When you search library databases or peruse the Games and References aisles of bookstores, or surf the Internet, you will find a number of writers talking about their "perfect" method of beating the lottery.
They will kindly impart their wisdom and show you how to play the lottery so that you win big each time. You've seen them, over the top and zealous: Hit the big one! Win jackpot after jackpot! Sure, you can't fault their enthusiasm, but do any of these so-called methods actually work?
Some of the most common tactics include the "past winning number" system, which advocates only playing individual lottery numbers that have appeared in past winning combinations, or only playing past winning combinations themselves.
The theory behind this system is that if these numbers have appeared in winning combinations in the past, there's a likelihood that they will reappear in winning combinations in the future, too.
Then, there are the mathematics systems that employ hard-core math formulas and calculations to determine the probability and likelihood of any one number or any one combination coming up. Lots of players use these as a way of adding another element of excitement to the game - it's just as fun analyzing the numbers as it is trying to figure out a way of hitting the jackpot.
There are countless forums and sites dedicated to this sort of stuff, so it's not exactly a niche approach.
And then there are the "play every combination" systems where only those with money to burn can buy a ticket using every single combination, which should guarantee a jackpot win.
There's always the chance of losing more than you win, which is why it's a method more suited to those with a large cash flow-or little sense.
The "random pattern" systems employ methods to evaluate winning numbers and work out whether there are any emerging patterns that may not initially get picked up on - things like numbers that appear together often, or whether there have been many consecutive numbers in a winning combination recently.
Hot and cold numbers systems are similar to slot machines that have supposed "hot" and "cold" cycles. Hot numbers are those numbers that appear very often in winning lines, while cold numbers are those that rarely appear.
It is believed that by picking hot numbers and avoiding cold numbers, it may be possible to increase your odds of winning the lottery.
Some systems go as far as giving an average amount of skips to a number, meaning that if a number exceeds its average, it should be statistically likely to appear in a draw soon.
Publications of this type have been going on for decades and so, of course, there are many books both past and present that go into detail about how the system is used by the author to continually win the lottery, and how you can do it, too. However, it is very important to note that these authors don't really make their money from their systems, they make their money from selling the books about their systems.
So, is there any system that can actually help you win the lottery? Well, firstly, if there was an actual system in which you could win all the time, every time, it would be all over the news.
Secondly, if the system did work, you really would never hear of it-the creator of the system would keep it to themselves. Who wants competition if you have something that works and makes you tons of money? You really would keep it a secret.
Feel free to try out as many systems as you like, and if one of them seems to work for you then stay with it and enjoy the fruits of your labor. But, for most people, the only system in the world that works for the lottery is luck.
There really is no way to predict what lottery numbers will come up in a draw. Every number has an equal chance of being pulled and an equal chance of not being pulled. So, try the methods if you want and see if any work for you. If not, break out the horseshoe, four-leaf clover, and tiny troll doll and place them on your tickets to hopefully increase your luck in a big lottery win.