Letter: Lottery ticket-buyers are on to a loser

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The Independent Online
Sir: The chances of selecting all six numbers out of 49 in the National Lottery are in fact 13,983,816 to one ('Lottery offers 14 million to one chance of jackpot', 26 May), the result of 44 x 45 x 46 x 47x 48 x 49 divided by 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6.

In these days of billions and trillions, this may not seem a very high number, but those planning to retire on their winnings might like to consider that the likelihood of hitting the jackpot is on a par with the chances that two people who agree to say the word 'Camelot' once each at some point (including the middle of the night) between 1 June and 9 November will choose the same second during that period to say it. Anyone for dog-racing?

Yours faithfully,


London, SE9

27 May