Hacking the Lottery

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Bill Mullins
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Hacking the Lottery

Postby Bill Mullins » March 2nd, 2018, 5:20 pm

Interesting account of an old man who discovers circumstances in which a state lottery pays off.

Jack Shalom
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Re: Hacking the Lottery

Postby Jack Shalom » March 2nd, 2018, 10:06 pm

Very entertaining read. Thanks.

Joe Mckay
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Re: Hacking the Lottery

Postby Joe Mckay » March 3rd, 2018, 12:07 pm

Reminds me of a cool story I read a few years ago:


Daniel Bain
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Hacking the Lottery

Postby Daniel Bain » March 4th, 2018, 12:06 am

Thanks. Enjoyed both articles!

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Re: Hacking the Lottery

Postby tulane » March 6th, 2018, 10:05 am

I did a data science project last year, where I tried to hack a Canadian Lottery called the 6/49. Numbers are picked by a ping-pong ball machine.


I obtained a spreadsheet with every number picked for about the past 20 years or so. Then, I converted each number to the sum of segments on a 7-segment display.


So for example, the number 1 would have 2 segments. The number 7 would have 3 segments. The number 48 would have 4 + 7 = 11 segments. Etc...

What I found is that there is a very strong correlation between the number of segments in a number, and the probability of that number being chosen. In other words, the more ink on the ball, the more likely that the number will be picked.

Since the number 8 has 7 segments, it is more likely to be picked than 11, which has only 4 segments.

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Re: Hacking the Lottery

Postby lybrary » March 6th, 2018, 4:24 pm

tulane wrote:What I found is that there is a very strong correlation between the number of segments in a number, and the probability of that number being chosen.

What do you mean with 'very strong correlation'? Can you provide numbers? How did the historic probability distribution look like for all the numbers?
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Zig Zagger
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Re: Hacking the Lottery

Postby Zig Zagger » March 11th, 2018, 5:08 am

A great read, Bill. Thank you for sharing!
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Re: Hacking the Lottery

Postby EndersGame » June 1st, 2018, 3:21 am

Fascinating stories - I'll echo the thanks others have expressed to Bill for sharing this.

Somehow there's something pleasant about reading about a little guy who out-wits the big corporation, isn't there?

Maybe someone should talk to Derren Brown about How To Win the Lottery? :)

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