Why "Lottery Systems" Don't Work

12/10/2013

It is very tempting to play the lottery. Just last week, there was a lottery in my area that had a grand prize of $110 Million! What you could do with all that money. Unfortunately, the odds of winning that prize were 1 in 54.9 Million. In other words, you'd be more likely to get hit by lightning or die in a plane crash than win. So, it's really a sucker bet. But, still, it's fun to play.

Lots of people use "systems" to try to win. They use birthdays, or they keep track of which numbers have already been picked, or any of the other systems out there. Well, the bad news is, NONE of them work. There is NO way one can accurately predict which numbers will come up in a random drawing.

Let's look at the most common way to "predict" lottery numbers. This would be tracking. People have kept track of lottery numbers for years, trying to establish a "pattern." Either they are looking for which numbers come up more often, or which have been neglected. They use this information as a basis for the numbers they pick. This just doesn't work, though.

With the number of balls in a state lottery (usually 40 - 45), there are just too many different combinations of numbers to be able to predict which will come up, based on past performance. Sure, the "law of averages" would say that the number 9 should come up soon, since it hasn't been picked for 6 months. However, you can't say when the 9 will come up. You will probably find that 10 to 12 of the numbers haven't been picked in some time. This is NOT a pattern, this is randomness. The other numbers will eventually be picked, but not all at once.

Playing by birthdays, addresses, or lucky numbers is the same. The idea is that if you always play the same numbers, they will eventually come up. In theory, this is true. You may have to wait a few hundred, or even thousand, years, though, because of the shear number of combinations possible.

If you play the lottery consistently, you are bound to win SOMETHING, even if it's a little prize. This gives some people the misguided notion that their system works. Actually, they were just lucky. If you look at the statistics for those who win the lottery, you will find that most of them let the computer pick their numbers. They play randomly.

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