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Old 03-03-2010, 10:22 AM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 13,242
There's the old joke about the poor guy that used to pray every night for God to let him win the lottery. After several years of this, he's praying one night when there's a thunderbolt, a cloud appears, a giant hand comes out the cloud, points a finger at him and says "You cheap bastard! The least you could do is help me out by buying a ticket once in a while!"

So - your odds of winning go up tremendously with the first ticket. With the second, you spend $1 (or whatever) and double your chances. By the fift, an extra dollar only adds 20% to your chjnce of winning. By 10, it's only 10% for a buck. You have to spend $10 to double your chances of winning.

So the more tickets you have, the less useful your marginal extra dollar spent is. That's another way of looking at it. But yes, the theory is every (different) ticket has an equal chance of winning so every dollar is equally well spent.

The only unpredictable factor is whether there are duplicate winners. One group of people where I worked won the lottery - about $2million - but had to share it 6 ways. That's a very large split compared to usual, then among the group it was split 11 ways. Each person got $30,000 or so. Better than nothing, but still...