It’s a lottery for a non-believer


I have a rolling ticket for each draw of the National Lottery. I always use the same numbers because, to my mind, this reduces at least one of the variables. I might be barking up the wrong tree here, but it makes me feel slightly more confident of winning someday.

Now, we have calculated the probability of guessing all six numbers at any time as 14 million to 1. So that is 0.000007%. It’s not great really is it? There’s not much point buying 2 tickets, 20 tickets or even 200 tickets for each draw, as there would still only be a very small possibility of winning, despite shelling out loads more cash. If, however, the Lottery Jackpot were more than £14 million for one draw, a very rich person might consider buying a ticket for that draw in every combination of the numbers, 14 million tickets, and be sure to make even a small profit on the outlay. It’s a fairly grandiose gesture and perhaps worth it in publicity terms, I’d guess, although I’m not sure there’s a wallet large enough in existence to store all of those tickets.

I have no idea about the variables of the Euromillions so we haven’t even tried to calculate the probability of that happening though, of course, whenever there’s a big Jackpot looming I spend my dog walking time with the standard daydream about what I’d do with the dosh. Since you ask, I’d buy a very nice house nearer the offsprings’ school and a pink tweed Chanel suit….

Anyway, the point of all of this is that the chance of matching all numbers in either of the draws, though almost infinitesimally small, is still greater than zero. And someone has to win. So its worth buying a ticket, I think, just in case.

Now, Pascal, in his Wager, urges us to live our lives as if there were a God, just in case He exists. And according to your religious beliefs, I’m reckoning you would see the probability of the existence of God as anywhere between 0% for an atheist to100% for a believer. But I have no faith. So, in fact, buying a Lottery ticket might be a better bet.

It’s just an idle thought.


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