Jan 23, 2020, 7:03 pm

I'm Back!

I won't be able to buy tickets until after Punxsutawney Phil predicts the fate of winter this year- so I have a fortune cookie predicting what could possibly be the billion dollar winner:

12-26-37-40-44-46

Is this what will give me all of the money for Powerball?

Thanks in advance.

No.

Even if the numbers that win are in a fortune cookie the chances that you'll get a fortune cookie with those numbers is still very slim. On the off chance that you do get the cookie with the winning numbers history tells us we can expect perhaps 100 other people to have gotten and played the same numbers, so even a $1 billion jackpot would put just $5.5 million in your pocket. That's a lot better than nothing, but nothing (or maybe $4 or $7 is almost certainly what you'll actually end up with.

On the positive side, there's about a 20 to 25% chance that we'll see a roll to $750ish million or so and still not get a winner, and I'm guessing that 750 or so is enough that the next jackpot might be $1 billion or more. OTOH, it might get to the low 700's and then roll to something less than a billion. If that happens there's maybe a 10% chance we'll see a jackpot that's over a billion. Of course 10% is also almost exactly the chance that it comes to an end on Saturday night.

And seriously, you should seek counseling about your obsession with billion dollar jackpots.

Jan 24, 2020, 7:10 am

In response to KY Floyd

**Quote:** Originally posted by KY Floyd on Jan 24, 2020

No.

Even if the numbers that win are in a fortune cookie the chances that you'll get a fortune cookie with those numbers is still very slim. On the off chance that you do get the cookie with the winning numbers history tells us we can expect perhaps 100 other people to have gotten and played the same numbers, so even a $1 billion jackpot would put just $5.5 million in your pocket. That's a lot better than nothing, but nothing (or maybe $4 or $7 is almost certainly what you'll actually end up with.

On the positive side, there's about a 20 to 25% chance that we'll see a roll to $750ish million or so and still not get a winner, and I'm guessing that 750 or so is enough that the next jackpot might be $1 billion or more. OTOH, it might get to the low 700's and then roll to something less than a billion. If that happens there's maybe a 10% chance we'll see a jackpot that's over a billion. Of course 10% is also almost exactly the chance that it comes to an end on Saturday night.

And seriously, you should seek counseling about your obsession with billion dollar jackpots.

Playing the lotto during a billion dollar craze gives me a sigh of relief that someone won and it's no use playing next draw after the draw. That way I can play RESPONSIBLY.

It helps, not hurts.

In response to WhoaMama

**Quote:** Originally posted by WhoaMama on Jan 23, 2020

I'm Back!

I won't be able to buy tickets until after Punxsutawney Phil predicts the fate of winter this year- so I have a fortune cookie predicting what could possibly be the billion dollar winner:

12-26-37-40-44-46

Is this what will give me all of the money for Powerball?

Thanks in advance.

I dont mean to pry, but are you enrolled in some kind of problem gambling program that restricts when you can buy tickets? If so it's great that you're getting help. As for the big B, nobody can predict at this point. If it happens, it will happen when it happens. Don't drive yourself crazy with anticipation this early in the cycle.

"Playing the lotto during a billion dollar craze gives me a sigh of relief that someone won and it's no use playing next draw after the draw."

I've got no idea what that means. If it means you don't bother playing when the jackpot is small that's sensible, but the jackpot is small for the first several drawings after somebody wins regardless of how high the jackpot got before somebody won. What happens if somebody wins at 100, 200, or 300 million and the jackpot drops back to $40 million?

"That way I can play RESPONSIBLY."

If you have any trouble playing responsibly then you've got a problem. And while it makes more sense to play when the jackpot is big than when it's small playing responsibly is based on what you can afford to lose and your motivation for playing. Even if you've got a million in the bank any feeling that you have to play is absolute proof that you have a problem.

"As for the big B, nobody can predict at this point."

Probability tells us exactly what the chances are of selling *n* tickets without producing a winner.The only difficulty of calculating the chances of the jackpot reaching 1 billion or more is knowing exactly how many tickets will have to be sold without a winner to get the roll that reaches or passes the 1 billion mark. I'll make a SWAG that the jackpot has to be at least 750 for a roll to take us to a billion. That means we might get to 700 or 725 and come up a bit short, get there from 750 or 800, or get well past it from 900 or so.

Let's figure the chances of rolling from advertised jackpots of 750 and 900. Getting from the current 373 to either 750 or 900 requires selling about 450 or 630 million tickets without a winner. The chances of that happening are right about 22% and 11.6%. Let's call it roughly a 1 in 5 chance of a jackpot pretty close to a billion, or a 1 in 10 chance of something well over a billion.

Either way, let's not obsess over it. Either it happens or it doesn't, far less money is far more than anyone needs to solve any financial problems and live extravagantly, and the chance of winning even with 10 tickets is just about 0.000000%.

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