What is lottery: Definition and 73 Discussions

A lottery is a form of gambling that involves the drawing of numbers at random for a prize. Some governments outlaw lotteries, while others endorse it to the extent of organizing a national or state lottery. It is common to find some degree of regulation of lottery by governments. The most common regulation is prohibition of sale to minors, and vendors must be licensed to sell lottery tickets. Although lotteries were common in the United States and some other countries during the 19th century, by the beginning of the 20th century, most forms of gambling, including lotteries and sweepstakes, were illegal in the U.S. and most of Europe as well as many other countries. This remained so until well after World War II. In the 1960s, casinos and lotteries began to re-appear throughout the world as a means for governments to raise revenue without raising taxes.
Lotteries come in many formats. For example, the prize can be a fixed amount of cash or goods. In this format, there is risk to the organizer if insufficient tickets are sold. More commonly, the prize fund will be a fixed percentage of the receipts. A popular form of this is the "50–50" draw, where the organizers promise that the prize will be 50% of the revenue. Many recent lotteries allow purchasers to select the numbers on the lottery ticket, resulting in the possibility of multiple winners.

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  1. benswitala

    Can I build an SSTO spaceplane if I win the lottery?

    Hi, As I was swimming laps at my local swimming pool today, it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to start playing the lottery. If I won the lottery, maybe I could fund an effort to make a small SSTO spaceplane. What is your opinion? Is it possible? I would try to make it as small...
  2. A

    I Can you turn investment in a lottery from subjective to objective?

    So let's say we have a lottery out there which costs $2 to buy a ticket, and currently has a $1B prize. Let's say the average return is $1.80 on that $2 (90%). Objectively, for every dollar spent, investing long-term in the stock market is mathematically better. But that doesn't take into...
  3. S

    Lottery physics: ball placement and positions in lottery games

    Summary:: Lottery physics- balls placement and positions Hi all, I am not a Ph.D. in physics or even close to that, I only had some physics classes when I was at high school . the thing is that I like to examine things. I came across the lottery one time in my life and heard many assumptions...
  4. Fisic

    I Irish lottery record 54-draw rollover, new legislation....

    Our lottery here in Ireland has not been won for 27 weeks (54 draws), and it's causing consternation. Even the Government are getting involved now, but how unusual is it really? https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2021/1215/1266999-ireland-lottery-latest/ Choose any 6 numbers from 47, with the...
  5. K

    How to calculate the probability of winning top prize of lottery?

    Just take a simple example, Among 1-36 numbers, 6 balls are randomly drawn without putting back the ball. Only if you match the six numbers exactly you win the top prize, order doesn't matter. I think it should be 1/36 * 1/35 * 1/34 * 1/33 * 1/32 * 1/31, is it? [Moderator's note: moved from a...
  6. K

    I Odds of Winning Lottery: Expected Reward & Profit

    Hello! My friend got me a lottery ticket (which I didn't win) and I decided to check the odds of winning for that particular game. The prizes for this game are: 5, 10, 15, 20, 50,100, 500,1000, 5000,1000000 ($) and the probability for each of the prizes is 1 over: 10, 10, 150, 50, 150, 131.63...
  7. M

    Win the 3-Digit Lottery: Jackpots & Deuces!

    There is a 3-digit lottery that picks three numbers from the following: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. The lottery has prizes for the jackpot and deuces. A ticket has a deuce when it has two of the three picked numbers. (see attached pictures if you want more context). There are 35 possible...
  8. F

    MHB Actual vs Expected Number of Lottery Winners

    Hi, My maths problem involves probability relating to lotteries. The odds of winning a lottery jackpot are 1 in 14 million. Over a period of time 50 million tickets have been bought, so the expected number of jackpot winners would be 3.5. However the actual number of jackpot winners is 7. Is...
  9. J

    I Mean time between lottery wins and probability of fraud by organizers

    Looked at some lottery wins and something was fishy. This a lottery where you pick 5 numbers out of the set (1,2, ..., 50). When no one wins, the money goes to the next iteration of the game so the prize gets bigger and bigger. It seemed that a win was too regular around every 2 or 3 weeks and...
  10. Calculuser

    I A Lottery Game With Conditional Probability?

