Tuesday, December 21, 2010

All Hot Numbers Picked in Last Mega Millions Drawing

As many of our readers have discovered, the winning Mega Millions lottery numbers drawn on Tuesday, December 17, 2010 were all Hot Numbers!  The winning numbers were: 11 - 20 - 26 - 46 - 53 and Megaball 12. We have provided an excerpt of these results from our Mega Millions Hot Cold Number Analysis page at left.

While this is a rare occurrence, we believe it is important for players to realize that all systems have merit.

The subset of Hot white ball numbers that we identified consisted of 14 balls; and 9 Megaballs. Limiting ourselves to the white balls only, we would have played only 2,002 combinations.

If we then wheeled each of the 9 Megaballs, we would have purchased 18,018 total combinations.
 The subset of Hot balls (white and Mega) numbers that we identified are shown at right.

The annuity jackpot prize for that drawing was $133 million, but nobody won. Had we played all 18 thousand combinations, we would have won over $135 million.

And, if we chose to play these numbers with the Megaplier, our total winnings would have increased to $141 million because the 4x megaplier was picked as well. This would have been a great return from the $36,036 we would have spent!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Win Money Playing UK Lotto's Hot Picks

We recently discovered the UK HotPicks Lottery game. In it, a player can select combinations containing anywhere from 1 to 5 numbered balls. Depending on the balls played, the game offers players a chance to win prizes ranging from £5 to £130,000.

Since the results are based on the first 6 numbers drawn in the UK Lotto (bonus balls are not considered), we examined our UK Lottery Hot and Cold Lottery Analysis results to see if any patterns emerged. What we found was that there was an abundant amount of hot numbers that were selected in a 3-month period (26 drawings).

This led us to investigate whether a winning strategy could be identified, and we concluded that:

Hot Picks Players Could Make
£1,000 to £40,000 per year.

Accordingly, this article explains the following to give you a winning edge:
  • How HotPicks is Played
  • Winning Ticket Combinations
  • How to Select the Balls to Play in the Wheeling Pool
  • Example of Wheeling Hot Balls Potential Payout

How HotPicks is Played
Playing HotPicks is relatively simple. As a player, you first identify if you are playing 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 numbers. Then, you select the numbers that you want to play from 1 to 49 (no duplicates).

Each ticket costs £1, and the winning numbers are determined from the UK Lotto draw. If all of the numbers you choose on that playing ticket appears in the main first 6 numbers drawn, you win the associated prize.

Table 1: Prizes and Combinations
Balls Win Combinations  For Various Balls Played
Played Prize 49 8 9 10 11 12
1 5 49 8 9 10 11 12
2 40 1,176 28 36 45 55 66
3 450 18,424 56 84 120 165 220
4 7,000 211,876 70 126 210 330 495
5 130,000 1,906,884 56 126 252 462 792

Table 1 above summarizes the various prizes that are paid. Column 1 indicates the amount of numbers you want to match, and Column 2 indicates the prize you will win. For example, if you wish to play 2 numbers, and they are part of the winning UK Lotto combination, you win £40. 

For reference purposes, we have also listed the total number of possible wheeling combinations that may be constructed using various balls. The combinations under the Column Header 49 indicate all the possible combintions available.

The remaining columns indicate the number of possible combinations for limited subsets of 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 balls. This is important because you have to limit your playing pool if you wish to generate a profit. We will refer to this as your Wheeling Pool which will be discussed below.

Winning Ticket Combinations
Regardless of the size of your Wheeling Pool, whenever the number of balls that were  selected equal or exceed the number you played, you will own one or more winning HotPicks  tickets.

For example, assume you are playing a 2 ball combinations, and 4 of the selected balls are members of your Wheeling Pool, you will have then have 6 winning tickets.

Table 2: Number of Winning Tickets You Will Have
Balls Winning Ticket Combinations For Numbers Matched
Played 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
2 0 0 1 3 6 10 15
3 0 0 0 1 4 10 20
4 0 0 0 0 1 5 15
5 0 0 0 0 0 1 6

The easiest way to determine how many tickets have won is follow these steps:
  • Write Down the numbers in your Wheeling Pool
  • Write Down how many of these numbers were drawn in the UK Lotto that night
  • Look for the number of balls you played in the first column
  • Then read across that line to find the number in the heading you matched.

