In the Mathopia Lottery, 49 balls numbered 1 to 49 are mixed up and 6 different winning numbers are chosen by choosing 6 balls at random without replacing any of the balls. You can do this with numbered cards instead of balls. To play the game, all the players make their own lottery tickets by writing 6 numbers from 1 to 49 on a piece of paper. Then 6 numbers are drawn at random. You win a top prize if your 6 numbers match the  6 numbers chosen.

What is your chance of winning the top prize? If the question seems difficult to answer, then use the problem solving technique of trying simple cases. The Lucky Numbers problem provides a simple case to try. Is buying lottery tickets a waste of money?

If you get tired of the Mathopia Lottery game because you never win, then play the Lucky Numbers Game which is more fun.

Click here to download cards numbered 1 to 54

Click here to download the MATHOPIA-LOTTERY worksheet

Click here to download AIMSSEC-Teacher-Notes-MATHOPIA-LOTTERY

Click here to download the MATHOPIA LOTTERY GAME poster.

This activity is adapted from the NRICH task Mathsland Lottery with permission of the University of Cambridge. All rights reserved. You can experiment by changing the numbers of balls in the interactivity on the NRICH website.


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