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Reply #20: Picky correction [View All]

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Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU
Pendulum Donating Member (29 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-21-05 01:54 PM
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20. Picky correction
First, TIA, I really like what you do. Especially when you bring the numbers to life with pictures or coin flip analogies.

I have a suggestion for how to report .00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000

If you got this by multiplying a bunch of probabilities together, it doesn't mean that the probability is zero. It means that the number is smaller than can be represented with those many digits. So, instead of saying probability zero with "impossible" odds, you could say probability less than .00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00001 with odds less than 1 in 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000. These odds are less than 1 in a thousand million billion trillion.

According to the Powerball website at

it is far more likely that I win the powerball jackpot three days in a row, buying just one ticket each day.

Not impossible, but in a way it's even less possible than impossible!
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