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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 = 53!/6!(53-6)!, or 1/22,957,480.

Now suppose that some set T was the winning combination yesterday and you are considering playing the same set today. Intuitively, it would be difficult to imagine the same winning numbers appearing twice in a row (historically it hasn't happened in any lottery game with similar probabilities), yet, being that they are independent trials, the probability is equal.

Is one equally as likely to win the lottery by playing yesterdays winning numbers than by choosing some other combination? It would seem to me that the probability of seeing the same combination win twice in a row is much less than to have different winning combinations.

Please enlighten me.

D Sputnik

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# Lottery Probabilities

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