Application Worksheet: Lottery Simulator

October 14 2010 John May 1827
Maple 14


This is not really the next part in my randomness series, but more of an aside.  I used Maple's embedded components to use the Lotto649 drawing data from my last post to create a historical lottery simulator.  Basically, you fill in your prefered numbers, and it simulates you playing the lottery in every draw since 1982. Here is a screenshot of the interface, and an example of the sort of output it generates from your pick:

[Screen Shot]

In the 2768 draws of the Canadian National 6 of 49 Lottery from Jun 12, 1982 to Jul 31, 2010,
the pick {7, 20, 23, 26, 33, 46} would have won the:

6/6 jackpot 0 time(s)
5/6 + Bonus ~$200,000 prize 0 time(s)
5/6 ~$2000 prize 0 time(s)
4/6 ~$75 prize 5 time(s)
3/6 $10 prize 53 time(s)
2/6 + Bonus $5 prize 34 time(s)
2/6 match but no prize 381 time(s)

That would have won approximately $1075 or $0.39 per $2 ticket.
Putting the cost of a ticket into the cookie jar each week would have yielded $5536.
Putting the cost of a ticket into a savings account each week at 3% interest would 
have yielded $8475.

Download the worksheet here: and play with your own numbers.

I wrote this back in June, and in a case of great minds think alike, Rob  Cockerham of posted this similar Incredibly Depressing Mega Millions Lottery Simulator in September. His simulator generates its own random draws, I believe, rather than using historical data, however.  Hopefully you will find my simulator just as depressing.

I also created a number of other simulators with this data to let you simulate many of the schemes presented in "How to Win the Lottery!" books.  I will post those applications in the near future, but I don't think its spoiling anything to tell you that the yield of every system I tried is about 18 cents on the dollar.

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