101 Ways to Choose Lottery Numbers. How to guess the number of the lottery. You CAN predict lottery numbers. Lottery Number Selection Strategy. How to Win at Lotto: The Delta Lotto System and Keno system. How to pick tonight's winning lottery number

A guide to picking your lottery numbers that 'might' help you scoop that life-changing rollover jackpot win.

Some people use family birthdays, others use lucky numbers while there are those that swear by a fail-safe “system".

There are almost as many ways of choosing lottery numbers as there are chances of winning it.

With an estimated £7.6 million jackpot up for grabs in tonight's double rollover, picking the right numbers could change your life.

However, the first thing to realise is that the odds are stacked against you.

The chance of winning the National Lottery jackpot is one in 13,983,816 while there is a one in 2.3 million chance of getting five numbers plus the bonus ball.

There is a one in 55,000 chance of five of your numbers being selected by the lottery machine.

To win the Euromillions jackpot there is a one in 116.5 million of all your numbers being drawn.

Is there a way of narrowing those odds? Let's take a look at some of the options:

Picking the most commonly drawn numbers

One approach would be to choose the numbers that come up most often. At the moment the most frequently drawn ball is the number 44.

Since the National Lottery began in 1994, it has been drawn 253 times.

The other most common numbers are:

38 – 251 times

40 – 249 times

23 – 248 times

39 – 246 times

33 – 245 times

However, their frequency of appearance is no indication that they will be drawn together. In fact, the chance of these numbers cropping up in a winning combination is the same as any other set of six.

Choosing the birthdays of family or friends

For those who use birthdays, five of the most commonly drawn numbers are more than 31, meaning they are not likely to have picked them.

Sticking to birthdays certainly limits the range of numbers you can choose and this is a common system, so more people are likely to pick those numbers, meaning you may have to share your prize.

Overdue numbers

Another approach that is commonly used is to look for numbers that have not come up in a while.

Human intuition tells us that if something has not happened in a while, then it is probably overdue.

Currently the most overdue number is 48 – it has not been picked in nearly 81 days. Similarly, the numbers 23 and 46 last appeared 77 days ago.

The 21 ball came up 63 days ago while number 14 was selected 60 days ago and number 2 emerged 56 days ago.

The least picked numbers are 20, 13, 21, 41, 16, and 37.

However, while the concept that things which are overdue will eventually happen makes sense, it does not mean they will when it comes to the National Lottery.

Dr John Haigh, an emeritus professor of mathematics at the University of Sussex who has written a paper on the statistics underlying the National Lottery, said: “Just because a number has not come up for a while does not mean it will in the next draw.

“Just as you flip a coin, if you get five heads in a row, it does not mean the next time it is more likely to be tails. The odds are still 50/50.

“So with the lottery, they remain one in 14 million.”

Lucky numbers

Like birthdays, this is a common approach, steeped more in superstition than any real logic. But some people are naturally drawn to certain numbers in the same way they may have a favourite colour.

Interestingly the most commonly chosen numbers are those that end in a 7 according to work done by experimental physicist Jonathan Clarke.

The key here is having enough lucky numbers to fill an entire lottery ticket – if you have to borrow numbers from someone else then they are not really lucky any more are they?

And if you win, are you going to share the jackpot with them?

Picking previous winning numbers

Analysis of the Swiss lottery revealed has revealed a surprising trend – people tend to choose their numbers based on the previous week’s winning numbers.

Others were found to use the jackpot numbers from two weeks before and some further back than that.

Does this make any difference? Sadly, Dr Haigh tells us the odds remain the same. But it does make picking the numbers easier.

Best performing ticket

If you had selected the ticket 03 06 13 23 27 49 in every draw since the National Lottery started you would have won £2,017,671 according to analyst Richard Lloyd.

He has found that this ticket has been the best performing in the history of the lottery so far in terms of the number of prize winning matches.

However, the odds of that combination coming up again remain the same.

Lottery systems and prediction software

There is a multitude of books on sale giving advice about how win the lottery.

For upwards of £20 of your hard earned money, you too can learn how to use complicated maths or systems like wheeling to pick your numbers.

Wheeling, which is one of the most popular systems, involves buying multiple tickets and using seven numbers rather six across those, for example.

Prediction software is also widely available on the internet with accompanying claims of great accuracy.

In fact, none of these have ever been proven to be effective and experts say those that with enough people using these systems, simple statistics says some people will win using them.

Indeed, perhaps the only people who really win from these approaches are the people who pocket the cash being paid for the books in the first place.

Random selection

Surprisingly, this is seen as the best approach by experts.

Not because it increases your chance of winning, but because it increases your chance of winning MORE.

By selecting numbers that use systems employed by others, it is more likely that other people will also have picked those numbers too.