How to Select the Balls to Play in the Wheeling Pool
Since the Hot Picks results are based on the first 6 numbers drawn in the UK Lotto (bonus balls are not considered), we can easily examine the UK Lotto Hot Cold Number Analysis page to determine which subset of numbers we should play in our Wheeling Pool. Looking at the table in the top right portion of the page, we will see the White Balls listed in the "Warm + Hot" cell. These are the latest set of Hot Numbers and should be played.

By clicking on the Tab labeled "Last 26 Results", you will be able to see how these numbers performed during the past 26 weeks. The Hot Numbers will be displayed in Red and would be the numbers that you played.

Note however, that as time goes by, the balls will change. Therefore, you should always refer to this page before playing in the next Hot Picks drawing.

Example of Wheeling Hot Balls Potential Payouts
At present, our Hot Ball Wheeling Pool contains 9 numbers. Table 3 below summarizes the Potential Earnings we would won playing these numbers for the past 3 months (26 drawings).

As shown, the vertical columns labeled 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 indicate the number of balls we wish to play. Immediately below is the amount of money we would have spent  buying all the possible combinations.

In each horizontal row, we summarize how many times we would have matched 0 to 6 of our Hot Ball numbers. The total number of tickets equals the number of times we won times the  number of winning tickets for each drawing.

The last (bottom) row displays the profit or loss that we would have earned playing these 9 numbers.

Table 3: Example of 3 Month Potential Earnings 
(September 8 - December 4, 2010)

Total Number of Tickets Won Past 26 Weeks

Numbers Played 1 2 3 4 5
Combos  Bought 9 36 84 126 126
Matched Times Won

0 6 0 0 0 0 0
1 4 4 0 0 0 0
2 11 22 11 0 0 0
3 3 9 9 3 0 0
4 2 8 12 8 2 0
5 0 0 0 0 0 0
6 0 0 0 0 0 0
26 Game Total 43 32 11 2 0

Unit Prize 5 40 450 7,000 130,000
26 Game Total Won 215 1,280 4,950 14,000 0
26 Game Total Spent 234 936 2,184 3,276 3,276
26 Game Profit -19 344 2,766 10,724 -3,276

As shown,  players would have won anywhere from £344, £2,766, to £10,724 if they played either 2, 3, or 4 ball combinations.  Since these results are for a three month period, it is estimated that UK Lottery Players could profit approximately £1,000, £8,000, to £42,000 annually.

If you are a serious Lottery Player who is trying to earn extra income, we recommend that you seriously consider adopting the strategy described above and play the UK HotPicks game.

Learn More

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

HotPicks Analysis Delayed

I constructed this image using :image:Computer...Image via Wikipedia
As we were preparing our new analysis for this lottery game last night, our computer system became infected with a virus named: "Antivirus Action".  This malicious intruder has crippled our computer entirely, preventing us from accessing and running most of our programs, including the internet.

We are working with tech support representatives of our Anti Virus provider to help us restore functionality.

At present, we are unsure how long this process will take, but once everything is back to normal, we will complete and publish this important UK Lotto Hot Picks guide.

Thanks for your understanding and patience.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lotto HotPicks Analysis to be Published Next Week

As part of our Lottery Wheeling Calculator development, we have been re-examining our various covered lotteries. To this extend, we discovered the UK Lotto HotPicks game which allows a player to simply select and play a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 digit combination. If their chosen numbers are present in the official UK Lotto drawing numbers, then the player wins £5, £40, £450, £7,000 or £130,000.

While this game features smaller prizes than the UK Lotto, it only costs the player  £1 per entry.

And, after reviewing our UK Lotto Hot Cold Number results, we believe that utilizing those numbers with this game could reward lottery players often with a positive cashflow.

The results of our analysis will be published on this blog by the end of next week, so remember to visit our site and learn more.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Estimating Probability of Back to Back Lottery Jackpot Winners Using the Poisson Distribution - Part 3

Part 3: Introduction
In our previous article, we provided an example of how the Poisson Distribution could be used to estimate the probability of multiple jackpot winners (Poisson Distribution Example of Use in Lotteries - Part 2). To carry the application of this statistical model forward, we will calculate the likelihood of there being back to back lottery jackpot winners in both Powerball and UK Lotto. We choose these two games because the frequency of winners in these two games vary immensely.

