another question about multi state Powerball lottery.

When I buy a $1 ticket and the cashier presses a button on the ticket machine and it spits out my ticket, tell me the ways the machine is "selecting my numbers".
Some software?
A rotating wheel with 59 numbers and it stops at random 5 times?
Just how do these machines select numbers?

Thanks.
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nickg5Asked:
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awking00Information Technology SpecialistCommented:
I imagine they use some sort of random number generator. See this link for more discussion.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_number_generation

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nickg5Author Commented:
Yes, you are correct, here is another comment.
It's a computer driven RNG (random number generator).
awking00Information Technology SpecialistCommented:
Rather than a rotating wheel with 59 numbers, think of a gas pump when you fill up where the pennies go around 10 times faster than the dimes, which go around 10 times faster than the dollars, which go around 10 times faster than the 10 dollars, etc. At any point in time the last two digits can be anywhere from 00 to 99. Dividing those two digits by 100 and multiplying by 59 and rounding up to the next even number, the results can be anywhere from 1 to 59. Now picture the last two digits of a computer clock that maintains time to 16 decimal places of the seconds. Those last two decimal places are "going around" at an amazing speed. Even when the clock speed of the computer is, say, 1GHz, it means that the last two digits will have changed a million times each 1 billionth of a second, so that at any given minute (that's my-noot not minit) fraction of a second, they will be virtually random.
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Enabbar OcapCommented:
When they introduced the 'Pot-luck' random row generator in the uk it reduced the incidence of roll-over weeks to almost zero. The rng must give a very even selection of tickets, enough to fill most of the gaps left by people choosing their own lines.
Enabbar OcapCommented:
from:http://lottery.merseyworld.com/Info/FAQ_tickets.html (UK one again, but probably true for most lotteries)

"What algorithm is used to generate Lucky Dip random numbers ?
It appears that it's a straightforward pseudo-random number generator seeded by the clock on the terminal (although I'd also expect the retailer terminal number to be used as well to ensure a unique start seed). Note that the terminal software doesn't prevent a Lucky Dip playslip from generating two or more identical sets of 6 random numbers. This is quite surprising because although it would give the player a bigger share of the jackpot if they won, it doesn't improve their chances of actually winning a prize."
nickg5Author Commented:
I meant to post this earlier, someone sent me.

Sample Lotto Algorythm
nickg5Author Commented:
From tonight's paper. The machine picked the numbers.

WILTON -- Dan Yakush hopes the winner of the $48.8 million Powerball jackpot is a regular customer -- someone who comes in all the time for gas, a carton of milk, a little chitchat. Someone who has been spending a dollar on a lottery ticket and dreaming for a long time.

For now, no one knows who bought the winning ticket, only that it was purchased at the Stewart's store Yakush manages at the corner of Route 50 and Jones Road.

The ticket was bought sometime in the last seven to 14 days, although it's more likely it was purchased within days of the Christmas Day drawing. Someone paid $1 for the computer to generate six numbers printed on a slip of paper and then beat the mind-blowing odds of 1 in 195 million when the white balls drawn Saturday were 1, 17, 38, 50, 52 and Powerball number 24 .

At the store, Yakush has signs up to let people know the winning ticket was sold there. He found out by checking the lottery website Sunday. Yakush has been working for Stewart's for 20 years; the previous biggest lottery payout he's seen was $2,500.


Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Winner-come-forward-922709.php#ixzz19RPjCgTc
Enabbar OcapCommented:
A very nice Christmas for someone :7)
nickg5Author Commented:
Odds of winning are better when the prize is that small.
Such as 1 in 195 million. I guess 195M tickets had been sold since the first draw date after the last winner.

More people will buy more tickets, once it gets over 100M or 200M, and the odds of winning will be much worse than 1 in 195M.

So, a $48M winner last week, and the prize goes back to the starting point, and will rise as Wed. and Sat. draws go by, with no winner.
Wait until it gets to $200M or more. Everybody and his brother will be buying tickets. Some Powerball players don't even buy tickets until it gets big.

From a previous thread I have decided on how to pick my "forever" 5 numbers.
I thought about numbers on pieces of paper or draw from 59 marbles. But, the paper might not get stirred up enough, etc.

I want "real" random.
I'm going to a local bingo game and hang around for the first game before leaving. The balls are numbered 1-75. The first 5 numbers drawn under 60 will be the 5 numbers I play every time I buy a ticket. The next bingo ball under 40 will be my Powerball number.

So, whatever my new, and forever numbers are, they will pay off:

between "now and later"





nickg5Author Commented:
thanks
jgordosCommented:
I know this is a closed question, but nickq5, your last section you posted is wrong.

In fact, it's very wrong.

**********************
You said:

Odds of winning are better when the prize is that small.
Such as 1 in 195 million. I guess 195M tickets had been sold since the first draw date after the last winner.

More people will buy more tickets, once it gets over 100M or 200M, and the odds of winning will be much worse than 1 in 195M.

************************************* End of the part i'm going to comment on.

The odds of winning the lottery are not better or worse when the number of tickets sold changes.

The odds of winning the Mega Millions is *ALWAYS* 1 in 175 million.

By way of a naive example:

If they had a lottery, and you bought the only ticket... you would not be guaranteed to win.

The opposite is true, too.  If you sold 175 Million tickets, it is NOT guaranteed that one of those sold tickets is a winner.  The reason for this is that i is *possible* that more than one person has the exact same numbers as another person... and no one has the numbers that were actually chosen.

The math behind this really is simple.

When choosing winning numbers for the MEGAMILLIONS game, there is a pool of balls, from 1 to 56, and then the last ball  (the power ball) is from a different pool of balls, numbered from 1 to 46.

The number of different ways that these balls can be combined is ALWAYS 175 million different ways.

-john

nickg5Author Commented:
I got the 195 million from the article above:

"The ticket was bought sometime in the last seven to 14 days, although it's more likely it was purchased within days of the Christmas Day drawing. Someone paid $1 for the computer to generate six numbers printed on a slip of paper and then beat the mind-blowing odds of 1 in 195 million when the white balls drawn Saturday were 1, 17, 38, 50, 52 and Powerball number 24."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
......I chickened out on the powerball, and using my 5 numbers for the state's pick 5 where the odds of 5 out of 5, is only 1 in 550,000.

jgordosCommented:
nickq5,

My problem wasn't with the 195 million number you used.

It was really these lines...

Odds of winning are better when the prize is that small.
and
More people will buy more tickets, once it gets over 100M or 200M, and the odds of winning will be much worse than 1 in 195M


The point of emphasis is that the odds of winning do not change based on the number of tickets sold.

it is always exactly 1 in 175 million.

nickg5Author Commented:
http://www.sceducationlottery.com/games2/howtoplay_powerball.asp#powerballodds

ok you can contact them about their odds being 1 in 195,249,054.

I decided to use my 5 numbers for the State's cash 5.
It pays more if you get 3 of 5 numbers.
It pays more if you get 4 of 5 numbers.
It pays 100,000 for 5 of 5, and the powerball pays 200,000
And the odds on 5 of 5 are down, near 1 in 65,000, and not 175+ million.

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