Really, I did. :)
Not the jackpot, but 3rd prize…
The current jackpot for the Mega Lotto is climbing north of PHP420 million as I write this. The chances of winning it are roughly 1 in 28.9 million, and if press reports are to be believed, despite the prize money, and tens of millions of bets, folks only bet on one-fourth of the possible combinations, hence the lack of a winner. In fact, they haven’t had a winner in some 70 draws. Nevertheless, I do like the idea of “
a dollar twenty pesos and a dream” and could seriously use a PHP420million jackpot right now (who couldn’t?) So last Wednesday, I bought 10 “lucky pick” tickets for PHP200. These are randomly generated combinations; no birthdays, anniversaries, ages, addresses, number of girlfriends, feet size, etc. in the mix. It is actually, in my opinion, the statistically SMARTER way to bet. Because folks tend to use birthdays (only 1 to 31) or ages (mostly below 55), the combinations of numbers in a majority of bets are skewed towards those including the lower numbers out of 55. Also, most humans avoid selecting numbers that are consecutive (say 45 and 46) so they eliminated a huge number of equally possible outcomes. So I buy the randomly generated numbers.
But nobody won the PHP380 million jackpot last Wednesday night, so I left my tickets on my office desk and forgot about them. Until this afternoon. One of my crew said I should check just in case I won one of the “minor” prizes. They were amazed that I had three numbers right on one pick, so they said I won PHP150 (I was thrilled) and that meant I practically won my bet back. So I told them to please claim my prize and bet it again for Saturday’s draw. Then I left for the airport in Cebu. Then just as I landed in Manila, and turned on my phone, I got a text that said I actually won more than PHP150! Apparently I had 4 out of 6 numbers right on one bet! The probability of doing that is roughly 1 in 23,000! Better than the probability of my dating a supermodel, apparently, check here for amusing odds… So I won PHP2,000!!! I can tell you I was grinning from ear to ear. The thought of winning something (I don’t think I have WON ANYTHING major major before) that exceeded my bet was so smile inducing. Imagine if I won PHP420 million?!?
So I got more lotto tickets, and the gambling habit begins to form… Hahaha. I’m kidding. I don’t encourage gambling. And I only buy lotto tickets when the jackpots are relatively massive by local standards. And I have only played the game once this year (though now repeated draws in the past week) but wrote about what I might wear to claim my prize in this post from February 2009. So if you are feeling lucky, get on those long lines for tickets early tomorrow morning (Saturday), and GOOD LUCK! If I can’t win it, I certainly hope a marketmanila.com reader wins it!
I had some errors on my original post regarding probabilities. For the curious, here is how you calculate the probability of winning the grand lotto 55. You pick 1 of 55 numbers. Then there are 54 left and you pick one of those and so on. So:
1/x = 29 million plus (I need more decimal points in my calculator)
Hence, the reported odds of winning being roughly 1 in 29 million bets. :)