### Tip of the Week #30
Tip Index

Go to the Prior Tip** ****Monte Carlo
Stopping Rule, Part 2**

Go to the Next Tip** Teaser Problem "The
Three Cards"**

Return to MaxValue Home Page

**Improve Your Lottery Expected Value**

*Fun with statistics*

The January 1, 1998, *Denver Post* newspaper
included an article with information of interest to lottery enthusiasts. The article is
incorrectly titled "Boosts your odds to win." While the tips do not change the
odds of winning, they will __decrease the probability of having to share prizes with
other winners__. The techniques are attributed to Alan Reiss of U.S. Mathematical Labs
in Wayland, Massachusetts.

"The key is choosing unpopular numbers":

- Avoid multiples of 7.
- Avoid single-digit numbers 1-9.
- Avoid numbers that form vertical, horizontal or diagonal patters on the
bet slip.
- Avoid 1-2-3-4-5-6 [and similar sequences].
- Avoid having all numbers 1-31, because people often choose birthdates and
other day numbers for their picks.
- Include numbers ending in 1, 2, 8, 9, and 0 (most commonly picked numbers
end in 3-7).

If your are so fortunate as to win, please be sure to let me know. I
would be delighted to be able to say that one of my clients or course participants
"won it big."

In Colorado, we pick numbers from 6 of 42 balls (numbered 1-42). The
probability that the first ball selected is one of ours is 6/42. If the first ball has one
of our numbers, the probability that the next ball is also one of our numbers is then
5/41. And so forth. Thus, the probability of winning first prize is
(6*5*4*3*2*1)/(42*41*40*39*38*37) = 6!36!/42! = 1/5,245,786.

—John Schuyler, January 1998.

Copyright © 1998 by John R. Schuyler. All rights reserved. Permission to copy with
reproduction of this notice.