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Odds Of Consecutive Numbers

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sigma | 09:25 Mon 20th Apr 2015 | Science
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I know the odds of winning the lottery but are the odds any different if consecutive numbers are chosen and what are the odds of consecutive numbers being drawn.

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The odds of drawing any particular selection of six numbers, be they {1,2,3,4,5,6} or {12, 16, 23, 24, 39 and 41} are the same. It's more of a human perception that, somehow, the second is "more random" than the first. It is true that the odds of drawing any sequence consecutive numbers are lower overall than the odds of drawing any set of non-consecutive...
09:32 Mon 20th Apr 2015
It is the same odds of winning whatever 6 numbers you chose.

Last Saturdays Thunderball Draw included 11, 12, 13 & 14.
The odds of drawing any particular selection of six numbers, be they {1,2,3,4,5,6} or {12, 16, 23, 24, 39 and 41} are the same. It's more of a human perception that, somehow, the second is "more random" than the first.

It is true that the odds of drawing any sequence consecutive numbers are lower overall than the odds of drawing any set of non-consecutive numbers, because of all the 14-million odd combinations in the lottery, only 43 of them are made from six consecutive numbers. It's also true that if you want to maximise your chances of being the sole winner, you should try to pick your numbers as randomly as possible. In particular, should the combination 1,2,3,4,5,6 ever pop up in a real draw then if you had picked it you would be likely to split the prize with quite a few people, so while i'ts no more or less likely than any other selection of six the rewards are much less than for a more random-looking choice of six numbers.

But that's not to do with the odds.
the gods of chance don't even know what consecutive numbers are. It's all balls to them - the squiggles on them mean nothing, they could be Monopoly symbols (top hat, iron, thimble) for all the difference it makes. The odds are the same whatever the squiggles are.
Another way of looking at it is to think of the numbers as names for the balls. If the balls were called Fred, Jim, Bert etc you wouldn't expect any combination to be preferable to any other combination. If you call the balls 1, 2, 3 etc the same rule applies.
Or think of the balls as all being different colours ranging from white, pale cream, ..., yellow, lime green..., black. If you draw a yellow ball the next one is no more likely to be lime green than purple (for example)

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