Znirk wrote:Wait. Are you saying that previous winners will move on to different numbers because they will expect people to jump on the same bandwagon as you, but you yourself are convinced there won't actually be much of a bandwagon so you are safe to jump on it all by yourself?
Actually, I was saying as how the winners (of the whole jackpot all-numbers-match, or the next tier down even) have... won! So why would they want to continue to play the lottery with numbers that have already
won, so are unlikely (sic!) to turn up again. (Yes, I'm assumng people playing the lottery don't have the understanding of the odds1
. That's why they play the lottery...)
Actually, when I participated in a lottery syndicate in a past job (the personal rationale being that if I was the only non-winner in the department, it would have been aawwkkwwaarrdd...
) I chose my own contributive numbers by taking all past results (there hadn't been that many, but enough to do this without huge gaps of "not appeared yet" numbers) and discarding the most frequent ones (as likely to be chosen by those who analysed for "lucky numbers", and the least frequent ones (as likely to be chosen by those who thought that "their time would come") and left myself with the most median-performing set.
I suppose I could have looked at the 1st/3rd quartiles, or 2nd/3rd quintiles (probably from the least frequent side, because of "reversion to the mean", right?
But the aim was not to beat the Lottery Machine, but to avoid landing on guesses by the average punter (I also saw that the numbers concerned were already fairly statistically skewed against "those that could be derived from birthdays"2
, as it happened, so I didn't end up doing any further adjustment to remove that factor) and if we happened to share the jackpot with several groups of similarly-inclined (and probably liable-to-be-defrocked!) statisticians, then it'd make a good paper for combined submission to a journal, eh?
It all comes down to the whole "lost in a park" thing? If you're a (rational) lost child, do you run all over, hoping to bump into your parent, or do you stand somewhere hoping that the searching parent (who you don't anticipate will also
stand and wait, obviously) will happen across you. (Not a perfect analogy. Unlike lotteries, parents have memories, but that's why the most rational/pre-agreed party should stand still, the moving party excluding pre-searched space in whatever manner. If both move then the search space cannot be excluded. Although landscape features to search around
, repeatedly, might come to the fore. I'm sure there's studies on this.)
These days, there's a Lucky Dip option, on the UK lottery (one of them, probably also the other, I don't know much about that one), so asking the PRNG to pick numbers that might win in the RNG sounds like what I should do these days (with no 'park memory', it's actually just more against picking the same numbers as others, although I now get no power to veer away from birthday numbers, as per footnote 2), with the additional psychological effect of not being 'attached' to a set of numbers, howsoever one personally chose them, then saw them come up a week or two after the brief (mad!) experimemt was over. Play for the day, and let it go!
And good luck to everybody who plays the lottery! (Everybody. Thus keeping things even. Why should I play favourites? If it's not me that is favoured, that is.)1
Or, just from first principles, if half the money paid in comes out as prizes (the rest to "good causes" and the company running costs and profits) then the ROI of an average play is -50%3
... It's almost a pyramid scheme.2
Every birthday has a 1 in 12 chance of having a particular number from 1 to 12 from the month, then there's the overlapping 1 to 28 (all the months), trailing off to 1 to 31 (half the months), that get days picked, per birthday tried. I ignored the years. Couldn't begrudge the old people who could
choose 1..49 directly from personal or perhaps parental birthdays, and the rest is stuff like house numbers (Benford's Law rules there), but I didn't bother with that, or I might have been accused of overthinking the problem!3
In a quick (unscientific) analysis of the lottery results since it converted to 1..59, over here, and a new prize structure, pitting my rand() function against what actually happened I get roughly 25% of the stakes I put in back as prizes (counting "lucky dips" rewards as if the cash equivalent, which I then use in place of investing new cash next time round, and never once getting a valuable variable prize to worry about how that skewed things), but then there seems to be an auxiliary 'thing' now with Millionaire Raffle Numbers given out for every number-line chosen, so that'd be giving me the other 25% (in a PRNG vs PRNG competition?) of the half-the-money-back-as-prizes (smeered out, that is, rather than "millionare or nuthin'...").