Thursday, February 01, 2007


Well it has been a couple of weeks since I last mentioned the word BALLS on this blog, and this is a post about the other kind of balls. A change from the small glass ones that tell the temperature, this set of balls we have all seen, some of us have seen more of these balls than others, but I am not here to pass judgement.

I speak of course (of course they cry) of Tattslotto (major Australian lottery).. As the Australians in the audience will know there was the nine million dollar super draw on Thursday; and no this is not a post to say hey I won, compare your lives to mine and cry. This is a Maths Post.

With a spare 10 mins on an idle Thursday I set my self the task of working out the odds against taking out the "big one" … To win you need to correctly select 5 out of the 5 balls drawn from a pool of 45, and then one ball from one out of the 45 in the Powerball bucket.

Odds on the first ball… 1 chance in 45
Odds on the second….. 1 chance in 44 (one ball less as previous ball removed from draw)
Odds on the third…. 1 chance in 43
Odds on the fourth…. 1 chance in 42
Odds on the fifth…. 1 chance in 41

The odds of drawing all balls (regardless of order) can be found by…

One in forty five * One in forty four * One in forty three * One in forty two * One in forty one

Or 1/ (45*44*43*42*41)

Equal to
1/ 146,611,080 one chance in one hundred and forty six million (and a bit)…. Still got that lucky feeling. To further stack the odds we still require the "powerball" the odds of drawing the power ball are an additional 1 in 45 chance..
therefore the odds of all five numbers plus the power ball are given by

(1/ (45*44*43*42*41))* (1/45)

Which equals the staggering

6,597,498,600
One in six billion (and a bit) chance of winning.. The current population estimate 6,552,533,873, if every member of the human race was given a single combination there would still only a 99% chance that someone of the human race would hold the winning combination…

Sometimes I wonder about humanity, is this the hope we have left, a one in 6,597,498,600 that we may be happy and afford every we are told we cant live with out.

16 Comments:

Blogger Keshi said...

u worked it out Aidan...now let me go knockin on every door asking em to buy a bloody ticket!

Keshi.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Keshi said...

And hey have a 'ball' of a wknd then ;-)

Keshi.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Aidan said...

That was quick:) i was getting grumpy i thought it would be spam to get two comments so quick:)

I think within without was right about your fixation:)

6:23 PM  
Blogger lee said...

Aha! This is why I don't bother to buy lottery tickets -I would rather put the money in the ING bank and get some interest on it instead.

Well-as you can see from the above comment-I must be a sensible old lady-boo hoo :(.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Stace said...

Lee - I have interest in money too! Oh, you mean interest ON money. Different. :)

7:24 PM  
Blogger Ces said...

I used to buy a lottery ticket when it was first legalized in our state. One dollar made me feel giddy all day dreaming about being a winner. I never even checked the numbers. I knew that the odds were slim to none.

7:52 PM  
Blogger Keshi said...

me no spammer awww :(

**I think within without was right about your fixation

well who keeps reminding me abt balls btw? LOL!

Keshi.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Menchie said...

Whew! All that calculation made me dizzy!

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assuming your calculations are correct -- and I'm not about to doublecheck -- holy balls, batman.

And ur right...what DOES this say about what we consider important when we try to defy those odds of winning?

How would those odds compare with, say, getting hit by lightning -- twice?

WW

10:18 PM  
Blogger Homo Escapeons said...

And someone will win.
My problem is that my Mother won a lottery back in the 70s so my brain thinks that (naturally) I will too one day.

Despite my empirical skepticism I know that someone alway wins and my odds are equal to theirs so ODDS SCHMODDS..somebody is going to win and that simple fact is worth $2.

Sure it is a Tax on the Mathematically Challenged but nobody can grasp the concept of 1 million...the best explanation I ever heard about winning a lottery was for someone to hide a styrofoam cup on the sidewalk next to an office tower...another person climbs to the top and without even knowing which side of the building the cup is on He tosses a coin over his shoulder...the odds of it landing in the cup are greater than the chance of winning a lottery...
but somebody will!

11:37 PM  
Blogger Aidan said...

Lee: i think that is a sound investment... With money i think i am an old man..

Stace: bac pun but i love you "dearly"... moeny dear ahh forget it :)

CES: maybe you were a millionaire all these years and never knew. I dont remember the last time i played the lotteries though... I prefer black jack and poker, and playing the odds.

KEshi: LOL.

Menchie: its not too bad, fairly simple stuff but so very few ever do the math to see if those chances exist.

WW: not sure on the odds of being hit by lightning twice, ALthough i am certain winning the lotto is preferable. It is good to see we take on a fight with un winable odds, but why this one?

HE: I love the analogy and the though of people running for cover under a barage of coins... As long as it is in fun i have no probs with gambling... But so many people ride tere hopes with it.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Keshi said...

so how was ur wknd Aidan? me not putting any adjectives in front of 'wknd' at all :)

Keshi.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Keshi said...

btw I had a ballsy wknd ;-)

Keshi.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Aidan said...

Weekend was ok, alot of cricket, learning russian and adventures... what is happening in your world? it might be easier just to check your blog:)

9:07 PM  
Blogger Keshi said...

Alot of Cricket, thats great :)

I read from Stace's blog that u 2 have begun Russian classes. WOW! Teach me some words later on. btw my best friend from Uni was a Russian chick. She didn't teach me any words cos she could hardly speak English :)


Anyways, my wknd was ok. Went to a BBQ at a friend's place on Sat nite. Will tell u all abt it soon hehe.


Keshi.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Keshi said...

cos something pretty annoying happened there.

Keshi.

9:17 PM  

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