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Lottery +EV? What??

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  • Lottery +EV? What??

    I don't play the lottery usually. I honestly find it a little bit depressing. That being said the prize in the Powerball lottery in the U.S. which will run tonight is actually at a record level of over $1.5 Billion (with a B).

    The odds are 1 in 292,201,338 to hit the five numbers plus the powerball, and a ticket costs $2. That actually makes it a +EV bet even after taxes which is pretty unusual for the lottery.

    I bought one ticket. Wth, lol.

  • #2
    I very rarely play it.. but with today's odds.. I got my tickets.
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    • #3
      Probably not as +EV as you think (if at all); The bloated prize pool means a lot more people than 'usual' will buy tickets - after all, you did; And the Powerball Lotto format means you are not guaranteed an exclusive win, even if you are fortunate enough to pick the winning numbers. Yes, it's possible, but it's definitely a news-leading story if it happens. Most of the time, you'll be sharing any win with a lot more people, and if market economics pan out correctly, your EV shouldn't be any better than usual.

      That being said, if you haven't bought a ticket, you're DEFINITELY not winning anything. I hope you picked the right numbers!
      4 Time Bracelet Winner


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      • #4
        There's a way of getting your Powerball odds down to a 50/50 coinflip.
        Just buy a ticket with a fresh set of numbers every 10 seconds, 12 hours a day... for 55 years. One of your 86 million entries might win, but if you keep going for 110 years (and somehow manage to squeeze it all into one day), you're guaranteed to win.
        This is a very good article about why people play lotteries even though the odds are against them: http://nautil.us/issue/4/the-unlikel...ng-the-lottery
        I think it kind of explains the popularity of Spin n Gos. Cliffs: People are more attracted by a small chance of a big win than a big chance of a small win.
        Bracelet Winner

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