I heard some people in the office talking about Powerball today. I didn’t know how the prizes worked, but it turns out that some of the prizes have reasonably interesting math behind them. Thought it would be fun to talk them over with the boys.

First, the big prize – pick 5 number correctly from 1 to 59 plus get the Powerball correct:

Second, a small price ($4 it turns out) if you get the Powerball right, but no other number correct. This one is a little more tricky because you have to miss all of the numbers that were selected in the drawing (the non Powerball numbers, I mean):

As an aside, the FAQ on the Powerball site is hilarious. My favorite is this one:

The surprisingly awesome Powerball FAQ

Q: Your odds / probabilities are wrong.

A: Are not . . . .

ha ha.