[Tutor] Can anyone help me?

Nick.Pomponio@gtri.gatech.edu Nick.Pomponio at gtri.gatech.edu
Fri Oct 28 18:32:27 CEST 2005

The "odds" are determined by the number of favorable outcomes to the
number of unfavorable outcomes. In the case of flipping a coin, the odds
are 1/1 (sometimes written as 1:1) for heads. The _probability_ of an
event (as per a "frequency" definition) is the number of favorable
outcomes that cause the event to occur to the total number of outcomes
(assuming a uniform distribution). For flipping a coin, the probability
of heads would be 1/2.
Whether or not the total number of tickets sold impacts your probability
of winning depends on the way that the lottery is conducted. Here in
Georgia, I believe that the winning lottery sequence is drawn from all
possile sequences, not from the restricted set of those sequences from
sold tickets only. In the former case, the probability of winning is
dependent only on the number of tickets you purchase. In the latter case
(or a similar case in which winning sequences were generated until
someone won), the number of other tickets sold would affect your chances
of winning.
-Nick Pomponio


From: tutor-bounces at python.org [mailto:tutor-bounces at python.org] On
Behalf Of Smith, Jeff
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2005 11:08 AM
To: bob; Tutor at python.org
Subject: Re: [Tutor] Can anyone help me?

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 "luck"? 

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