If your numbers were to win the jackpot, then you would have to share more of your prize with those other people.

Randomly plucking numbers means the combination is least likely to have been selected by someone else.

“If you pick the least popular numbers and win, then you will probably share your jackpot with fewer people,” explains Dr Haigh.

Aesthetic approach

In the ninth ever draw of the National Lottery in 1995, there were a record breaking 133 winners who shared the £16 million jackpot.

Analysis of the numbers revealed an interesting phenomenon – all of the numbers were contained within the three inside columns of the playing slip at the time.

There were also no two numbers on the same row nor adjacent to each other. It appears the numbers were selected randomly for the way they looked on the slip.

Dr Haigh says: “This is a really lazy way of choosing numbers as it is an easy thing to do.

“People do like to make pretty patterns on their playing slip.

“Research on the Swiss lottery has also shown that a lot of people select numbers that go diagonally across or down the slip, for example.”

However, Dr Haigh has some final words of wisdom that may help you decide which of these methods to use.

He says: “Whatever method you chose, the chances of your six numbers coming up remain the same. It is ridiculous to think otherwise.”

But remember, if any of these tips actually do result in a jackpot win, I’m more than happy to share some of the prize.

It's actually very simple. The idea occurred to me when I thought about how a computer software program would store a winning lotto, winning keno or winning lottery number on disk. Storage space is always an issue with computers, so data compression is used whenever possible. To compress a lotto number pick, the software might store the "delta" of each number instead of the lotto number itself.

What's a delta? The delta is the difference between a number and the previous number.

For example, look at this winning lotto number:


Now here is the same number, represented as deltas:


All the numbers are smaller, yet still represents, and can be converted back into thesame winning numbers in lottery! Explanation below (or scroll down to see the video demonstration instead.)

I created this number by subtracting each of the lotto numbers from the number right before it. The first number is still three because there is no number previous to three. For the second number, 9 - 3 = 6, third number, 18 - 9 = 9, fourth number, 19 - 18 = 1, fifth number, 27 - 19 = 8 , and sixth number, 33 - 27 = 6.

To turn the delta numbers back into the original winning lotto number or keno number, we do a series of simple additions, always adding the result of the addition just done to the next number in the series: The first number is 3, second number, 3 + 6 = 9, third number, 9 + 9 = 18, fourth number, 18 + 1 = 19, fifth number,19 + 8 = 27, sixth number, 27 + 6 = 33.

Want to go over it again? A video demonstration of how to pick delta numbers is below.

It means that you can pick lotto numbers and keno numbers by guessing numbers between 1 and 15 instead of 1 and 50! Numbers higher than 15 will occur, but 90% of the time they don't! Please bear in mind that all the examples on this page assume a six-digit game, with numbers from 1 - 50. The values in these examples will vary, based on your game (the Analysis Lotto software can adjust these values automatically.)

It works because the smaller numbers represent the typical distribution of winning keno and lotto numbers. In other words, in a six digit game like this, the numbers are usually spaced 1-15 digits from each other. Since this spacing stays somewhat consistent from winning number to winning number, our scheme to represent them as smaller delta numbers works.

By guessing deltas that follow our rules instead of guessing the keno or lotto numbers themselves, your guess will have the same number distribution characteristics as other winning numbers. Does this give you an advantage? Will you win the lotto? Well, read on.

I studied the distribution of delta numbers in a year's worth of winning numbers from the New York, California and Michigan lotteries. When I did this, I discovered something exciting but at first, truly puzzling. They are not randomly distributed, but instead have a clear bias toward smaller numbers!

It turns out that nearly 60% of the time, a delta calculated from a winning number will be SIX or less! 30% of the time, the delta will be THREE or less!

In fact, ONE is the single most popular number, occurring almost 15% of the time. That translates to more than half the time in any given six-number pick. The predominance of the number ONE means that adjacent number pairing in winning lotto numbers must be quite common (and it is quite common, just look at any series of winning lotto numbers.)

Therefore, most of the Delta numbers you will be guessing can be picked from an even smaller set of numbers!

Why the low number bias exists in our calculated delta numbers is a challenge to explain. I expected to find a nice even distribution, perhaps clustered around 7 or 8, since that would be the average spacing when 50 is divided by six numbers. Instead, I see numbers below 8 coming up much more often. Why?

Well, there are valid statistical reasons this happens. When you consider that the sum of all the Deltas have to add up to the highest lotto digit, it's apparent that there isn't room for many large numbers. But doesn't explain the entire effect. One possibility is that the balls in many lotto picking machines at times do not thoroughly mix. The excess of small delta numbers, and especially the predominance of ONE, mean that balls that went in the lotto machine next to each other are coming up together! It's not obvious in the lotto numbers themselves, but the delta calculation reveals the pattern.