Poisson Distribution Utilization Review
The Poisson Distribution is a tool used to predict the probability of a discreet event occurring. To use it, there must be a clearly defined observed set of outcomes. Those outcomes are summarized and described as a single average. The distribution of varying events therefore becomes a function of this average.

For example, assume that we wish to define the probability that we will observe 3 automobiles queued at a stop light. The traffic signal changes to red only once an hour. From our previous collection of data, we know that the average length of the queue is 4.8 cars per hour. Substituting these numbers into our Poisson equation, we find that there is a 15.2% chance that the following queue will contain 3  cars.

Now we shall apply these same principles to estimating the probability of a lottery jackpot being won two consecutive drawings in a row.

Example 1: Estimating the Probability of Back to Back UK Lotto Jackpot Winners.
The UK Lotto is the national lottery of the United Kingdom. Since it is a 6/49 game, the approximate number of combinations is about 14 million. By U.S. standards, this is rather small. Being the country's primary game, the average drawing ticket sales range from approximately 14 to 32 million.

Since ticket sales meet or exceed the number of combinations, the UK Lotto jackpot is won on an average of every 1.283 drawings. To calculate the likelihood of there being successive jackpot winners, we must reduce this average by one (to 0.283), and solve for the 0 (zero) event. In effect, we do this to change from a one base to a zero base.

Solving, we find that there is a 75.4% chance that two UK Lotto jackpots will be won in two consecutive drawings. By comparison, we calculated that back to back winners occurred 77.9% of actual time.

Example 2: Estimating the Probability of Back to Back Powerball Jackpot Winners.
By comparison, Powerball is one of two national lotteries of the United States. Its format requires players to correctly pick 5 of 59 white balls and 1 of 39 Power balls in order to win the jackpot. Expanding this out, we find that there are over 195 million possible combinations. Since this is so large, the jackpot is not won as often as the UK Lotto.

Summarizing Powerball drawing results from 2001 to present, we learn that there are approximately 8.95 drawings between jackpot winning draws. Converting this average to a zero base (7.95 average) and solving for the 0 event (back to back winners), we calculate that there is only a 0.04% chance that there the jackpot will be won in two sequential drawings.

By counting the actual number of times this has occurred in Powerball, we find this happened only 7 times since 2001, or 0.68% of the time.

Comparing the expected probabilities derived from the Poisson distribution to the actual number of occurances, we conclude that the statistical results of back to back winners is a fairly good approximation of reality. While the Poisson distribution underestimates reality in both cases, we believe that the results obtained can be confidently used to predict these lottery events.
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Poisson Distribution Example of Use in Lotteries - Part 2

Part 2: Introduction
Last week we introduced the Poisson Distribution stating that it is used in statistics for quantifying the probabilities of discreet  random events. In our post Using Poisson Distribution to Understand Lottery Events - Part 1, we described its mathematical properties, formula, and variables. In this article, we will provide an example of how the Poisson Distribution can be used to help us understand events related to lotteries.

Example: Estimating the Probability of Multiple Jackpot Winners.
In this example, we will estimate the the probability that there will be 0, 1, 2, ... 5 winning tickets in tonight's Mega Millions lottery drawing which offers an annuity jackpot of $84 million.

In order to do this, we must first calculate the "expected number of winners" as defined in How to Analyze the Lottery. There, we learn that we need 2 pieces of information:
  1. The expected number of ticket sales, and
  2. The total number of unique combinations.
Using Mega Millions Lottery Sales By State, we find that last Friday's ticket sales were 25.4 million when the jackpot was $72M. Using a simple proportion, we will expect tonight's tickets sales to be 29.6 million. Then, from our Lottery Power Picks website, we find that there are 175.7 million combinations. By dividing the expected number of ticket sales by the total number of available combinations, we calculate the "expected number of winners" to be 0.169. In Poisson Distribution terms, this number becomes the known mean, or constant variable r = 0.169

Next we construct a table where: the mean variable r remains constant; and the variable k (which represents the random number of winners) ranges from 0 to 5; and, the associated Poisson probability is solved as variable p(k).


Thus reading our table, we learn that there is: an 84.45% chance that there will be no winners in tonight's Mega Millions drawing; a 14.27% chance that there will be one winner; a 1.21% chance that there will be 2 winners; a 0.07% chance that we will have 3 winning tickets; and virtually 0.0% chance that there will be four or more winners.

