How to determine Lottery Probability in Excel

Are the lottery odds ever to your benefit? If you know the most notable prize, you may use Excel to determine the lottery probability and find out if it's worth buying a ticket.

While the lottery is never a "good bet" mathematically, there are occassions when it's a lot better than others. In fact, there are times when the lottery odds are on your behalf. With Excel, you can calculate lottery probability and figure out exactly what your likelihood is of winning. First, let's look at an example.
Problem: The Super Lotto jackpot is $8 million immediately. Should you play?
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Strategy: It depends on how many numbers will be in the game. You need to understand the quantity of possible combinations there come in the game. You can use the COMBIN function to figure out the variety of combinations by selecting six numbers beyond a group of 40.
1) Set up a spreadsheet with the number of balls within your lotto game in cell C2.




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2) Identify what number of numbers you have to select correctly in cell D2.
3) Enter the formula =COMBIN(C2,D2) in cell E2, as shown in Fig. 451. (Click image for a larger view.)

If your state lottery game requires one to select six numbers beyond 40, then this odds against more info you winning are 3.83 million to one. For a $1 bet as well as an $8 million payout, the odds are on your side.
For a sport with 44 numbers, the itrrrs likely that 7 million to one. This payoff is just slightly to your benefit.
For games with 48 or 54 numbers, the payout just isn't worth the long odds of the overall game.
Additional Information: COMBIN figures combinations. Here, the sequence the location where the balls are drawn in is not relevant. If you had a game where you had to match both the numbers as well as the order in which they were drawn, you would want to use the PERMUT function to find the quantity of permutations of drawing six numbers in sequence beyond 40.
Summary: Use the COMBIN or PERMUT functions for figuring the number of combinations or permutations.
Functions Discussed: =COMBIN(); =PERMUT()

Interested in mastering more Excel tricks and methods? Be sure to read through the a huge selection of other Excel tutorials and user guides offered by Bright Hub, like the following collections.

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