The Odds of This Lottery Outcome Are Just Insane

433 to share jackpot in Philippines after Saturday's unusual draw
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2022 1:29 PM CDT
The Odds of This Lottery Outcome Are Just Insane
A winning ticket for Saturday's Grand Lotto draw.   (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office via Facebook)

Individuals who purchased winning tickets for a $4 million lottery jackpot in the Philippines will have to settle for less than $10,000 each following Saturday's controversial draw. A total of 433 people selected the winning combination in the Grand Lotto lottery, which was highly unusual. The six numbers—9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54—were all divisible by the number nine. The combination was clearly popular. Never before have so many people won the Grand Lotto's top prize, per the BBC. The odds of having 433 winners of the jackpot are, in a word, insane. That would be 1 out of a number that begins with 1 "followed by 1224 zeros," according to researcher Guido David.

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office explained the outcome by noting that many lottery players choose number sequences. "I've always been betting on the pattern nine, pattern eight, pattern seven, and pattern six for many years, and I am thankful that this time, I won," said one winner, per the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Still, Philippines Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel called for an investigation into the "suspicious" outcome, which saw another 331 players correctly guess five of the six numbers, per the Daily Inquirer. "Statistically speaking, this is a very rare event," Pimentel said, per the outlet. "We should take advantage of this opportunity to investigate" as "our purpose is to ensure the integrity of our games."

PCSO General Manager Melquiades Robles denied that the contest was rigged. Though the winning pattern is rare, "there are hundreds of lotteries every day around the world, and statistically it would not be surprising that every few decades, one of these lotteries would exhibit an unusual pattern," UCLA mathematics professor Terence Tao tells the BBC. There were also accusations of fraud after 20 people shared a lottery jackpot in South Africa in 2020. The winning numbers in that draw were 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. The Philippine winners are entitled to roughly $9,300 each, minus a 20% tax, per the Daily Inquirer. (More lottery stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.