# 彩票中獎概率之謎

Powerball Lottery Winning Made Inevitable (If Not Easy)

There is There’s a story in the book. , a story about people who took advantage of the law of inevitability to win the lottery. That’s mathematician David Hand, talking about his 2014 book , The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles and Rare Events Happen Every Day. The law of inevitability comes into play in the lottery drawings . - some set of the numbers will be drawn, so a potential winning combination is inevitable. The key word being " potential" , as nobody has yet won the multistate Powerball lottery. Which means that the jackpot for the next drawing, the night of January 13th, is up to some $1. 3 billion. You could buy a ticket and hope, . Or, as you may have amusedmused, you could buy every possible set of numbers to inevitably win. In 1992, Virginia State Lottery. , the Virginia State Lottery is a six/44 lottery . - you have to choose six numbers out of 44 , - which means it’s a one in seven million chance that a ticket, particular ticket , to will be the Jackpot winning jackpot-winning ticket. Seven million. So if you bought all the tickets, it will would only cost you$7 million. Stay So they waited until the roll of rollover jackpot to had built up to, haven’t hadn’t been won, to so it built up over several weeks to $27 million. If you managed manage to spend$7 milllion million and buy all the seven million tickets , you are guaranteed to hold the jackpot winning ticket. But there is there’s a lot of organizations organization involved in this. In fact, what happened , was they put together a consortium of 2 and a half thousand 2,500 people. , each of whom pays paid $3000, so there are about3,000 or thereabouts, so they have had$7 million. And then in a the few days’ window , they had available they ran around buying , - trying to buy all the seven million tickets.

" Trying " to buy, . Because the consortium only managed to buy five million tickets. So winning was not inevitable, their chances were only about 5 five out of 7seven.

As it happened, however, they did have the winning ticket. , so they were guaranteed winning the jackpot. The organization beforehand, the logistics of running around trying to buy these ticketsthey may

, the nail-biting looking through the tickets, it’s easier . if you just to get a job.

So if you are you’re thinking of getting together a consortium for the Powerball. , keep in mind that for this lottery there is there’s only a one in 292 million chance of winning. And tickets are 2 two bucks a pop. So you and your buddies are gonna going to have to come up with almost $600 million to buy every combo and take advantage of the law of inevitability. And if others pick the same winning numbers and you have to split the winnings . you could basically break even or even lose money. To put the frenzy in perspective, I like to recall the wisdom from of statistician Michael Orkin, author of the book , What Are the Odds? Chance in Everyday Life. Back to in 2001 , the Powerball jackpot had reached$295 million . and the odds back then were better, only 175 million to wonone. Orkin told me, if you have to drive 10 miles to buy a Powerball ticket, you are you’re 16 times more likely to get killed in a car crash on your way than you are to win. So if you death you’re dead set on buying a lottery ticket, at least walk.

• Words worth to be remembered:
• jackpot n. 头奖；累积赌注金；最大成功
• muse n. 沉思；冥想；缪斯女神 v. 沉思，冥想；沉思地说
• thereabout adv. 在那附近;大约那时
• nail-biting n. 咬指甲癖性,没有办法的状态,束手无策
• combo n. 联合体；结合物；小型爵士乐队
• frenzy n. 狂热；狂暴；狂怒 v. 使狂怒
• dead set n. 决定性攻击，猛烈攻击 adj. 堅定不移的

## 譯文：

• “()”中的是我認爲正確的翻譯
• 黑體字是我認爲翻譯得好的部分

##### 王　超辰
###### Real World Evidence Scientist

All models are wrong, but some are useful.