Everything Adds Up: The Statistical Probability Of 433 People Winning The Lotto - Trending

The unlikely phenomenon has even drawn comparison to a scene in Bruce Almighty.

A record 433 bettors won the P236-million jackpot prize of the Grand Lotto 6/55 draw on October 1. This means they will each receive an estimated P500,000, subject to taxes.

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This unlikely phenomenon has even drawn comparison to a scene in the 2003 film Bruce Almighty. Here, a large number of people all successfully pray to win the lottery and ultimately receive less than $20 each.

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has since assured the public that the lotto results are true and fair.

“PCSO assures every Filipino whether you are playing lotto or not that the conduct and result of every draw is very transparent and of utmost integrity. One thing is certain, if you will not play lotto, you will not have a chance to win and help the government and the country,” PCSO General Manager Mel Robles said in a statement.

The statement was in response to the record-setting lottery draw’s resulting controversy.

Filipinos observed that the winning lotto numbers are 9-18-27-36-45-54, which are all multiples of 3 and 9. This is aside from the low chance of over 400 people winning simultaneously.

Math, not magic

In light of the highly publicized event, qualified experts have since provided their insight into the matter.

University of the Philippines Los Baños mathematics professor Jomar Fajardo Rabajante posted that “the probability is not zero, however, small.”

“Many people computed the probs of winning but missed one important assumption: combinations have weights. Many people are loyal to their numbers, especially basic patterns such as multiples of 9.” Rabajante posted on social media.

He then disaggregated the calculations: “The chance a set of numbers is chosen. Assuming equal chance, multiples of 9 are possible. It’s just a matter of luck. If a set of numbers has been chosen, how many people might have selected that in their ticket? So this is Bayesian. It’s possible many selected combinations with patterns, e.g. multiples, birthday, etc.,” Rabajante wrote.

The professor explained that the lotto draw is live-streamed and not computerized, meaning the results are transparent. He added a picture showing that the winning combination also demonstrated a visual pattern diagonally.

Finally, Rabajante posted a paper showing how the “lucky 9” pattern is common.

University of the Philippines statistics professor and statistician Peter Cayton similarly said the winning ticket is “such a human thing to do!”

“Humans have preferences with patterns of order for many reasons. Certain combinations are chosen more often than others, especially if it’s a choice one would follow religiously or by convenience. It’s just human of us to do things beyond the rules of nature and to make order out of chaos, for whatever simple reason we have,” Cayton concluded.

Banner Photo by SMTOWN via YouTube.

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