statistics - ken whytock

Some Interesting Facts, Figures and Statistics

If you, like so many others, continue with the dream to win Lotto, did you know you have more chance of being struck by lightning than winning Lotto?  Well, it’s true. According to the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing the odds of winning the NSW Lotto is about 1 in 8,145,060 with a single ticket. With Powerball, the chance of picking the six winning numbers and the Powerball number rises to 1 in 76,767,600.

The odds of winning a prize with an Instant Scratch-it is about 1:4 but that doesn’t mean that if you buy four tickets you will win with one of them, although if you are going to buy them, buying a few of one kind will certainly increase your chance of a small prize. The odds of winning one of the top prizes however can range from 1 in 700,000 to 1 in 1,500,000 or more depending on the size of prize, which means in broad terms, you are probably more likely to win an Olympic medal (1 in 662,000) or date a supermodel (1 in 88,000) or have your car stolen (1 in 340 cars) although I am not sure whether these statistics are accurate as I got these figures off the internet.

When it comes to competitions, on the other hand, the odds of winning the first or any prize can vary widely, depending on how well it is advertised and promoted; who it is being targeted at; the desirability of the prize and the method of entry. Well promoted large, national competitions with irresistible prizes will obviously attract the most entries making the chance of winning (especially the first prize) very difficult if not extremely remote. On the other hand, smaller competitions that involves writing a creative answer or uploading a photo will attract less entrants and therefore the chance of winning a prize (even if it is a runner-up prize) will be much better.

The number of competitions being run at any one time around the world is staggeringly huge. There are over 360 on this site at the moment and more are being put up every day. I haven’t found any statistics on the total number of competitions in Australia (the most registered ones are in NSW however) but it has been noted by some that around 20 percent are now being run through Facebook. I guess because just about any small business can have a go at it. I know – lots are not running by Facebook rules but there are more and more appearing every day. The number of competitions run through Instagram and Twitter are also growing in proportion to the rest.

The total value of prizes up for grabs at any one time is also staggeringly huge. A quick guess-timate of the vale of the prizes on just one page here is around $100,000. Take 5 and That’s Life magazines (with a predominant female readership) advertise that they give away around $80,000 worth of prizes (including a car) each week.

With the increased take-up of smart-phones (2/3rds of the population in 2013 according to statistics), around 7.5 million people in Australia access the internet (and I presume enter competitions if they are into comping) through their mobile phone rather than their computer or laptop.

If you are reading this, you are more likely to be female and over 35, perhaps even over 40 as men are less likely to be interested (or have the time?) for comping. It appears that more people in their retirement years are getting into comping. As most prizes are aimed at females, which means that if you find a competition with a prize suitable for a male, it is worth entering it as the number of entries may be less than for other comps.

Photo attribution – Ken Whytock

After working for thirty years as a journalist/historian, Jenny started writing sci-fi for children and adults and occasionally illustrating them (when she was not spending time with her grandkids). Most have been published in The School Magazine, anthologies and online. She has also been contributing to a wide variety of magazines such as Antiques and Collectables for Pleasure and Profit, Australiana and Nurture. Now essentially retired Jenny has taken up a challenge of entering and (hopefully winning) competitions. Jenny will track her journey through this challenge here at

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