    Question: "In a lottery game each player tries to guess right 6 numbers designated in advance by choosing randomly from among numbers from 1 to 20. Given that one player guessed right 5 numbers out of 6 that he/she picked, what is the probability of guessing right the 6 numbers?" The problem...
  11. J

    MHB Calculating the Probability of Winning a Masters Degree H-1B Visa Lottery

    I am fairly new to statistics and probability, I'm currently studying for a career change. I was asked this question but I don't know how to navigate through and get to any kind of an answer. Previously, the government conducted a lottery to award visas to 20,000 advanced-degree holders first...
  12. J

    I What is the Difference between the lottery and QM?

    It seems to me that so far in quantum mechanics, because we have yet to establish probability patterns for, say, what the spin of a photon is, we have made it some mystical thing that we can only know by measuring it. I don't really buy that; is the result of a lottery impossible to know until...
  13. isukatphysics69

    Find the present value of lottery winnings

    Homework Statement Homework Equations in picture The Attempt at a Solution (200000(1-0.96^19))/(1-0.96) = 2697903.99 not sure what i did wrong here, answer seems close.
  14. M

    MHB A good fairy draws from the lottery wheel two successive balls

    Hey! :o I am looking at the following and need some hints: A lottery wheel contains five red, blue and yellow balls. For each color the balls are labeled with the numbers $ 1,2,3,4 $ and $ 5 $. A good fairy draws from the lottery wheel two successive balls. A ball which has already been drawn...
  15. B

    MHB Probability Question - Lottery

    H Everyone, Can someone please tell me what the following chances of winning is:A customer receives 1 ballet for every \$5,000 they spend with our company during a promotion. There are a total of \$3,000,000 in purchases over the course of the promotion and therefore 600 ballets are handed...
  16. C

    MHB Calculating the Probability of Winning the Lottery Using Combinatorics

    Hi there, my question is the following: What are your chances of winning the following lottery? You choose a set of 10 distinct numbers from the set S = {1, . . . , 50}, and the person running the lottery selects 6 (distinct) numbers at random, also from the set S. If all six selected numbers...
  17. jk22

    Lottery Probability: Find 7 Numbers Out of 20

    I watch lastly a lottery game : there are 80 numbers, from them 20 are selected, and you can choose for example to find 7 numbers out of the 20. I'm looking for the probability to find 7 numbers, is it simply C(80,7)/C(80,20) or is it 20!/13!/C(80,20) or C(80,13)/C(80,20) ?
  18. T

    Uncovering the Hidden Probabilities in Georgia's Keno Lottery Game | Explained

    At least I'm educating myself before playing the lotto, right? There's a game in Georgia called "Keno!" and they do an awfully good job at hiding probabilities from you. They'll tell the overall chance to win, but not the probabilities for the specific higher winnings possible. Basically it...
  19. M

    What Are the Odds of Winning Specific Prizes in Euromillions?

    Homework Statement Euromillions is a transnational lottery. A player selects 5 "main" numbers without replacement, ignoring order from 1 to 50. The player then selects 2 "lucky star" numbers without replacement and ignoring order from 1 to 11. Ultimately, 5 numbers are randomly selected...
  20. S

    There are 4 boxes. One of them contains a lottery ticket

    There are 4 boxes. One of them contains a lottery ticket... There are 4 boxes. One of them contains a lottery ticket. Others have nothing. My probability that if i select and i win is 1/4 = 0.25. But before me someone selects a box, and i do not know if he has won or lost. What is the...
  21. M

    Should I play the lottery or not?

    For those of you in the UK you'll know the lotto consists of 6 balls and 1 bonus ball, to win the jackpot you need only the 6 balls. The jackpot typically ranges from 3m to 6m. The chances of winning the jackpot. ##\frac{49!}{(6!(49-6)!)} = 1## in ## 13,983,816## The thing that bugs me is even...
  22. J

    Lottery Probabilities With Supplementary Numbers

    Hi All, I'm trying to figure out the probability of winning the lotto. 8 numbers are drawn between 1 and 45. The first six are 'winning' numbers, the last two are the 'supplementary' numbers. To win division 1, you need to get all six winning numbers right: \binom {45}6 = 8145060 Hence...
  23. T

    What Is the Probability of Winning a Lottery with Specific Number Draws?