To visualize this, imagine a lotto number machine where the balls all enter lined up in numerical order (like they do here in Michigan.) Now imagine that the numbers are picked without mixing the balls. What would happen? Well the picks would still be somewhat random, of course. But the balls nearest the exit ports of the machine would be the ones most likely to be picked. And All the balls near the exit port are consecutive numbers, since that's how they went into the machine. You might not know what numbers they are. But if you track Deltas, those number pairs would show up as ones. Now, this is an extreme example. But if the balls don't mix enough, you can see how some of these tendencies could remain.

Lending support to this theory are apparent trends (look at the raw data) in the frequency of number ONE in the deltas. The beginning of the chart shows lots of ones. Later on, they taper off, then start appearing more often again. This sort of behavior might occur with changes in the operation of the lotto machine. Perhaps some weeks the balls are allowed to mix longer than at other times, owing to TV schedules or other factors. An astute observer might pay attention to these trends and play lots of adjacent pairs when there are many delta ONEs coming up.

If you toss a coin you have a one in two chance of getting a head but you might not get one at all. If you toss the coin many times you’re going to move more towards a 50/50 split of heads or tails (i.e. it’ll look more like the probability you’ve been given).

Combinations of certain numbers are more likely to win than others. So it’s about looking at the choices you’ve made as a whole rather than the individual numbers.

Rather than saying there are 12.271.512 different possible combinations Gianella reduced it to 210 coloured templates, which represent all combinations. He’s then worked out the likelihood of getting each of these combinations.

For example, If someone were to choose all low numbers (in the 1-9 range) they have a 0.0007% chance of their template coming up as there’s only 84 combinations of using these numbers.

But if they were to choose one across all the different colours (with two purples) they have a 2.6403% chance of their template coming up as there’s 324,000 different combinations that use these numbers.

A Brazilian mathematician claims it is possible to predict the results of a lottery draw by applying complicated maths and probability theories.

Renato Gianella has found it is entirely possible to predict numbers which are more likely to appear than others, by following the same behaviour patterns as predicted by the Law of Large Numbers.

His study called The Geometry of Chance: Lotto Numbers Follow a Predicted Pattern, finds not all combinations of numbers have the same probability of occurring – so in short, it is possible to predict patterns of numbers with a greater chance of being drawn.

The study claims that there is a pattern which is applicable in all lotteries around the world, which can be worked out using a complicated coloured template.

Mr Gianella said ‘Lottery should no longer be seeing as a form of a gambling but a true representation of the probabilistic theory and the Law of Large Numbers.’

It isn’t however as simple as being able to pick the six most likely numbers to win the National Lottery, it is however possible to pick several combinations of numbers which are more likely to be drawn based on probability.

The study says: ‘The frequentist notion states that the probability of a given event relates to the frequency at which such event is repeated. Additionally, as predicted by the Law of Large Numbers, when an event is repeated many times, the average of the results from all events should be close to the expected result. Thus, games of all kinds in which many repetitions occur (such as lotteries) are ideal labs for the study of probabilities. Now a new study shows that not all combinations of numbers have the same probability of occurring in a lottery draw.

‘The study is based on mathematics and probabilities theories applied to lottery drawings. It adopts a coloured template that determines all the possible combinations of numbers, as established by Pascal's rule. The adoption of this coloured template provides an easier understanding, and correct identification, of the combinations of numbers with highest probabilities to win. Through experimentation, the method shows that it is possible to detect that the results of a lottery draw follow the same behaviour pattern as predicted by the Law of Large Numbers.

‘For instance, using the method proposed by Gianella, templates built on previous results from a number of lottery games in different countries show that as more draws are performed, the expected result of each template is closer to the observed result, indicating that a pattern for these combinations exists. Thus, the right choice of combinations can greatly increase your chances of picking the winning combination in your next lottery ticket.

‘The method was tested with more than 20 lottery draws all over the world, and in each case it demonstrates that the probability that a given group of combinations (defined according to the coloured template adopted) will occur is not the same for all groups of combinations and that there are groups that show a higher probability to win.’

Assuming the lottery is completely random (and I sure hope it is !), then what numbers should you select ? Actually, that's the wrong question really - it should be what numbers shouldn't you select ! This is because, being a greedy swine, you want all the money to yourself if you win the jackpot (yes, you have to share it if more than one person matches the 6 numbers), so it's important to avoid "obvious" numbers and sequences that other people might use.

