Survivalist Forum

Advertise Here

Go Back   Survivalist Forum > General Discussion Section > General Discussion
Articles Chat Room Classifieds Donations Gallery Groups Links Store Survival Files



General Discussion Anything non-survival related - news and information, current events, general chit-chat stuff.

Advertise Here
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-25-2010, 01:09 PM
Head4TheHills Head4TheHills is offline
Perception is NOT reality
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 537
Thanks: 291
Thanked 492 Times in 245 Posts
Default Is the lottery rigged? And, if so, how?



Advertise Here

A post by someone in another thread to the effect that the lottery is a tax on the mathematically challenged got me thinking about this as a thread topic.

Earlier this year, one of my co-workers was joking with me about my not playing the lottery ("you can't win if you don't play"). After pondering that for awhile, I decided to conduct a small experiment.

So, over the next several weeks, I purchased 40 Powerball lottery tickets. For 20 of the tickets, I randomly chose the numbers myself; for the other 20, I let the machine randomly choose the numbers for me. For each of those two categories, I kept track of how many matching numbers occurred.

What I found was that for the 20 tickets where I randomly chose the numbers (120 numbers total), 11 matches occurred (about 9.2%). For the 20 tickets where I let the machine randomly chose the numbers (again, 120 numbers total), 2 matches occurred (about 1.7%).

I realize that 20 tickets isn't an overly large sample but it is large enough that the margin of error should be less than 7.5%. Also, given the amount of numbers on each ticket, the 9.2% result for when I randomly picked the numbers seems about right statistically and the 1.7% result for when the machine picked the numbers seems lower than expected statistically.

Given the disparity I found for my small experiment, I begin to wonder if the lottery is rigged and, if so, how?
The Following User Says Thank You to Head4TheHills For This Useful Post:
Old 10-25-2010, 04:44 PM
Jixijenga's Avatar
Jixijenga Jixijenga is offline
some strange Nordic man
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minnesotan wilderness
Age: 27
Posts: 1,103
Thanks: 1,636
Thanked 913 Times in 479 Posts
Default

Well, here's something for you to think about. The human brain is structured for order. If you tell five people to spread out from you, they all spread out at roughly the same amount. If you tell people to choose something random, they don't, something influences them. A great experiment is to tell a bunch of people to spread out randomly in a room, you'll notice no two people are standing right next to somebody else. If it were truly random, at least somebody would be in close proximity to somebody else.

Your mind isn't geared for random. So, which specific number(s) matched up multiple times?
The Following User Says Thank You to Jixijenga For This Useful Post:
Old 10-25-2010, 07:04 PM
Congo Congo is offline
Hunter
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,994
Thanks: 1,108
Thanked 1,670 Times in 952 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voracity View Post
Well, here's something for you to think about....Your mind isn't geared for random.
Excellent post.

Something to think about, if the lotto is truly random (as I think it is), then the numbers-1,2,3 4,5,6,7-- has the exact same probability of winning as any other combination out there. Does anyone voluntarily pick that combo? Nope. So that just goes to show you how astronomical the odds are.

I look at the lotto as voluntary taxation.
The Following User Says Thank You to Congo For This Useful Post:
Old 10-25-2010, 07:08 PM
FarmerJohn FarmerJohn is offline
This is a great survival forum
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 19,302
Thanks: 6,762
Thanked 26,427 Times in 10,443 Posts
Default

I have a friend that recently won a million dollars from the lottery but the odds of winning are worse than your chances of being struck by lightning just think bout all the people who in one month or whatever who buy tickets some like you buy 40 and then the numbers are randomly generated
Old 10-25-2010, 07:09 PM
Grevlin's Avatar
Grevlin Grevlin is offline
"Fly birdies! fly!"
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: i 'bola Country - Level 5.5ⓖ
Posts: 10,322
Thanks: 8,977
Thanked 19,752 Times in 6,496 Posts
Default

Lottery should not be called a "tax, or voluntary tax"

If the odds of winning are say 290,000,000 to 1

--- they are still better odds than getting some return on your paid taxes which is: ZERO
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Grevlin For This Useful Post:
Old 10-25-2010, 07:13 PM
Head4TheHills Head4TheHills is offline
Perception is NOT reality
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 537
Thanks: 291
Thanked 492 Times in 245 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voracity View Post
...

Your mind isn't geared for random. So, which specific number(s) matched up multiple times?
When I picked the random numbers, I used methods such as drawing the numbers out of a hat, so as to not involve my mind in the number picking process. There was no discernible pattern to the specific numbers that matched up.

