Do you feel lucky today?

  • Thread starter jtbell
  • Start date
jtbell
Mentor
15,404
3,196

Main Question or Discussion Point

The jackpot for tonight's Mega Millions lottery drawing in the US is at least $1.6 x 109. It might go higher before the drawing. Have you bought a ticket? I might stop on my way to lunch today and do it, for the second or third time in my life.

I know the odds are silly, which is why I don't normally buy lottery tickets, but it's tempting to be part of a "big event."
 

Answers and Replies

Borg
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,846
2,178
I bought two so that I could cut my odds in half. :oldtongue:

BTW, you should have named the thread "Who wants to be a billionaire?".
 
russ_watters
Mentor
19,023
5,181
I know the odds are silly...
You do, however, get two things with the ticket:

1. A license to fantasize.
2. Insurance against the small but scary prospect of being the only person in your office who shows up for work tomorrow.
 
Bandersnatch
Science Advisor
2,846
1,699
I don't often buy lottery tickets. But when I do, it's to reduce my neighbour's chance of winning.
 
Borg
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,846
2,178
@jtbell Hmm, initial reports are that somebody in South Carolina won. :wideeyed:
 
jtbell
Mentor
15,404
3,196
Er... uh... um...

No, it wasn't me. Exactly one number matched, out of my five tickets.

I knew pretty quickly, because the TV station that shows the World Series locally also shows the lottery drawings. At least normally. This time they didn't want to cut into the game, so they scrolled the numbers across the bottom of the screen.

I wonder where the lucky ticket was sold, exactly. Usually reporters are swarming the store by now. :biggrin:
 
Borg
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,846
2,178
Zero hits for me on two tickets. Oh well, I have to wait until it builds again. :oldtongue:
 
jtbell
Mentor
15,404
3,196
I wonder where the lucky ticket was sold, exactly.
Simpsonville! It's about a half hour drive from here. I've been through there many times. The local TV stations will be all over it tonight.

Hmmm.... a number of faculty and staff at the college here live in Simpsonville. I wonder if any of them didn't show up for class or work today.

It would have been nice for it to be somewhere in the lowcountry around Myrtle Beach, Conway and Georgetown, which got hit hard by the hurricane and floods last month.
 
Last edited:
ChemAir
Gold Member
130
119
The early Florida lottery was originally 5 numbers drawn from the same bucket. Since then, they have added more games with larger buckets, and a second bucket for a single ball. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_Lottery

When they made the games harder to win, revenue increased, not from cost savings, but more ticket volume, among other things. Try and test that marketing concept with any other product.
 
Matterwave
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,951
325
I didn't win...I'm so disappointed. :(
 
russ_watters
Mentor
19,023
5,181
When they made the games harder to win, revenue increased, not from cost savings, but more ticket volume, among other things. Try and test that marketing concept with any other product.
It does, in fact, work with other products in similar, if not identical cases. While I think it was already widely known, JC Penny proved a few years ago, via spectacular failure, that shoppers prefer higher base prices with sales to lower every day prices at the same price point as the sale.

There are also many products for which price is seen as a sign of quality, causing people to choose the higher priced of two identical products.

People often prefer the illusion to the reality.
 
Tom.G
Science Advisor
2,867
1,627
When they made the games harder to win, revenue increased, not from cost savings, but more ticket volume, among other things. Try and test that marketing concept with any other product.
Another "success" marketing story.
Many years ago I was manufacturing electrical accessories for motorcycles; with something new: a 30 day warranty, thru 'return to place-of-purchase'. We had a few percent returns. Then I tried something counter-intuitive, upped the warranty to 90 days. Returns dropped to almost zero, and the dealers loved it!.

Go figure!
 
Last edited:
1,349
90
Can you pick your own numbers with this lottery?

What really puts the odds into an easy to understand perspective is playing two sets. Sequential, say 1-2-3.... and the previous draws winning numbers. Imagine such a silly thing ever happening; those being the winning set...that's as likely as it is for me to win...
 
jtbell
Mentor
15,404
3,196
Can you pick your own numbers with this lottery?
Yes. You pick five numbers in the range 1-70 and one number in the range 1-25. You can either pick them yourself by filling in bubbles on an optical-scan card, or you can fill in a single bubble which indicates that you want randomly-generated numbers. The optical-scan card goes into a machine that prints the actual ticket.
 
jtbell
Mentor
15,404
3,196
I was driving up that way today, so I made a detour to Simpsonville. The store is actually a few miles outside of town, in a rural area that is now being swallowed up by the suburban sprawl from Greenville. New housing developments line the road in both directions.

kcmart.jpg
 

Attachments

1,447
780
Do you feel lucky today?
Well, regarding lottery - when I occasionally buy a ticket it is because it's already a really bad day so if Fortune wants to make up to average, then maybe...

