Java Practice Assignment #1

by Trevor Page on December 20, 2012

Right Click Here to Download Assignment Source Code

Alright ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test!

I’ve been receiving tons of emails and comments with respect to wanting programming assignments. But I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to go about doing it, until now.

Here’s what we’re going to do, I will outline the requirements for a practice assignment, and I will include an archive file with the contents of the assignment (at the top of this post). I will also include a video which will explain how to import the assignment into your SpringSource Tool Suite IDE and set it up so you’ll be good to go.

Sound good?

The Requirements

The assignment is to simulate the lottery. You will need to implement code that will generate 6 lottery numbers between 1 and 49 (inclusive), you will then need to implement the code that will read in 6 numbers that you will type into the console yourself. Then the numbers you input will be compared against the randomly generated lottery numbers and it will output which numbers match (if any).

Here’s the catch, you will need to make sure there are no duplicate numbers (either when being randomly generated or inputted in the console). It’s just like a real lottery after-all!

Video Explanation on How to Import the Assignment

Here’s a video that will explain how to import the assignment into your IDE.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Bernd December 22, 2012 at 5:08 am

Thank you, Trevor! Very good and interesting starting assignment.
It took me about 30 minutes to get the unit tests run sucessfully, but then I had a hard time to figure out where to enter the numbers ;-)

But I still have two unsolved problems:
1: Why do you declare a return type of Set (which is an interface only) but use HashSets in your test code?
2: How do I catch malformed/illegal numbers from in.nextInt(). I’m not allowed to catch an IOException in promptUserForLotteryNumbers(). I don’t want a stack trace, but simply force the user to enter a valid integer between 1 and 49.


Trevor Page December 23, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Glad you got the unit tests running… good point on mentioning that you had a tough time figuring out where to enter the numbers, I should have been more explicit.

To all of those reading the comments who are having trouble figuring out how to enter the numbers, when you use the Scanner to read input, it will be read from the console window. This means that when you want to “input” the lottery numbers manually, you will need to click on the console window (to give it focus) and you’ll see the cursor blinking… simply type in your number and press enter. This number will be read by the Scanner and you’ll need to store the value into a variable for use.

To answer your questions:
1) It’s good form to program to interfaces and not concrete classes, therefore I chose the interface Set in the declaration of the method. I would refer you to this discussion in StackOverflow for more information.
2) I didn’t want to make you guys worry about handling exceptions this time through, but if you feel like it, I think you can either catch the generic Exception type, or the more specific InputMismatchException


Steve Brouillard December 22, 2012 at 10:49 pm

I can write the code to generate the random numbers (without duplicates) but am having problems trying to move these numbers into the Set. In the method generateLotteryNumbers(), I have tried using generatedLotteryNumbers.add(number) as well as generator.add(number) but this does not work. I’ve tried instantiating a new Set in the method but this does not make sense to me. I’m missing either a step or the whole boat … any hints to point me in the correct direction?


Steve Brouillard December 23, 2012 at 11:45 am

Nevermind – I solved it. :)


ALJI Mohamed December 27, 2012 at 9:59 am

excellent assignment , waiting for the next … :)


Trevor Page December 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Working on the next assignment right now :)


naftaly ngari February 27, 2013 at 1:03 am

you are the best tutor in programming .thank you very much . i will certainly follow you tutorials and i believe i will a good programmer.


Serraphin March 3, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Hello from London, I’ve found your java tutorial via the podcasts. Great work in demystifying this stuff, it’s definitely working for me.

Regarding this assignment, I ploughed through it and managed to get it to work. I watched your walkthrough and noticed you employed a few different methods to achieve the same results as I have. However, I want to confirm I wasn’t picking up bad habits and such…

1) The playLottery method I used the following:

// intersection of two sets

2) The generateLotteryNumbers method I used the following:

do {
int randomInt = randomGenerator.nextInt(49);
setOfNum.add(randomInt + 1);
} while (setOfNum.size() < 6);


I'm glad you used a different method though, I learned a lot (debugging window, unit tests, boolean whiles etc)


Trevor Page March 4, 2013 at 7:53 am

This code looks great to me, I’ve never used the retainAll() method before, but if it’s the intersection of two Sets, then that’s perfect.

Very well done!


cpasquini June 5, 2013 at 9:39 am

In the playLottery method example above by Serraphin, performing the retainAll method on those two Sets will destroy the userNumbers Set. A non-destructive way would be the following (refer to, in the Set Interface Bulk Operations section):

//create a new Set, copying the contents of either userNumbers or lotteryNumbers
Set matched = new HashSet(lotteryNumbers);

//run the retainAll (intersection) method against the newly copied Set.

You can see how this works by outputting the two sets after performing the intersection:

System.out.println(“Matched Nums: ” + matched.toString()); //Matched Nums: [35, 24]
System.out.println(“Orignal Nums: ” + lotteryNumbers.toString()); Original Nums: [8, 35, 24, 1, 49, 6]

If you don’t copy the Set before hand, you will directly modify the original set of numbers.


wessley sang May 1, 2013 at 5:29 am

give me an example of a program that use stack and queue to reverse string of characters and how it can be implemented


Funky July 11, 2013 at 2:40 am

just a suggestion but for LotteryNumberGenerator class, it might be better to use numberVariable.size()<6 rather than use a while loop. Here is my code for that function:

Set randomNumbSet = new HashSet();

Random generator = new Random();
for (int i = 0; randomNumbSet.size()<6 ; i++){
randomNumbSet.add( generator.nextInt(49)+1 );


Trevor Page July 14, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Hmmmm, I’m not sure if that would work well.

How does your code handle the case when a two random numbers are duplicates? If say, it randomly generates the number 5 two times, then it won’t add 6 numbers to your set (as the second time it tries to add number 5, it will discard it as it’s a duplicate)


Fatih February 11, 2014 at 4:08 pm

I think that would work well if you use it in a while loop like this:

Set firstSet = new HashSet( );

while (firstSet .size( ) < 6) {
firstSet .add((int) (Math.random( )*49 + 1));


daviton November 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Hi Trevor

I cant import the classes as you did, in order to get it i have to go very deep /PracticeAssignment1/src/net/javavideotutorials/assignment1, perhaps it has to do that i am in a MAC?



Raphael December 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Hi daviton,

Yes I believe this has something to do with the Mac. I couldn’t import this into my Mac either but it imports fine on a Windows machine.


Durim November 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Thank you so much Trevor for this assignment!

I really enjoyed it :D


Raphael December 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Hi Trevor,

Thanks for creating this website. It’s fueling my passion to learn programming. :)

I was wondering where these assignments would fit into your curriculum. I’m not a programmer and haven’t completed the video tutorials / podcasts / blogs (probably just 25% in) and I’m having a difficult time with this assignment. I can do some of the beginner exercises in other sites (thanks to your tutelage). I was wondering if your assignments are more on the intermediate level or for someone that has already completed all the training you have developed?

Thanks for your help.


Trevor Page December 30, 2013 at 2:21 pm

The assignments are littered throughout the video tutorials course. You’ll see them appear below the videos under the heading “Homework” or “Assignments” when you’re logged into

In general, I’ve had feedback that my assignments are indeed quite tough. In 2014 I plan on creating a LOT more assignments and having them be a bit less challenging at the early stages for beginner programmers.


Raphael December 30, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Thanks Trevor and keep up the great work!


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