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Powerball and MegaMillions Simulation
Note - 2021-01-15: Now with MegaMillions goodness! It took a couple of days, but the program now supports both Powerball and MegaMillions. Since I'm on a kick of updating this thing I will be making some more changes to it. But for now, know that the new version is up and running!
Minus stake: $0
About this project
I could have written this for any lottery, really. But Powerball and MegaMillions are played across the entire country, and they both are the ones that everyone suddenly feels the need to play once the jackpot goes over $300M. Which makes sense, obviously. Because there is no point at all in playing if it's any lower than that. Pffft...
The following text was written back when this project was first done and only speaks about the odds for Powerball, and the story of why they changed the odds pretty much immediately after this project was released. This is why is singularly speaks of only Powerball
This simulator was written for my own curiosity and to make a point. The point being that the odds of winning are astronomical! The curiosity being, just how astronomical is that?
Someone can tell you, "The odds of hitting the jackpot are 1 in 175,223,510". But that number is utterly meaningless because it's so big. So, what were to happen if you played 175,223,510 times? Would you win even once?
I tried it, with this program. It takes a while. But it will return a result. Or it might crash your browser. I recommend keeping the number to a more reasonable level.
A MAJOR note about what I just wrote there. Those odds were 100% correct as of October 2015. I just realized that they changed the rules of the game. There are now 69 white balls, and 26 red. This means the odds of winning are actually: 1 in 292,201,338
Here is the formula, if you need to impress anyone: (69*68*67*66*65) / (5*4*3*2*1) * 26
The program here has been updated accordingly. I left the original set of odds on here so you can see what they did. They made the game more fun for everyone by making it WAY more difficult than it already was.