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Hints 'n' Tips

You may not have realized this but there are, in fact, two quite separate aspects of winning on the lottery - both of which are covered here. The first section, immediately below, is solely concerned with increasing your overall chances of winning whilst the second section is more concerned with increasing the amount you win. So, unless you're entirely happy with your present method read on and then have a think about what you are doing! 

Section One

Now, enjoy your dreams about winning by all means - but before you start feverishly dreaming up ways to spend it all let's take a look at a small but highly sobering fact first shall we? One that is an unalterable mathematical law, a cast-iron fact unbendable by any amount wishful thinking.

You have exactly a one in 13,983,816  chance of picking the winning lottery jackpot numbers! One in 14,000,000 in other words!

And 14,000,000 Is A Very, Very Big Number!

To put this figure into perspective imagine all but one of those chances is a sheet of typing paper. Now imagine such a sheet of paper with your name on it being inserted into a stack of typing paper at least the height of a 580 storey building (one, that is, about a mile high)! That single sheet of paper is your one chance of getting the numbers right!

[How did I work this out? Easy! One ream of paper is 500 sheets and one such ream of my printer's paper is two and a half inches high. Therefore a thousand sheets would be five inches high. So one million sheets is a thousand times five inches (two thousand reams that is). Times that by fourteen (because there are fourteen million possible combinations) will give the height of paper in inches. Allow ten foot per building storey, which would be 120 inches, and you have the height of the stack! A mile is 1760 yards, of course, and there are three feet to a yard, so there are 5,280 feet in a mile!]   

Bear this picture of a mind-bogglingly high stack of paper in mind at all times and you will be unlikely to be surprised when you lose. You might even laugh at yourself ... (or cry). 

Just to cheer you up a bit though consider these next three points; especially the last!

1. All organized gambling relies upon the losers funding the winners.

2. The prize-fund is never the same size as the combined staked outlays.

3. If the same people always won, or if nobody ever won, gambling would very quickly lose its appeal.

So, we can say that although you will probably lose someone, somewhere, has to win - and it could be you ... really! Camelot's official figures show that over a million people a week win a prize of some sort on the National Lottery and that since the lottery began well over a thousand new millionaires have been created!

So What Has Stopped You From Winning So Far?

Well, most people doing the lottery subconsciously imagine they are pitting their wits, luck and intuition against the organizers (Camelot) or the other players. But, of course, they are wrong. As regards the lottery, you are not playing against Camelot at all! They take their share before the first ball drops (which is why the lottery prize-fund is never the same size as the staked outlay - Camelot win first!)

Moreover, until the last ball drops there are no other winners or losers either - so it's not like a game where you are playing against some other team or individual. Let's assume for a minute you win the jackpot - the size of your win is dictated by how many people play (contribute to the prize fund in other words) and how many other winners there are. They did not alter your chance of winning but merely how much you won! (This is precisely the distinction made between the two sections, in fact).

So Who Are You Playing Against Then?

Well, put like this its obvious that what you are playing against is chance - pure and simple. Your odds of winning that jackpot are just under fourteen million to one, and against any sort of prize still over fifty to one! So the only realistic option you have is to reduce those odds to a more favourable level.

Now, there are basically three ways of achieving this. The first is the simplest - spend more money buying more tickets. This approach gets you more shots at the target as it were - every line you buy knocks down the odds by one. Most people adopt this approach. 

Unfortunately as the number of entries increases so does the cost. If you covered every single combination of numbers from one to forty-nine, for instance, it would cost you 14,000,000 - which is more than you could ever win for two reasons.

1.    Camelot take their cut first, give some to charity, some to the government and then simply divide the rest (45%) amongst the winners.

2.    You would still have to share this portion with other winners!

Yes I know that sometimes the jackpot is larger than the cost of buying every single possible combination which ought to ensure a guaranteed jackpot win ... but this is because the jackpot has either been artificially hiked up for publicity purposes or because its a very large rollover and so again "artificially" high. In this latter case you ought to have included the cost of your losing entries for the first draw to balance the equation. Some people only do rollovers of course - and Camelot have revealed that of 186 early jackpot winners no less than ten were already millionaires! (Hmmm!)   

