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Statistics: Lottery and Decisions

# 1 When playing the lottery in your (or a nearby) state, how many possible "different" tickets are there? How many ways are there to win (note that there are often several levels of winning)? What are your odds of winning?

# 2 Do you agree or disagree that the lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math?
Drawing upon your professional (or if you prefer, personal) experience, provide an example(s) of your use of data in the context of making a decision. Describe the data (the objects, their characteristics, the data types and data sources). Was data collected from the entire population or just a sample? If only a sample was taken, why and what method was used? How was the data used to support the decision? Were the methods used descriptive or inferential?

Solution Preview

1 - Minnesota has several lottery games.

Gopher 5 - there are 5 balls, each with 47 numbers. So there are 475 possible combinations. There is only one way to win - to match all of the numbers. However, order doesn't matter. For the draw, the probability of matching the balls picked is (5/47)*(4/46)*(3/45)*(2/44)*(1/43), which translates to odds of 1 in 1,533,939.

Powerball - there are 6 balls, 55 numbers for each white ball (5 white balls) and 42 for the red. There are three ways to win: match 5 white, match Powerball, or match all 6. There are 556*42 possible combinations. The probability of matching all five white ...

Solution Summary

This discusses statistics and the lottery as well as the use of data in making decisions

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