"You have the same chance of winning a lottery whether you play or not"

Reality cracking

Courtesy of fravia's page of reverse engineering

Fravia+, I have written this essay using anonymous material I found on the Web. (I suspect a great part of it has been taken from some american book, but I could not find any precise reference) hope people will like it...Well, I liked this a lot, and, as usual, I hope that many statistic buffs will have some comments, adds-on, ameliorations on this fascinating subject... btw, if (MSRC) means master of statistical reality cracking :-), then it seems to me a well deserved auto-certification

Enjoy!

About statistical reversing ~ Appropriate for all readers ~ No difficulty level Statistical cracking: basics (1 - cracking lotteries) "You have the same chance of winning a lottery whether you play or not" Written by +Atheist (MSRC) 17 February 1998

First of all by "cracking lotteries" I DO NOT mean to find "good" algorithms capable of allowing you to win some millions. I mean instead to reverse the "statistical fundaments" of ALL lotteries, in order to understand that you have virtually NO chance of ever winning a lottery. This matter of fact is an important -and not always present- knowledge

Cracking lotteries

Most people don't have any hope of coming to grips with a near-vanishing probability like 0.0000000715. With such a small value comes "number numbness" in play. Does anyone understand how little chance he has of winning big in a lottery? Private and state lottery corporations, wich annually all over the world part gullible idiots from trillions of their (almost always meager) earnings, certainly hope not. Attempts to explain the fantasically small probability of winning a lottery often meet with the objection: "But what if I'm the one?". It would be fair to respond: "Don't worry, you won't be". The probability you have is mathematically zero, yet the bait dangles before millions of gullible people who never fail to buy their weekly ticket. Let's demonstate the odds with a popular form of lottery, that allows the player to select six numbers between 1 and 49 inclusive. The price of a couple of dollars seems good value if it means a real chance at winning several million dollars. Imagine being a mere six numbers away from a new life. Six little numbers! Alas, the dream is an empty one. The real chance of winning a six-number lottery, if you buy one ticket, is 1 in 13.983.816. Hope you know some math, if not: learn. 49*48*47*46*45*44 is MORE than enough, (10.068.347.520) because it treats different orderings of the SAME six-number combinations as being different. But for lottery purposes the ORDER of appearence of the numbers is irrelevant. Since there are 6 ways to choose the first number, there are five to choose the second, four for the third and so on... So there are 6*5*4*3*2*1 ways (in fact 720) to ORDER six numbers. So 10.068.347.520/720 works out to 13.983.816. To express this as a probability, divide 1 by 13.983.816. You'll get something like 0.0000000715. This is an extremely small number, for all practical purposes it IS zero (ask a mathematician if you don't believe me :)

As usual the only thing that the society will is NOT to help people understand reality, but to betray them selling these wishes without any substance in order to get their meager earnings. Anyway +ORC was -as always- right: "

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