COMBIN() Find Maximum Combinations

The COMBIN() function is worth a look if you ever have a set number pool to draw a limited number of items from and need to know the maximum combinations. Confused? The lottery is a perfect example, particuliarly any lottery that draws all of the balls from the same pool. In this example let’s use a fake lottery where we have 6 balls drawn, each one can be between 0 and 42. What is the maximum number of combinations that can be drawn?

Tip: COMBIN() Find Maximum Combinations

We can find out the answer to the lottery example by using the COMBIN() function. Here is a look at the syntax:

=COMBIN(NumberInPool,DrawCount)

So we have the number in pool as 42 and our draw count is 6. This returns the maximum number of combinations as 5245786 (aka your odds). The picture shows a couple smaller examples and the lottery example in action:

SideNote: This doesn’t accommodate unique strings, ie, 1-2-3-4-5-6 is the same as 6-5-4-3-2-1 and equals 1 combination.

SideNote: For the true lottery buffs, this doesn’t work for balls drawn from multiple pools.

SideNote: Obviously you can apply this to more than just lottery numbers.