Sunday, December 26, 2010

Winning the Powerball: Your Odds are Better Playing Golf

(image from

After a night of festivities with family and friends, we sat around the tv waiting to see the Powerball numbers recited on the news.  One of the dads was kind enough to buy everyone at the Christmas party a Powerball ticket.  The tickets sparked conversation: "Would you take the lump sum or would you take the yearly payments?" "How much would you share with the group?"  "Where would you travel?"  You could feel the excitement in the air as the screen revealed the numbers.  "Damnit, I didn't get a single number right!" I shouted.  My brother was the only lucky one from the group, he had the Powerball number correct which is worth $3, he continued to brag the rest of the night.  But truthfully, we know its hard as hell to win the Powerball.  The lottery website lists the odds of winning at 1 in 195 million, essentially it's like picking someone at random from the United States.  While thinking about the odds of winning, I couldn't help but think about how golf odds appear relative to such a large number.

For citation lovers, I will use About as the source of golf odds:

-Average player making a hole-in-one on an average par 3: 1 in 12,000
-Average player making a hole-in-one on a 200 yard par 3: 1 in 150,000
-Odds of making a double eagle on a par 5: 1 in 1,000,000
-One player making two holes-in-one during the same round: 1 in 67,000,000

On the bottom of the spectrum, the average golfer is 16 times more likely to hit a hole in one on a par 3 than win the jackpot.  While on the opposite side of the spectrum, the average golfer is 3 times more likely to make 2 holes in one during the same round than win the jackpot.  Moral of the story: When deciding to spend $50, choose a round of golf instead of 50 lottery tickets, you'll have better expected value!

Keep on swingin,


  1. Picture of the ball is very nice :)

  2. Golfing is a way to relax your mind and escape the hectic traffic. Seeing a green background and a beautiful landscape certainly help calm the tensions that you feel inside. But sometimes, it's not really time to go far to enjoy the golf at golf courses. But golf fans eager for you, you have some way to play sports, even at home. Indoor Golf is a good idea for sure. What you need to do is buy the supplies and equipment needed to perform well in the game indoors. Here are some tips to help you learn what to take this activity.


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