Nerdy Powerball FAQ

Posted to Statistics  |  Tags:  |  Nathan Yau

The Powerball FAQ was most likely written by a slightly annoyed statistician. You’d think the FAQ would be full of legalese and vague statements, but it reads more like notes from the know-it-all in your Stat 101 class. The answer to, “Your odds and probabilities are wrong.”:

Are not. Sure, the odds of matching 1 red ball out of 26 are 1 in 26, but we are not giving the odds for matching a red ball. We give the odds for winning a prize for matching one red ball ALONE. If you match the red ball and one or more white balls, you win some other prize, but not this prize. The odds of matching one red ball ALONE are harder than 1 in 26 because there is some risk that you will also match one or more white ball numbers – and then win a different prize.

Some persons who enjoy statistics (they do really exist) will come up with odds of 1 in 17 billion for the jackpot prize. Remember that you don’t need to match the numbers in exact order – we use combinations to determine the probabilities for the first five white balls and not permutations.

Favorites

Pizza Place Geography

Most of the major pizza chains are within a 5-mile radius of where I live, so I have my pick, …

Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time

Watch the regional changes across the country from 1990 to 2016.

19 Maps That Will Blow Your Mind and Change the Way You See the World. Top All-time. You Won’t Believe Your Eyes. Watch.

Many lists of maps promise to change the way you see the world, but this one actually does.

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but as I clicked through the year’s post, it was hard …