Have you ever wondered about the odds and statistics of winning the lottery? Most lotteries involve selecting a fixed set of numbers from a larger collection of numbers by drawing numbers at random. Let’s take the UK National Lottery as an example. This requires 6 numbered balls to be drawn at random from a total of 49 uniquely numbered balls and the declared odds are 14 million to 1. You can easily calculate these odds using Microsoft Excel. Simply type the following into a cell:


The numbers in the brackets represent the total number of balls from which to draw and the number of balls which are drawn, respectively. In this case we are drawing from a total of 49 balls and we are drawing 6 balls in total, so we use 49 followed by 6; the larger number is always placed first. The number you should see in the cell is 13,983,816 or just under 14 million to 1.

We can experiment with this to find different odds and the results can be surprising. For example, which odds are higher, drawing 6 balls correctly from 50 or drawing 7 balls from 49? Using the COMBIN function in Excel tells us that the odds are 15,890,700 and 85,900,584 respectively. In other words it is 5.4 times harder to pick 7 from 49 than it is to pick 6 from 50. This goes some way to explain how the odds quickly escalate as the number of balls drawn increases. For example, the odds of picking 1 correctly from 49 are clearly 1 in 49. The odds of picking 2 from 49, however, are 1176 to 1. Even then the UK lottery pays nothing. So what about 3 from 49, paying a heart stopping £10? Again the mathematics tells us that the correct odds of doing this are 18,424!

The full odds of correctly predicting an increasing number of balls are as follows:

1 in 49: 49 to 1
2 in 49: 1176 to 1
3 in 49: 18424 to 1
4 in 49: 211876 to 1
5 in 49: 1906884 to 1
6 in 49: 13983816 to 1

This probably explains why you probably know someone who has matched 3 or even 4 numbers but it’s very unlikely that you know a jackpot winner.

We can use this information to select which lottery to enter, since there are hundreds of different lotteries available across the world. Not all of them allow non residents to take part, but many of them do. The important thing to remember is that the fewer numbers you have to predict and the fewer you have to pick from, the higher the chance of success. togel   Let’s take an example to prove the point.

Consider the following lotteries and select which one has the best odds of success, based on the calculated odds.


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