This is one of those lottery questions that can make your head spin. Should I play the same lottery numbers or change them? It can turn your brain inside out if you overthink it…

If my numbers haven’t come up yet, surely they are more likely to in future, so I should stick to playing my selected numbers, right?

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Should I Play The Same Lottery Numbers In Every Draw?

Euro Millions// Apr 5, 2008 at 11:15 amMy grandpa played the same numbers all his life… once forgot and those numbers won… pity… so if you have been playing same numbers for a long time… stick with them.

LG// Apr 10, 2008 at 11:44 amI’d say stick with playing if you want a chance of winning (obviously!). But playing the same numbers, or different numbers, makes no difference whatsoever to your chances of winning. Sounds like you’ve been hit by the infrequency illusion…

Peter// Jun 21, 2011 at 10:40 amI have stuck with my same numbers for a short while, using them for the UK Lotto and won with 3 and 4 numbers plenty of times. Also had 5 balls once which earned me £3,000 back in 2003. I still use that same line even now, so staying with your same old numbers is a good idea I think 🙂

Giuseppe// Dec 2, 2018 at 10:33 pmYes so true, I heard the same story — someone playing the same numbers for 5 years and they did not play that drawing day that the time their numbers came out…! So lesson here is be disciplined and play your numbers always.

(Amended from ALL CAPS)

LG// Dec 2, 2018 at 11:00 pmAnd there are documented cases of people winning the first time they ever bought a ticket.

Which also doesn’t prove anything…

(P.S. Please don’t type all in capital letters! 🙂 )

BJ MIN// Oct 16, 2008 at 6:41 pmWhat about the calendar numbers? I mean, most people usually like betting or picking the numbers that have a special occasion, bdays of loved ones and the like. I think it’s just luck.

And yah, I’ve tried betting on the same number a couple of times and when I missed, it went out! grrrr..

LG// Oct 17, 2008 at 10:20 amCalendar numbers are more likely to be selected – but that won’t have any affect at all on your chances of winning.

It might mean you end up sharing the jackpot with lots of people if you do win though, so avoid picking too many. More on that in my lottery tips course.

Dan// Jun 9, 2011 at 9:17 amThat does not make any sense. If it’s all so random as you say, then there should not be any reason to pick any certain number or avoid them?

LG// Jun 9, 2011 at 6:39 pmWhen it comes to the jackpot, the prize is shared between everyone who matches the winning numbers. So if you pick the same numbers as lots of other people, you end up with a much smaller share.

There’s no way of knowing for certain, but it’s wise to try and avoid picking numbers the same way as other people do. Lots of people pick ‘lucky numbers’, or using patterns and shapes on the playslip, or family birthdays etc.

When you look at how many people play the Lost lottery numbers, you’ll see what I mean.

Lou// Jul 4, 2011 at 2:43 pmI’d say change. If you stick with the same lottery numbers, then you miss a week and your numbers come up, you’ll be kicking yourself forever.

Whereas if you change then you’ll never know, and you’ll be much happier.

Norm// Oct 26, 2011 at 10:19 amI was with a 649 play group about 3 years ago. We checked our numbers in the morning on alc.ca and had no wins. I validated the tickets later on in the day and discovered we won $10. We investigated and learned that alc.ca had later that morning changed the numbers on their web site. They claimed they used the Keno numbers in error. Keno is a 20 number draw and 649 a 6 number draw. What would be your response to this fact?

P.S. It made the Newfoundland/Labrador CBC Radio and TV News, but not the National.

LG// Nov 2, 2011 at 4:38 pmHey Norm

Interesting point. There was a case in 2008 where ALC published one number wrong for the Bucko draw of 6th October 2008 – is that the one you’re thinking of? But in that case they honoured both sets of results, and asked any players who cashed in for a lower prize or who may have thrown tickets away to contact them so they could verify and correct it. Because of the detailed data they have from ticket purchases they knew it affected 3,849 tickets, and less than $10,000 total prize money.

All lottery companies obviously have a massive duty of care to ensure any results they publish are correct. So triple checks all the way should be standard. But I guess they can evaluate pretty fast the level of damage any incorrect results would cause, and tailor their response. So corrective action could seem inaqeduate when it may well be sufficient – it’s a fine line though, as every lottery company is entirely dependant on player trust.

That said, there are lots of independent publishers of lottery results – everyone from local papers to national TV and many news based websites. There are plenty of cases of wrong results being published by these sources, but of course they don’t have quite the same legal pressure to get it right. So I’d always recommend checking results from the official source before disposing of any tickets.

Philile// Nov 2, 2011 at 10:11 amI’m thinking of doing the same but I’m too scared if I missed one draw that my numbers will come up.

cunn12// Aug 19, 2012 at 6:28 pmWhat if a person wins from playing some numbers – should they continue to play those same numbers?

LG// Aug 19, 2012 at 7:11 pmThose numbers still have exactly the same chance of coming up again in future. So it makes no difference at all to your chances of winning if you continue to play the same numbers, or change them.

