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It is very tempting to play the lottery. Just last week, there was a

lottery in my area that had a grand prize of $110 Million! What you could

do with all that money. Unfortunately, the odds of winning that prize were

1 in 54.9 Million. In other words, you'd be more likely to get hit by

lightning or die in a plane crash than win. So, it's really a sucker bet.

But, still, it's fun to play.

Lots of people use "systems" to try to win. They use birthdays, or they

keep track of which numbers have already been picked, or any of the other

systems out there. Well, the bad news is, NONE of them work. There is NO

way one can accurately predict which numbers will come up in a random


Let's look at the most common way to "predict" lottery numbers. This would

be tracking. People have kept track of lottery numbers for years, trying to

establish a "pattern." Either they are looking for which numbers come up

more often, or which have been neglected. They use this information as a

basis for the numbers they pick. This just doesn't work, though.

With the number of balls in a state lottery (usually 40 - 45), there are

just too many different combinations of numbers to be able to predict which

will come up, based on past performance. Sure, the "law of averages" would

say that the number 9 should come up soon, since it hasn't been picked for 6

months. However, you can't say when the 9 will come up. You will probably

find that 10 to 12 of the numbers haven't been picked in some time. This is

NOT a pattern, this is randomness. The other numbers will eventually be

picked, but not all at once.

Playing by birthdays, addresses, or lucky numbers is the same. The idea is

that if you always play the same numbers, they will eventually come up. In

theory, this is true. You may have to wait a few hundred, or even thousand,

years, though, because of the shear number of combinations possible.

If you play the lottery consistently, you are bound to win SOMETHING, even

if it's a little prize. This gives some people the misguided notion that

their system works. Actually, they were just lucky. If you look at the

statistics for those who win the lottery, you will find that most of them

let the computer pick their numbers. They play randomly.