Lottery Numbers

Ok, I live in the UK and i don’t do the national lottery but if i did i always thought it would be cool to pick 1 2 3 4 5 6 as my lucky numbers - when i’ve told people about this in the past they’ve thought i was either taking the piss or half-crazy.

We know that the probability of this selection of numbers turning up is just as likely as any other set of numbers but i was wondering if this sequence had ever occurred in a national lottery anywhere?

i think the best argument against it that it’s probably more popular than you think. i’d bet that if those numbers ever did come up, there would be a good few winners splitting the pot.

Yeah, you’re probably right about it being more common than one (er, well me i guess) might imagine at first - but has it ever happened?

In the Canadian lotto 6/49 I’ve seen 4 out of 6 of the numbers come up as low sequentials i.e. 3,4,5,6, unfortunately 1,2,3,4,5,6 is as likely to come up as the 6 random numbers I regularly play so your question, has it ever come up in any of the lotteries around the world, is pretty much the same as asking me if my lottery numbers have ever come up for me. No they haven’t and I’d be surprised if my numbers, or 1,2,3,4,5,6, have ever come up anywhere, I doubt there’s been anywhere near 13,983,816 six-number lottery draws in the world, which is the odds against me.

I’ll bet you 1,2,3,4,5,6 has never come up in a lottery draw. I’ll give you big odds to take that bet.

Years ago, I got one of those “how to win the lottery” books. Most of it was bad science. Wheeling numbers, avoiding sequences, playing numbers that have hit recently, and so on. It all seems plausible until you do the math.

There were some useful nuggets, though. In the wildly improbable event that you do win, you don’t want to have to share the jackpot. If you play the most popular sets of numbers, and one of yours hits, you will have to split the pot with many other people. So, what are the popular sets? Here are a few:

123456, and the last six.
Diagonals, corners, or other obvious patterns on the game grid.
Birthdays, yours and your kids.
Prominent historical dates.
Yesterday’s NYSE total sales.

Winning the lottery, of course, is about as likely as getting eaten by a shark. Given a choice, I’d rather win the lottery.

“Powerball” is perhaps the most played lottery in the US and the numbers are drawn twice weekly. I believe the game, but perhaps not the twice weekly frequency, started in the '80s.

Their online winning number database only goes back to November 1997. From that, 1 and 2 appeared together three times, 2 and 3 five, and 1 and 3 appeared five times also. 1-2-3 did not appear once.

My prior post ignored the powerball, which is drawn from a separate series of numbers 1-42. The first five numbers are from a bin 1-53.

Locally, ISTR, that the Washington DC ‘Pick 4’ came up 1-2-3-4 in the early 90s.

The local news covered it because there were over a thousand winners.

Well I happen to work for a lottery corporation (no I can’t fix the lottery, it can’t be done) and yea having 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 coming up would be pretty crazy.

Any way here is a cool tool, it is a number frequency chart for every Canada 6/49 draw that has taken place since 1982:

These numbers are drawn with the ball in a drum method.

Here is a frequency chart for BC 49, these numbers are drawn with a PC using an RNG card and some crazy math algorythms:



Safe In This Skylife
I wrote a “Virtual Lottery” progam on my site at:
(free site, no advertising, etc)
Anyway it will allow you to play the lottery for as long as you want AND it is free.
As far as choosing "1,2,3,4,5,6 " - that is a BAD idea - too many people play it.
Read the text that goes with the calculator. Lotteries are NOT made to make YOU rich. Th ebest winning lottery strategy is don’t play.
And if you’ll forgive a rather harsh assessment of the lottery, I think Ross Perot said “Lotteries are a tax for stupid people”. Sorry to post that nasty quote but I used to be a fervent lottery player until about 10 years ago.
As Dean Martin said in the original “Ocean’s 11” - ‘The odds are always with the house’.

I read somewhere that in the region of 10,000 people (!) pick 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 every week. This means that, if you take an average jackpot as, say, £3 million, if your numbers did come up you’d likely only win about £300! Imagine the disappointment, after thinking you were a millionaire, and then barely getting enough to cover your ticket purchases for the year…

Anyway, I was searching for a cite for this, and didn’t find it. I did. however, find this. :rolleyes:

How dumb can people be? No, don’t answer that!

OK. found a cite that suggests 20,000 people choose these numbers every week.

Don’t do it!

For what it’s worth, the best strategy is supposed to be:

Avoiding numbers 31 and under, as lots of people use birthdays

Avoiding straight lines and other pretty patterns on the play slip

Saving your £1 instead, and then spending £104 on whisky every New Year :slight_smile:

I spend 4 bucks a week on the lottery in Virginia. We don’t have a lottery here in NC but I live only 2 miles from the state line. I let the machine pick my numbers because I’ve read that 59% of winners are machine picks. I know I could use that 4 dollars to buy another gallon of milk each week but I feel like 4 bucks isn’t to much to spend for a weeks worth of dreams. :slight_smile:

Interestingly, here in Canada one draw about a year or so ago was a sequence of I believe 5 out the 6 numbers drawn (like 4,5,6,7,8,37)

Imagine the disappointment of the 24 ticketholders upon realizing they had won $24,000 each instead of the haf million which normally goes to one ticket holder!


If “59% of winners are machine picks” that tells you exactly zero about whether that’s a better strategy for winning.

If 75% of tickets sold are machine picks, then the 59% winners figure means you’d do lots better to pick your own numbers.

If 25% of tickets sold are machine picks, then the 59% winners figure means you’d do lots better to let the machine pick.

Without knowing the mix of hand-pick and machine-pick ticket sales, that 59% figure tells you nothing.

Assuming your lottery is honest, In fact, I’d bet that simply means that 59% of tickets sold are machine picks.

In other words, the odds of success have no connection with whether you or the computer pick the numbers on your ticket. Each ticket is equally likely to be a winner and since 59% of tickets sold are machine picks, then 59% of winners come from machine-picked tickets.

But, and here’s where human psychology comes in, once that 59% figure becomes well known, more folks will think like you did and that number will go up from week to week. So pretty soon 75%, then 80%, then … of tickets will be machine picks.

And in some other lottery where hand-picked tickets are running 52% of winners, after a few years that lottery will be having 75% hand-picked tickets.

And none of that will have any impact on anyone’s liklihood of winning.

Lots of statistics you see quoted, especially by politicians and advertisers, are like that 59% figure. They seem to to tell you something, but they’re really only half (or less) of the info needed to actually support whatever idea they’re pushing.

“And now for the Sports Report… in partial scores today, New York 34.”

True, but uninformative.