    Hello, I have problem with one probability theory task. Hope that someone of you will be able to help me. So task is: Suppose that you are playing in lottery. The comptuer generates the lottery ticket which is made from 25 numbers. Total there are 75 numbers and 49 are extracted during the...
  24. M

    Calculating lottery probability

    Hello, this lottery problem has been bothering me for months. I set it up here. Help appreciated. Here is the setup: Suppose you have to pick 5 numbers from a set of integers ranging from 1 to 39. The probability of matching x/5 (where x can be 1,2,3,4,5) numbers correctly can be found by...
  25. H

    Odds of Winning a Lottery: Does Ticket Quantity Matter?

    Hello, I'm wondering if a common assumption is correct: if the odds of winning a lotto game are, say, 1,000,000:1, will they remain proportional to the number of tickets purchased? For example in the above game if a person buys 2 tickets, will their odds be 500,000:1, 4 tickets probability...
  26. M

    What are the chances of winning a lottery with a group of 52 people?

    Let's say 52 people enter a lottery. There are 252 tickets, and each one has a probability of (1/252) of having a winning number (in other words, 1 of them is the grand-prize ticket, 1 has a prize less valuable than the grand prize, and another one has a prize less valuable than that.)...
  27. E

    Should a scientist never buy a lottery ticket?

    Some people educated in math say, "I never buy a lottery ticket or play the roulette because I know that on average, you are bound to lose." I don't think that argument is valid - because in most games of chance you are not very likely to end up with the expectancy value! Indeed, if you have a...
  28. G

    What would you do with a $500 million lottery win?

    I thought it would be cool to see what people would want to do if you just 500 million dollars through the lottery. I think I would want to be a professional student and earn a bunch of degrees, or be a fireman/EMT.
  29. T

    Lottery: How to use past results/sales to figure out chance of split w ur pick?

    Now, most lottery corporations publish their numbers picked and the number of people who matched them. They also publish their total sales as well. e.g. numbers A B C D E F G Match all 6: A B C D E F G = 2 winners Match 5 of 6: A B C D E F, A B C D E G, A B C D F G, etc = 10 winners Match 4...
  30. S

    Fano plane concept applied to lottery combinatorics

    I came across an interesting combinatorics optimisation description for 14numbers. Maybe someone good in combinatorics can expand this fano plane concept to a full 45 numbers lottery design. Any suggestions? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transylvania_lottery
  31. R

    Can a non-US resident buy lottery?

    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/28/mega-millions-jackpot-hits-record-476-million/?hpt=hp_t3 The US lottery prize is now 500 million dollars. If you won it. You would get more money than all the Nobel Prizes in Physics since the early 1900. Can the ticket be bought outside the United...
  32. F

    Binomial distribution and lottery

    Hi there, I'm looking at a problem and wanted some help to advise if I'm going in the right direction. I need to test if the number of times a lotto ball has appeared in a draw fits a binomial distribution. I have collated the data and ultimately will do a hypothesis test. The draw...
  33. A

    Probability of winning scratch off lottery from a store that just sold a winner

    This is an attempt to settle a dinner table dispute. The background is that it just made the news that a guy won $1M in a scratch off game at the gas station at the end of my road. My brother then remarked: "Well, we know which station NOT to buy from. What are the chances of two winners at...
  34. E

    Expected value of a lottery ticket

    I am going to try to keep this short, so please advise whether I need to provide more detail for my question to make sense. In calculating the expected value of a lottery ticket, one must consider the possibility that more than one ticket is sold bearing the winning combination. One way to...
  35. J

    Lottery Combinations Homework: Solving for Guaranteed Matches

    Homework Statement Students are playing a lottery game. In this game, three numbers are drawn from a set of six. If the three numbers on a student's ticket match those drawn, the student wins the full prize. If just one or two numbers match, the student wins a consolation prize. The...
  36. P

    Probability of Picking k Winning Numbers in a Lottery

    In a lottery , 6 distinct numbers are selected at random from a set {1...50} and designated as a winning number. The player picks six numbers beforehand hoping to include as many numbers as possible. Find the probability that the user picks k winning numbers for k=1,2..,6 So my one concern is...
  37. K

    Winning the Lottery: Probability of 3 Friends Winning

    Hi everyone, There is a lottery where in every 100 tickets 10 of them must win. Now, me and my friends want to try. We are 6 and we wish to play such that at least 3 of us win. Can anyone help me and tell me what is the probability that this happen? Thank you.
  38. F

    Combinatorics? Lottery, Canadians help?

