Ever since the lottery started, I have been locked in to using the same numbers and, hardly ever having won a thing over the years, I though the odds would now be more in my favour than when I started playing it.

My son, who enjoys pondering over various mathematical conundrums, informed me that in order to win the lottery using the same numbers, I would have to play for 25 years and there would have to be a lottery EVERY MINUTE during that time in order for my numbers to come up eventually!

Should I give up now and count my losses?!

November 9, 2010 at 11:09 am

you should never play lotteries to make money

lotteries are about buying into a dream for a little bit of money, you can take your chance and then dream about what you would do if you numbers come up

but do not do it too try and make money

still a couple of bucks for a few days of dreams seems like a good deal to me

• #### LegFuJohnson

November 9, 2010 at 11:33 am

The fact that you think the odds are more in your favor now than when you started playing it is a problem. It isn’t. Perhaps you aren’t familiar with the concept of a random draw.

Your numbers could come up tomorrow, or maybe they wouldn’t come up for 25 years, maybe longer. That’s what happens when you try a one in a hundred million chance.

Should you give it up? That’s up to you. I don’t know your situation. Perhaps you could better use that money elsewhere, but I wouldn’t know.

• #### ZCT

November 9, 2010 at 11:59 am

You have to accept that lotteries are for fun, and not a way to make money. The ‘house edge’ on the lottery is far greater than a typical Vegas slot, or any table game.

Your son is quite right in that the odds of winning are insane. And Powerball just made the odds worse; up to 195m-1 now. Mega Millions is said to be planning a similar move this year.

I just switched to playing the state lottery instead. The odds of winning are only 7m-1, which is far more likely. Sure the Jackpot is usually less than \$10m, but it’s still plenty. The first week I played I won \$50.

I have to agree with Leg on another issue. You are no more likely to win this week as the first week you ever played. Those little plastic balls don’t remember what has gone before, and try to give each other a fair chance! The lottery is a completely random event.

To help you understand this, consider a fair coin, with a heads side and a tails side. You flip the coin fairly and it lands heads. If you do it again, is it more likely to land tails or heads? Of course the answer is that it is still 50/50, just as it was on the first spin.

• #### k_clarke@btinternet.com

November 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm

If u must play do not play to lose