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Running an office Powerball pool is discouraging

grengrad's avatar - nw rogue.jpg

I have bought my 1 Powerball ticket for each drawing for quite a while, and have even match 4 white balls a few time. Even though the odds are great, I always felt like someday I might get lucky and win it all, or at least match 5 white.


Now, I am running an office pool (don't worry we have signed legal contracts), and I am buying 50 tickets for every drawing above 50 million, and we have not won more than $7.

I knew the math of the odds before, but I never really felt the math until now, and it is very discouraging. 

Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
In response to grengrad

50 tickets is certainly better than 1 ticket, but it still doesn't make a dent in the odds of winning. You're odds are still 1 in 2,922,159. Good luck though.

LottoAce's avatar - WWI Flying_Ace.gif

Are you buying quickpics?...or do the people in your pool pick thier numbers?....and if so, do they study charts like you might or do they just randomly pick numbers or play birthdays?

Captain Lotto's avatar - CaptLotto
Captain Lotto

50 tickets is certainly better than 1 ticket, but it still doesn't make a dent in the odds of winning. You're odds are still 1 in 2,922,159. Good luck though.

I'd have to check my stat book, but I don't think the odds are even that good.  Every ticket has the same odds of hitting the jackpot.  So it would be 50 in 146,107,962. 


I know how you feel Grengrad.


Even though statistically your chances are higher with the pool, what I call your 'real world odds' are not any better, it'll still take a miracle.


Good luck. 

ThatScaryChick's avatar - pI8lWzJ
In response to grengrad

I know how you feel. But to be honest, even with buying 50 tickets the odds are still way against you. Just keep buying some tickets and maybe you will get lucky and hit big. That is what most of us hope for.

RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
In response to grengrad

You should be doing 50 times better than when you were only buying 1 ticket.

Winning a $100 or less may be discouraging and matching 5/5 or better may be a dream. but if you ever match 4/4+1 for $10,000 it could be a nightmare.  One person has to claim it and pay the taxes while the pool members may want to split the prize before taxes or after a minimum allowance for taxes.  If the person claiming the win is in a higher tax bracket then he has to depend on the pool members kicking in some extra cash or pay the extra taxes from his share.

Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
Coin Toss


No matter how many ticklets you buy never lose sight of the fact that each one is supposed to lose.  

That's how gambling works, that's why there are entities in existence to book everything from bets on horses and cards and dice to lottery drawings, otherwise they wouldn't be in business. 

There is not a bet a player can make where the player is supposed to win. Odds bets on crap tables are the only even-money bet in existence- and at that, you have to have a flat bet to take or lay the odds- or pay a vig up front to buy or lay odds.  

bobby623's avatar - abstract

Don't feel too bad!

I know of a local office pool that buys 100 QPs for each MegaMillions drawing. They have been doing this forever and have never won more than $150. This was one time event.

They have gone many drawings in a row without winning anything. They have big dropout problem!

IMHO, I think they need to call a meeting,  take a close look at prior drawings and generate their own combinations. 

WOW, if I could afford to play $200 a week, I'd definitely want to be in control!

Omniscient's avatar - Lottery-017.jpg

It's all a game of chance. Someone has to win, so it could be you someday too. People do win, and you have to play to win it, so dont give up. If it doesn't happen, at least you got to be in it and had some fun trying. As long as you have fun and aren't betting the rent money or grocery money or something important that you need, then its ok to at least try. And dont think of it as 1:149,000,000 ..think of it as 50/50 ... you either win or you lose, and that's it.. plain and simple. Think positive never know... and remove all doubts from your mind. Think ' IM A WINNER!, IM A WINNER !' ... just be upbeat about it.

 'A toast to your future win !'  Cheers

Best of luck!


tntea's avatar - Lottery-059.jpg
In response to RJOh

when collecting on a pool,  the pool need to go to lottery office together with name for the group.  Each member splits the check and the taxes are paid by each member.

tiggs95's avatar - Lottery-036.jpg

I've said on another thread like this that I use to run a lottery pool where I use to work but if I had it to do over I would not do it again..

RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
In response to tntea

For lottery prizes other than the jackpots, some states will only make out the prize check to one person and send him the W-2G form for taxes.   I've read there are ways to get around that but they probably require the advice of a tax lawyer which might cost more than the taxes on a prize that size.

Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
Coin Toss


"You should be doing 50 times better than when you were only buying 1 ticket."

In my state's Pick 5 game I usually hot 0 or 1 number on a set of numbers, on the Pick 6, 0, 1 or 2 - none of which pay anything at all.

If playing 50 times as much produced 50 times that result, ah, so what?

50 X's pays nothing still = pays nothing.  

(Or is that what you were hinting at?) 

RJOh's avatar - chipmunk

Coin Toss,

In Ohio Rolling Cash5 (5/39), matching two numbers pays $1 and the overall odds of a win are 1:9 per ticket.  Buying one ticket your odds of winning a prize are 1:9 or close to nothing and buying 50 tickets your odds of winning a prize are 50:9, not 50 x 0.   

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