The number of digits on the balls doesn’t actually matter. 10-3-2-1 is not significantly different from 4-3-2-1 as far as the process is concerned. All that matters is that the 4 numbers are different from each other. Since the drawing is done with only 14 balls in the hopper, there is no chance of 3-3-2-1.

As for the 1001st combination, that is in fact the drawing of 11-12-13-14. That number is unassigned and would require a redraw. That number hasn’t actually happened yet, but that is the result if it were to be called. This is the same thing that would happen if a number assigned to a selection that has already won in the lottery were to be called. Redraws should be pretty obvious, the balls are replaced into the hopper and drawn again, just like a first time drawing, and the numbers get compared to available numbers.

They also don’t place numbers in the envelopes. They place team logos in envelopes that have the number of the pick on them. Yes, that is nitpicking what you said, but still. The envelopes are set up to make a more entertaining way of presenting the results than the process they use to determine the picks. That said, yes, only the first 3 picks are drawn, and the remainder assigned by the way the rest of the 11 teams placed in the regular season. ]]>

(btw, it’s dawned on me that the issue of the one unassigned combination has been addressed.)

The probabilities of the Pistons gaining the first, second, and third picks have been announced. It occurs to me, however, that depending on on the procedure, we may just know the probability regarding #1 with certainty because the probabilities concerning #2 and #3 become fixed only during the course of the drawing. Say Charlotte with its 250 combinations wins the first pick. According to one possible procedure, the Pistons would then have its opening share of the 1000 combinations minus the 250 of Charlotte’s which are now dead. That situation would be far more favorable to the Pistons than one in which the best lottery team wins number one, removing/deadening the fewest number of combinations. If the least likely team wins top pick, Charlotte would have its initial 250 combinations come the drawing for #2, leaving the Pistons with a much lower probability of winning #2 than if the best lottery team won #1. You can give a % in advance of the drawing, but you don’t know the Pistons’ odds at the moment of drawing for #2 or #3 until the earlier pick(s) occur(s). There would be other ways of doing it, but that strikes me as the most likely procedure. Of course the announcement counts down to #1, but the drawing must happen from #1 to #3.

]]>“I wish the Pistons would’ve tanked to get [a greater number of ping pong ball combinations]“.

If someone says, “go ping pong!!!”, is their message not clearly communicated? Learn your social understanding of terminology. ]]>