    Homework Statement My professor gave us this problem, I asked him about it but he just dumped it on me by saying "check it out yourself". Problem Determine the number of all combinations of winning numbers for Lotto 6/49 The Attempt at a Solution I read on wikia there are...
  39. H

    Probability of Winning in State Lottery: 4 Digits

    Homework Statement In a state lottery, four digits are to be selected from 0 to 9. Suppose that you win if any permutation of your selected integers is drawn. Give the probability of winning if you select: a) 6,7,8,9 b) 6,7,8,8 c) 7,7,8,8 d) 7,8,8,8 Homework Equations Now, this is...
  40. M

    How long before someone wins the lottery twice?

    Homework Statement The chance of winning the Uk lottery is 49C6 = 1 in 13,983,816 So the chance of winning the lottery twice with two tickets is 1 in 195,547,109,856 But what is the chance of anyone person winning the lottery twice. Approx 30million tickets are sold each week, average 3...
  41. M

    Understanding Probability in Lottery Odds: A Misconception

    My husband and I disagree. A hospital lottery claims the odds are 1 in 3 to win a prize. There are 72,000 prizes and 250,000 tickets. Assuming a winning ticket is removed from the pot for the next draw, I say the odds or chances of winning are at best 1 in 178,000. If winning tickets go...
  42. A

    Lottery probabilty - graph problem

    I have a problem, but don't know which way to try to solve it. There is lottery: 3 numbers will be drawn out of 14. Each ticket with 2 correct numbers win. If 5-8-14 will be drawn, I'll be winning also with my ticket 5-8-13 or 1-8-14 etc. Total possible tickets = 364 (combin[14,3])...
  43. F

    Is Playing the Lottery Worth the Risk?

    Yes, probability gives you laughable chances at winning. However, what about all the stories where one person plays for the first time and hits a goldmine? Is it worth it to play occasionally? Often? Very seldom? Never? Thoughts anyone?
  44. G

    Calculating Lottery Odds: How Are Your Chances of Winning Determined?

    I'd like to calculate the odds of winning the lottery. Each game has posted odds, however, my calculations give different odds. Perhaps I am not doing it right, or they use a different method, but here are my results compared to theirs: If we use #'s 0-9, and pick one number, then odds of...
  45. M

    Question on Lottery Probabilities

    I have a question on the chances of winning a lottery: If you buy 10 tickets in a lottery where the odds of you winning are 30,000,000 to 1, is your probability of winning 1 in 3,000,000?
  46. G

    Calculating Lottery Probability for Drawing a Specific Number

    Homework Statement In a random number game, the lottery, I need to know the probability of a number being drawn over a number of draws. Each ball of has a chance of 1 in 7 of being drawn in a draw. If the expected frequency of each ball is 200 (over 1400 draws) I need to know how to work...
  47. D

    Lottery Probabilities: Is Playing Yesterday's Winning Set a Wise Choice?

    Hi, I've had a question bugging me for a while and I've finally decided to seek an answer. Suppose you have a lottery game where one selects 6 numbers from 1 through 53. If you select the 6 winning numbers you win, regardless of the order. So our probability of winning is 53 C 6 =...
  48. H

    Probability Calculation - Lottery

    Homework Statement To win a lottery, must pick 5 different numbers from the 45 available. The order in which the numbers are chosen does not matter. With only one ticket, what is the probability of winning (i.e. matching all 5 numbers drawn with all 5 chosen) ? Homework Equations...
  49. A

    Binomial probability, similar to lottery problems.

    Homework Statement An opaque bag contains 10 green counters, and 20 red ones. One counter is drawn at random and not replaced: green scores one, red scores zero. Five counters are drawn. Find the probability of scoring 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 points. Homework Equations The Attempt at...