Here's my personal guide:
Don't choose more than 2 consecutive numbers. The sequences 1,2,3 and 47,48,49 are definitely ones to avoid.
Don't choose multiples of a number (with or without an offset). Multiples of 5 are definite no-no, because the playslip rows are in multiples of 5, so if you've picked 1,6,11,16,21,26 or 5,10,15,20,25,30, then go right to the back of the class.
Choose at least one number above 31, because loads of people will use ALL birthdates and you need to make sure that you aren't one of them.
Don't pick more than 2 numbers that are less than or equal to 12, because these clash with months as well as birthdates.
Make sure that at least one of the numbers isn't in the union set of the most/least frequent winning numbers. This union set is calculated by combining the 6 (or more) most and 6 (or more) least frequent winning numbers.
Don't choose any of previous draws' sets of 6 winning numbers (or 5+bonus numbers) - there's bound to be some people who'll try this.
If you know the 6 numbers someone else has used, don't use all 6 of them yourself, because you'll have to share the jackpot !

In fact, that last point is interesting - it may mean that, if you want to take things to extremes, you shouldn't reveal your numbers to anyone else in case they copy them. However, they'd be extremely stupid to do so because it stops them getting an outright jackpot (as well as you of course). I've nicknamed numbers that conform to the above guide as "RKL random numbers" and you can even generate them yourself.

Outside of the above restrictions, pick anything you like. I use my full telephone number split into two digit numbers plus my birthdate (even if someone else uses this scheme, the chance of them having the same 6 numbers as me is extremely remote). Fortunately, all of these were under 50 and my phone number even reads perfectly left to right on my lottery ticket if I drop the birthdate ! Also, 3 of the numbers are above 31 and 3 aren't and there are no consecutive numbers. There is a 3-number multiple sequence (with an offset) though, but it's not a sequence someone would normally pick, so I'm happy with it.

IMPORTANT: Once you've selected your 6 numbers, stick with them ! People claim that they want to change their numbers each draw to either select numbers that have come up the most or the least. This is flawed logic I'm afraid, because the lottery does not depend on past history (unlike blackjack), so every one of the 14 million-odd combinations of 6 numbers is equally likely in every single draw. It's also the reason why writing a computer program to predict lottery numbers is a stupid and pointless task (just call the random number generator 6 times - that's just as good as any other method).

If you really must play around with a totally new set of numbers each draw, keep your original set of 6 going as usual and buy a second ticket. OK, so you are "throwing away" £2 a draw instead of £1, but at least you won't kick yourself if your previously tried and trusted "lucky numbers" win the very draw you decide not to use them any more. I'd recommend buying a second (or more) ticket when the jackpot accumulates because there was no winner the previous draw or because of an occasional "Super Draw" (where reserve money from previous lotteries is used to top up the jackpot prize).

Saturday's Powerball drawing is a staggering $320 million. With such an enormous sum at stake, who better to turn to then Richard Lustig — seven-time lottery grand prize winner and author of "Learn How To Increase Your Chances of Winning The Lottery" — for tips on how to win.

Lustig says he's been playing the lottery for about 25 years. He claims to play every day, but in the first few years, he says he was not winning very much.

So Lustig decided to come up with a method, which he claims has helped him win seven grand prizes, including his last jackpot of $98,000 two-and-a-half years ago.

Lustig says a guaranteed way to increase your chances of winning the lottery is simply by picking your own numbers versus using the "quick-pick" ticket option.

"It doesn't matter how you pick your numbers, once you pick your set of numbers, research them to know if it's a good set of numbers and stick with them. There's no magic method to picking your numbers, I get emails every day asking. One number doesn't win the jackpot, a set of numbers does," says Lustig.

"The lazy way out is to buy quick-picks. The computer picks out the numbers. Don't play quick-picks. Quick-picks are the worst thing you can do, you are playing with the worst odds," he says.

Lustig believes that what matters is whether the set of numbers people pick is a good one or not. To know this out however, one has to research the numbers in a method only taught in his book, which, as we found out, he guards very closely ... unless you buy the book.

"The research is not that easy, it takes some time. Anything in life that's worth having takes time," says Lustig.

Another important part of playing the lottery, Lustig cautions, is setting a budget of how much you can afford on tickets.

"Don't get lottery fever- don't use your grocery money, or your rent money. Remember one thing, if there is one winner on Saturday night, there will be millions of losers, don't be that person Sunday morning worrying about how you can pay back the money you spent," says Lustig.

One secret Lustig will share is that he believes picking the same numbers regularly, even if you are losing, gives you more edge in the next drawing.

Lustig says he will absolutely be playing Saturday's Powerball. But when asked what numbers he'll be playing, he wouldn't share.

"Not telling. Good try though," said Lustig.
101 Ways to Choose Lottery Numbers. How to guess the number of the lottery. You CAN predict lottery numbers. Lottery Number Selection Strategy. How to Win at Lotto: The Delta Lotto System and Keno system. How to pick tonight's winning lottery number