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COCC prof teaches Powerball: What are the odds?

By Kandra Kent
Published On: Nov 27 2012 08:39:16 PM CST

NewsChannel 21's Kandra Kent Talked to COCC math professor Donna Raymond, who used the record Powerball jackpot for a lesson on the laws of probability.

BEND, Ore. -

 People are rushing out to buy those two dollar Powerball tickets, in hope of winning millions.

NewsChannel 21 wanted to take a closer look at these odds, to see how lucky people must be to win the record $500 million Jackpot.

Central Oregon Community College. math professor Donna Raymond knows probability -- she teaches it -- and said the odds definitely are not in your favor.

"The chances of winning are about 1 in 175 million," Raymond said Tuesday.

As bad as those odds are, Raymond thinks playing lottery-type games are fun -- just as long as it's for entertainment only.

She's also using all the hype from Powerball as a teaching opportunity.

On Tuesday, she dedicated a portion of class to teaching about the odds and how to calculate them.

She told her class that they had a much higher chance of being struck by lightning.

But the real question is, what are the chances that a probability expert, like Raymond will play the lottery?

"I have no thoughts of winning," Raymond said.  "But I'm still going to buy one. It's that fantasy -- for a few dollars I can just say, 'What would I do with $175 million?'  or whatever it is"


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