My point was that when I let the lottery machine pick the numbers the outcome was significantly less favorable than when I picked the numbers by an independent method that I could be sure was actually random. And the unfavorable outcome was enough different from what I would statistically expect for a truly random system that it caused me to begin to wonder if the system is rigged.
Old 10-25-2010, 07:16 PM
caltrop caltrop is offline
I love this forum
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,022
Thanks: 79
Thanked 900 Times in 414 Posts
Arrow Maybe

I agree that the Lottery in itself is totally random but I don't think the computer is.

I think the Qucik Pick the computer generates is skewed.

That's why when I get a ticket I get my number and a computer number. The best of both worlds.

I have heard that most Jackpot winners let the computer pick the number.

So I don't know. But knowing the government today I would not put it past them to bend the randomness of the computer numbers. The numbers are random but weighted one way. Like blowing on water drops; the drops will generally fall differently but still random, just pushed to one side a little.

We will never know since we will never be allowed access to the computer other than when it prints out ticket.


Old 10-25-2010, 07:18 PM
Grevlin's Avatar
Grevlin Grevlin is offline
"Fly birdies! fly!"
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: i 'bola Country - Level 5.5ⓖ
Posts: 10,322
Thanks: 8,977
Thanked 19,752 Times in 6,496 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Head4TheHills View Post
When I picked the random numbers, I used methods such as drawing the numbers out of a hat, so as to not involve my mind in the number picking process. There was no discernible pattern to the specific numbers that matched up.

My point was that when I let the lottery machine pick the numbers the outcome was significantly less favorable than when I picked the numbers by an independent method that I could be sure was actually random. And the unfavorable outcome was enough different from what I would statistically expect for a truly random system that it caused me to begin to wonder if the system is rigged.
Your experiment was sound, but the sample size too small. For example, if you buy $1 or $10 or $50,000 worth of numbers - it really does not help you chances because of the HUGE stats involved: (Powerball 290 million to 1) (It technically helps your odds, but at a TINY fraction)

I don't think it's rigged, "they" get all of their money no matter who wins - they tax it anyway. Have you seen the people who win... no pattern there. Again, no reason to rig how often people win - they tax it the same anyway.

IMHO
The Following User Says Thank You to Grevlin For This Useful Post:
Old 10-25-2010, 07:44 PM
Head4TheHills Head4TheHills is offline
Perception is NOT reality
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 537
Thanks: 291
Thanked 492 Times in 245 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by caltrop View Post
...

So I don't know. But knowing the government today I would not put it past them to bend the randomness of the computer numbers. The numbers are random but weighted one way. Like blowing on water drops; the drops will generally fall differently but still random, just pushed to one side a little.

We will never know since we will never be allowed access to the computer other than when it prints out ticket.


That is kind of along the lines of my thinking. I don't think it is rigged to the point where they can pick the winner, only to the point where they can skew the results. The physics of bouncing balls is well understood and if the system designed to bounce them could be designed to even give them the ability to choose the first ball of each set (the first of the 5 balls and the "powerball") with a good probability, that would allow them to skew the result by allowing their machines to pick number sets that avoid those two numbers. That would minimize the number of large payouts (and the probability of a jackpot winner) until the number of people picking their own random numbers gets too large, at which point they could reverse skew it (to increase the probability of the jackpot being won by someone who let their machine pick the numbers, which would be a good marketing ploy to better let them control the number of large payouts for future drawings).

Unfortunately, I doubt that they would make available the kind of data that would allow anyone to do any kind of statistical analysis related to how many 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th numbers of each set are correctly matched.
Old 10-25-2010, 09:13 PM
Jixijenga's Avatar
Jixijenga Jixijenga is offline
some strange Nordic man
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minnesotan wilderness
Age: 27
Posts: 1,103
Thanks: 1,636
Thanked 913 Times in 479 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Head4TheHills View Post
When I picked the random numbers, I used methods such as drawing the numbers out of a hat, so as to not involve my mind in the number picking process. There was no discernible pattern to the specific numbers that matched up.

My point was that when I let the lottery machine pick the numbers the outcome was significantly less favorable than when I picked the numbers by an independent method that I could be sure was actually random. And the unfavorable outcome was enough different from what I would statistically expect for a truly random system that it caused me to begin to wonder if the system is rigged.
The machine, if it's a simple number generator, can't be random either. While your numbers in hat method is a good way to achieve random numbers, the machine simply cannot do that. The difference is we have complex problem solving skills, the machine runs off of mathematics and logic. Random simply does not compute.

