The Powerball Jackpot has hit a whopping $600 million, and it's only a matter of time before lottery fever hits America again.
We talked about the various statistics a lottery player needs to familiarize themselves with, but there's one in particular that players really care about. People don't really expect to win the jackpot, but it's certainly nice to win something from the endeavor.
The best way to improve your odds of victory are to buy more tickets. An while there's no way to be 100% certain you'll win on at least one of them, there are way to make sure you've got an estimable chance.
Besides the jackpot, there are a number of other, vastly more likely prizes, from $4 to $1,000,000. The odds a ticket wins any prize are around 1 in 32.
Keep in mind, this analysis is if you assumed the quick draw random selection. If you want to guarantee one win, you could just buy 35 tickets, each with a unique Powerball. That would guarantee you win $4 minimum.
However, we want to know how it
looks with a random selection.
The probability a single ticket isn't any kind of prizewinner is 96.88%.
The formula to calculate the probability that you don't win any prizes given a certain number of tickets is:
P(No winners) = (Probability of not winning) [Number of tickets bought]
P(No winners) = (0.9688) [Number of tickets bought]
So, the probability you do have at least one prize-winning ticket is:
P(Winners) = 1 - (0.9688) [Number of tickets bought]
Since we're trying to figure out how many tickets to buy, let's plot this out:
Keep in mind, you're probably going to lose a bunch of money buying all these Powerball tickets. However, if you want to find out how many you need to buy nonetheless, here's what you need.
So, depending on how many tickets you buy, you have different levels of confidence that you have at least one winner:
Walter Hickey / BI
Again, this is a really risky investment strategy with low potential payoff.
So good luck, and remember, fortune favors the bold.