Luck is a funny thing. Even though most people would not call themselves superstitious, it doesn’t seem to stop us behaving just like we are!
Here’s what I mean.
You can buy lottery tickets pretty much anywhere, even increasingly online these days. All it takes though to make us go crazy and get all superstitious (without admitting it) is to hear a news story about a ‘lucky lottery store’.
The idea of a store that is more lucky than others is awesome. Obviously it would be worth travelling there to buy winning tickets!
If only it were true 🙂
The reality is that there are thousands of lottery stores. At some point, eventually, all of them will sell a big winning ticket. It will take a long time, but will eventually happen. Simply because it’s happening totally randomly.
Why then do some stores sell more winning lottery tickets than others?
This is simply because some stores sell a hell of a lot more tickets than other stores. Think about it, a big main street retailer is going to have thousands more customers than a tiny back street kiosk. That means they will sell thousands more tickets every single week.
To put that another way – if your stores sells 100 tickets a week, and the mega store in the city sells 10,000 tickets a week. Well, that means the mega store is 100 times more likely to be the seller of a big winner.
Should I buy tickets from lucky stores then?
If you like. It cannot hurt your chances of buying a winning ticket. But it cannot help them either.
This is the same deal for scratch-off tickets or draw based games.
So why do some lottery companies encourage this idea of lucky stores?
It’s a bit naughty really. It’s because they like to subtly encourage the feeling that you can take some really simple action like driving to a different store and get a much better chance of hitting a jackpot. Just like parading the big winners at press conferences, it helps to sell more tickets.
It is all bad news?
No. Not at all. There are things that can help you become a big winner – it’s just that this isn’t one of them. Be careful about which games you choose to play – as that can help a lot. Maybe try and avoid those really popular numbers too. Don’t play too many different games either, choose one game and focus everything on that one. It will help you a lot more in the long run.
That’s right, there is more to playing the lottery than just picking better numbers. You need to be playing sensibly in the first place.
Hands up everyone who plays the Pick 3 lottery games..? Don’t be shy now… is that YOU?
There are a LOT of people who play Pick 3, and I totally understand why they do it. The problem is, they are hurting their chances of ever being a big happy lottery winner. Why?
Have you ever heard of a news story where a winner of a Pick 3 game said they were now looking forward to early retirement and travelling the world? No. For one very good reason. Nobody has ever won enough money to retire by playing that game, anywhere in the world, ever. Oh sure, you may have seen the odd person with their crazy spreadsheet system that says they win regularly and make an income out of it. Ask them for proof though, and they will quickly find someone else to talk to.
The jackpot is just too small. Why play for a few thousand when there are big jackpot games like Powerball or EuroMillions around – it makes no sense. You’re just wasting your ticket money. The smaller prizes on those games are just as big if not bigger! Worried about the odds? Play in a syndicate like here or get help here if the odds are a problem.
The only people who get rich playing Pick 3 are the lottery company. It’s a bad game with a rubbish small jackpot that convinces people they ‘almost won again’ by not having many numbers to choose from. You might as well be rolling a die and betting on that – your chances are in fact much better but you will still lose overall!
Play games with jackpots that can make you rich if you win them. Why would you play anything else?
Popular lottery numbers can mean 2 very different things. Which can help you or hurt you depending on which one you use.
Because most lottery games are pari-mutuel that means they pay out the jackpot to everybody who matches all the winnings numbers for that draw. You probably knew that. But what that does mean though is that if a combination of popular numbers gets draw, then those people who played those numbers are going to be very happy for all of about 5 minutes. That is, until they realise just how many people have won, and how little their jackpot payout just became.
Think I’m over-reacting?
It has happened in the past. Hundreds of winners have come forward to claim a prize. There are also lots of combinations – even crazy ones like 1,2,3,4,5,6 – which are played by hundreds of people very week. In the case of 1,2,3,4,5,6 it’s people thinking they are clever (“it’s just as likely to win as anything else”), only they won’t feel quite so clever when they get paid out a few thousand instead of a million!
Other popular combinations are things like multiples of 7, or specific shapes on the play slip, or lucky numbers. Play those numbers and you are more likely to end up sharing.
The other meaning of popular lottery numbers is simply those that are drawn more often, or more often over a certain period of time. Sometimes referred to as more frequent, or hot numbers (though that has different meanings too, so it’s easy to get confused).
Why would we care about those? Well, because there is a simply theory that those numbers that are showing up more frequently will continue to do so. It’s based on sound maths and science, and in theory at least can give you an edge that others ignoring such things won’t have. It’s no miracle lottery beater but every little helps, especially when you’re dealing with big jackpot odds.
There was have, at least we both now know what people might mean when they are talking about popular numbers. You just need to make sure which version they are referring to before you put them right.