While we are all well aware that the lottery is a random game of luck, you can use math to predict it. To an extent, that is.
Probability theory may be an effective guide to predicting lottery behaviour and analysing jackpot frequency. It might even help you choose winning number combinations for the best shot at a jackpot win.
With that in mind, let’s talk about probability and lottery results.
Probability, when we’re talking about the lottery, refers to playing that which is most likely to happen. So, if something never happens or very rarely happens in lottery draws, or maybe something hasn’t ever happened in the history of lottery draws, common sense says it’s not going to happen just because you bet on it.
Let’s say the numbers 1 to 6 have never been drawn consecutively in the Powerball lottery. It’s almost impossible that it’s going to happen on the very week you decide to bet on that combination.
There are plenty of players who like to play lottery numbers because those numbers, they think, are due. But this can be a mistake. Not everything in the lottery has to even out. There are some lottery games out there where a number has gone 70 or more draws without coming up.
The New York Lotto game, 6/59 is another good example. Every six-number combination has a one in 433,245 years chance of occurring. So, it’s pretty pointless playing the same six numbers week in and week out just because you think they are due.
To have a chance at winning the jackpot, though, you need to choose the numbers with the best chance of being drawn. While draws are legitimately random, randomly drawn numbers do form patterns that are somewhat predictable.
Think of it like this. Would you bet on a horse without studying its past performance? It’s unlikely. The same goes for the lottery. Studying past draws can help you project the future. It’s called handicapping, and lottery number handicapping involves analyzing the past most common winning numbers to determine which numbers have the best probability of being drawn.
It’s a case of that which is the most possible is bound to happen the most often, and vice versa.
As you can see, to identify the best Powerball patterns, we need to apply math. In fact, it’s the same for pretty much any lottery.
First, you need to get the probability of the jackpot pattern. Then, you multiply that probability with the number of draws. This helps you get to the predicted frequency, or to put it simply, the estimated jackpot occurrence.
Let’s consider the Law of Large Numbers. According to this premise, the average results acquired from a massive number of trials are typically close to the expected value and should become closer the more trials you perform.
Essentially, that means that you can play the lottery based on patterns or analyses, bringing you closer to actual results.
Probability will always be a way to use a solid number to start your lottery analyses both mathematically and scientifically by scouring the previous jackpot winning number combinations and available data.
But any lottery game still remains a game of chance. If you’re not one for math and reams of numbers and information, you could always hope to live in a lucky state. After all, the majority of Powerball jackpot winners live in Indiana, with Missouri and Minnesota coming in second and third as lucky states.
How you play the lottery and what feels lucky for you is all a choice. Yet, it can’t hurt to do a little mathematical homework, can it?
Find the latest lottery statistics and data at Powerball.ca.