A Few Lottery Clips in the Media
Christmas Powerball Lottery, December 25, 2002 -- jackpot nearly $315 million.
The Christmas Powerball Lottery reached a jackpot of nearly $315 million the day
of the draw. National Public Radio had a segment on All Things Considered the
evening of the draw and contacted Fred Hoppe of McMaster University for an "academic" perspective.
He obliged by observing that the chance of guessing winning the Powerball jackpot
(about 1 in 120,000,000) was approximately the same
as picking a foot at random around the equator. The clip is on the NPR archives.
http://www.npr.org/ramfiles/atc/20021225.atc.04.ram -- Real Player file
http://discover.npr.org/features/feature.jhtml?wfId=890684 -- NPR link
Depending on how you've configured your browser the RealPlay file will either load and play
or it will download to your hard drive where you will need to manually open it in RealPlayer.
Super 7 Lottery, Ontario, Canada, November 22, 2002 -- jackpot over $17 million
A few weeks earliery lottery fever was running high in Ontario, Canada on November 22, 2002 when the
The Super 7 lottery jackpot was over $17 million.
CH TV ran a segment on their evening news and interviewed Hoppe
to talk about the odds of winning a lottery from which the clip below is taken.
He used a QUINCUNX which he and his daughter had built the previous year for her grade 8 science
project to illustrate how dismal the odds really are.
The quincunx is a device dating back to Francis Galton in 1877
in which a marble is dropped through an lattice of nails
in such a manner
that when it hits a nail, it is "equally likely" to go left or right.
So it is a mechanical mechanisms for inducing random choices.
After the nth step the marble could have taken any of 2 x 2 x ... x 2 ( 2 multiplied by itself n times) zigzag paths.
The connection with Super 7 lotteries arises from comparing events having comparable probabilities.
The chance of selecting 7 digits out of 47 is 1 in 62,891,499. (This can be argued out in a parallel
fashion to the chance of selecting 6 digits out of
49 in Lotto 6/49.) A Super 7 ticket costing $2.00 has three
such sets. So the chance that one of them will match the winning numbers is 3 in 62,891,499 = 1 in 20,963,833.
The chance that a marble will go left 24 times in a row is 1/2^24 = 1 in 16,777,216 which is roughly the same.
hoppechtv.mov -- QuickTime (824K) best for Mac
hoppechtv.rm -- Real Media (554K) Windows or Mac
Winning the Lotto 6/49 jackpot TWICE in four years
Back in April, 2002, Hoppe was on the CTV television show TalkTV
with a couple who had won the Lotto 6/49 jackpot twice within four years. Incidentally, this show is hosted by
Ben Mulroney, son of a former prime minister.
hoppebenmultv.mov -- QuickTime (6MB) best for Mac
hoppebenmultv.rm -- Real Media (4MB) RealPlayer(4MB)
hoppebenmul2big.wmv -- Windows Media (16MB) HUGE file but best video quality.
Comments? Contact Fred M. Hoppe
Thanks to Jim Bell and Muriel McKay of the
Learning Technologies Research Centre, McMaster University for
their hard work digitizing the original analog tape into a variety of formats and testing them.