The starkest warning against following this route too enthusiastically, though, is illustrated by the fact that even if you bought a million different lucky dip tickets your odds of winning the jackpot would still be thirteen million to one!  And after a few games with no jackpot win this approach could start to lose its flavour, even assuming you were spending, and could afford to carry on spending, astronomical sums like that! 

A second, better, way is to join up with others, pool the entries and split the winnings. To use the same comparison as before this again increases the number of random shots you take at the target but at no extra cost to you. However, because it is just increasing the number of random shots it is statistically inert. That is to say you would be no better off in the long run because although you would win a higher number of times you would also have to divide your winnings with the others. So the question with this method is simply will you win before (statistically) you lose. Most syndicates are run on this basis which is why most, on balance, still lose.

The third and by far the most cost-efficient is, again, to make a number of entries but this time arrange them within a specially ordered sequence that forms a sort of mathematical "net". With this method every line has the same chance of winning as any other but because the entries are tied in with one another they partially reinforce each other's chances as it were. The result is that apart from increasing your chances of a jackpot (because you have increased the number of random shots as with the first method) you will also start winning a larger number of lesser amounts. You might win for instance one five figure prize, two fours and six three number prizes!

Mathematical Engine

The number combination of each individual entry in our system is worked out using a  "mathematical engine", as a computer programmer might have it, that greatly increases our overall chances of winning large prizes! In our case this increase over what would be expected by making the same number of purely random choices is a factor of many, many thousands.

These systems are known as "perms" in the UK (short for permutations) and "wheeled numbers" in the US (because the list of entries were originally generated by two disks wheeling against one another). As I said permutations of numbers dramatically increases your odds of getting a win. 

So what our syndicate does is to try and combine the best of both worlds. That is to say retain enough members to fund a large enough permutation to cover all the numbers and guarantee a win whilst remaining small enough to make it still individually worthwhile.

Even Allowing For Running Costs It Really Is The Cheapest And Most Effective Way Of Doing The Lottery!

To convince you beyond doubt let us take an actual example of how permutations increase your chances and winnings.

Pinky and Perky both wanted to go to Disney World to meet Mickey Mouse but they didn't have the air-fare. A single one-way ticket would cost each of them 90 and a return 150 - but they only had 3 each. So they decided to spend their money on the lottery to see if they could win what they wanted. (Sound familiar?) 

The numbers they chose were a combination of their birthdays, age, house number and hat sizes. (Sound even more familiar?) The numbers were, funnily enough:-

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. 

Up to this point peace and harmony reigned. Then they fell out! What they couldn't agree on was which numbers to use to form which entries.

After an "animated" conversation [they were only puppets after all - ha ha ha] they agreed on a solution. Each would do their own entries!

And so it was that:-

Pinky picked ....               1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

                                        3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

                                        5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10


whilst Perky chose...        1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

                                        1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10

                                        5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Saturday night saw them both sitting in front of the television screen - glued to it as the balls tumbled about. When the balls started dropping so did their jaws!

The results (read out, as always, in mock-serious tones by the announcer) were:-

1, 2, 3, 7, 8 and 9.

"Hip Hip", oinked Pinky, waving a trotter in the air. "I've won three tenners so I'm nearly halfway there!" 

"Hooray, I've won five times as much", squealed Perky waving two trotters around, "See you when I get back!"

How did this happen? They both spent the same amount of money and they both used the same numbers!

Well, the thing to realize is that Perky permed his entries (and so had a system much like ours) whilst Pinky didn't. Pinky thought he had but was mistaken. All he did was to put the first six numbers in one line, the middle six in the next and the last six in the third. This is not really a system at all and his results were due entirely to the luck of the draw. 

Perky's results were also due to the same luck - but the system he used automatically maximized his chances and winnings for him!

Section Two

Ok, so you have decided to use a system. Good! This will maximize the chances you have decided to buy yourself in the great game. Chances of winning what though?  

Well, as I said before ... "the size of your win is dictated by how many people play and how many other winners there are. They did not alter your chance of winning but merely how much you won!"

This section is devoted to telling you how to maximize your prize money.

And there are only three very simple rules to remember!

Rule Number One

The key concept with the first rule is the one of randomness. Notwithstanding the fact that I have painstakingly included every result from draw one, in their order of their being drawn, just for those of you that insist on looking for patterns in the results I have to caution you that looking for any such pattern is a complete waste of time.

