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HarderFaster Forums >> General Mayhem >> Lottery rollovers and jackpot capping

 
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Matt
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I always thought it was possible to beat the lottery and the time to jump in was when the jackpot hit the maximum cap.

Turns out I was right, this couple made millions but they had to buy thousands of tickets to win, and only if the jackpot wasn't claimed for that draw.

http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/lotto-winners/

It's a long read with much of it irrelevant to the lottery story, here's the principle:

Quote:
It was on one of these mornings at the Corner Store, in 2003, that Jerry saw the brochure for the new lottery game. Though he’d spent tens of thousands of hours watching his old customers hope for the break that might alter their fortunes, he knew better than to believe the lottery was ruled by chance. “People have been conditioned to think it is luck,” he would later reflect. “They don’t look at the structure of games.”

This particular game was called Winfall. A ticket cost $1. You picked six numbers, 1 through 49, and the Michigan Lottery drew six numbers. Six correct guesses won you the jackpot, guaranteed to be at least $2 million and often higher. If you guessed five, four, three, or two of the six numbers, you won lesser amounts. What intrigued Jerry was the game’s unusual gimmick, known as a roll-down: If nobody won the jackpot for a while, and the jackpot climbed above $5 million, there was a roll-down, which meant that on the next drawing, as long as there was no six-number winner, the jackpot cash flowed to the lesser tiers of winners, like water spilling over from the highest basin in a fountain to lower basins. There were lottery games in other states that offered roll-downs, but none structured quite like Winfall’s. A roll-down happened every six weeks or so, and it was a big deal, announced by the Michigan Lottery ahead of time as a marketing hook, a way to bring bettors into the game, and sure enough, players increased their bets on roll-down weeks, hoping to snag a piece of the jackpot.

The brochure listed the odds of various correct guesses. Jerry saw that you had a 1-in-54 chance to pick three out of the six numbers in a drawing, winning $5, and a 1-in-1,500 chance to pick four numbers, winning $100. What he now realized, doing some mental arithmetic, was that a player who waited until the roll-down stood to win more than he lost, on average, as long as no player that week picked all six numbers. With the jackpot spilling over, each winning three-number combination would put $50 in the player’s pocket instead of $5, and the four-number winners would pay out $1,000 in prize money instead of $100, and all of a sudden, the odds were in your favor. If no one won the jackpot, Jerry realized, a $1 lottery ticket was worth more than $1 on a roll-down week—statistically speaking.

“I just multiplied it out,” Jerry recalled, “and then I said, ‘Hell, you got a positive return here.’”



I presume Camelot are aware of this, but they still operate the maximum jackpot system which distributes prizes to smaller winners in the event it's not won on the last draw.

Is it still possible?

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Old Post02-03-2018 14:21 PM
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ceekay
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I've lost track of how many lucky dips I have won. I do a weekly direct debit for this and have won about £80 in total plus countless lucky dips; this week being another lucky dip winner.

My mother tried doing charts and numbers for the lottery, not sure if it was chance or maths but they did ok some times.


"Do you believe in the devil? You know, a supreme evil being dedicated to the temptation, corruption, and destruction of man?"
"I'm not sure that man needs the help." (Calvin & Hobbes)

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Old Post04-03-2018 14:15 PM
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Matt
V2.0

Registered: Apr 2002
Posts: 17586 - Threads: 836
Location: Surrey



Poll Winner!
2016
Honourable Mention
Party Animal

Yeah, I play regularly and I win from time to time but I know I'm down overall.

As the feature points out, the odds are stacked against the player:

Quote:
Even when we understand on some level that the odds are ridiculous, that the government is the casino that always wins, we play anyway, because we enjoy the illusion, the surge of risk and hope.



The difference with that final rollover is how the prize fund filters down to lower ticket holders, the odds are slightly better than evens, but you lose big time if someone wins that final jackpot.

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Old Post05-03-2018 09:47 AM
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