Moving on. If it were rigged, it would have to be rigged so the pot doesn't get too big (which takes time, may decrease revenue from ticket sales) but stays large enough to keep people playing. So, any rigging being done would logically force a win when the pot was within a certain size. As for picking the winners, the way the system is set up I don't think you could actually set up somebody beforehand and say, "HE IS THE WINNER." There are far too many variables and security checks (very simple ones, but effective) in place. That, and, even if your plan is working there's always the chance that you might not even succeed out of sheer bad luck.
The Following User Says Thank You to Jixijenga For This Useful Post:
Old 10-25-2010, 10:53 PM
Head4TheHills Head4TheHills is offline
Perception is NOT reality
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 537
Thanks: 291
Thanked 492 Times in 245 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grevlin View Post
Your experiment was sound, but the sample size too small. For example, if you buy $1 or $10 or $50,000 worth of numbers - it really does not help you chances because of the HUGE stats involved: (Powerball 290 million to 1) (It technically helps your odds, but at a TINY fraction)

...
Actually, I only purchased one ticket at a time, spread out over a couple of months. In other words, I wasn't trying to "improve my odds" by buying more tickets. The goal I had in mind was a bit less grandiose. I was just trying to see if there was any statistical anomaly between the random numbers picked by the lottery machine and the random numbers picked by a known random method. For what I was trying to do, I don't think the sample size was too small.

For the Powerball lottery you pick 5 numbers from 1 - 59 and 1 Powerball number from 1 - 39. So for the 5 numbers the probabilities of picking a correct number are 1/59, 1/58, 1/57, 1/56 and 1/55; for the Powerball number, the probability of picking a correct number is 1/39. ((1/59 + 1/58 +1/57+ 1/56 + 1/55 + 1/39) / 6) * 100 = (approx) 1.9%. So, for each number picked, the probability on average of a match is about 1.9%.

Having computed that just now, I see that the matches for numbers picked by the machine are closer to the probability I would expect to see, and the matches for numbers I picked are the outlier. In other words, I see that my interpretation of my results was a bit careless (gasp! I made an unchecked assumption). In view of that, I guess I may need to think a bit more about what the result of my little experiment means because I had apparently been making a wrong assumption about which result was the outlier.
Old 10-26-2010, 09:52 AM
Hanfgeist's Avatar
Hanfgeist Hanfgeist is offline
Bushcrafter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Scotland
Posts: 1,420
Thanks: 468
Thanked 1,086 Times in 595 Posts
Default

If you go down to the bookies to put a bet on a nag, you can do so right up to before the race starts, but the lottery closes half an hour before they do the draw, why is that? is it because they have all the numbers chosen by the punters on a database and can process them to find a group of numbers that very few people have bet on and then ensure those are the ones picked, thereby minimising the amount they have to pay out? I'm not saying that they do this but it does make you wonder about the closure time and the delay, before the draw is run........
Old 10-26-2010, 10:01 AM
Crackshot's Avatar
Crackshot Crackshot is offline
secessionist
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Alabama by choice
Posts: 2,997
Thanks: 3,784
Thanked 4,101 Times in 1,578 Posts
Default

I had an economics professor that once explained the lottery in the best description Ive ever heard. She said that "the lottery was a tax on stupidity."


Most people think that if they buy a ticket and the odds are 1 in 300 million its bad, but the way most people think is if they buy 2 tickets they now have 1 in 150 million odd which is better, and then if they buy 100 tickets that they have 1 in 3 million odds which is even better, but that isnt the way it works. If you buy 100 tickets your odds are only 100 in 300 million, and those odds are still horrible.
Old 10-26-2010, 10:41 AM
BOBtheBUTCHER's Avatar
BOBtheBUTCHER BOBtheBUTCHER is offline
You looking at me!
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: In the Matrix
Posts: 4,006
Thanks: 6,005
Thanked 3,764 Times in 1,699 Posts
Default

Yes it is fixed

Here are Decembers $100 Million numbers

02,09,33,38,56,666..........
The Following User Says Thank You to BOBtheBUTCHER For This Useful Post:
Old 10-26-2010, 10:45 AM
Richh56's Avatar
Richh56 Richh56 is offline
Fugitive Recovery Agent
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Wakemen, Ohio That is 60 miles west of Cleveland
Posts: 553
Thanks: 443
Thanked 974 Times in 298 Posts
Default

I don't know about all the odds, but i figure they are rediculessly high

However, let me tell you a true story. A man in Medina Ohio hit 4 million in 1984. Then he hit for 4 more million in 1993. Then yet again in 2007 for 12 million

