It’s a sociable place the North Pole, although it’s hard to get groups to mix sometimes. Those arctic foxes can be a little snooty and don’t like hanging out with the polar bears. You know how it is. But that doesn’t stop them all partying up there – it helps keep the chills at bay.
Anyway, being a sociable kind of a guy/bear, Chief Polar Bear has proposed we get a group of friends together to try and crack that lottery jackpot (you’re with us, right?). His plan is to join up with 49 of us and form the world’s first North Pole Lottery Syndicate. Each player covers the cost of 1 North Pole lottery ticket (each with different numbers of course) and all the tickets are pooled together.
Here Is Quiz Question No.2
What are the odds of the North Pole Lottery Syndicate hitting the jackpot?
(Hint: don’t forget this is a 6 balls from 49 game)
Answer The Question Here (& Maybe Win A Prize)
There are 3 ways (you only need to use 1):-
I’m looking forward to seeing your answers again to this one as there were loads of great answers to Question 1.
Look out for my answer here in a couple of days, when I’ll also be putting Question 3 to you.
What About Question 1 & Those Prizes?
If you missed the first question, do not despair. You can still answer Question 1 here, where you can also find details about the prizes too.
Stay warm everyone.
Wow, we had some very varied answers for this one. There is however only one 100% correct answer to this (but everyone who had a go is still eligible for the prizes).
The important thing to remember when working out your odds/chances is that you simply multiply.
That’s why playing in a syndicate can be such a powerful way to improve your chances. Typically it costs you the same or only a little bit more, but you get 50 times the chances of winning. There is a downside in that you have to share of course. But as any syndicate winner will tell you – would you rather have a part-share of the jackpot, or all of nothing..?
[You can read more about playing in lottery syndicates here, which includes links to the ones I use online]
It’s a common mistake to take the 50 away from the total combinations. That’s the wrong approach. So the answer is NOT 13,983,816 minus 50 = 1 in 13,983,766.
Not sure why?
Think of a dice. If you guess 2 numbers you have 2 chances of being right. But there are still 6 possible results – they didn’t go anywhere. So your odds are 2-in-6.
The other bit that confuses a lot of people is how you ‘simplify’ that 2-in-6 to be a 1-in-something.
Sorry for the maths lesson but I’ll keep it very brief!
All you do is divide both ‘sides’ by the same thing. In this case by 2 (because 2 / 2 = 1, and you want a 1-in-something). So you divide the other side by 2 as well. 6 / 2 = 3. Which gives you 1-in-3.
Or if you want the shortcut, just divide the big number by the number of combinations played. Simple as that 🙂
So let’s apply this to my original question.
First thing, I did throw a sneaky spanner in your works. And Paul was amongst those who spotted my deliberate attempt to trip you up “What’s in a word 1 x Chief Polar Bear and 49 of us = 50 of us”.
So all of you who worked on 49 members in the group – sorry, but ‘got ya’ 🙂
Which means we are actually buying 50 different combinations.
Now as I mentioned the North Pole Lottery is a 6 balls from 49 game. Which means there are 13,983,816 different possible combinations – just the same as any 6 from 49 game. (We don’t need to do the maths for this, I’m just not that mean)
Using our shortcut we simply divide that by 50 to get our answer. 13,983,816 / 50 = 279,676 (to the nearest whole number).
So our chances of winning the jackpot with the North Pole Syndicate are 1-in-279,676.
Or as some of you put it “a lot better”.
Congrats to Joe, Col, Eileen, Sandra, Peter, Stewart, Paul and Stephen who got the exact answer. Although many more of you were either very close (tripped up by my Chief Bear + 49) or on the right lines.
Congrats also to Art for being posted to Churchill, Manitoba in the 70’s – the polar bear capital of the world 🙂 . Where locals leave their cars unlocked just in case anyone needs a quick escape from a marauding bear (they can be mean when they’re hungry, just ask the Chief! Or Art.).
The comments are now open below if you want to discuss further.