Wow, you could have heard a pin drop all over Florida on Monday.

Seriously, we’re talking gaping mouthed amazement when the Florida Fantasy 5 results came on screen.

**14, 15, 16, 17, 18**

A complete set of consecutive numbers.

That’s just totally impossible. What an incredible result. The game is clearly fixed… and other such nonsense could be heard from every direction.

The odd ‘lone voice in the room’ all across the State could be heard quietly trying to explain that this is honestly nothing significant in any way, shape or form. But nobody was listening. Because it’s more exciting to see something that isn’t really there.

Just like the same lottery numbers twice outrage back in 2009.

I know it looks like something really crazy just happened. But folks, it’s just our crazy perception (see repeat lottery numbers). There are 32 sets of consecutive numbers in a 5/36 lottery game. All of which are as unlikely to come out as the non-consecutive ones.

At best there are only a few hundred combinations that look exciting.

So it’s really not surprising when the 376,000 ‘boring’ combinations appear most of the time. We **don’t** see a pattern, it’s not memorable, so we don’t jump and down getting excited about it.

## The Important Take Home Bit

Look more closely at the results though, and you’ll discover that 47 people picked those consecutive numbers.

Now normally only 1 or 2 people would win the jackpot on the Fantasy 5, and win a payout of a couple of hundred thousand.

Those 47 people who all thought they were clever picking consecutive numbers all now have to share. So they each win a very disappointing $4,581.

Don’t pick numbers according to any pattern. Because no matter how clever you think the pattern is, lots of other people do too.

## UPDATE: 30th August 2012

And guess what just happened in yesterdays Fantasy 5 draw in Florida.

The results were (drum roll please)… 1, 3, 5, 7, 9.

[Another totally impossible result — if you listen to many lottery ‘experts’ and publishers of misleading ‘win the lottery’ books!]

But again there’s a very good reason NOT to pick numbers like that. **It’s the 98 winning tickets**!

Unfortunately the owners of those tickets didn’t learn the lesson from last year, and will only be collecting $1,995.32, instead of $100,000 or so (if there were just 2 winners).

**So here’s a real lottery tip:** Don’t pick numbers according to any pattern or formula. Otherwise you are far more likely to end up sharing the jackpot – potentially with dozens or even hundreds of other winners.

Don’ t let this happen to you!

Mitchell// Mar 23, 2011 at 3:25 amhaha –> “Those 47 people who all thought they were clever picking consecutive numbers all now have to share. So they each win a very disappointing $4,581.” I thought that was an entertaining couple of sentences. Thanks for the read.

Harjit// Apr 1, 2011 at 2:57 pmYea something crazy happened. No matter what patterns or digits you’ll have, lottery is all about LUCKINESS.

LG// Jul 3, 2012 at 7:35 pmGuess what folks. It’s happened again. In Florida again too (ooh, conspiracy…).

This time it was on the main Lotto draw for Saturday 30th June. The result was 13, 26, 50, 51, 52, 53. And yes, somebody did claim that jackpot – it was $3 Million.

Sam// Aug 29, 2012 at 3:09 pmI have been running the numbers on this event and conclude that five consecutive numbers in Florida Fantasy Five can be expected to come up on average once in every 32 years, which makes it a credible event and not worth calling out the National Guard. This lottery is special because it is a pick-5, has only 36 numbers, and has seven drawings a week.

Richard Lustig thinks he has a system because he has won it three times but I am reasonably sure that at least one other person has won it at least twice. More in my book “A Player’s Guide to Lotto Strategies”.

Allan Dawkins// Sep 14, 2012 at 7:28 pmHello to all game players. Just pick any set of numbers. Any set of numbers can be drawn. Just dont spend too much money on tickets. Just one or two tickets, go for it my friends, good luck to you all. When you win remember me, ah ah ah ah ah. good luck

Robert// Sep 5, 2014 at 5:54 amSam’s got it spot-on mathematically.

Number of ways of getting 5 consecutive numbers out of the 5 balls = 32 (count ’em: the first possible set is {1,2,3,4,5}, the next is {2,3,4,5,6}….all the way up to {32,33,34,35,36}). The number of ways of picking 5 balls from 36 is a standard calc in combinatorics, and is 36!/5!31! = 376,992.

So the probability of getting one of the 32 in any draw is 1 in (376992/32) = 1 in 11781. With 7 draws/week, that means on average once every 32 years.

Jax// May 30, 2015 at 12:28 pmThen how come it happened three times within same year?

Rule Let// Sep 24, 2014 at 6:34 amI’m still waiting for 1-2-3-4-5. There’s going to be 1127 winners. ^_^

Mo// Oct 16, 2014 at 5:37 pmThoughtful article. Yes, the risk is you will increase the probability of splitting the pot, but remember these people also chose a winning number in that particular game. Better than choosing the wrong number and winning nothing.

LG// Oct 16, 2014 at 6:12 pmTrue – but not as good as picking less popular numbers and winning the whole pot next draw ðŸ™‚

Mo// Oct 16, 2014 at 5:42 pmEvery single combination of numbers in every lotto game has the same probability of coming up. There is no need to pick your own numbers. Another misconception is when statistics are thrown around how more people win when they pick their own numbers or use quick pick. All this tells you is that more people either choose their own numbers or use quick pick. They all have the same probability of winning.

In other words, if we all chose our own numbers all the time, obviously all the winners would have chosen their own numbers. If there was only quick pick, the winners would always have used quick pick. So if someone says “70% of winners chose their own numbers”, it just means that the 70% of the people who played the game chose their own numbers. It doesn’t mean you will increase the probability of winning by choosing your own numbers. If 70% of the people always choose their own numbers, then the math says 70% of the winners will be from that set.

In general, there are no biases in math. Lotto odds are way against you. Don’t spend too much money on it.

LG// Oct 16, 2014 at 6:20 pmExcelent point Mo – and this is something the media get wrong all the time. It’s also why people like Richard Lustig end up in the news a lot instead of being politely ignored.

You’ll probably enjoy George W. Bush And The Infrequency Illusion too Mo ðŸ™‚

Lotr Thyronx// Dec 19, 2017 at 10:32 amFlorida Lottery is Fixed. This is clear.

Worst ever is to pay for one ticket for 10 games (days). You have no chance to win period.

Perhaps one ticket for a dollar shortly before the end of the day… but no tickets too many days forward… you throw money to the hole.

LG// Dec 19, 2017 at 6:07 pmUm, based on what evidence..?

Why would buying more games in advance give you no chance of winning – that makes no sense at all. Are you seriously suggesting that you can avoid “them” fixing it by buying just before the draw closes… then they won’t have time to manipulate the balls so you don’t win..? Wow, I think it’s time for some fresh tin foil for your hat! ðŸ™‚