How To Calculate Jackpot Odds
Every lottery has its own unique set of odds, which depend on the amount and range of numbers players have to pick. For most people the specifics aren't of any interest, but for some the exact figures are all-important, so we're going to tell you how to figure them out exactly. It's time to get technical, maths-phobes look away now.
Step 1: Identify The Basics
To work out the exact odds of any lottery requires two things: the total amount of balls that appear in each draw, and the range of numbers that players have to choose from.
With these two bits of information you have everything you need to calculate the odds, except a calculator of course.
Step 2: Crunch The Numbers
The process is simpler than you may have expected, but it does take some big calculations.
To better explain the process, we'll be using a number of examples. If you have a lottery with 6 balls ranging between 1 and 50, you would proceed as follows:
Equation 1: 6/50 = 0.12 (this is the likelihood that one of the first 6 picks will match with your first number)
Equation 2: 5/49 = ~0.10 (this is the likelihood that one of the 5 remaining balls will match with your second number.
Equation 3: 4/48 = 0.08 (the probability of ball 4 matching your third number)
Equation 4: 3/47 = ~0.06 (probability that the 3rd remaining ball will match your fourth number)
Equation 5: 2/46 = ~0.04 (probability of one of the last two picks matching your fifth number)
Equation 6: 1/45 = 0.02 (the likelihood of the final pick matching your last number).
Note: ~ means an approximation
If you had a 7 ball lottery with numbers ranging between 1 and 60, you would do the following equations:
Essentially, your first equation is the highest available number in the lottery's range divided by the total amount of balls that are drawn, then proceed down in a descending order until you reach number 1.