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Historical Lottery Odds

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Old
04-12-2017, 10:42 AM
  #1
Max Quackenbush
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Historical Lottery Odds

Checking out the last 10 entry draft lotteries and the Oilers have actually won 4 of the past 7 lotteries since 2010.

The odds of winning the lottery are complex and have changed over the past 7 years but for fun, it would be interesting to see if the fancy stats people can figure out the exact odds of this happening?

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04-12-2017, 11:04 AM
  #2
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There's nothing "fancy" about this, other than to determine any conditional probabilities (have the rules changed at some point so that previous lottery winners get penalized? I don't follow it enough to know). Aside from that possible wrinkle, it's just a tedious calculation of each possible way they could win 4 times and lose 3 times all added together, so for instance:

P(W)P(W)P(W)P(W)P(L)P(L)P(L) + ... (other combinations here)

with the appropriate probabilities in each place.

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04-12-2017, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Quackenbush View Post
Checking out the last 10 entry draft lotteries and the Oilers have actually won 4 of the past 7 lotteries since 2010.

The odds of winning the lottery are complex and have changed over the past 7 years but for fun, it would be interesting to see if the fancy stats people can figure out the exact odds of this happening?
The Oilers only won three of the lotteries. In 2011 they did not win the lottery but did retain 1st over all pick. So you may need to refine your question. Are you asking about picking 1st or winning the lottery? In addition are you asking only about these 4 instances or about picking 1st in any 4 of those seven years? As Epsilon says the latter is a rather long and fairly tedious calculation since there are 35 different combinations of 4 wins over 7 years to calculate individually. But if that's what you want you will probably get your answer anyway if you wait a while.


Last edited by Fourier: 04-12-2017 at 11:16 AM.
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04-12-2017, 11:21 AM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Quackenbush View Post
Checking out the last 10 entry draft lotteries and the Oilers have actually won 4 of the past 7 lotteries since 2010.

The odds of winning the lottery are complex and have changed over the past 7 years but for fun, it would be interesting to see if the fancy stats people can figure out the exact odds of this happening?
If you go back in any lottery- ice hockey drafts lotteries or anything- you will most likely find results seeming very improbable. This is related to "data mining".

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04-12-2017, 11:34 AM
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Max Quackenbush
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So in 2011 they acquired the pick by default for finishing last?

So I suppose the odds would be 1/30 for the number of teams in the league.

It would be interesting to calculate the odds including and excluding this year.

Can someone please help me out here who knows the odds for the other years.

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04-12-2017, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Quackenbush View Post
So in 2011 they acquired the pick by default for finishing last?


This might be one of my favorite random pieces of trivia......

So coming out of the 1995 lockout, the NHL wanted to put in place the lottery thanks in part to Ottawa openly tanking in 1993 for Alexandre Daigle. But in typical NHL fashion, they didn't bother to hash out the rules until the end of the regular season.

Simultaneously, the Orlando Magic were on their way to the best record in the NBA thanks to having Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway. In 1992-93, Orlando just missed out on the playoffs and thus were relegated to the lottery. They had a 1 in 66 chance of winning the top pick in 1993 and it happened. They'd eventually trade down a couple spots and pick up Hardaway who was looking like a superstar at the time.

But in typical NHL fashion, the league overreacted and was afraid of an "Orlando situation" where a good non-playoff team might end up with the first overall pick. So they decided to have a rule where the winning team in the lottery could only jump a maximum four spots.

So between 1995-2012, only the worst five teams could win the top pick. So if you were the worst team, you could retain the top pick if somebody outside of the top 5 won. Starting in 2013, anybody could win the top pick. Starting in 2016, the NHL began drawing for the top three spots.

Ie, in 2011 the Devils won the lottery but only jumped from #8 to #4. So Edmonton retained the top pick. Even back in 1995, some GMs were annoyed since the worst team had a significant chance to have the #1 pick (25% to win the lottery outright, 23% for a non-top 5 team to win). The lottery was supposed to dissuade tanking, but that system didn't really do that. And we had Shaq/Penny to partially thank.

As for historical odds, you can maybe Google for individual years. The odds changed with expansion in 1998-2000, but remained fairly consistent in future years.

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04-12-2017, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Quackenbush View Post
So in 2011 they acquired the pick by default for finishing last?

So I suppose the odds would be 1/30 for the number of teams in the league.

It would be interesting to calculate the odds including and excluding this year.

Can someone please help me out here who knows the odds for the other years.
In 2011 the lottery rules allowed teams to move up at most 4 slots. New Jersey won the lottery and moved from 8th spot up to 4th.

If you can give me a day or so I will try to put something together for you.

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04-23-2017, 12:16 PM
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Max Quackenbush
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I am still interested in the odds of these events happening successively.

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04-24-2017, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Max Quackenbush View Post
I am still interested in the odds of these events happening successively.
If by "the odds of these events happening successively" you mean the probability of the Oilers getting the first pick in each of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 the answer would be 0.005023 or roughly one chance in 199.