Buchanan// Sep 10, 2012 at 2:29 pmHi… I only play delta numbers (1 to 15) and calculate it to lotto number, and it works but in every draw I have 3 to 4 numbers in a row on one ticket… can use this system or are there other systems who are acurate then the delta number system?

LG// Sep 10, 2012 at 8:27 pmThe big problem with picking according to deltas is that the idea is based on a totally flawed theory.

The idea is that there are more combinations that fall into certain patterns, therefore you’ve a better chance of winning if you pick from those patterns (same as using ‘sums’ for example).

But you don’t win anything for matching patterns. So it doesn’t matter at all if the numbers in your combination follow certain rules, add to a certain total, have certain gaps between them, or whatever. It’s still just 1 combination out of all the millions possible.

Jabgar// Nov 27, 2012 at 9:00 pmI’ve been playing the same number for 3 years straight. I haven’t missed a powerball or megaball game in 3 years. I play the mega and powerball twice a week. I’ve only hit 3 numbers so far. I’ve also been to their website and researched my numbers and this the 16th year my numbers haven’t hit. So you do the math! In four more years that’ll be 20 yrs my number hasn’t came up. It’s like I’ve been playing for 20 yrs. I once saw a lottery website where if you played the same number every game it could take up to 88yrs to win! I guess I’m at 68 years now lol

LG// Nov 27, 2012 at 11:04 pmYou’d actually be very lucky indeed if it came up in just 88 years..!

There are roughly 175 million different combinations with Powerball or Mega Millions.

At 2 draws per week, that’s only 104 draws per year. So in 88 years only 9,152 combinations would be drawn… assuming a different combination was drawn every single time, and never repeated. That’s the tiniest fraction of all possible results.

It would actually take 1,682,692 years for all the combinations to be drawn – assuming no repeats of course. That’s over 1.6 million years.

And that’s why part of my new strategy training walks you through choosing a game that won’t take quite so long to win 🙂

Francisco DeCastro// Sep 20, 2013 at 7:37 amYes, there are about 175 million different combinations, however, there are many combinations we can eliminate.

Let’s use the first 5 numbers combinations of the Powerball game without using the powerball number for example:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, OR any consecutive numbers starting from any number, including in the end like 57, 58, 59, 1, 2, even like that you can eliminate. Why? Because the odds of consecutive numbers falling like that are even lower. Another example: 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, that would be almost impossible too. Another example: 11, 21, 31, 41, 51 or 11, 22, 33, 44, 55, many type of combinations like these are almost impossible as well. You can even go as far as eliminating combinations that are all multiples of 3, or all multiples of 4, or all multiples of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, these odds are also almost impossible. Or just something simple like 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, skipping one number for each number would be almost impossible, and you can start from any number, so that would eliminate many. THERE ARE ALSO MANY MORE you can eliminate.

You can also go as far as eliminating combinations from the powerball card that you pick your numbers from. What are odds of all numbers falling to be on row 1, or on row 2 or on row 3? BAM, you can eliminate those. What are the odds of the numbers falling the numbers diagonally on your card? BAM you can eliminate those too. You can even draw a circle on the card picking your combination, and I will guarantee that that number combination will never be drawn.

Think about how many numbers you can eliminate. I think that picking a smart combination, and playing the same numbers, does increase your risk of winning. If you pick two smart combinations and play those numbers, thats even better. Don’t play more than 3 smart combinations though, or you will start to use your rent money on this game that the odds of you winning are still incredibly low, even after you increase your risk.

LG// Sep 20, 2013 at 8:02 pmHi Francisco

Thanks for your comment, but I’m afraid this couldn’t be more incorrect. It is a very common misconception though 🙂

The fact is every combination in the lottery has the same chance of being drawn – that’s how it’s designed to be, because the law demands lottery games be fair.

Remember these are just balls bouncing around inside a lottery draw machine. They don’t know what numbers are written on them.

Given enough draws all of the results you say cannot happen

will happen. The only reason they haven’t happened yet is because most games have only been running for less than a couple of thousand draws, and as you say there are 175 MILLION different possible combinations for the US Powerball.Still not convinced – how about these all consecutive numbers on the Florida lottery – or what about the exact same lottery results two weeks in a row.

These things will continue to happen and they are perfectly normal and to be expected. And yes, one day 1,2,3,4,5,6 will come up too 🙂

Mery// Feb 9, 2013 at 1:01 pmYeah, but lottery guy I’ll pay you for the new strategy training only if I hit the lottery.

LG// Feb 10, 2013 at 4:14 pmHi Mery

Maybe try that one with the lottery company, but I’m not sure they will let you pay for all your tickets only after you hit the jackpot 😉

But seriously if you want something honest and genuine that will help you increase your chances of winning, then I’d recommend adding your name to the list.

For crazy miracle systems with nothing but empty promises behind them, there’s lots to try on the big list here – just look under the ‘Bad’ section 🙂