Lottery Number Odds For MS Admissions

Lottery number is a set of numbers selected by lottery participants for the chance to win a prize. The number of the winning lottery numbers determines the amount of the prize, which is usually money. Some people try to beat the odds by studying which numbers have been drawn most frequently and then selecting those numbers for their ticket. This is a time-consuming method but many people feel it gives them an edge over others.

Math experts who have studied the lottery system say it’s impossible to know whether the identical numbers suggest a problem without accessing the computer systems. But they also have said that it’s easy to compute the chances that a specific set of numbers will appear multiple times in a fixed number of draws. And, they add, there have been enough “doubles” in recent Wisconsin and West Virginia drawings to raise questions.

The DOE does not provide historical odds of admissions for MS applicants, which were based on lottery numbers and the school’s ranking of students with similar qualifications. But the department does provide a list of their theoretical percentiles for each lottery number, and parents can use these to get a rough sense of how their student’s number compares.

With a large sample size, the theoretical percentiles track quite closely with their actual counterparts. But, with a smaller sample, there’s more variation. Still, for a high-demand MS or HS application with 600 lottery numbers, the actual percentile would likely be within 1% of the theoretical percentage 80% of the time.