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The Arithmetic of Winning at Lotto

September 11, 1988

If I were a gambler I'd bet you published Don Payne's letter for the sake of some feedback material for future use. My guess is you will get plenty.

The true odds of 13,983,816 are figured by dividing 123456 into 494847464544.

I will agree with Payne that his way of figuring makes for a poor wager, but I can't agree that odds of 13.9 million to one are that much better to make it a good bet.

I have nothing against the lotto game itself, just the arithmetic.

R.C. SPRINGETT

Laguna Hills

The Times received 15 letters in response to Don Payne's calculations. All but one agreed that the winning Lotto odds are one in 13,983,816.

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