This week's book giveaway is in the Open Source forum. We're giving away four copies of RabbitMQ in Depth and have Gavin Roy on-line! See this thread for details.

I have been trying the state lottery for 8 years now but the highest that I have won so far is 50$.
(P.S I converted that to dollar..so do your math.. )

I am getting .. when will I win the jackpot?

I am curious if somebody has far greater win than what I have?

On the other hand.. I joined the ranch on 2007 and I managed to win Free Book thrice? I am that lucky here I think...
I bet somebody has won several times.

To Sum Up:
State Lottery = 50$
Javaranch Book Promo = 3

Whats your's buddy?

Sean Clark ---> I love this place!!!
Me ------> I definitely love this place!!!

It has to do with probabilities. The probability that you will win a state lottery is 1 : (several hundred thousands). The probability that you will win a book at JR is 1 : (several hundreds). You are more probable to win a book than win a lottery.

If you want better odds, you can always rob a bank. You will get a lot of money, but there is the reduced probability of you making it out alive ;)

Last year I won twice: € 260 and € 100. A ticket for the lottery costs € 15, so that's enough to play for free for 2 years. This month I won € 7,50, only half of what a ticket costs.

My parents have been playing in the same lottery for 40 years or so but never won as much as I did last year...

Mark Reyes wrote:I have been trying the state lottery for 8 years now but the highest that I have won so far is 50$.
(P.S I converted that to dollar..so do your math.. )

To do the math we need to know what sort of dollars you converted to - Australian, Canadian, Carribean. There are probably other countries that use dollars as well.

Joanne

Mark Reyes
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Joined: Jul 09, 2007
Posts: 426

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To do the math we need to know what sort of dollars you converted to - Australian, Canadian, Carribean. There are probably other countries that use dollars as well.

...ooops my bad.. its American Dollar...

My parents have been playing in the same lottery for 40 years or so but never won as much as I did last year...

Dennis Deems wrote:
What do you mean by "expected value"?

Basically it's the probability of winning times the size of the jackpot, less the cost of the ticket. If your chances of winning are one in a million, but the jackpot is three million, then the expectation value is ($3,000,000/1,000,000) - $1 = $2. That's a worthwhile bet. It also doesn't happen much.

Dennis Deems wrote:
What do you mean by "expected value"?

Basically it's the probability of winning times the size of the jackpot, less the cost of the ticket. If your chances of winning are one in a million, but the jackpot is three million, then the expectation value is ($3,000,000/1,000,000) - $1 = $2. That's a worthwhile bet. It also doesn't happen much.

The calculation also needs to consider (a) the effect of income tax on that payoff, and (b) the possibility that the payoff will be split among N other people who also picked the same numbers (or whatever the lottery mechanism is). The chances of this are somewhat low normally, but it's more likely to happen when there's a really high payoff, which draws many more players than you'd normally see. So even when the expected payoff supposedly justifies the ticket cost, it probably doesn't.

Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
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