Lottery Strategies: 7 Systems to Predict Winning Lottery Numbers

Try These Strategies When You Buy Your Lottery Tickets

Person Making Mathematical Calculations
If You Like to Play with Numbers, Coming up with a Lottery Strategy Can Be Fun.

 Image (c) Markus Gebauer / Getty Images

Many people who want to play the lottery and improve their odds of winning a jackpot use a lottery strategy. A lottery strategy is a system or method of choosing lottery numbers to play, with the idea that you can predict which ones are more likely to be drawn.

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, there are people who have won the lottery multiple times, so maybe some of these systems might be lucky for you.

If you want to implement a lottery strategy, here are seven to choose from:

Lottery Strategies to Use When Picking Your Numbers

If you enjoy looking for patterns in sets of numbers, you can put that skill to good use when coming up with a lottery strategy. Here are some examples of ways to manipulate numbers to choose your lottery tickets:

Identifying Hot, Cold, and Overdue Numbers

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 there should be 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. Maybe it's a hot number that hasn't been drawn recently. You might think it's bound to show up soon.

Some people claim that creating a set of winning numbers by mixing hot, cold, and overdue numbers and playing that mix until they hit gives them an edge.

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 where you need to get six out of 69 possible numbers correct 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 4, 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, 41
  • 1, 3, 4, 13, 39, 41
  • 1, 5, 13, 39, 41
  • 1, 6, 4, 13, 39, 41
  • 1, 7, 4, 13, 39, 41

and so on, until you've purchased every combination that includes the core four 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 to do so. You can reduce the cost of playing a wheeling strategy in a few different ways:

  • 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.

Note that some experts recommend that if you're playing Powerball, you do not wheel the red Powerball, but only the five white numbers. Wheeling the Powerball adds so many tickets you'll need to buy to cover all of the wheeling options.

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 on the probability of a specific group of numbers will be drawn.

The theory says that it is far less likely that the winning numbers will be all odd or all even. Statistically, most winning lottery tickets have numbers that are split evenly between odd and even numbers. So perhaps, picking numbers that are split between odds and evens improves your chances.

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.

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.

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 then play them every time they buy tickets. You might pick birth dates, anniversaries, or simply numbers that feel lucky to you.

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 in the range from 1 - 31. Those numbers are most 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, and there are risks.

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 chances of being picked than any other number.

So you want to be careful to avoid any kind of lottery system that claims to guarantee 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 percent 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.