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04-28-2017, 02:40 PM
  #10
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Can you explain this calculation please. What were the odds in each individual year?

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04-29-2017, 08:52 PM
  #11
Fourier
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Odds for #1 in
2010----48.2%
2011----48.2%
2012----18.8%
2015----11.5%

.482^2 *.188*.115 = 0.005023

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04-30-2017, 11:58 AM
  #12
Max Quackenbush
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According to Sir Earl @Sir_Earl

Per TSN, they stated that the chances of the 2017 draft lottery resulting in NJ 1, PHI 2, DAL 3 was: 3 in 1,000.

But the actual odds were:

Chances of draft lottery finishing NJ 1, PHI 2, DAL 3 was 0.01327%, or 1 in 7534.

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04-30-2017, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourier View Post
The Oilers only won three of the lotteries. In 2011 they did not win the lottery but did retain 1st over all pick. So you may need to refine your question. Are you asking about picking 1st or winning the lottery? In addition are you asking only about these 4 instances or about picking 1st in any 4 of those seven years? As Epsilon says the latter is a rather long and fairly tedious calculation since there are 35 different combinations of 4 wins over 7 years to calculate individually. But if that's what you want you will probably get your answer anyway if you wait a while.
Funny how the team that won the lottery that year was New Jersey, and they took Adam Larsson, who was eventually flipped to Edmonton of all places for Taylor Hall, the lottery winning pick in 2010. Makes you think the Oilers could have saved a lot of time if they just picked Larsson over RNH...

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04-30-2017, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Quackenbush View Post
According to Sir Earl @Sir_Earl

Per TSN, they stated that the chances of the 2017 draft lottery resulting in NJ 1, PHI 2, DAL 3 was: 3 in 1,000.

But the actual odds were:

Chances of draft lottery finishing NJ 1, PHI 2, DAL 3 was 0.01327%, or 1 in 7534.
It's worth to mention that the draft lottery finishing COL 1, VAN 2, LGK 3 was 0.214%, or 1 in 466.

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05-01-2017, 11:08 AM
  #15
Max Quackenbush
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So that event was 20 fold more likely than what actually happened.


Does anyone one know what the odds were last year for these events?

ie the most likely outcome versus what took place?

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05-01-2017, 12:08 PM
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fwiw, by my calcs there was a 18.7% chance that none of Col/Van/VGK would win a top 3 pick. And a 10.2% chance for none of Col/Van/VGK/Ari.

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05-02-2017, 07:39 PM
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Max Quackenbush
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Correct me if I am wrong, but very improbable events appear to be taking place on a regular basis regarding the lotteries as if the NHL is using an "Infinite Improbability Drive"?

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05-02-2017, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Max Quackenbush View Post
Correct me if I am wrong, but very improbable events appear to be taking place on a regular basis regarding the lotteries as if the NHL is using an "Infinite Improbability Drive"?
You're wrong (hey, you asked us to).

It's worth pointing out that any actual results of the lottery would have been highly improbable prior to the lottery. And yet, each year one result has to happen.

Nice Adams reference, though.

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05-02-2017, 08:58 PM
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Max Quackenbush
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Wait, I think you are saying that any, "actual results of the lottery would have been highly improbable prior to the lottery" means, every unlikely event is equally favoured when, in the Universe I used to occupy, this wasn't the case.

I think this makes a solid case for the "Infinite Improbability Drive" creating itself.


Last edited by Max Quackenbush: 05-02-2017 at 09:01 PM. Reason: grammar
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05-02-2017, 09:16 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Quackenbush View Post
Wait, I think you are saying that any, "actual results of the lottery would have been highly improbable prior to the lottery" means, every unlikely event is equally favoured when, in the Universe I used to occupy, this wasn't the case.

I think this makes a solid case for the "Infinite Improbability Drive" creating itself.
The point is that a probability that any of, let's say, a hundred of results closest in probability to one that just happened, of this years' lottery would happen is higher than that of any of the three top probable (there are 455 possible outcomes).

But each one of that hundred, e.g. Buffalo, Winnipeg and Detroit, would look oh so improbable.

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05-03-2017, 01:06 AM
  #21
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Originally Posted by Max Quackenbush View Post
Wait, I think you are saying that any, "actual results of the lottery would have been highly improbable prior to the lottery" means, every unlikely event is equally favoured
No.

That's not what that means.

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05-03-2017, 04:51 AM
  #22
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Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Funny how the team that won the lottery that year was New Jersey, and they took Adam Larsson, who was eventually flipped to Edmonton of all places for Taylor Hall, the lottery winning pick in 2010. Makes you think the Oilers could have saved a lot of time if they just picked Larsson over RNH...
Hall is the better player but I think the team is better with Nuge right now than it would be with Hall. Nuge has had a terrific playoff. He may well have been the Oilers most consistent forward over the first two rounds. And his presence allows a lot of flexibility in terms of how Draisaitl is used.

I also suspect that Larsson might not be the player he is today had they picked him. I think Scott Stevens had a great deal to do with his development.

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