Believe it or not, Lotto can be categorized as one of Wealth Creation. A quick, easy and painless one. Maybe the only “Get Rich Quick” scheme which is legal and approved by government ! But on the other side, it’s a form of gambling. And any gambling can be addicted. And addiction (to anything) is not good. But let’s have a look if we can beat the odds..

Lott.. what ?

For you that doesn’t know Lotto (are you sure?), I’ll describe it quickly. Lotto is just random selection of a number (usually 6 or 7 numbers) from collection of numbers (range around 40 – 50 numbers). Say, the collection are 45 numbers: 1, 2 ,3,4 … 45 then you pick 6 number from that collection and buy the ticket. For example, you choose: 2, 10,14,30,43,44. Then on drawing night (usually you can watch on the TV), if all the number drawn exactly the same with yours, you just won the jackpot. (millions $$$ of them).

Lotto is A Game of Chance

Lotto is can be modeled by statistic and probability. If you have 45 number to select from and you need to match 6 number, then you now your odd with this combination formula from high school:

C = n ! / (n-z)!
where, n = total number , n! is factorial of n (for example 5! = 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x1) and z=number to match

(If you have Excel or Open Office’s Calc, you can easily calculate using COMBIN function: just type “=combin(45,6)” on your excel, or “=combin(45,6)” in Calc – don’t type the quote mark)

But I give you the table below (the total number of collection is on top, how many number to match (depends on lottery company) is on the left, the number inside the table is what is the total possible combination):

45 46 47 48 49
6 number to match 8,145,060 9,366,819 10,737,573 12,271,512 13,983,816
7 number to match 45,379,620 53,524,680 62,891,499 73,629,072 85,900,584
50 51 52 53 54
6 number to match 15,890,700 18,009,460 20,358,520 22,957,480 25,827,165
7 number to match 99,884,400 115,775,100 133,784,560 154,143,080 177,100,560

You can see if we have 45 numbers to select from and 6 number to be matched, we are talking about 1 in 8,145,060 probability or 0.0000123% chance. Means: if you buy 1 ticket for more than 8 million times, probably you win 1 time. So, it’s really-really small chance. Now, if we buy 2 ‘games’ (2 set of 6 numbers), then we increase the chance by 2 times: it’s now 2 in 8,145,060, or 1 in 4,072.530 or 0.0000246%. If we have 4 games the chance become 1 in 2,036,265 (0.0000491%) and so on….

“System” play and Misconception

Lotto Balls

Lotto Balls

The lottery company will also offer you to buy “system”. If the number to be drawn is 6 number, you can actually buy a set/game that has more number. For example, you can buy a game were you choose 7 number instead of 6, they call this “system 7”.

“System” play is nothing more than ‘encouragement’ from the company to buy more game. Say, you buy a system 7 and the number are 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. This is actually just a full combination of those 7 number and exactly the same if you buy 7 ‘normal’ games/sets as follow:

game 1: 1,2,3,4,5,6
game 2: 1,2,3,4,5,7
game 3: 1,2,3,4,6,7
game 4: 1,2,3,5,6,7
game 5: 1,2,4,5,6,7
game 6: 1,3,4,5,6,7
game 7: 2,3,4,5,6,7

And, yes you can buy higher system, you simply has to pay more. Here is the table of equivalent number of game if you buy ‘system’ play compare to ‘normal’ game:

System 7 System 8 System 9 System 10 System 11 System 12
7 28 84 210 462 924

Misconception #1: Playing ‘System’ will increase my chance: NO !

Yes, if you buy a system, your chance is increased. But it’s not because you play a system. It’s because you play more games. For example: Playing system 8 giving you 28 chances more than if you buy only 1 game. Why? Because playing system 8 is nothing more than buying 28 normal games which consist/made up from only 8 chosen number.

If you just buy 28 ‘normal’ games with ‘Auto-Pick’ or random, you will have exactly the same chance as playing system 8. Playing a system will not give you any additional edge.

Misconception #2: Playing System 12 will give me 27% chance (since 12 out of 45 is 27%, and so on) : NO !

This is the most classic misconception. Well, if there are 45 numbers in total and we have 12 numbers as our system, it’s quite understandable if one will think the chance is 12 out of 45 (27%). Unfortunately, that is WRONG. As seen on the table above, system 12 is only equivalent to 924 games. Hence the chance is 924 in 8,145,060 or 1 in 8815 or 0.011%. Big difference between misconception-27% and actual-0.011% chance.

And yes, playing system 23 (out of 45 number) will not give you 50% chance on winning the jackpot either.

Misconception #3: Certain combination of number is more probable than the other: NO !

This is what I mean: which one is more likely to win the jackpot: 2, 10, 14, 36, 37, 40 – or – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Answer: the are both have exactly the same chance: 1 in 8,145,060.

Misconception #4: there is a pattern to predict what’s coming next: absolutely NO !

People can say anything about predicting what number will drawn next. The fact is nobody can. If somebody say they have such system and ask you money for it, just running away from them because it will be absolute scam.

The people on the lottery company (and government) are making sure that everything is random. They check the dimension and the weight of the ball periodically to ensure all have similar characteristic which in turn remove or at least minimize any tendency or impurity of the random number. This is really crucial for them because if it’s not random, they will not making money, as they are playing the probability game.

How to beat the odd

People sell ‘lotto system’ all across the internet promising a profitable system. In general what they offer is to play a more game. If you play more game (sometimes up to hundreds of game based on their “system”), of course the chance of winning is increase (see above). And when it does win, they will claim that it’s because the system. Again, not necessarily true – it’s mostly because you increase the number of games that you play.

Try to have a look  here or here or here. You will find very convincing sales letter that maybe lure you to buy the product. But since you know the exact scientific foundation above. Just keep your cool…  The odd is still with the lottery company, you cannot beat the odds unless you very lucky.

Final Words

I play lotto every now and then just for fun. And my reasoning is simple: if God for some reason wants to help me, I want to make sure He can do it the easy way without attracting too much attention. (I mean, can you imagine the headline in newspaper if the sky split in two and a briefcase of US$1 million note dropped from the sky with the thunder and lightning ? – no, no I don’t want such dramatic moment).

One thing to remember, the only one profitable from any kind Lotto system will be the lottery company (and the one who sell the system) not us. The system, drawing, rules and everything have been designed so that there is no systematic way to ‘beat’ the system. The odds are always with the lottery company. Anybody claim otherwise is surely untrue.

Having said that, if you want to play, just play for fun. $2 every now and then will not hurt your finance, who knows lady luck give you a visit one day. Remember, it can be addictive and you know the eaxct number above. Be responsible. Good luck !