Please read the following excerpt from a wonderful book "The jungle of randomness" (by Ivars Peterson) and supply the missing numbers - to the best of your judgement.
In 1986 a New Jersey woman won a million dollar lottery twice in four months. She was extremely lucky, yet the chances of that happening to someone somewhere in the United States are...
You may make your own assumptions, define the population, time etc …
After getting few estimates from the solvers - I will publish the original ending.
(In reply to re: My take on it
by Steve Herman)
One possibility I was considering was that the million dollars was not the grand prize, but sort of a second-tier prize. I'm not too familiar with lottery rules, but I know that lesser prizes than the "megamillions" exist. I had to assume that some prizes were in fact a million dollars, and there were more of them than the more huge prizes.
I'm sure lottery rules have also changed over the course of time. From the figures you mention, I may have been off by a factor of four in amount spent. At least the order of magnitude is correct.
Posted by Charlie
on 2017-10-19 22:37:36