Monday, January 25, 2010

Ohio Mega Millions Lottery not very Random?

Do you play the Ohio Mega Millions Lottery? Do you always check your ticket's numbers?

We do play the lottery on occasion. Specifically, when the amount of the Mega Millions goes at or above 100 Million dollars. We do an office pool, $2 per person. We purchase the tickets at lunch, on the day of the drawing and then email a scan of them all to whomever participated in the group buy.

Here's where things get interesting. We purchased our tickets Friday, January 22nd 2010 at a local Columbus Ohio Lottery vendor. We do the auto-lotto, so that it generates the numbers for us.

One would think "auto lotto" would be fairly random.

One would be wrong! Look at the these two tickets!

identical numbers different tickets

The Ohio Lottery Mega Million's random ticket number generator gave *two* tickets with the exact same numbers in one setting. Even statistically speaking, this should *never* happen. Yet it did.

It's one thing if the ticket's a winner, but if it's not, then for every two tickets your purchase you may in affect only be purchasing one ticket's worth of chances to win the lottery.

(Note: I blurred out the actual main parts of the ticket numbers, because each ticket is actually a $2 winner.)