Improve your chances of winning the lottery: mathematician gives his advice

The chances of becoming a lottery millionaire are slim. Read the article to find out how you can help your luck and what numbers you should avoid.

Who doesn’t dream of winning a big prize? If you are one of the lucky ones and have marked the correct numbers on the lottery ticket, you will be freed from all financial worries in one go. This sounds tempting and encourages millions of people in Germany every week to hand over the full ticket.

But the chances of winning a big prize in the lottery and entering the league of millionaires are surprisingly low: “The probability of winning a jackpot is only 1 in 140,000,000,” says Stuttgart mathematician Professor Christian Hesse. . This doesn’t stop enthusiastic lottery players from trying their luck anyway. Can they at least improve their chances a little?

“There is no advice per se”

“There is no advice per se,” explains Meissen mathematician Norbert Herrmann. After all, the lottery is nothing more than a game of chance, the lottery hype is just a machine. The motto “Oh, these and those numbers haven’t been drawn for a long time, now it’s their turn” is not followed. In this sense, all numbers from 1 to 49 have the same probability week after week.

And yet, there are things lottery fans can keep in mind when filling out their ticket to increase their chances. And if only so that one in three players does not choose the numbers they wrote. This way you won’t have to share the jackpot if you win.

1. Don’t write data

For example, many start the race with the dates of their loved ones’ birthdays or their own wedding anniversary. A mistake. “Many people trust these kinds of figures,” says Christian Hesse. Specifically, these are the numbers from 1 to 12 (for twelve months) and the numbers from 1 to 31 (for the days of a month). However, it can be advantageous to also use numbers between 31 and 49. “Ideally, the sum of the numbers entered should be at least 164,” says Hesse. This means that lottery fans avoid collisions with 80 percent of those who guess the date.

2. Avoid patterns

Any numbers that form a cross, a diagonal or a letter such as a “U” in one of the playing fields should be avoided when completing the form. “Many people also do the same,” says Norbert Herrmann. If the numbers are really drawn, the win rate here is likely to be quite low due to the large number of winners.

3. Don’t bet on number combinations

Do not mark combinations on a playing field that follow a certain logic, for example 6-12-18-24-30-36. “These combinations are popular and, because many people rely on them, they do not produce the desired unexpected benefit,” says mathematician Hesse. It is also not very lucky to dial the numbers 1-2-3-4-5-6. On April 10, 1999, 30,000 people bet on the numbers 2-3-4-5-6 on their lottery ticket and won just under 200 euros.

4. Do not take the winning numbers from the last draw

Anyone who thinks that the numbers drawn in the last draw are a lucky charm for the next draw is wrong. “It is very unlikely that these numbers will win again,” explains Herrmann. It is also best to avoid frequently drawn numbers. Although the chances of winning increase, the return is comparatively low, because many people rely on frequently drawn numbers.

5. Apply the “four number system method”.

Hesse explains the procedure as follows: You need 23 lottery fields and four numbers of your choice that have no recognizable pattern. Check these four system numbers in all 23 fields. The fifth and sixth numbers are numbers 1 and 2 in field one, 3 and 4 in the next field, 5 and 6 in the next field, and so on. “In field 23, the second digit added can now be any of the 45 numbers that are not used as a system number,” says Hesse.

When counting up, you must skip the four selected system numbers; After all, it is not possible to mark them twice. If your four system numbers happen to be among the winners of the drawing, then you will have four numbers correct 22 times and at least five numbers correct once.

6. Mark according to the “chance principle”.

Norbert Herrmann explains the “random principle” like this: make 49 sheets of paper and write a number on each sheet. Now throw the pieces of paper into a bowl or hat, shake everything vigorously, and then pour the contents onto the floor. Your partner or children will now collect seven sheets of paper (six digits plus a super number) and hand them to you. Now you fill a playing field with these numbers.

If the combination of numbers results in a pattern, then this is an exclusion criterion and all pieces of paper return to the bowl or hat and are again picked up randomly from the floor. Additionally, you must make sure that the numbers add up to at least 164.

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