Impossible 5

Friday, January 18, 2013__

Days ago, a daily lottery game in California had a very interesting draw. The winning numbers were 5 consecutive numbers. This occurrence seems impossible. Well, actually this impossibility can happen within more than 1000 years (!!!!).




The numbers 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 were drawn out to become the result of the Draw # 7009 of Fantasy Five lottery game on Monday, January 14, 2013. The odds to see these 5 consecutive numbers appear in this game are 1 in more than half million chances, or in exact figure: 1 in 575,757 possibilities.




Mathematically, this combination is possible to show up at anytime; but in reality, who would expect a rarity like this to occur among half million of different formations? Would you in the craziest moment pick 5 consecutive numbers like this? I will never do that.




On the other hand, maybe some lottery players had expected it to happen and actually picked them, because there were 29 tickets on that day that hit those exact 5 numbers to share the jackpot of $57,000.




How hard is it to see something like this to happen? Imagine you had a Bingo set that has 39 numbers.




You mixed these numbers up, and tried to draw out randomly (with your eyes closed, no cheating here :-) 5 numbers among these 39 numbers. Do you think you could draw out 5 consecutive numbers? Yes, you could, if luck was 200% in line with your wish. And most of the time, you can only draw out 5 non-consecutive numbers.




Similarly, do you think you can randomly draw out 5 cards to form a straight-flush among the whole deck of 52 playing cards?




You possibly could do that after 50,000 attempts. According to the Poker Probability on Wikipedia.org ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poker_probability ), the odds to draw out a 5-card straight-flush are 1 in 72,192.33 chances. Almost impossible.

It's even more impossible to see 5 consecutive numbers drawn in Fantasy 5 game since the chance to see it is within half million days, or more than 10 centuries.




Well, it is impossible.

And, then again, it is possible. We are just lucky to see it. :-)

Brag about it. Tom Cruise has seen a mission impossible, and we here have seen a combination impossible. :-)