Lottery Guy

Picking Better Lottery Numbers… Or Not!

June 18th, 2007   ·   Read 27 Comments...

picking lottery numbersI saw it again today. It makes no sense. But every self appointed half baked expert seems to want to regurgitate the same rubbish. And these are the people who want you to pay them to tell you how to select your lottery numbers..!

To avoid any chance of being sucked into the myth, I’d like you to suspend your normal perception of how a lottery works. Imagine the lottery draw is made using a lottery machine, full of lottery balls as normal, but there are no numbers on these balls – no markings at all in fact. In this draw machine there are 49 little balls but each one is a different colour – reds and greens and yellows and blues. But no other markings. None.

So, you win this lottery by picking colours from a colour chart – a bit like the old fashioned way of choosing paint (before we had clever ‘pick anything you want’ colour matching and mixing machines!). If six balls the same colour as the ones you chose get drawn, you hit the jackpot… and then you can start thinking numbers again, very big numbers :-)

Now would it seem sensible to you that the chances of any combination of 6 colours being drawn out of the machine, is exactly the same as any other combination of 6? Would it make sense to that there is no better chance of Red and Yellow and Pink and Green, Orange and Purple appearing..? Even though you may recognise the pattern of colours as being most of a rainbow (can you Sing A Rainbow Too đŸ˜‰ ?) it doesn’t mean they are more likely to appear!

So can anyone tell me why so many ‘lottery experts’ throw out combinations such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 or 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42 on the grounds they are ‘unlikely combinations’? Yes, our brain sees a pretty pattern, just like the rainbow, but those balls don’t know anything about them being a pretty pattern. Neither does the draw machine. So just because you allocate a number to a ball instead of a colour why on earth would that make it less (or more!) likely to jump out of the machine.

So next time you see anyone selling a lottery system that claims to pick better numbers, can you please send them an email asking them why they exclude combinations like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Then send their answer to me so I can laugh as another self proclaimer expertly shoots themselves in the foot.

[Footnote: There is a reason not to select certain combinations of numbers, but it has nothing to do with chances of winning. More on that another time.]

Categories: Picking Lottery Numbers

27 Comments so far ↓

  • Russ

    Hi Lottery-Guy,

    Do you happen to know of a good lottery ticket printing software? I need it to print from a csv file.

    I would want to use it to print 3-4 and 6 number lotto games. Mostly I am interested in the six number printing format.


  • CornĂ© Botha

    Hey Lottery Guy. How can you know a lotto game is rigged? Cause here in South Africa it’s all possible. I hear the less a number is played through all people it just boosts the number of chances to come up.

  • Eric C Lewis

    Respectfully, I wish to play a lottery game which has 25 numbers, I need to have 15 numbers to win. Please inform me how to win this game?

    Thanks, as I await your response.


      Hi Eric

      There is no magic system to win any lottery game – the draws are all random. So the best you can do is to improve your chances of winning. So I’d suggest you read my free lottery tips, and maybe also consider something like Win Lotto Systems to help develop your strategy for playing that lottery.

      Good luck.

  • Teresa

    Hi Lottery Guy,
    I would like to know if Robert Walsh pick 3 and 4 ebook is any good? He has 100% money back guarantee for 60 days on it and professes it works. Do you know anything about this book?


      Hey Teresa

      It’s on my bad lottery system list I’m afraid. He’s selling the same old rubbish about ‘picking better numbers’ when by law every number and combination are equally likely. Please don’t waste your money :-)

  • Peter van Kervel

    I would like to know the ball color for a range of numbers, ie :
    Ball nos. 1-5 = Yellow
    6-10 = Green, etc., etc
    Thanks in advance,

    • LG

      Hi Peter

      If you want to know the colours for a particular game then you need to let us know which game it is…

      Or if you’re thinking there’s some way of allocating colours that helps pick better numbers, then you may have misunderstood the post.

  • Felix

    hi. all of you…very interestings comments ! I have something to say : let me know how to pick only four numbers from thirty six… then I am sure I have the pot !


  • Snooch

    Sorry but this article is absolute tosh. Quite apart from the fact that on average 10,000 people play 1,2,3,4,5,6 every week (meaning you would win around £300 for matching all six numbers!) – the odds of any 6 balls of all the same colour coming out are much, much longer than 6 different colours. It requires the most simple understanding of probability to understand/explain this. As the Author says – lets forget about the numbers on the balls for a second & simplify it even further. You have a bag of 10 white balls & 10 pink balls. You manage to pull 5 white balls out in a row… what do you think the chances of pulling another white ball are? There are 10 pink balls & only 5 white balls left… so your chances are exactly HALVED. It really is that simple. The numbers believe it or not are actually secondary in the lotto, as anyone who has ever watched a draw knows, you first have to get the right colour, before you can get the right ball! In the 2,000 UK draws that have happened to date, ‘all the same colour’ has happened… once. This despite there being literally thousands of possible combinations of ‘all the same colour’. To give yourself the best possible chance, pick 1 number from each colour group. It really is that simple.

    • LG

      Ah, if only it were that simple :-)

      In your example you’re right that your chances of getting another white ball are less.

      But in a lottery game it’s totally irrelevant. Because you don’t win anything for matching the colour of the ball.

      So spreading your picks across different colour groups will not make any difference at all to your chances of winning. Sorry :-)

  • Palesa

    Send me 6 lucky lottery numbers.

  • Anthony

    The argument seems valid. 1,2,3,4,5,6 has the same chance of selection as 3,22,25,35,40,45.

    Supposed you need to pick 2 numbers from 1-4.

    It’s easy to imagine 1,2 has the same chance as 1,4 or 2,4.

  • Given

    I was playing EL Gordo Christmas EL Nino lottery my Tkt is53076 or 34360 and you never send result and my mystery free gifts

    • LG

      OK. 6 months is a long time to wait to be chasing these up.

      But you’re also asking completely the wrong person anyway :-)

      Who did you buy your tickets from?

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