[Tutor] Can anyone help me?

Smith, Jeff jsmith at medplus.com
Fri Oct 28 17:08:22 CEST 2005

But the odds that you will win are not impacted by the number of tickets
that are sold in total...only the number you buy.  When you take into
account the total number of tickets sold, all you get are the odds that
the lottery will be won by anyone.
I'm also a little confused by that def of odds.  Consider flipping a
coin.  The probability that it will come up heads is 1/2.  That def says
that the odds in favor of it coming up heads is 1.

-----Original Message-----
From: bob [mailto:bgailer at alum.rpi.edu] 
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2005 10:52 AM
To: Smith, Jeff; Tutor at python.org
Subject: Re: [Tutor] Can anyone help me?

At 07:28 AM 10/28/2005, Smith, Jeff wrote:

Aren't the odds just based on how many tickets you buy?  The odds aren't
affected by different people buying more tickets.  If only one person
buys a ticket in the entire lottery system, his odds of winning are the
same as if two people play, and the same as if 20 million play.

According to the wikipedia: "In probability theory
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probability_theory>  and statistics
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistics>  the odds in favor of an event
or a proposition are the quantity p / (1-p), where p is the probability
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probability>  of the event or
proposition." If you assign equal probability of winning to each ticket
then odds are how many tickets you buy relative to how many tickets
everyone else has bought. 

The probability of a ticket winning is 1 / m**n where m is the highest
number possible and n is the number of numbers. If a lottery uses 6
numbers each in the range 1..42 then the probability of a ticket winning
is 1/5489031744. 

All of this is mathematics. Sometimes one or more tickets win. Is that

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