But the only conclusion so far is, that Fortune does not favor average.
 
CWatters
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
10,528
2,294
Now we know where the ticket was sold do people buy more tickets there because its "lucky" or fewer tickets because the probability of one store selling two or more jackpot tickets is very small?
 
1,349
90
I was driving up that way today, so I made a detour to Simpsonville. The store is actually a few miles outside of town, in a rural area that is now being swallowed up by the suburban sprawl from Greenville. New housing developments line the road in both directions.
In Canada I believe the ticket retailers cut is significant for "jackpots". Hopefully it's true for the store owner too...

no offence to "random place" America convenience store; where I'm from has it's own "economic vices"...but omg the advertising is hilarious and very "stereotypical" imo.

The offence is to humans in general when provided "too much" freedom in the pursuit of profit :woot:

Good thing it's common knowledge that children in particular are really good at not being influenced by their environment; and the advertising is helpful for adults unaware that such things are sold at a convenience store.
 
Matterwave
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,951
325
Now we know where the ticket was sold do people buy more tickets there because its "lucky" or fewer tickets because the probability of one store selling two or more jackpot tickets is very small?
By probability theory, there is no chance to the probability that the store sells a winning ticket just because it sold a winning ticket in the past. Winning events are independent! However, if that place does sell more tickets it does increase its chances of selling a winning one...So maybe a store which is lucky in the past and attracts more customers will be more likely to be lucky in the future because it attracted more customers?
 
jtbell
Mentor
15,404
3,196
In Canada I believe the ticket retailers cut is significant for "jackpots". Hopefully it's true for the store owner too...
IIRC according to news reports the store owner received $50,000. Not too shabby for a few seconds' work!

Still no announcement from the state lottery board that the ticker-holder has claimed his/her winnings. they have 180 days to do it. We'll probably never find out who it is, unless there's a leak. In SC, lottery winners can remain anonymous, and have a representative appear at the public ceremony with the big cardboard check.. With that much money, I'd certainly want to insulate myself with a few layers of lawyers!
 
Last edited:
249
38
This reminds me of jokes that were going around Charlotte when the Loomis Fargo robbery occurred. The jokes were about what the clues to look for to find that unknown rural fellow who had aquired an unaccountable large amount of money. You gave examples of extravagance coupled with poor taste, such as a solid gold pickup truck. Similar humor was used for Jethro of the Beverly Hillbillies.
 
WWGD
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,048
2,264
Simpsonville! It's about a half hour drive from here. I've been through there many times. The local TV stations will be all over it tonight.

Hmmm.... a number of faculty and staff at the college here live in Simpsonville. I wonder if any of them didn't show up for class or work today.

It would have been nice for it to be somewhere in the lowcountry around Myrtle Beach, Conway and Georgetown, which got hit hard by the hurricane and floods last month.
I thought Springfield ( whichever one) was Simpsonville. But then again after reading the title of the post I was expecting to read something like : " Well, do you, punk?".
 
WWGD
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,048
2,264
It does, in fact, work with other products in similar, if not identical cases. While I think it was already widely known, JC Penny proved a few years ago, via spectacular failure, that shoppers prefer higher base prices with sales to lower every day prices at the same price point as the sale.

There are also many products for which price is seen as a sign of quality, causing people to choose the higher priced of two identical products.

People often prefer the illusion to the reality.
I have saved plenty buying generics instead of brand names. The ingredients are identical, but, somehow many prefer to pay substantially more for brand names. Go figure.
 
Klystron
Gold Member
503
582
When I was a child out walking with my mother, we would make a short stop at the local church where mother would offer a small prayer for the well-being of our family and others. Why? "Makes me feel connected with others."

Decades later out walking with my sister, we step into a 7-11 (common convenience store in California) to buy a lottery number. Her reason for buying the lottery ticket was essentially identical to our mother's chapel visits.
 
WWGD
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,048
2,264
When I was a child out walking with my mother, we would make a short stop at the local church where mother would offer a small prayer for the well-being of our family and others. Why? "Makes me feel connected with others."

Decades later out walking with my sister, we step into a 7-11 (common convenience store in California) to buy a lottery number. Her reason for buying the lottery ticket was essentially identical to our mother's chapel visits.
Me, I just want to become one with the jackpot.
 

Related Threads for: Do you feel lucky today?

  • Last Post
Replies
16
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
22
Views
3K
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
7
Replies
156
Views
12K
  • Last Post
7
Replies
168
Views
16K
Top