I shall repeat this. Don't waste your time, money and effort looking at spurious patterns!

This is for three principal reasons.

1.    No statistically valid pattern could be derived from the results yet because the number of results is statistically too small a sample to be meaningful. Many, many more years are going to have to pass before there will be a sufficient number to be useful!

2.    The balls themselves have no memory. As far as they are concerned each has the same chance as its forty-eight brothers and sisters of going down the hole on draw night. There are no "hot" balls and no "cold" balls. Its all, er, balls as it were! Statistics can only be used to differentiate between dissimilar phenomena - but the balls are all the same size, weight, gravitational mass, material, texture, magnetic profile etc.

3.    Even if it were proven to be the case that six of the balls were marginally smaller than the others, or that the draw-machine had a design peculiarity that slightly favoured half-a-dozen of the balls over all the others it remains a fact that there are eight ball-sets and four draw-machines used that would drastically dilute the already miniscule advantage that would theoretically be enjoyed by those "special" balls.

So rule number one is forget past results! They simply cannot be used to predict future results. Anyone saying otherwise is either a fool or a liar - or possibly both!

Rule Number Two

Rule number two is equally simple and equally easy to remember. You wouldn't let anyone else pick your nose so why let them pick your numbers?

Actually this is a pithy way of saying that people always tend to pick the same numbers - generally low ones! They choose their birthdays for instance. And there are only thirty-one days in the longest month! They also choose their house numbers or their postcodes and statistically they are far more likely to be in the lower end of the range than the upper! (Every road starts at one but not all go beyond thirty. Hence more numbers get chosen from the smaller end.)

Moreover "lucky" numbers tend to be culturally and racially inherited, three and nine being especially "lucky" to Europeans for instance, whilst seven appeals to the Middle eastern psyche and two and four to the Chinese.

None of this would matter if the prize payouts were fixed - but they are not! Camelot have quite openly revealed, for instance, that ten thousand people regularly do the sequence 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 every week! If that combination ever comes up then ten thousand disappointed souls will walk away with a cheque for just 500 instead of the 5 million they thought they were going to get! So the moral is quite simple - be unique and stick to picking what's yours! 

If you were only going to do a couple of lines or less my advice would be to try the lucky dips option at the till because they are at least random! If that doesn't appeal then try adding some of your special numbers together to raise their value into the lesser-used realms of the higher numbers. Alternatively work backwards; instead of picking number six for instance (because you live at number six, Acacia Avenue) why not use forty-three - six back from forty-nine?   

If you were picking a longer series of numbers to use in a system (as suggested earlier) then try and ensure that half are between one and twenty-five and that the other half are from twenty-six onward. This evens out the spread and avoid the herd's mistake of sticking in the low number regions.

Rule Number Three      

Rule number three is the shortest one - don't make patterns on the paper! This is because everyone else has a subconscious tendency to do just that! They think they are spreading out their choices and then they neaten everything up a bit by shifting that mark one to the right and the other one over to the left. Next thing you know they have formed an even pattern across their playing boards without ever really thinking about it! If they do realize it they then feel uncomfortable about changing it because it somehow feels "right". This is all to do with the human mind's tendency to look for neat patterns in things - and when it can't find any generating them itself! This is a well-understood human trait widely discussed in philosophy and psychology.

The proof of this pudding is that after one draw an amazing 133 people had to share the jackpot! When the results were analyzed it was found that four of the six numbers made an absolutely symmetrical pattern in just one column of numbers on the board. These people thought they were being unique - and then found that they were not! 


Someone has to win and it really could be you - its what the lottery's for! Help yourself by remembering the following points.

1.    Use a proper system

2.    Forget past results

3.    Pick what's yours

4.    Avoid patterns

I hope all this has educated you, or maybe just encouraged you. Failing that I hope it at least entertained you.

Good Luck!

I. D. Hobbs


P.S.        Just in case you were wondering. Pinky and Perky made up their differences and shared their winnings. They bought two one-way tickets to Disney World and met up with Mickey. They are now trying to win the Florida State Lottery and get back. Until they do you won't be seeing either of them on the telly again!


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