Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Your odds of winning the Super 5

With all the commotion produced by my work mates to win the Maltese notorious Super 5 lottery I could not help myself but check out what are the odds of winning the EUR700,000 jackpot. These are the rules:
  • You must choose a sequence of 5 numbers correctly to win
  • The lowest number you can choose is 1
  • The highest number you can choose is 42
  • A given number can only be chosen once per try



When you select your 1st number, you have 42 numbers to choose from, and...
    ...a 1 in 42 chance of picking the right one.

When you select your 2nd number, you have 41 numbers to choose from, and...
    ...a 1 in 41 chance of picking the right one.

When you select your 3rd number, you have 40 numbers to choose from, and...
    ...a 1 in 40 chance of picking the right one.

When you select your 4th number, you have 39 numbers to choose from, and...
    ...a 1 in 39 chance of picking the right one.

When you select your 5th number, you have 38 numbers to choose from, and...
    ...a 1 in 38 chance of picking the right one.


That's it! You have a 1 in 850,668 chance of winning the Super 5


Here are some other odds for the sake of comparison:
  • You have about a 1 in 2,000,000 chance of being struck by lightning.
  • A pregnant woman has a 1 in 705,000 chance of giving birth to quadruplets.
  • Someone eating an oyster has a 1 in 12,000 chance of finding a pearl inside of it.

Good luck! And sorry to say that the only way to increase your chances of winning is to buy more tickets! Choosing birthdays, your age, addresses, years, phone numbers, etc. does not help at all!
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