Can Software Help You Predict the Lottery?

Can Lottery Prediction Software Make You Rich?

Woman Tracking Lottery Wins at Computer

Image (c) Photographer is my life / Getty Images

Just as the Templars dreamed of finding the Holy Grail and Ponce de Leon searched for the Fountain of Youth, some people dream of finding a way to crack the lottery code. And as computers get more powerful, it seems that perhaps we are drawing closer to a way to beat the odds. Can software help you predict the lottery?

The internet would certainly like you to believe it's possible, or at least the part of the internet that is selling lottery prediction software. Is there any truth to it or is lottery prediction software simply a scam?

How the Lottery Ensures a Random Drawing

The entire concept of the lottery is based on the idea that the winning numbers are randomly drawn. If people suspect tampering, they will stop buying tickets. The companies that manage lotteries take great pains to ensure that the drawings are as random as possible.

The world's biggest lotteries, including Powerball and Mega Millions, use gravity pick lotto machines which cost around $55,000 apiece to choose the winning numbers. The balls are swirled together by two paddles within the machine to mix them thoroughly. After a specific amount of mixing time, the balls drop out of the machine one at a time until all of the winning numbers have been drawn. During the entire process, the balls are visible to show that no one is tampering with them.

But many additional safeguards are used to ensure that the drawing is random and not influenced by any outside forces. Although security procedures vary from one type of lottery to another, some examples of common security measures include storing the balls and machines in a secure location that can only be accessed by authorized personnel, weighing each ball before and after the drawing to be sure that they were not altered, and running security tests on the machines before and after each drawing.

Most major lottery companies use third-party auditors to witness their security measures and ensure that everything is working as it is supposed to. So if you enter a major lottery, you can be sure that the results are as random as humans can make them.

How Lottery Prediction Software Works (Theoretically)

If the lottery is totally random, then lottery software has no hope of predicting winning numbers, right? Just like flipping a coin has a 50/50 chance of landing on heads or on tails, each number in a lottery has an equal chance of being drawn.

But on the other hand, we know that although each flip of a coin has a 50/50 chance of being heads or tails, we also know that it's terribly unlikely that you will flip ten heads in a row. That's the principle behind lottery software.

Lottery software attempts to predict numbers that are more likely to be drawn by analyzing patterns for combinations of numbers that are more likely to be picked. For example, having all even numbers is less likely than a mixture of odd and even numbers, whereas it's very unlikely that all of the numbers will be drawn in a row. Once the software has analyzed the patterns, it will recommend numbers that are more likely to be drawn.

Some programs add more complexity to their predictions. For example, they might track likely numbers that haven't been drawn in a while or numbers that are more likely to be chosen by other lottery players so that if you do win a jackpot, you'll be likely to have to split it.

Frankly, the fact that people don't usually win the lottery over and over and over again makes it unlikely that simply subscribing to a lottery subscription program will make you rich. If lottery prediction software were perfect, everyone would be using it (and lotteries would go out of business).

Is it possible that lottery software could give you a slight edge when it comes to picking your numbers? Maybe. But it's not the strategy that the majority of jackpot winners have chosen.

Most lottery winners have chosen their numbers through the Quick Pick automatic option, but then again, between 70 and 80 percent of lottery winners use that option so it's not surprising if it hits more often.

If you are feeling adventurous, try out the predictive powers of lottery software for yourself and see if it helps you win more regularly.