So, we'll look tomorrow at the Mega Millions drawing results to determine which of our random scenarios occurred.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Using Poisson Distribution to Understand Lottery Events - Part 1

The Poisson Distribution is a statistical model used to project the probability of the occurrence of discreet events. Recently, we have discovered the use of this model in an article, How to Analyze the Lottery, by John Corbett and Charles Geyer. In it, the authors explain how a Cash/Annuity lottery works by evaluating the probability of single and multiple winners.

Based on their work, we have explored the potential use of this model to understand other lottery events.

Thus, to present this information, we are splitting this discussion into 3 parts:
  • Part 1: Definition of the Poisson Distribution
  • Part 2: Examples of Use
  • Part 3: Comparison of Expected Probabilities Verses Actual Events
Today's article Presents Part 1 of our Analysis.

Definition of the Poisson Distribution
The Poisson Distribution  is a statistical model that expresses the probability of a random event occurring in a fixed period of time when:
  • The there is a known average of occurrences
  • It is possible to count the number of times an event has occurred
  • Each occurrence of an event is independent of the previous results
  • Expected events (except the average) must be a whole positive integer
As a formula, the Poisson Distribution is written as:

Poisson Distribution

Poisson Formula

k = the whole integer expected random event event
r = the known mean or average (often represented as lambda)
p(k) = the solved Poisson Distribution probability of event "k"

Note that depending on the text referenced, the variables may be different, and the representation may be slightly different as well (showing the e^r term on the top as e^-r).

The graph below illustrates a sample Poisson Distribution. The vertical y axis shows the probability of an event happening. The horizontal x axis shows variable random occurrences. Note that the probabilities are skewed towards the left where the average occurs. Additionally, the horizontal axis is boundless. Meaning it must never have a discreet limit.

Potential Uses in Lottery Analysis.
When analyzing the lottery, the Poisson Distribution has several applications. For example, we may use it to quantify the probabilities of:
  • Multiple Winners in any Single Drawing, or
  • The the Number of Drawings before a Jackpot is Won

Next Week's Publication - Part 2
As stated above, this will be a three part series. Next week we will illustrate the use of the Poisson Distribution by showing how to estimate the number of winners and the interval between winning jackpot drawings.

To Learn More, please visit:

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Next Weeks Bimonthly Article Announcement - Poisson Distributions

I've been reading a lot about probabilities lately and have discovered a few great articles pertaining to Poisson Distribution.

So, I've started working on a post which will be titled:

Using Poisson Distribution to Understand Lottery Events

I thought this would be easy, but the more I've researched it, the more I am learning. So for now, I expect to have this complete and published next week.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Euro Millions Jackpot Set to €129 Million this Friday

euromillionsImage by Ingvar_Sverrisson via Flickr
For the 7th time in its history, the EuroMillions Jackpot is above the €100 million level. However, this is not a record.

During 2006, the jackpot reached €180M twice before being won. These were the only times that the jackpot grew naturally from drawing to drawing. All others times the jackpot was artificially set as a bonus level amount.

Since '06, three €130 million jackpots were up for grabs. One was in September 2007 and shared by 3 winners. The other two were in 2008 and there were no winners of either of these.

The jackpot never reached €100M in 2009.

But this is the second time the jackpot was established at €129 million in 2010.

So, lets cross our fingers and hope that one of us wins the EuroMillions €129 Million jackpot this coming Friday.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lottery Wheel Payout Calculator --- Coming Soon

[Irish spinner and spinning wheel. County Galw...Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr
With the completed development of our Hot Cold Lottery Number analysis pages and seeing their growing user visitation counts, six questions continually return to our minds. Specifically, we've wondered:
  1. If I only play Hot Numbers, how many combinations must I play?
  2. How much will these combinations cost?
  3. How much will I win in total if I match 0, 1, 2, ... white balls?
  4. If I repeat these combinations for a group of bonus balls (Megaball, Powerball, etc), how much will I spend?
  5. And, how much will I win altogether?
  6. Finally, if I adopt this type of strategy, should I buy the Powerplay, Megaplier, Sizzler option?
To answer these questions, we're creating a new wheeling payout calculator that will be custom tailored to each of our covered lotteries. This will be an interactive tool that will allow our users to change their assumptions and the implications immediately.

