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 a way to beat the odds is drawing closer. 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 lottery is based on the fact that the winning numbers are randomly drawn. If people suspect tampering, they'll stop buying tickets. The companies that manage lotteries go to great lengths to ensure that the drawings are as random as possible.
As you may know, picking truly random numbers is tricky. But the lottery does everything possible to be as close to random as possible.
The world's biggest lotteries, including Powerball, EuroMillions, and Mega Millions, choose the numbers using gravity pick lotto machines that cost around $55,000 apiece. Two paddles within the machine swirl the balls to mix them thoroughly. After a specific amount of time mixing, the balls drop out of the machine one at a time until all the winning numbers have been drawn. During the entire process, the balls are visible to show that no one has tampered with them.
Many additional safeguards also 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.
- Randomly picking which machines will be used for any given drawing.
- Using more than one machine per drawing.
- Weighing each ball before and after the drawing to be sure that they were not altered and that they all weigh the same.
- Running security tests on the machines before and after each drawing.
Most 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 prediction software.
Lottery software works by trying to predict numbers that are more likely to be drawn by analyzing patterns. It looks 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 recommends numbers that it finds 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.
Is Lottery Software Worthwhile?
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 worked well, 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 feel adventurous, try out the predictive powers of lottery software for yourself and see if it helps you win more regularly. But before you spend any money on a program that promises to make you a winner, consider that your chances of winning are just as good if you use any other method to pick your numbers.