Lottery Simulator

Interactively explore lottery probabilities and simulate thousands of tickets in seconds

Shri Khalpada

Shri Khalpada

Every so often, a lottery jackpot will get so high that I'll hear about it on the news or from a friend. Whenever that happens, I instinctively do two things: daydream about winning the jackpot and think about the odds. It's pretty easy to intuit that the odds of winning the jackpot are really low (understatement!), but I recently got more curious about some of the math here, specifically questions like:

  • How many tickets would I have to play to win the jackpot?
  • How do the odds change with more or fewer numbers to choose?
  • What if we change the pool of numbers to choose from?
While major lotteries publish some of this information, I wanted to build something that would make it easier to play around with the data in a more exploratory way. With that, here is the PerThirtySix Lottery Simulator!

This tool is broken up into two sections: Setup and Simulation. The Setup section lets explore probabilities for an existing American lottery or for your own lottery with custom rules. The Simulation section lets you pick some numbers and play up to thousands of tickets per second, and visualizes the returns for you. Note that this tool makes some simplifying assumptions, like that there's only one jackpot winner and that taxes are ignored.
A Thank You
We appreciate all of your support for PerThirtySix! You can follow us on Twitter at @PerThirtySixers and the author at @ShriKhalpada. You can also support this project and keep it ad-free by buying the author a coffee

1) Setup
You can set up the rules for an existing lottery system or for your own lottery with custom rules.

Select  5  numbers from  1  to  70 
and one bonus number from 1 to  25 
Ticket Cost:  $2 
Breakeven Probability:  4.2% 
✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️ | ✔️ $330,000,000 * 1 in 302.6M odds (0.0%)
✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️ | ❌ $1,000,000 1 in 12.6M odds (0.0%)
✔️✔️✔️✔️❌ | ✔️ $10,000 1 in 931.0K odds (0.0%)
✔️✔️✔️✔️❌ | ❌ $500 1 in 38.8K odds (0.0%)
✔️✔️✔️❌❌ | ✔️ $200 1 in 14.5K odds (0.0%)
✔️✔️✔️❌❌ | ❌ $10 1 in 606.1 odds (0.2%)
✔️✔️❌❌❌ | ✔️ $10 1 in 692.7 odds (0.1%)
✔️✔️❌❌❌ | ❌ $0 1 in 28.9 odds (3.5%)
✔️❌❌❌❌ | ✔️ $4 1 in 89.4 odds (1.1%)
✔️❌❌❌❌ | ❌ $0 1 in 3.7 odds (26.9%)
❌❌❌❌❌ | ✔️ $2 1 in 36.6 odds (2.7%)
❌❌❌❌❌ | ❌ $0 1 in 1.5 odds (65.5%)
* Jackpot value roughly estimated based on recent historical data. You can use the "Custom" option to set your own payout values.
2) Simulation
Once you're done setting up the rules above and picking your numbers, hit Start below!

We're just getting started.

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