What is the odds of that?
Old 10-26-2010, 11:59 AM
AV8R AV8R is offline
Hunter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Western Kentucky
Posts: 1,861
Thanks: 2,875
Thanked 2,831 Times in 1,018 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grevlin View Post
Lottery should not be called a "tax, or voluntary tax"

If the odds of winning are say 290,000,000 to 1

--- they are still better odds than getting some return on your paid taxes which is: ZERO
Both cases are lose/lose scenarios.
You might as well put a stack of one dollar bills next to your toilet.
At least you'll get some use out of them.
Old 10-26-2010, 12:09 PM
khimbar khimbar is offline
Prepared
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 391
Thanks: 134
Thanked 536 Times in 211 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Congo View Post
Excellent post.

Something to think about, if the lotto is truly random (as I think it is), then the numbers-1,2,3 4,5,6,7-- has the exact same probability of winning as any other combination out there. Does anyone voluntarily pick that combo? Nope. So that just goes to show you how astronomical the odds are.
About 10,000 tickets a week pick them in the UK I read, presumably thinking no-one else will.
The Following User Says Thank You to khimbar For This Useful Post:
Old 10-26-2010, 12:12 PM
Groovy Mike's Avatar
Groovy Mike Groovy Mike is offline
Immortal
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,411
Thanks: 500
Thanked 1,521 Times in 632 Posts
Default

I've got 15 years as an auditor in the Lottery industry. I can tell you that the drawings are as random as we can make them unless there is criminal fraud involved in which case we WANT to prosecute. There is no more or less revenue to the Lottery regarding what numbers come up so there is no incentive to skew them. All the statistics as to what numbers have been drawn and how frequently are out there if you want them. Your sample is too small to show it but if you play the game with 50% pay out 100,000,000 times at $1 per bet, you will get back 50,000,000 dollars. The odds are that you will lose half your money over time. The more you play the closer you get to that, whether the first ticket is a million dollar winner or a loser.
The Following User Says Thank You to Groovy Mike For This Useful Post:
Old 10-26-2010, 05:54 PM
tadbitangelny's Avatar
tadbitangelny tadbitangelny is offline
angel waiting
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Finger Lakes Region NY
Posts: 3,785
Thanks: 4,045
Thanked 5,592 Times in 2,079 Posts
Default

I live in Upstate NY Finger Lakes Region. I know someone who owns a grocery store in one of our towns. I heard about alot of his customers winning big prizes on the scratch off tickets so one day I asked him how his store got so lucky. He laughed and said "luck had nothing to do with it, I pay extra to the lottery commission to have big winning tickets brought into the store". I just kinda looked at him like oh ok sure you do. Two months later his wife bought a scratch off in their store and won $30,000. Don't know if it's true what he said but I've known the guy most my life and have never had him lie before so my way of thinking is if that's true then the regular lotto is probably rigged too. I stopped playing after that as I refuse to give the guberment anymore of my money then it already gets.
Old 10-26-2010, 06:31 PM
Palma's Avatar
Palma Palma is offline
Plays best, alone
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Maryland The Free State it aint
Posts: 3,394
Thanks: 2,230
Thanked 3,234 Times in 1,574 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crackshot View Post
I had an economics professor that once explained the lottery in the best description Ive ever heard. She said that "the lottery was a tax on stupidity."


Most people think that if they buy a ticket and the odds are 1 in 300 million its bad, but the way most people think is if they buy 2 tickets they now have 1 in 150 million odd which is better, and then if they buy 100 tickets that they have 1 in 3 million odds which is even better, but that isnt the way it works. If you buy 100 tickets your odds are only 100 in 300 million, and those odds are still horrible.
I'm no expert in this but, wouldn't your chances still be 1 in 300 million, because only one ticket will win? Unless you have multiple tickets all with the same number.
Reply

Bookmarks



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
It easy To See Why people Think The Whole System Is Rigged Cheapsuits Financial Forum 27 09-01-2010 03:35 PM
Police Building Rigged To Explode madcritter General Discussion 3 01-02-2010 11:39 AM
Obama endorses his own rigged election an Panthers. Brew Controversial News and Alternative Politics 10 05-30-2009 02:08 PM
Stock Market and the PPT - More rigged than a casino TheMule Political News and Discussion 0 03-26-2009 12:55 PM
Is this whole thing rigged? albert johnson General Discussion 17 03-14-2008 03:32 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright Kevin Felts 2006 - 2012,
Green theme by http://www.themesbydesign.net