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Given a lottery, such as the Monopoly Game lottery currently being run by Albertsons Supermarkets, in which only certain letters and numbers are used to form combinations of these letters and numbers to determine the winner(s),
if a foreign letter and number, not matching any of the previous letters, numbers and/or combinations is introduced does it affect the entire lottery; alter the stated odds, and/or invalidate the lottery altogether.


If I understand your question, the simple answer is yes.  When you calculate your odds of winning a lottery or any game that has combinations of numbers and letters and/or characters the equation to determine the risk is simple.

If you are trying to win a scratch three items for the grand prize.  In true mathematics the odds are calculated by asking yourself how many possibilities are there per each of the three locations.   If you are only dealing with letters and numbers, the answer would be 26 letters and 10 single digit numbers, or total of 36. Therefor not taking into consideration any other factors your equation of determining what is the possibility of guessing the right combination is

3/36  x 2/36   x 1/36  = 6/46656 which equals 1 in 7776 possibilities . . .   If they could appear random in any three positions

Obviously if there are more positions to guess you continue multiplying.

Now your question asks what if another item is entered into the formula does it change the odds, yes, if you added a character or other item that would increase the overall possibilities it would decrease your odds of winning because you have more possibilities. You can see every time you add more characters in the position it greatly increases the odds of guessing the right answer.

Additionally, if you take into consideration some games of chance that use duplicate answers then your odds are going to be even higher against you.  When I say duplicate answers meaning if they print more cards that have losing combinations so they increase the odds without giving away the grand prize.  Some companies do that, in some situations it is not needed because the odds or already huge.  If you are guessing a six-digit lottery game like the Powerball Lottery and the numbers range up to 1-59 for the first five digits and from 1 to 35 on the last digit, your odds are about 1 in 175 million of winning.

The calculation for that is

5/59 x 4/58 x 3/57 x 2/56 x 1/55 =   1/5006386      X 1/35 =    1/175223510   

To calculate any odds of winning determine total number of items to be selected per position and determine if the numbers can be random or do they have to be in order to win.  Meaning if you select  1 2 3 as your numbers can you win if they come up 3 2 1.  

Hope this helps.
Richard Reed   http://www.  


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Richard Reed


I am the owner/editor of the #1 Informational Guide of Las Vegas, Insider Viewpoint of Las Vegas.My 30-years of experience living, working, and gambling in Las Vegas coupled with six years of printing 100,000 magazines monthly about Las Vegas has earned expert credentials.My extensive background in current and yesteryear activities allows my readers a true "Insider Viewpoint" to the 24-hour city of excitement.


Printing the #1 Informational Guide of Las Vegas for six years and creating the famous Insider Viewpoint of Las Vegas web site more than five years ago has given me an opportunity to share my knowledge with millions.Daily, more than 10,000 people visits my web site and search through the 1,000+ pages of information about the great city of Las Vegas and the surrounding area.My staff and I can help with the simplest question to helping you with a complete convention set up including hotels and air

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