Hobbies Contests Lottery Strategies: 7 Systems to Predict Winning Lottery Numbers Try These Strategies When You Buy Your Lottery Tickets Share PINTEREST Email Print If You Like to Play with Numbers, Coming up with a Lottery Strategy Can Be Fun. Image (c) Markus Gebauer / Getty Images Contests Lotteries Basics Tips and Tricks Dream Vacations Win Money Win Electronics Home and Garden Win Vehicles Jewelry and Clothing Types of Contests Creative Contests Scams Learn More By Sandra Grauschopf Sandra Grauschopf Facebook Twitter Writer University of Maryland Sandra Grauschopf has been working in the contests industry since 2002. She is a passionate sweeper, with tens of thousands of dollars worth of prize wins to her name, and she has been sharing advice about how to be a winner for over a decade. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 04/28/22 A lottery strategy is a system or method of determining which lottery numbers to play by predicting which numbers are more likely to be drawn. Many people who want to improve their odds of winning a jackpot use a lottery strategy. Winning lottery numbers are drawn totally at random, but that doesn't stop people from thinking that there are ways to crack the system. And who knows, some people have won the lottery multiple times, and claimed a lottery strategy helped. If you want to try a lottery strategy for yourself, here are seven to choose from. Math-Based Lottery Strategies If you enjoy looking for patterns in sets of numbers, you can put that skill to good use to come up with a lottery strategy. Here are some ways to manipulate numbers to choose your lottery tickets: Identifying Hot, Cold, and Overdue Numbers This lottery strategy tries to guess which numbers will be drawn based on the numbers that have been drawn in the past. To use the hot, cold, overdue strategy, analyze the results of the lottery you want to play and see which numbers have been drawn recently and which haven't. You can pick how many past drawings you want to analyze, but you should have at least 50 to get a decent sample size. The hot numbers are the ones that have been picked most frequently throughout the drawings you analyzed. You might consider these "lucky" numbers to pick. The cold numbers are drawn less frequently overall. A cold number may have been drawn recently, but the overall number of times it has been drawn is below average. You might consider these unlucky numbers. Overdue numbers are ones that have not shown up in recent weeks. If a hot number hasn't been drawn recently, you might think it's bound to show up soon. Some people claim to get an edge by mixing hot, cold, and overdue numbers to create a set of winning numbers, then playing that set of numbers until they win. The Wheeling System A wheeling system works by targeting a certain number of common numbers and then combining those numbers with every possible additional number to generate a bunch of tickets with higher chances of winning lower-tier lottery prizes. For example, if you play a lottery game where you need to match six out of 69 possible numbers to win (also known as a 6/69 lottery), you could identify four "hot" numbers and then buy tickets that combine those four numbers with each of the other 45 possible numbers. For example, if you identified 14, 13, 39, and 41 as the numbers you wanted to play, your lottery wheel strategy would be to buy tickets that include: 1, 2, 4, 13, 39, 411, 3, 4, 13, 39, 411, 5, 13, 39, 411, 6, 4, 13, 39, 411, 7, 4, 13, 39, 41... until you've purchased every combination that includes the core numbers. This requires buying hundreds of tickets in total. Most people don't want to buy 990 tickets for every lottery drawing — and it's probably not a good idea. You can reduce the cost of playing a wheeling strategy by: Playing a pick-three or pick-four lottery game instead of a pick-six game like Powerball or Mega Millions. Picking five numbers and simply wheeling the sixth. Forming a lottery pool. Using a lottery syndicate that buys the wheels and sells "shares" to its members for a percentage of any wins. Tip: Note that some experts recommend not to wheel the red Powerball, but only the five white numbers, when playing the Powerball lottery. Wheeling the Powerball makes covering all the wheeling options much more expensive. The Odds and Evens Strategy The idea behind this lottery strategy is that you don't look at the probability of individual numbers being drawn, but rather at the probability that a specific group of numbers will be drawn. The theory says that it's very unlikely that the winning numbers will be all odd or all even. Statistically, most winning lottery tickets are split evenly between odd and even numbers. So the idea is that you can improve your chances by choosing numbers that are split between odds and evens. On the other hand, this StatsChat article written by a biostatistics professor says that you won't affect your chances of winning by picking all odd numbers, all even numbers, or a combination. Using Mathematical Sequences to Crack the Lottery Some lottery systems analyze the relationships between winning lottery numbers to see if they can find some kind of pattern. For example, the Delta Lottery System is concerned with the average distance between winning lottery numbers. Are Math-Based Strategies Right for You? These are some examples, but there are many more ways of trying to put patterns to work for you. Perhaps by paying attention to the recent winning numbers posted on lottery websites, you might find a pattern that stands out to you. Lottery Systems for People Who Aren't Math Wizzes So if you aren't a math wiz and don't like messing around with numbers or finding patterns, are there still lottery strategies available to you? Of course there are. Here are a few strategies to try if you are in a hurry or don't want to spend too much time on your numbers. Use the Quick Pick Option Your lottery's Quick Pick option is the fastest and easiest way to choose numbers.. and many people think it's the best. Just let the computers pick your numbers for you and you will be on your way in minutes with no extra thought or effort required. An estimated 70% of Powerball winners win this way, so it has something going for it. And since the winning numbers are picked at random, picking your ticket at random makes sense. Sticking with a Set of Lucky Numbers This is one of the easiest and most popular lottery strategies that people use: Simply pick a set of lucky numbers and play them every time you buy tickets. Popular dates to play include birth dates, anniversaries, or simply numbers that "feel" lucky. The theory is that you play the same numbers each time because if they didn't come up yet, they are more likely to appear next time. From a probability standpoint, this is untrue; whether or not a number has been drawn in the recent past doesn't influence whether it will show up in the near future. But people have won playing their favorite combinations. If you can, try to avoid numbers between 1–31. Those numbers correspond to dates, so they're likely to be played by other people, increasing your odds of having to split a prize if you do win. Let a Lottery Program Pick Your Numbers If you don't want to spend time coming up with a strategy of your own, you can use lottery software to help you choose your numbers. Using the right program will let you quickly and easily wheel numbers or employ a pattern identification strategy without having to do the work yourself. Be careful about spending money on any lottery software, though. There's no clear evidence that they give you better odds of winning than any other method, but they will drain your money. A Sure Way to Win the Lottery This is the only way to play the lottery that is actually sure to win. It is possible to play every combination of numbers and guarantee a jackpot. People have won by buying all of the combinations, such as 14-time lottery winner Stefan Mandel, who won a $27 million jackpot that way back in 1992. However, lotteries have changed since then, making it more difficult to cover all combinations. There are additional concerns as well. For example, even if the jackpot is big enough to make buying all the combinations worthwhile, you can't guarantee that you won't have to split the pot, slashing your profits. Do Lottery Systems Actually Work? Having a lottery strategy can be fun and it can help keep you motivated to enter and to win. However, most statisticians agree that there is nothing that you can really do to beat the odds of winning the lottery. For example, take the overdue number strategy above. If a number hasn't been drawn in the past weeks, why would it suddenly be drawn when you buy tickets? It has absolutely no better chance of being picked than any other number. So you want to be careful to avoid any lottery system that makes unreasonable claims, like guaranteeing you'll win, or that makes you pay for services that won't increase your odds of being a jackpot winner. Be aware of overblown promises and fake reviews. For example, the Silver Lottery System claimed a 98% success rate for its for-pay lottery system. But many sites claim to have debunked the system, accusing it of using fake testimonials and unlikely promises to bilk people out of money. Keep your focus on having fun and playing responsibly. While free lottery software can be a help, spend your money on tickets or save it for more important things.