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Lotteries- A Double Whammy Game?


uobocbcsingtel If you buy Singapore Pools Totto lottery, what are your odds of winning? If you are guilty like me of trying for some good luck when there are huge winnings, then it is better you don’t read this article.

The odds of winning is, get this: 1 in 234,577,728,000. I think that is a much greater chance that Richard Branson, Donald Trump and Warren Buffett all discover that you are their long lost relative and will you into their fortunes together all at the same time.

How to calculate it? Use their maximum number, 45 and multiply it less 1 number each time which is 45 x 44 x 43 x 42 x 41 x 40 to get the chance you end up with 6 winning numbers out of a maximum 45 numbers.

Also once you win it, it is not all a happy ever after, if this article from Bad Money Advice is anything to go by: Why Lotteries are Bad- The Third Reason. The article basically sums up some blog posts that bloggers have posted regarding the urban myth or fact that after winning the huge sum, the winner has a rather ‘exciting’ time. Go check it out. I read his blog and subscribe to him using Google Reader as an RSS feed so his blog is part of my reading material everyday.

So lotteries are hard to win plus once you win it, chances are you can’t get to keep it easily. It rather fits the maxim of “easy come, easy go”.

If you are one of those who don’t believe everything you read, like the author of Bad Money Advice, you’d just have to wait till some professor or PhD aspirant does research and coughs up some empirical proof either sustaining or debunking the hypothesis that lotteries winners lose their fortune within say, 15 years.

So I’d categorize this article as “fraud” rather ingeniously :)


1. Why Lotteries are Bad- The Third Reason.

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Musicwhiz said...
December 2, 2009 at 10:24 AM  

That's the reason I don't "play" lotteries.

No, not even for fun. Cos it's not fun to lose money consistently. Haha.


Lemizeraq said...
December 3, 2009 at 11:01 PM  

Hi Musicwhiz,

I can't control when it's hongbao draw, because of the sum involved. Most of the time though, I forget the Toto exist :)


la papillion said...
December 7, 2009 at 10:26 AM  

Hey hey hey,

But even though the odds are calculated as such, there are pple who keeps winning lottery many times each month, for every month of the year. What can you say about the odds?

(I personally know such cases- he's my future father in law!)

Lemizeraq said...
December 7, 2009 at 9:00 PM  

Hi la papillion,

Thanks for visiting. Yes, there are always people who will win, that is why people buy them. For every one person that wins there are probably hundreds of thousands who don't.

For me personally, I don't buy unless it is the hong bao draw, or a few millions to be won.

Well, you are lucky to have such a future father in law :)


la papillion said...
December 8, 2009 at 1:40 PM  

Hi lemizeraq,

Well, I'm just trying to show that the assurance and certainty of probability calculation is rather misleading. The calculation is based on a few assumptions, one of which is that the draws are random and independent. We can't be really sure of that. Even a roulette wheel or a 'fair' die might not be random and fair.

Either way, that doesn't tempt me to buy a ticket, haha :)

Thien Rong said...
January 6, 2010 at 11:41 AM  

I did read some papers about lottery and gambling. I don't buy but a few reasons why people still buy is:

1) There are smaller prizes with a higher chance of winning.

2) The main prize is so big that people will overestimate it or "ignore" the probability

3) Weekly draw is very addictive compared to monthly draw

Not sure about hongbao draw, the higher prizes will probably lure more winners and less prizes each.

Lemizeraq said...
January 6, 2010 at 11:13 PM  

Hi Thien Rong,

Thank you for visiting. Interesting points that you have raised about why people still buy the lottery tickets. I will buy the lottery tickets during the hongbao draw too, and it is coming soon :)


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