# How to Pick Winning Lottery Numbers

Wondering how to pick winning lottery numbers? Surely there must be some system out there that will give you an edge over those astronomical odds. In reality, no matter what any author or "expert" tells you about a particular strategy, it all comes down to chance.

While there is no surefire way of becoming a lottery winner, it is true that watching the game and researching the winning numbers over a period of three to six months might give you an edge. If you know that certain numbers tend to hit more frequently, or that certain number sequences, such as 1-2-3-4-5, almost never appear, you can make an educated guess in assuming that the odds are against you if you play those numbers.

This is the most that any "winning" lottery strategy can teach you. No matter what conspiracy theories you may have heard, lottery drawings are truly random. Patterns of numbers are merely coincidence. Every ball in a lottery machine is tested to ensure it has the same weight and composition as all the other balls. Statistically, 1-2-3-4-5 is just as likely to win as any other number combination. The fact that this combination rarely if ever wins illustrates just how unlikely it is for any set of numbers to come up.

Things to Understand Before Playing

• Lotto is a form of legalized gambling and gambling is a game of chance.
• Play as a form of entertainment. Do not expect to make money.
• Only play with money you can afford to lose.
• Research the game.
• Know your odds of winning before you place a bet.

How to Pick Winning Lottery Numbers
While there is no way to choose the winning numbers time and time again, one can often guess which numbers might hit by watching which numbers tend to hit most often. In other words, if the number 10 seems to pop up at least once every 10 games, you can create a calculated risk for playing that number.

Knowing which numbers rarely hit also gives you insight into what numbers to choose. Theoretically, once you have this information at your fingertips, you can choose numbers that are due to hit and keep your fingers crossed that they do. This is the exact opposite strategy from playing the numbers that always come up.

According to Gail Howard, author of the book, Lottery Master Guide, when playing Mega Millions, the amount of times only odd numbers hit or only even numbers hit is in the area of three percent, so it would be wise to also avoid using all odd or all even numbers. Since numbers usually hit across the board in random patterns, your best strategy for picking what you hope will be winning numbers is to also pick numbers randomly from across the board.

Who Plays and Who Wins?
According to Tom Grey of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, studies show that the heaviest lottery players, those who contribute approximately 82% of all lotto revenue collected each year, are individuals with low incomes. To support that statement, a 1998 survey conducted by the Consumer Federation of America and Primerica found that nearly half of all low-income individuals polled felt winning the lottery was their best chance of getting ahead.

Some have suggested that a disproportionate number of winning lottery tickets are sold in low-income areas. In reality, the evidence shows that low-income areas have greater access to lottery games and that residents in these areas spend more per capita on the lottery.

How to Pick Numbers
Because gambling is a game of chance, it is virtually impossible to devise a method for picking winning lottery numbers. Some of the best mathematical minds in the world have tried to analyze results and predict patterns, only to discover that the winning numbers are truly random.

Rather than focus on what numbers to pick, it's better to think in terms of what numbers not to pick.

• Don't pick a set of sequential numbers, all even or all odd numbers or numbers that all end in the same digit. These combinations rarely win.
• Don't pick the same set of numbers that won the week before. The odds of the same numbers coming up two times in a row are exponentially higher than the basic odds.
• Don't limit yourself to a small set of numbers by using special dates. If a game has 80 possible winning numbers and you limit yourself to numbers below 31, you're missing more than half of the board.
• In games that have power numbers or mega numbers, don't duplicate a number you've already chosen. For example, if your numbers are 5-17-33-61-79, don't choose 33 as a Powerball number. While it is possible for that number to come up twice, it's exceptionally rare.

The only real way to gain an edge in the odds is to choose one set of numbers and play it faithfully for each drawing. This gives you a miniscule statistical edge, because probability states that your set of numbers has to come up eventually. Each time you don't win, the probability rises by a tiny fraction. This strategy could take several lifetimes to work, but it's the only known way to gain an advantage over the odds.

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