Monthly Archives: October 2012

Lottery and lotto odds, what is your chance of winning a jackpot?

It is about time that someone is openly honest about your chances of winning the lottery.  Before I begin, the first thing I want to say is that irregardless of your chances, you should buy a lottery ticket. It doesn’t mean your chances of winning are good, infact it is the complete opposite. You have a greater chance of getting hit by a firetruck on its way to a fire call than you do winning the lottery.

However, if it only costs you $2 to play a lottery ticket, for a chance at 10 million dollars, then go ahead, and feel good about it.

If you win, it’s going to be life changing. If you don’t win, then what is happening is mathematical probability is rearing it’s ugly head and making itself known to you.

For most of the lotto tickets out there, irregardless of how many numbers you are suppose to pick, to win $10 million dollars, are all based on the same concept. Let me explain it to you in layman’s terms. If you had a sack full of 25 pound of rice, and pulled out a single rice kernel and colored it black, with a felt marker… that could be akin to the winning number. Now take that same black rice kernel and bury it back down the center of the sack of rice. Now you are set for a lottery draw!

That’s right – 25 pounds of rice, a single kernel colored black is the odds we all play with when we spend $2 to win $10 million.

Now invite your friends, neighbours, family, and anyone walking buy to dig deep in that 25 pound rice sack and see if they can pull out that black colored rice kernel. Bet you that no one can do it. Why? Simply the odds are against them.

Now, take 24 million people all reaching in, pulling out a single piece of rice to see if they get the black one.

Imagine what 24 million people outside your front door of your house would look like..

Anyway, as the story goes, one of these 24 million people manages to pull out the single black colored piece of rice out of your 25 pound sack. They are the winner!  Hard to believe, but it happened.

The moral of the story is simply this:

a) Definitely do play the lottery or lotto. A single $2 or $5 ticket in exchange for a $10 million dollar winner is completely worth it.

b) Definately do NOT expect to win. The odds are against you. Have a greater chance of being run over by a fire truck on its way to a house engulfed in flames.

c) Instead of buying 1 ticket (which seems reasonable) and instead buying 10 tickets is stupid. You’re much better off buying 1 ticket instead of 10 – to put that into perspective, let me explain further..

Let’s say on a certain lottery or lotto your odds of winning is 1 in 394,000 to get a decent, significant price.

You buy 1 ticket for $5. That is easily calculated to mean that your odds of winning is 1 in 394,000

Now let’s say you REALLY want to win, and instead of buying 1 ticket for $5, you buy 10 tickets for $50, let’s re-check the odds:

1 ticket has a chance of 1 in 394,00 of winning.

50 tickets have a chance of 1 in 344,000 of winning.

The difference here isn’t very tantalizing.  In one case, you spent $5 with a 1 ticket chance at 394,000 combinations to win $10 million. That seems like a realistic gamble that almost anyone would try.

Now for the aggressive person.. you spent $50, and now you have 10 ticket chances against 344,000 combinations to win $10 million.  That ticket purchase means you are going against 1 tin 344,000 chance you will NOT WIN. How smart was that? The guy that spent $2 for a win is a better bargain than the guy that spends $50 for similar odds.

PLAY THE LOTTERY. SPEND LOW. DON’T GO NUTS. DEFINATELY DO NOT SPEND MORE THAN $10

If the odds are huge, unless you are going to buy “tens of thousands” of tickets, do not waste your time and money trying to lower the lottery / lotto odds. The game will beat you every single time.

So now that you are near the end of this article, remember:

a) 25 lb sack of rice, how many individual kernels are inside

b) 1 kernel is purposely colored black is the golden jackpot

c) 24 million people outside your front door, just dying to shove their fingers into your 25 lb sack of rice in hopes they pull out the black colored kernel

Now you have a full picture of what lotteries and the lotto draws are actually like..

Sure, of course, 1 in a few million people may win, but believe how rare the odds are.. If you are going to buy a draw or lotto / lottery ticket, spend the minimum amount.  Going broke over the ordeal simply is not worth it.

I hope I’ve explained things, if not, please ask questions below….

 

 

Hallowe’en or Halloween: Kids and Candy, why is this right?

Hallowe’en is important, and forever will be for a simple reason. It is about the kids. People confuse Halloween thinking it is nothing more than kids getting candies and chocolates from strangers. Some moms prefer to buy their kids sugary treats and keep them in the house.  That’s unfortunate. While that may really be a safer way of letting the holiday pass, you’re doing an injustice to your children.

First of all, I think it is important for parents to accompany their kids during their trick or treat adventure. That will never change. Kids depend on Mom and Dad to play chaperone to the festivities of Halloween.  If you, the parent, is standing at the edge of the driveway, with an eagle eye spotting your child’s every movement as they approach a stranger’s door to ring the door bell, not a lot can go wrong at that point.

Similarily when your kids go back home and empty their pillow sack or trick or treat bag on the floor, and have Mom or Dad sift through it first, the whole ordeal should be fairly safe.

Now that we have the obvious out of the way, let’s see what your kids have learned through this experience:

1) They have confronted fears about walking in the dark, at night, on strange streets in the spirit of Hallowe’en.  That is a big deal for someone under the age of 13.  It doesn’t mean they’ll do that any other time of the  year, but this is a huge learning lesson for them that at the right time, for the right reason, you can conquer your fears.

2) They have learned that Mom and Dad is only a few feet away.  They trust you, and the fact you are walking these scarey streets with them, makes them love and trust you that much more. This is where you become the guardian angel in their life, and they feel it. You should love this part. It is a key time where your child wants Mom or Dad nearby when they enter a strange situation and you are right there to protect them.  Trick or Treating in the general public brings a bigger bond between you and your child, this is a really good thing!

3) Think of the rest of the year where your child can play a different character or fantasy role?  Halloween is the only time of the year that they get to dress up, be a character of their choice, and escape their regular day-to-day persona.  How lucky were you as a child when you wanted to dress up as a certain “something”. Allow your children to experience the fun and excitement that you did when you were their age.

4) Learning the neighborhood and community acceptance is what happens for parents and children alike. This is the time when the house 4 doors down that you do not talk to all year long, you finally have the opportunity to walk up their steps, ring their doorbell and say hello.  A great way to know your neighbors if you haven’t had the chance yet. Hallowe’en is a time for acceptance between neighbors. It can build some strong relationships simply by giving each other a chance during the holiday.

5) Ever heard of the BUBBLE BOY, which is an old story about a person who had need to live in a sterile bubble to avoid infection.  Think about this when you get the idea to tell your kids they shouldn’t trick-or-treat on Halloween.  One of the major benefits of Hallowe’en is to get you, and your kids out into the public arena where you both learn to trust, experience, and still be safe by talking to the same neighbors and overall community on your street(s).

There is even more lessons and good things that come out of Halloween, but I won’t go any further. By reading this far, you should start realizing the benefits. Halloween is good. At the end of the night, the parents get to dictate which candies the kids eat, or which houses they knock on the door to.. So what is the problem? Same as parents enjoyed Halloween as kids, they should let their own kids experience the fun too.

Someone might suggest “Well when I was growing up in the 80’s and we had Halloween it was different than in 2012″…

..and to that I would suggest..

“Nothing has changed. It was just as dangerous in the 80’s as it is in 2012.” The point is, you can’t keep your kids in a bubble, and all you have to do as a good parent is watch them knock on each door and inspect their treats and candies. Don’t take away the magic of this one-time-a-year event. Your kids want to dress up and experience what you did. Let them have their moments. There is a way to be safe without losing out on participating on Halloween altogether.