We’ll get back to vaccines and pandemics and all of the related issues… tomorrow.

But tonight… the idea is to try to win $70 million in Lotto Max.

Figuring out lottery odds is pretty simple. Using factorial notation (where 4! = 4 x 3 x 2 x 1), when there are 49 numbers to choose from and you have to hit exactly the right 6 (like Lotto 6/49), the formula is ( 49! / (49-6)! x 6! ) – which is just under 14,000,000 to 1. When you add a 7th number in there, like for Lotto Max, the odds shoot up to over 80,000,000 to 1. So, they go from impossible to… impossible.

That being said, let’s take a crack at it; here’s what I did…

I wrote a little program that does a number of things:

– It reads in all of the historical draws (~4,000)

– It figures out how often every number (1-49) has come up in the last 10, 40, 100 and all-time draws

– It figures out, for each number, what other numbers are likeliest to come up together… based on those historical draws.

– It generates, and then scores, all 86,000,000 possible draws

That last step is a doozy… it generates every single potential draw of 7 numbers… from 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 to 43,44,45,46,47,48,49… and then, based on the history, assigns a “likelihood” score to it.

If anyone is interested in the source code or results of any of this, feel free to ask. For all the geeks out there, I’m especially proud of my function that generates all of those draws… it’s a recursive function that’s only 7 lines long.

Anyway, I think I’ve sunk enough time into this… now I’m going to sink some money into it and, like last time, I’m happy to share $5 million of my jackpot winnings with all of you. If you want a piece of it, just like this post.

Apologies ahead of time if we don’t win and, either way, back to normal tomorrow.

Unless we win. Then… things will be far from normal.