A guide to picking your lottery numbers that might help you scoop that life-changing rollover jackpot win.
If you search for tips on how to win the lottery, you’ll find a lot of information about which numbers to pick. However, there is no way to predict the numbers that will come up in the lottery. The drawings are completely random, so the best you can do is try to pick unusual numbers so you won’t have to split in case there’s a tie. However, there are common-sense things that you can do to make your odds of winning the lottery a little better:
Picking the most commonly drawn numbers
One approach would be to choose the numbers that come up most often. At the moment the most frequently drawn ball is the number 44.
Since the National Lottery began in 1994, it has been drawn 253 times.
The other most common numbers are:
38 — 251 times
40 — 249 times
23 — 248 times
39 — 246 times
33 — 245 times
However, their frequency of appearance is no indication that they will be drawn together. In fact, the chance of these numbers cropping up in a winning combination is the same as any other set of six.
Another approach that is commonly used is to look for numbers that have not come up in a while.
Human intuition tells us that if something has not happened in a while, then it is probably overdue.
Currently the most overdue number is 48 — it has not been picked in nearly 81 days. Similarly, the numbers 23 and 46 last appeared 77 days ago.
The 21 ball came up 63 days ago while number 14 was selected 60 days ago and number 2 emerged 56 days ago.
The least picked numbers are 20, 13, 21, 41, 16, and 37.
However, while the concept that things which are overdue will eventually happen makes sense, it does not mean they will when it comes to the National Lottery.
Dr John Haigh, an emeritus professor of mathematics at the University of Sussex who has written a paper on the statistics underlying the National Lottery, said: “Just because a number has not come up for a while does not mean it will in the next draw.
“Just as you flip a coin, if you get five heads in a row, it does not mean the next time it is more likely to be tails. The odds are still 50/50.
“So with the lottery, they remain one in 14 million.”
Picking previous winning numbers
Analysis of the Swiss lottery revealed has revealed a surprising trend — people tend to choose their numbers based on the previous week’s winning numbers.
Others were found to use the jackpot numbers from two weeks before and some further back than that.
Does this make any difference? Sadly, Dr Haigh tells us the odds remain the same. But it does make picking the numbers easier.