BRL 200 million! Mathematician comments on chances for Quina de São João

Lottery players will be able to compete for R$ 200 million at Quina de São João (photo: Beto Novaes/EM/DA Press)

THE Quina de Sao Joao betting is open until the 25th of June, with an estimated prize of BRL 200 million. As it does not accumulate, contest number 5881 attracts many players with an eye on the fortune that can yield R$ 1.3 million in savings and R$ 1.6 million net in an application linked to the CDI (Interbank Deposit Certificate). The draw will take place at the traditional Festa de São João in Campina Grande (PB).

The simple bet, with five numbers, costs R$ 2 and can be made at any lottery house or on the internet – website or application of Loterias Caixa. The deadline ends at 19:00 on the 25th.

The prize is awarded to the person who enters the five scores calculated from 01 to 80. The player has the option of registering 5 to 15 numbers on the card, with prices of R$ 2.00 (5), R$ 12.00 (6) , BRL 42.00 (7), BRL 112.00 (8), BRL 252.00 (9), BRL 504.00 (10), BRL 924.00 (11), BRL 1,584, 00 (12), BRL 2,574.00 (13), BRL 4,004.00 (14) and BRL 6,006.00 (15).


In an interview with State of Minesthe electrical engineer and doctor of mathematics Gilcione Nonato Costaa professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, calculated the probabilities of winning the top prize at Quina de São João and Mega da Virada – which raffled BRL 378 million on December 31, 2021.

“In Quina you have 80 numbers and choose 5. In Mega-Sena, there are 60 numbers and you choose 6. That is, in the second you have 50 million possibilities, while in the first there are 24 million possibilities”.

‘Star in the sky’

Asked what this number means in more understandable terms, Gilcione offered an example.

“On the planet, there are about 10,000 stars visible to the naked eye. The probability that two people anywhere on Earth will look at the sky and choose the same star is on the order of 1 in 10,000.”

“Now the odds of you hitting the corner is 1 in 24 million. So these two people are 2,400 times more likely to pick the same star in the sky than you are to hit the corner with a single bet.”

According to Gilcione, “if we repeat these two experiments regularly, the star chosen at random by two different people will be the same 2,400 times for every corner hit”.

Odds of winning

What is better for the bettor: scoring more numbers on the same ticket or making different combinations on different cards? According to Gilcione, to get the five numbers right, the odds are the same. What changes, according to him, is the format: a bet of ten numbers (R$ 504.00) is equivalent to 252 (R$ 2 each) of five numbers.

For four of a kind (4 numbers), a suit (3 numbers) or a deuce (2 numbers), opting for multiple bets gives you a higher chance of winning. However, in the single card, the prize would be higher.

“You have ten numbers and you hit four. So you do six blocks. And, on the contrary, if you score several individually, you can score only one court. In this case, the single bet would have a prize 6 times greater”, highlighted the mathematician.

sequential numbers

Also according to Gilcione Nonato, the chance of winning is the same for bets of numbers in sequence (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) or random tens (eg: 8, 16, 25, 40, 50).

“But the following happens: it is natural that there are more or less drawn numbers at a certain moment. In the long run, the numbers that are drawn less will necessarily be drawn so that this discrepancy is minimized. So, in the long run, it would be recommended to bet on the least drawn numbers.”

The analogy, according to the mathematician, is: “If you toss a coin several times and it comes up a lot of heads, you know that one day it will come up tails, because if it never comes up tails, the coin toss is not honest.”

‘Common bet’

Regarding the numbers chosen, the professor of the exact sciences courses at UFMG commented on a curiosity: people tend to think that sequential bets are less likely, but, in fact, this is the most common guess.

“Thousands of people bet ‘1, 2, 3, 4, 5’, thinking that they are so unlikely to be drawn that no one would think like them. But a lot of people think the same way,” she stressed.

“When this sequence is drawn, the prize will be negligible, as it will be divided between several bets”, he added.

Gilcione reinforced that the chance of hitting is the same. “Since so many people are betting, you are much more likely to split the prize pool.”

betting tips

In the mathematician’s understanding, one of the ways to increase the probability of winning lotteries is to concentrate all bets on a single game with a jackpot (ex: Mega-Sena da Virada, Quina de São João, Lotofácil da Independência), instead of make several simple games in the year.

“For example, I set aside R$400 from my budget that I would spend throughout the year on single bets. The chances would be greater if I took that R$400 and bet just once,” said Gilcione.

“Because I maximize my chance of winning with a bigger prize. My gain-benefit ratio is higher,” he added.

money in the trash

As the chances of winning are very small, it is always better to bet cautiously.

“The practical effect of playing the lottery is to throw the money in the trash. For the vast majority of people, there is no difference, you always lose”, observed Gilcione Nonato.

Therefore, the expert tip for those who are dazzled by the millionaire prizes is to keep control and not throw your savings down the drain.

*Intern under the supervision of sub-editor Rafael Arruda