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Calculating My Chances of Winning the Lottery
Lotteries were once illegal although many governments now see the huge monetary benefits to be gained from state controlled lottos. But what are my chances of actually winning?
I love dreaming about how I'm going to spend the money I win on the Lotto. That red Ferrari is still in the showroom window and it's almost mine...
So what are my chances of winning?
You can work it out for yourself. The calculation is simple. Let's say you are buying a ticket in a 6/49 lottery which seems to be the standard in many countries, meaning that you have to select 6 correct numbers from a total of 49, the calculation is:
49 x 48 x 47 x 46 x 45 x 44 / 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 = 13,983,816 or 1 in 14 million.
Are you still going to buy a ticket on Tuesday?
Look what happens if you are lucky enough to find a 6/42 lottery:
42 x 41 x 40 x 39 x 38 x 37 / 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 = 5, 245, 786 or 1 in 5 and a quarter million. A dramatic difference and worth standing in line for on Tuesday!
Many national lotteries are launched as 6/42 and ticket buyers are thrilled at how consistently they won good prizes. As soon as the number of tickets sold reaches a set threshold, the odds are jacked up to 6/49.