# Gambling Systems, from Jeff Watson

June 20, 2013 |

On the website for Mega-Millions Lottery, to encourage action, they are giving "statistics" for their players, much like the statistics one sees in a keno room or at a roulette table. Very interesting. After all, balls with numbers on them have memories…..just like coin tosses, ha.

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1. Jim Davis on June 20, 2013 9:32 pm

Gee, who knows. Maybe the balls with two digits behave differently than one with one digit. Mass of the ink, you know.

Who knows, a 22 might play differently than a 44. While we laugh, the quants cash.

2. Andrew Goodwin on June 21, 2013 2:03 am

If the weight of the ink on the ping pong balls changes the probabilities or aerodynamics then one might look at the expected weight and airflows ink of the balls. Is the inking embossed? Do they reuse the same balls?

The best comdedic line I heard about the lottery remarked that the money goes to school funds. So the comedian noted that these education funds will teach students that they have no possible way of winning the lottery.

3. Jeff Watson on June 22, 2013 8:05 am

The literature suggests randomness in the lotto and keno systems. Maybe a quant can find an edge, who knows? If he did, he probably wouldn’t be sharing or publishing it either. But one would assume the 50% vig of those games would be enough reason to avoid those games. 50%+ vig is a tough nut and you will not win. Somebody might, but it won’t be you or me, or anyone we know.

4. Ed on June 22, 2013 2:18 pm

I have read the quarter has a 51% edge to the side it starts on

5. Jeff Watson on June 24, 2013 11:44 am

Ed, In the spirit of good times and entertainment value, I would be willing to wager and give 10:1 odds that if I toss a coin ten times in front of you, I can achieve any outcome you desire(10 heads, 10 tails in a row, or any combination in between) I have mystic coin tossing powers.