Why Playing Your Lucky Lottery Number Doesn’t Increase Your Chances of Winning

Everyone has certain numbers that hold special significance to them, such as the ages of their children or the jersey number of their favorite athlete. These numbers can give players a sense of control over the lottery, making them believe that their choice has more merit than random chance. But playing your lucky numbers doesn’t necessarily increase your chances of winning.

Instead of using lucky numbers, try a combination of logic and math to boost your odds. In fact, most state lottery programs offer charts that show how often each number has appeared in previous drawings. You should use these charts as your guide, but make sure to analyze the results over a long time frame.

In two recent studies, U.K. and U.S. researchers found that the numbers people picked tended to follow a pattern. For example, 1 through 12 were selected more frequently than numbers above 12, and numbers that correspond to dates were chosen far less often than you would expect by chance alone.

In addition, some players tend to choose the same numbers over and over again, believing that if they haven’t come up recently, they are more likely to appear in the future. But this belief doesn’t jibe with statistical theory. In reality, the frequency of a number does not influence its probability of appearing in the future. Moreover, this method can make other lottery players choose the same numbers as you, increasing your chances of having to split any jackpot winnings.