More than trillion-to-one odds as Israeli lottery numbers repeat

09:59, October 18, 2010      

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Lady luck made a liar out of the odds Saturday night as 95 Israeli gamblers hit the jackpot in a state lottery draw by picking the right combination of numbers, the second time in two months that almost the exact same numbers rolled out.

On Saturday night weekly televised Mifal HaPayis state lottery draw, the combination of 36, 33, 32, 26, 14, 13, and an additional "strong" number 2 blew luck on the odds and came out as the same numbers as in the Sept. 21 lottery draw, only reversed, and with the "strong number" being 1 in the previous event.

A Hebrew University statistics expert said the probability of the same set of numbers being randomly picked twice a few weeks apart is one in 4 trillion.

"We are in the business of luck, and when it comes to chances and probabilities anything is possible, even the rare and infrequent, like in this case," Chaim Melamed, a statistics expert for Mifal HaPayis told local Ynet news site.

"Usually, this is the type of numbers they use to describe the probability of life on Mars," a statistics professor at the University of Tel Aviv said, calling the results a once-in-10,000- year event.

Three players who guessed all the seven numbers correctly, including the "strong" number, went home 4 million shekels (about 1.1 million U.S. dollars) richer, while 92 others guessed a combination of six numbers correctly, and won 4,000 to 6,561 shekels (1,116 to 1,831 dollars) each.

This is the highest number of first prize winners in Israel since 2006, according to the site.

Source: Xinhua


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