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Fingers crossed

This weekend, I had my best ever result on the National Lottery.  All six numbers!

And the jackpot for that piece of good fortune: a whopper £38.

OK, so the six numbers hit across a combination of two tickets, but they’re the only two tickets I’m involved with.  Using the numbers that Claire and I have played for as long as I can remember – it wasn’t quite since the lottery started in 1994, but it wasn’t long after - we had a four-number (£28) and a three-number (£10) hit from the same draw.

Seriously.  £28 for four numbers.  Isn’t that pathetic?

The odds of matching four is 1031-1.  I believe this is only the second time we’ve had a four number win in over ten years, which actually feels about right for playing two lines on a ticket, each for two draws a week and 52 draws a year.  In fact, officially it was draw #1224 on Saturday, so I’m ever-so-slightly owed…

So you wait years for a winning ticket, and then two come along at once – and it’s so totally not worth it.  Take away the £2 stake and we’re looking at £36 profit - the amount I paid in stakes for just 9 weeks of draws – for this freak occurance.

OK, I know that hitting all 6 numbers from 11 picks (our tickets overlap by one number: 12) is still much more likely than actually winning the big one, but I just don’t expect to ever see six matches again.  Sorry, I don’t know the exact odds and I don’t really care enough (read: know how) to work it out.  It’s small though.

What I do know is that to have permed those 11 numbers every possible way in order to ensure that I’d hit the jackpot this week would have taken 462 different tickets.  I know that when Claire reads this she’ll reach for her calculator to check (and hopefully work out the odds of hitting 6 from 11 too…) but I’m pretty sure that’s right.  So if I’d actually made that £462 bet in the past 1224 draws, my total stake would have been £565,488 before it hit.

This week’s jackpot prize fund: £3,583,830.  If only I’d known!  Split six ways (there were already five other winners) we’d have scored £597,305 each.  Over thirty grand profit from my half-million investment – that’s obviously how you’re meant to play the lottery.

But I’ve come up with a another way: don’t bother.

I cancelled my subscription this morning.  I feel like a winner already.

EDIT: D’oh.  After a sleep I realised I’d already done the hard work for the odds of 6 from 11.  If the chances of hitting the jackpot are 1 in 13,983,816, then the chances of striking rich with one of my 462 combinations is 462 in 13,983,816 or about 30,000-1.  Actually it’s about twice as likely as hitting five numbers all on one ticket (55,490-1).