Dorothy and the gang are looking for the 'Winning Pokie Machine' - but is there such a thing?
Are The Odds Really No Better Than One in a Million?
Actually, they're worse! Your chance of winning the lotto (for example) depends on the number of games you purchase on your ticket. The chance of winning a Division 1 prize in X Lotto is 1 in 8,145,060 for a single-game entry*.
So that's a one in 8 million chance of winning the lotto. So we stopping the purchasing of regular powerball entries then?
Of course not! Why? because we don't play it in the hope of being the one in 8 million, we buy it in the hope that this will be the time we are not amongst the 7.9999 million others who failed to make the grade.
HOPE! - That's what we rely on when we enter the newsagent to purchase a ticket we know full well is a waste of money..... but does that stop us from eagerly awating the results and refusing to throw our losing ticket away until we have triple checked the numbers? Of course not - in fact it is hope that drives this part of the process too. Pokies and Lotto are NOT The Same Thing.
Valid point, valid point indeed- but then buses and planes are not the same thing, but when it comes to transport and safety stats you can bet they throw them in to the same basket. Boom - one to me, none to you.
Odds vs. Probability and Statistics
They say that if you roll a dice a thousand times the probability of getting a 6 is exactly the same as it was on the first roll.... a fact that can even be confirmed with a mathematical formula - you know the sort that makes us normal people just smile and wave... so smile and wave and accept what they tell us..... even if it is A BLATANT LIE!!!
If 'Lucky' Machines don't exist then why is my Pokie Lucky?
If mathematicians and science can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that luck does not exist and that all things can be explained through modelling and logical progression, then why is it that my machine is on a winning streak and I can almost guarantee you that the Queen of the Nile over there wont pay again today?!
An interesting piece of psych that we'll explore next time...