A Statistical Analysis of Popular Lottery "Winning" Strategies

  • Albert C. Chen
  • Y. Helio Yang
  • F. Fred Chen


Many people believe they can win the lottery, either believing in books on how to beat the system or relying on their own methods. They hear stories of people winning the jackpot after buying just one ticket and forget about the countless others who lose money each time. This paper shows the ineffectiveness of popular lottery strategies. The California SuperLotto historical winning draws are used to study various game playing strategies. The research results indicate that the winning lottery numbers and the winning mega number are uniformly distributed in their respective ranges, and all numbers have an equal chance of being picked. We further show that no strategy is significantly better than the others for the California SuperLotto. Although the low frequency strategy, applied to the lottery numbers, has significantly more matches than the other strategies as more historical drawing data are used, it is still extremely unlikely that big winnings are produced by playing the lottery “forever”. The presentation is accessible to readers with a basic exposure to statistics.