Combinations of Lottery Numbers
Date: 5 Aug 1995 01:53:15 -0400 From: Anonymous Subject: Lottery I am in need of a quick way to display all the permutations for my state's lottery. Our new lotto will start soon and the object is to pick 5 numbers, 1 through 39, with no repeat or bonus numbers. How can I get a listing of all 575,000+ possible ways to play? Please help, as nobody I talk to seems to know what they are. The reason I ask is that for almost (3) years the Texas lottery has never drawn a winning play TWICE. That being the trend, it seems possible to eliminate past drawings and focus only on UNDRAWN plays. Can you help or advise how I can find resolution? Thanks!
Date: 7 Aug 1995 09:53:02 -0400 From: Dr. Ethan Subject: Re: Lottery It's not clear that a listing is what you want. If we put 1000 plays on each page, the listing would be 576 pages long, and you'd get dizzy trying to 'read' it. I don't know how often the Texas lottery is drawn, but suppose it's once per week. In 3 years, that would eliminate 156 plays from consideration. So if you assume the same play won't be drawn twice, it drops the number of plays you have to consider from 575,757 to 575,601. Which is to say, it hardly makes any difference. That is, if you just start choosing combinations randomly, the probability that you'll repeat a previously winning play is about 1 in 3000. So the best way to avoid previous winning plays is just to list those, make your choices, and before committing to a choice, check it against the list of previous winners. That entails managing a list of a few hundred previous winners, as opposed to a list of half a million non-winners. Hope that helps, Ethan, Doctor On Call
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