Saturday, July 05, 2014

What Are The Odds?

There's an electronic sign in many convenience stores in LA--and presumably the entire state--letting you know the latest amounts available in the three big lotteries. I noticed recently that Mega Millions seemed to be higher than normal, so I looked into it.

Mega Millions expanded into numerous states in 2010, which explains big numbers, but the increase I saw was more recent.  And sure enough, in October 2013, the rules changed.  The numbers in play, that used to go from 1 to 56, now go up to 75.  So longer odds mean more play between wins, thus bigger jackpots.

How much have the odds changed?  Well, before October, your odds of winning the top prize were 1 in 175,711,535. Now your odds are 1 in 258,890,850.  This is ridiculous. I mean sure, one in 175 million, why not take a chance--but no way I'll waste my time on something where it's one in 258 million.


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