How to pick lottery numbers: some popular methods
For many players, the seemingly simple task of choosing lottery numbers involves a great deal of thought and strategic planning.
This can range from carefully analysing numbers from past draws to lucky numbers, to using important dates such as birthdays and diligently sticking with the same set of numbers every week.
Many players believe that the best method of picking lottery numbers is choosing and sticking with the same set for every draw, even if these numbers have never been winning numbers. The assumption behind this method is that it increases the chances of winning that big jackpot.
Superstitious players believe that the day they stray away from their fixed, regular numbers and choose a different set, or pick a random mix, is that fateful day, the day the original winning numbers will appear on the draw!
Lucky numbers for some players may include birth dates or select anniversaries. However, lottery connoisseurs would advise against this approach of how to pick lottery numbers, as calendar dates only go up to 31.
With the lottery, numbers typically reach up to number 50 and above, therefore players are eliminating a large pool of potential winning numbers.
How to pick lottery numbers that could increase your chance of winning
To increase the chances of winning, all the numbers in the draw should balance out. If you wish your lucky numbers to include the birth year of a loved one, perhaps pick dates from a first-born child and include some older relatives too!
For the chance to have unique winning numbers, analysts recommend to play ‘unlucky’ and therefore unpopular numbers, for example, the time-honoured and well-avoided number 13 and, in Italy, the number 17.
Interestingly the number 17 in Italy is an unlucky number because the Roman numerals XVII when mixed up spells out the Latin word VIXI, which translates as “my life is over” (literally, "I lived")!
Unlucky numbers are avoided by many players and therefore when drawn as part of a winning line, are less likely to result in a shared prize!
Conversely, lucky numbers include the number 7, and many players like to create patterns, such as 7, 14, 21, etc.
The fact that these combinations are favoured makes it more likely for resultant jackpots to be shared between many players.
Other favourite combinations are patterns within the set of lottery numbers as they are set out. A diagonal pattern is often selected, for example, which is a common way to play and guaranteed that a winning combination will be shared with lots of other winning tickets.
Lotto experts’ advice on how to pick lottery numbers
Did you know there are hot and cold numbers? Analysts watch winning combinations of numbers to try and predict numbers that give the best chance of winning money, and statistics show the most popular drawn numbers and class these as “hot numbers”.
For example, the number 31 is a “hot number”. Hot numbers are therefore trendy and winning combinations of hot numbers result in sharing any prize with many more players.
It therefore makes sense that “cold numbers” should be the ones to choose because of their rarity, meaning not that they are more likely to come up in the future, but that if they do, the player is less likely to have to share any winnings.
Lottery experts generally advise infrequent players to use the Quick Pick method of choosing numbers, and this method has worked in the past for many lucky winners and is available for playing
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The benefit of the Quick Pick system is that it saves you from agonising over what numbers to choose, allowing casual players to join in the fun without too much fuss.
No matter how you pick your lottery numbers, and whether you play online or at your local convenience store, have fun and play responsibly!