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I got this dumb Publishers clearing house flyer in the mail. I get how the prize money works, but I don’t understand where those odds come from. It’s not like everyone in the world is going to enter the contest. Do they just have to publish *something* so they pick a ridiculous number?

In: Mathematics

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In that case they have to award the prize to someone. So often it’s some lottery stuff where you have to guess a sequence of numbers. So if they have to give out the prize and nobody gets the idk 5-7 numbers rights then they look at who got 4-6 of them right and so one until they find one that got those right. Now usually the lower you go the more people have those numbers right so the prize is split between all of them, meaning instead of the quintilzillions you only get a few thousands or something like that.

The number of people entering has nothing to do with the odds of winning. The odds of winning are just the number of ways to win (1) divided by the number of ways to play (6.2 million). According to Publisher’s Clearing House, they use a random draw so there’s one winner (for that prize) in the pool of things to choose, and 6.2 million things in the pool.