Register to reply 
Probability of winning a scratch lottery ticket given that 95% have been sold 
Share this thread: 
#19
Mar306, 11:37 AM

P: 15,319

I've been trying to clarify that point all along: tickets are sold AFTER the big prize is won. Posts 3, 6 and 15 explicitly ask about this particular condition, or state it as an assumption. That invalidates virtually ALL previous discussion about the odds (except mine that is hee.) 


#20
Mar306, 12:26 PM

P: 926




#21
Mar306, 01:23 PM

Sci Advisor
P: 1,253

If you did somehow know what prizes were given out, and you noticed that there were a disproportionately small or large number of them for the number of people that have played the game, then that would be one situation where you actually could invest wisely by either not buying a ticket (if you know that disproportionately many prizes have been given out) or buying a ticket (if you know that disproportionately few prizes have been given out). But that happens extremely infrequently, ESPECIALLY when there are many small prizes. If there is one big prize that someone already got, and even it's shown on the news that they got it, but so long as you didn't see that news report and you buy a ticketthen from the knowledge you have your odds are STILL the same as they were as if the news had not been shown. 


#22
Mar306, 11:20 PM

P: 11




#23
Mar406, 03:28 PM

P: 15,319

Or did you mean the winning ticket has already been announced? 


#24
Mar506, 01:27 AM

P: 11

Hence the word LOGICAL. This assumption was made merely to dissuade people who would inevitably make the argument that your chances would vary depending if you knew the winner had been sold (or not been sold). Since this information would not be relevant to our debate (which is whether the fact that 95% of the tickets had been sold affects your present odds, absent any other POINTLESS information), the assumption was made in order to determine the desired answer and eliminate extraneous debates/information.
And on a side note, you couldn't be more incorrect with your statement: "Of course you don't know if the winning ticket's been sold!" It is actually VERY simple for one to determine if the ticket had been soldusing the right resources, of course (Hint: It doesn't involve enlisting Mrs. Cleo or a cheat!!!). I may be letting the cat out of the bag here but it's called THE INTERNET An example of what I am talking about may be easiest for you to understandVirgina Lottery Results. I would imagine that Virginia isn't the only state that publishes their results but did not care to check. That may be a good exercise for the Santa Barbara School of the Clairvoyant or Cheaters Anonymous. And no, I did not mean "the winning ticket has already been announced". Obviously you wouldn't assume that "the winning ticket has already been announced" because that would imply that the winning ticket no longer remains and P[x=winner] = 0. Talk about pointless assumptions. But thanks everyone for your input. The situation has been clarified and the debate is closed. 


#25
Mar506, 10:37 AM

P: 15,319




#26
Jan209, 06:59 PM

P: 1

I just saw this post... even though it is quite old I wanted to input some statistics into the solution.
1. If you buy the 1st ticket sold out of 100 your chances are 1/100 2. If you buy the 44th ticket sold out of 100 your chances are now 44/56 assuming the winning ticket has not yet been sold. It is 56 because 44 tickets have already been sold that have not won (10044). 3. The problem with this theory is that you will never know when the winning ticket is sold. But if you somehow did find out there were no winners yet, then obviously your chances are greater. Just thought I would throw that in there. Peace! 


#27
Jan209, 11:33 PM

P: 15,319

If you buy the 44th ticket out of 100 (and no ticket yet was the winner) your chances of being the winner are 1/57. (You have an equal chance of winning as any of the 56 subsequent players.) 


Register to reply 
Related Discussions  
Lottery ticket problem (probability)  Set Theory, Logic, Probability, Statistics  3  
Probability: lottery  Set Theory, Logic, Probability, Statistics  3  
How to set up probability of numeric recurrence in lottery  Precalculus Mathematics Homework  1  
Lottery: Ticket for SpaceShipOne, would you buy?  General Discussion  17  
Lottery Probability  General Math  11 