Are Certain Numbers Luckier Than Others?
If you opt to pick your own numbers, you might want to include 8, 54, 14, 39 and 13. Based on an ABC News analysis of past Powerball winners, these numbers are the most frequently drawn numbers.
1. The expected value for the cash-up front Powerball winnings is always negative. It will never make sense to take the money up front, whether you believe the linear model or the polynomial model.
2. The expected value for the annuity, however, is break-even when the jackpot exceeds $345 million in the linear participation model and $380 million in the polynomial model. Since the polynomial model seems more accurate at higher jackpots, go with that one.
3. Taxes will probably mean that it is never profitable or sensible to play the lottery. So if you do play, try to minimize them.
Mega Millions and Powerball fall under the Large Ticket Sales example (7.2) of the previous section, and indeed they have never offered a positive eRoR [expected rate of return]. We now argue that in all likelihood, no future drawing of either of these lotteries will ever offer a positive eRoR.
Final jackpot for Saturday, January 9, 2016
(Cash Value: $588.9 Million)
Winning numbers for Saturday, January 9, 2016
Power Play: x3
Here’s where we stand: based on the old forecast — the one we used for Friday’s estimate — we’d estimate about 1.008 billion tickets will be sold for Wednesday’s jackpot. Based on that number — which is totally unprecedented and based on far too much extrapolation, keep in mind — we’d estimate a 97 percent chance of at least one winner on Wednesday’s drawing.
The new models say we’d estimate 1.2 billion tickets sold if the growth accelerates, and 554 million tickets if it is slower. If we were flying blind for Saturday’s record drawing, this is a whole other level entirely. That’s a very, very wide range, one that really hammers home how completely in the dark we are with turnout. Still, there’s anywhere from an 85 percent chance of at least one winner to a 98 percent chance.
According to Sean Davis at The Federalist, at a $1.4 billion jackpot, after factoring in the likelihoods of multiple winners and split jackpots, as well as the certainty of federal taxation, the expected value of a Powerball ticket for which you paid $2 is only $1.32.
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