. Look at it this way: I flip a coin 20 times. Each time I flip it, it lands on heads. If I flip the coin again, what is the probability it will land on heads again? Your brain instinctively says very low because that would be 21 times you land on heads, but the probability remains the same. 50%. It's always 50%. For the lottery, your chances are always the same regardless of number. It doesn't matter how many times you change it, the probability of you winning is the same as before. Just like how it doesn't matter if you call heads or tails, the coin will always remain 50% heads versus tails. If the number of lottery choices went down (for example numbers couldn't be used again) this would be correct. The decrease in numbers would allow something similar to card counting and increase the percentage (though to a small degree) that can also be applied to ever other number so again, not really. But that's not the case so the probability never changes. Share this post Link to post

Posted September 20, 2016 I have heard that sticking with the same numbers time after time can somewhat increase your chances of winning something, but I don't know if that's from a study or confirmation bias. It would make sense statistically that successive attempts with the same numbers would boost that set's win chances because of multiple trials. Sadly not. As each lottery draw is an independent event from the last lottery draw, the odds of getting the numbers are precisely the same each time. As explained above. Share this post Link to post

Posted September 20, 2016 Remember that odds and probability are not the same thing, nor is probability of a single event happening after multiple trials the same as straight probability. For instance, the probability of drawing an ace out of a deck of standard playing cards is 1/13. The ODDS of drawing an ace out of a deck of standard playing cards are 1:12, and the average number of playing cards you would expect to have to pull out of a deck before you draw that ace is about 10.6 (aka after you've pulled about 11 cards, the probability of you having pulled at least one ace is pretty near 100%). My point is, while one's PROBABILITY of having the right mega millions numbers may remain the same, when factoring in multiple trials under the same circumstances there will become a point at which the probability of THAT sequence of numbers winning SOMETHING will begin to approach 1. That's how, in games that require you to farm large numbers of mob kills to get a rare drops (which is basically a lottery in itself), you can actually predict about how many kills you must make before your chances of seeing that coveted item drop reach favorable values. Share this post Link to post

Posted September 20, 2016 Sure, but your probability of winning increases not because you used the same number, but because you did more trials. Like, if you bet on one coin flip, you have a 50% chance of winning, and if you bet on two, you have a 75% chance of winning at least once. But if you already know you're going to bet on two coin flips, it doesn't matter if you bet heads both times or if you bet heads the first time and tails the second. The chances are still 75%. I feel like the fundamental flaw in the idea of "gaming the lottery" is that the people running the lottery are also trying to make money. They're not, like, some kind of impartial third party that just redistributes money. If there were a way to game the lottery such that your expected returns are higher than your costs, the organizers would notice and change things so that exploit can't be used anymore. Share this post Link to post

Posted September 21, 2016 Hey guys, I decided trying to figure out scratchies in here as well. Since there's actual proof it can be done, it might be more fun to discuss for the people that just want to say "No it can't be done" Share this post Link to post