The Mega Millions jackpot is now over $1,000,000,000 and you may not know this, but there’s a way to guarantee that you’ll win, according to Forbes. There are a couple of catches though, for reasons that we’ll get into in a few paragraphs.
We’ll spare you the math involved, but the long story short is this: according to Durango Bill’s Applied Mathematics, there are 302,575,350 possible jackpot-winning combinations. So all you have to do is get some investors (or convince your banker that this is a good idea), buy all 302,575,350 combinations, Bob’s your uncle, and you win!
Problem The First: Bad Math
At $2 per, you’d have to invest $605,150,700 just to cover all possible combinations. And as you would know if you read this well-reasoned and insightful Inquisitr report, if you take the lump-sump jackpot you’ll take home around $400 million after taxes. So in order to even make back your investment, the advertised jackpot would have to be in the range of $1.5 billion – and as of this writing, no lottery in U.S. history has gotten that far.
Problem The Second: Sharing Isn’t Caring
The previous paragraph assumes that you’re the only winner. If even one other person bought a winning ticket, you’re out.
Problem The Third: Hand Cramps
If you’re going to buy every possible combination of numbers, you’ll find that the machine at your gas station/liquor store/grocery store doesn’t have that as an option. Instead, you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way: by filling out those little slips that allow you to pick your own combinations. Besides likely having to hire a mathematics professor to develop an algorithm so that you don’t repeat any combinations, there’s also the matter that it’s going to take you a while. At five seconds per, it would take you, oh, about three or four decades.
Problem The Fourth: Paper And Ink Supplies
So let’s say you were able to fill out all of those slips (which you would need a pickup truck to bring to the liquor store). By the time your cashier ran them through the scanner and converted them all to lottery tickets, you’d have exhausted the supply of those spools of paper that lottery tickets are printed on, several times over. And several cartridges of ink (as in, boxes of them) as well. And assuming that the machine can print out five lines of number combinations in one second, it would take her 1,008,584.5 seconds, or roughly 11 days, to print them all.
So long story short: it is theoretically possible to game the system in such a way that you would win. But in a practical sense, it’s all but impossible.