Lottery Strategy

There’s this billboard showing the current Mega Millions and the Powerball lottery jackpots. It’s gotten a little crazy the past week since, well, you know. Last Saturday we were driving past it and there was the powerball sitting at 800 Million. And next to it, poor little Mega Millions trying to drum up interest in a mere 15 million dollar payout. I can’t help thinking that Mega Millions has been spending the last several weeks crying out, “Ma! He’s doing it again!” And Powerball yells back, “What? What? I’m not even touching you! I’m not touching you!” There’s surely a lot of slapping involved.

Anyway, this week, the Powerball sign moved over from saying ‘Millions’ to ‘Billions’ and the numbers don’t look so enormously different. Still, Mega Millions is sitting there at 15, resolutely not moving. It’s got me wanting to go over and buy a Mega Millions ticket just so it doesn’t feel completely unloved anymore. Maybe I’ll also pat it on the back and give it a jelly roll or something. Its time will come. We all have to get lucky eventually.


Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there.

8 thoughts on “Lottery Strategy”

    1. Oh, $15 million I don’t think would work for me. There’s this amusement park that needs saving and that would take up easily the bulk of $15 million. But if the MegaMillions jackpot were a bit higher then that would work.


  1. I agree with John about people going more and more ape-shit (pardon my language, any apes who may read this) the higher the millions go. What can you do with $1.5 billion that you can’t do with $15 million (except maybe run for President….who in their right mind would want to do that)?


    1. Well, there’s no point going crazy about it, and sure, 15 million would be quite practical for most needs. It’s just you do get into some projects like amusement-park-saving that need a touch more than fifteen million.


  2. Your talk of lottery billboards made me think of a brief news story on today’s post TPIR noon newscast.A local school apparently had a contest to develop an anti-distracted driving billboard, which seems to me to immediately be at cross purposes as billboards are designed to grab motorists’ attention away from the road and on to whatever the ad company wants you to be thinking about.(Such as good Grammar,Kelsey).


    1. That is great and all I can say is there was, apparently, a drive-in theater around here that went to showing porn in its last days. The screen faced the road. So to keep drivers from being distracted by the porn in the road, they got spotlights to shine right at the cars. And somehow this worked? I don’t understand things in general.


  3. Is there any mathematical logic in thinking that assuming the ping pong balls are fair that every single combination of numbers should eventually come up at least once even if no one draw has a direct relationship on another one? In other words playing one specific set of numbers every week as opposed to getting a one time quick pick that the computer randomly generates. Asking for a friend.


    1. Without making a joke about this: yes, there is logic in that. If the ping-pong balls are fair and independent and random, then, eventually, every single combination should come up. Strictly, the probability is 1 that any combination will turn up if enough games are run.

      However: this doesn’t technically mean it has to happen. If each drawing is fair, it could turn up that some unlucky set doesn’t happen just for no reason. It’s exactly the way that, if you tossed a fair coin infinitely many times, it could just turn up tails every single time. The probability it will do that is zero, but it’s not like that’s impossible.

      I swear this isn’t a joke. It’s real mathematics and the apparent paradoxes of sets of measure zero.


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