The odds are certainly against you, but despite that 75 per cent of adult Australians have a flutter each year in the hope their numbers come up.
It's the one in 45 million chance to drive away with a truckload of cash that we all dare to dream about.
But here's the wakeup call - you are 30 times more likely to be struck by lightning, 600 times likely to be murdered, and have an even better chance of picking 25 consecutive coin tosses than winning the $50 million draw.More stories from Today Tonight
With the footy season in full swing Australia's number one statistician Professor John Croucher from Macquarie University sums it up this way: “I would probably say there would be several winners. But look it can always be a skinner, as they say, and nobody gets it, and it will probably go up to $60 or $70 million next week.
“To put it into perspective, if you'd take an 80,000 seat stadium, and on each seat you put a hundred boxes, the chances of you picking the right stadium, the right seat and the right box - that's your chance of winning Oz Lotto with a single entry,” Professor Croucher explained.So how does tomorrow's one in 45 million draw compare to other lottery offerings?
- Powerball is one in 55 million;
- Lotto is one in eight million;
- Pools is one in three million.
For those of you who stick by the same numbers, or use the birthdays of family members, Professor Croucher says the math doesn't discriminate.
“It makes absolutely no difference which six numbers you pick - whether you pick one, two, three, four, five, six or sprinkle them out, the chance that your six numbers will match those six numbers drawn out by the machine is exactly the same.”
But try telling that to a knockabout painter from Perth. Nigel has plenty of friends, and 380,000 reasons to believe in his system.
“Writing the numbers on the board next to my dart board when it is happening, and because I know the numbers by heart, as I was writing them, I was like ‘yep got that one’ and ‘I got that one’, ‘got that one’. I had people say it was a bit of a small of a payout, but I was like – ‘hey not to me’,” Nigel said.
Nigel used the same numbers every week for 22 years. His numbers finally came up, and now he’s bought a Harley and plans to take his mates on a fishing trip.
Richard Lustig speaks from experience: he is a seven time lottery grand prize winner. His advice for increasing your chances of winning big are to stay away from quick picks (those computer generated numbers) and when it comes to scratchies he says you should buy ten tickets in a row, where there will be at least one winning ticket.
Bill Thorburn, chief executive of Tatts Lottery, says there is a way to better your chances of picking the magical seven numbers.
“Apart from taking a bigger size entry, you might take a twelve game quick pick to an eighteen game. You can also form syndicates with your workmates - that’s very popular - or possibly joining one of the store syndicates,” he advised.
There is a way to clean up the first division prize - a system that guarantees your lucky numbers falling, but it will cost $45,379,620. That would leave you with a profit more than $4.5 million, not a bad day's work - but what happens if someone else also gets division one from buying just one ticket?
Even with such hapless odds of your numbers actually dropping, those in the know like Professor Croucher will buy a ticket.
“I probably will buy a ticket. I get greedy like everybody else too. Look it’s a very, very tiny chance of winning a very large amount of money - you've got to be in it to win it don't you?”Contact details
- Professor John Croucher's latest book - www.woodslane.com.au