Powerball Pools: Are Your Odds Any Better In A Group?

7 May 2019
 Categories: Finance & Money, Blog

Playing the lottery can be a fun little pastime, but you have to know when and how to play carefully. There is always the danger that you get addicted, even though you are losing left and right. If you play responsibly, and only for fun, then it is perfectly harmless. There is also the question of whether or not you should play in a group, like Powerball pools at work. It is tempting to play because you want all the money for yourself, but when the prize is really big, splitting it with others might not be all that bad. Still, you have to look at the odds, when you play, and whether or not it is better playing in a pool. Take a look. 

Odds Are Neither Better Nor Worse

Choosing to play in a lottery pool with friends, family, or co-workers gives you a sense of community in that you are all sharing this really big dream. You all want the big cash prize, but you are all willing to share it if you win. Even though a lot of co-workers have won millions playing in these lotto pools together, the truth is that your odds are neither better nor worse than playing alone. The reason why is that the money thrown into the pool has nothing to do with the random numbers drawn, and the random number picking machines do not know the difference between one person buying fifty numbers to play and twenty-five people paying to buy two numbers each in a pool. Your odds are the same whether you join the group or do not join the group. 

Odds May Be Slightly Better If You Play Twice a Week Continuously

People often decide to form a lottery pool when the prize is really huge. Yet, your odds are better if you are playing for even the smallest prizes because fewer people are not drawn to buying a ticket to play when the prize resets to the basic amount. Ergo, it is actually smarter to play the one or two times a week that lotteries are drawn even (and especially!) when the prize is significantly smaller and there will be fewer people playing. 

Limitations on the Amount Everyone Pools

Everyone who joins a lottery pool has to agree on a couple of things. One, you all have to agree to either the annuity payments or the lump sums. This tends to lead to a lot of arguments for people who want all of their shares right away and do not want more money over time. Two, you have to limit the amount of money everyone throws into the pool, otherwise some people will argue that because they contributed more to the pool, they are entitled to more of the winnings. It is common to limit the amount to two, three, four, or five dollars, and everyone has to contribute the same.