Well it seems the years of investment in lotto tickets for a Nelson couple paid off:
Nelson region couple celebrating their $8.2 million Lotto win say they will retire earlier than planned.
They had a strategy:
The couple has been playing 10 lines of the same Lotto numbers, with all the variations of the Powerball numbers, for several years.
So each week they bet using the same line of numbers, repeated 10 times, and had one of each of the possible Powerball numbers (0-9). This costs $12 per week.
But let’s say they had a mortgage, and let’s say the mortgage rate was 8%. We don’t know what “several years” is, so we need a table to determine how much in today’s terms they had spent on Lotto:
In today’s terms, if they had been playing for 10 years then that is worth over $9000. That’s a healthy chunk of change, and it would certainly be welcome for the other hundreds of thousands who spend money each week.
Where the Nelson couple were smart was in realising that the first prize is not worth much without the Powerball option, which doubles the price but triples or more the average return. Just $1 million is allocated to the first division prize each week and it’s split between 1-3 winners, from a brief scan. If it isn’t won, which is relatively rare, than the cumulative un-won amount is added to the next draw.
The Powerball minimum prize is $4 million, and it too cumulates, adding $1 million for each week is isn’t won. Saturday’s draw was preceded by 2 unwon draws for each category, so the pot was $3 million for the first division and another $6 million for the Powerball. The Nelson couple got 10 lines of the first division out of 14 won, and were the only Powerball winner.
By picking just one combination out of 3.8 million the Nelson couple were admitting that 10 chances in 3.8 million is functionally the same as 1 chance in 3.8 million. The beauty of a lottery is that as wildly improbably outcomes happens now and then, and this helps sell more tickets to more fools.
Meanwhile I’m $9000 better off.