This was a popular post that I’m bringing back for the entertainment and educational value. This article below brings up a very interesting situation. What do you do if your gut tells you a news story can’t be true, but the story cites experts and you aren’t an expert, plus the story is on an official news web site, in this case, news.au. Here’s the story:
MOST of us believe winning lotto is down to the luck of the draw. But a syndicate of university professors and tutors in Britain thought it could also be related to the principles of mathematical probability….A syndicate of mathematics professors in Britain develop a formula for picking lotto numbers. .. they win $13 million. … The syndicate then set up a computer program to check the numbers every week. It took four years and a total outlay of $8700, but on Saturday, the formula succeeded. Matching the winning numbers and the bonus ball, they hit the jackpot. .. The syndicate, made up of 17 staff members at Bradford University and College, bagged the big prize by using two boxes, 49 pieces of paper and a large amount of brainpower. (News.au)
Here is the method they used:
Instead of each member randomly choosing numbers or relying on birthdays and significant dates as they had done this time they came up with an unbeatable formulae. All 49 numbers were written on pieces of paper and placed in one box. Each syndicate member in turn then picked out six numbers, until eight lines were filled, using 48 of the 49 numbers. The remaining number was then used to start a new line by the next syndicate member, who picked from a second box where the pieces of paper already drawn had been placed. As a result each number appeared at least twice in the syndicate’s 17 lines, with four numbers appearing three times.
The article is misleading. The formula / method they used did not increase their odds. There is always a 1 in 13.98 million chance of winning. You can’t increase those odds because the motion of the balls in the machine is random.
As one commenter put it:
This is a simple system that anyone could have used. It has no more to do with any ‘mathematical formula’ than sticking your finger up your nose.
Here is the real scoop on lottery math:
In a typical 6/49 game, six numbers are drawn from a range of 49 and if the six numbers on a ticket match the numbers drawn, the ticket holder is a jackpot winner–this is true no matter the order in which the numbers appear. The probability of this happening is 1 in 14 million (13,983,816 to be exact).
Don’t email Dr. Jordan or myself because you think one of us knows a secret formula for increasing your chances of winning the lottery.
It is the year 2019 and no one has won again with this formula, despite it being described on several sites. As you can see from the comments in this post, it’s not for lack of interest. If it worked, it would have worked again by now again. My view is that the group won by luck alone, not due to the formula.
Yes, it is true that a math formula won, but not because of the formula, just because they got lucky, like any other player might.