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 LottoPoster Forums : INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL LOTTO RELATED DISCUSSION : Questions, Answers, Information and Comments
Message Icon Topic: LOTTO POWERBALL OR STANDARD WHICH IS BETTER? Post Reply Post New Topic
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Colin F
Lotto Systems Tester Creator & Analyst
Lotto Systems Tester Creator & Analyst
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Joined: September 30 2004
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Quote Colin F Replybullet Topic: LOTTO POWERBALL OR STANDARD WHICH IS BETTER?
    Posted: June 15 2013 at 7:44pm
LOTTO POWERBALL OR STANDARD WHICH IS BETTER?
by Colin Fairbrother

The format for the Australian Powerball game changed from June 1, 2013 from Pick 5 from 45 and PB from 45 to Pick 6 from 40 and PB from 20. This prompted me to look at the merits of continuing to play Saturday Lotto with its Pick 6 from 45 or changing to the new Powerball format.

For many years I have always decided on which game to play regularly by which gives the best percentage return over a reasonable number of plays - say 1000 or at least 500. In my case I only spend $11.80 per week and for the big 1st prize payouts I double that for no good reason. I always play sets where the CombThrees are not repeated, all the integers are used and the coverage is maximized as from LottoToWin.

I'm quite happy with the frequency of wins per draws played getting recently in April/May 4 wins in 5 draws played and not so long ago 4 wins consecutively. Percentage return is spot on with expectation per the odds.

To make the comparison between say, the Australian Saturday Lotto game and the new Powerball game I look at the odds for the lower tier prizes, decide on an amount to spend over a year and then calculate the percentage return.

Spending $11.80 per week at $0.655 per line on the Saturday Lotto amounts to $613.60 over a year playing 18 lines per draw or 936 lines per annum. For Saturday Lotto the lowest odds prize at 1 in 144 plays is 1 main + the 2 bonus numbers paying around $14.00. Over 936 plays I can expect around 7 of these. Next up is at 1 in 306 odds 3 main + 1 bonus number which pays around $23.00 and I should expect 3 of these. Less likely is getting 4 main correct with odds of 1 in 738 paying around $34.00 and I should get 1 of these. So, adding up expected prizes gives $201.00 for an outlay of $613.55 and an expected return of some 33%.

The cost per line is higher for the Australian Powerball game at $0.925 per line so for $613.55 per year wagered this is some 13 lines per draw or 663 lines per annum. The easiest prize is 2 main + PB at odds of 1 in 110 so one could expect 6 of these paying around $13.00. Next up is 4 main at odds of 1 in 480; one can expect 1 of these paying around $27.00. Getting 3 main + PB at odds of 1 in 641 pays around $37.00 and one can expect one of these. For the year one can expect prizes of only $142.00 for an outlay of $613.55 giving a lowly 23% return.

This comparison clearly shows that one is better off playing the Australian Saturday Lotto rather than the new Powerball by some 10%. I invite you to compare the games on offer in your country or state and find out which gives the better return for a given amount wagered.

Colin Fairbrother   
Lotto Draws have no relationship to one another; the integers serve just as identifiers. Any prediction calculation on one history of draws for a same type game is just as irrelevant as another.
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