The benefit of this calculator is that any assumed set of wheeling numbers can be used, i.e. Even Odd, Divisible by 3, 4, 5 to 12, your own favorite set of numbers, prime numbers, etc.

Development has already begun and we're excited about the possibilities of its uses.  Hopefully, we will have it completed shortly and have it released within the next month.
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Expect to See Paired Numbers Every 1 in 3 Lottery Drawings

If you're a fanatical dreamer about winning a big lottery jackpot, there's no doubt that you have considered playing paired numbers as a strategy for winning.

By pairs, we mean a drawing sequence that contains at least 2 numbers in a row: 1-2, 2-3, ... 55-56.

And if you study drawing results, you will notice that these type of numbers patterns occur very often. In fact, during the past 26 Powerball and Mega Millions drawings, we find this happened 10 times in each lottery. This equals or 38.5% of the time.

However, when we calculate the combinatorial  number of occurrences, we learn that there are:
  • 1,364,200 paired combinations in Mega Millions (35.7% of the population), and
  • 1,697,080 paired combinations in Powerball (33.9% of the population)
Based on these numbers, we learn that it is definitely normal for us to expect to see paired numbers approximately once in every three drawings.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

South Dakota and Delaware Spend the Most Per Capita on Lottery Tickets (Lottery Trivia Answer 2010-13)

Last Week's Trivia Question #2010-13 was: 
Using the answers of our past two weeks, we can divide a States lottery ticket sales by its population to determine:
  • Which States sell the most lottery tickets per capita?
  • Which States sell the fewest lottery tickets per capita?
  • Do you think sales are based on population alone?
  • Or, are sales based on the desire of people wanting to win a jackpot prize?
To answer the above, we referred to the Lottery Sales and State population links in the previous posts, and found that:
  • The top 5 States (1-5) that spend the most on lottery tickets per capita are: South Dakota, Delaware, Massachusetts,  New York, and Georgia. The next five (6-10) are: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, and Ohio.
  • The States spending the least on lottery tickets per capita are: Idaho, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, and North Carolina.
  • Based on the results of these rankings, we clearly conclude that sales are not based on State populations. For example, South Dakota spends approximately $0.853 per person on lottery tickets, but it ranks in the bottom 5 States in population. Whereas, California, who has the largest population, only spends $0.097 per person on tickets. 
  • Observing the above results, we realize that a State's overall desire to win a jackpot prize plays an important role in the amount of lottery tickets that are bought in a State. Desire to win is important in the top 5 States and others. For example, Vermont spends $0.170 per person verses $0.155 in Texas.

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    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    Are Lottery Sales Based on State Populations? (Lottery Trivia Question 2010-13)

    This week's Lottery Trivia Question is about U.S. Lottery Sales in General.

    Our Trivia Question #2010-13 is: 
    Combining the trivia questions and answers of the past two weeks, we can now determine:
    • Which States sell the most lottery tickets per capita?
    • Which States sell the fewest lottery tickets per capita?
    • Do you think sales are based on population alone?
    • Or, are sales based on the desire of people wanting to win a jackpot prize?
    Enter your answer by leaving a Comment to this post below. Leave your name, and if you have a website or blog, provide it's URL and name.

    We will provide the correct answer next Monday, August 30th, and will post your name and a URL link back to your site.

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    Monday, August 23, 2010

    California and Vermont Have Largest & Smallest Lottery Populations (Lottery Trivia Answer 2010-12)

    Last Week's Trivia Question #2010-12 was: 
    To help us understand whether states with the largest populations sell the most lottery tickets, we need to identify various State populations. So, last week, we asked:
    • Which lottery selling States have the largest population? (most amount of people)
    • Which States have the smallest population? (the least amount of people)
    Based on the 2009 revision of the WorldAtlas.com , we found that:
    • The top 5 States (1-5) ranked by biggest Population are: California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois. The next five (6-10) were: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, and North Carolina.
    • And, the States with the fewest number of people (ranking 43-50) were: Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. (Note that since neither Alaska nor Wyoming sponsor a state lottery, we have expanded this list to include the bottom five states that do have a lottery). 
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      Tuesday, August 17, 2010

      What States Have the Largest Population? (Lottery Trivia Question 2010-12)

      Summary Category:U.S. State Population Maps Ca...Image via Wikipedia
      This week's Lottery Trivia Question is about U.S. Lottery Sales in General.

      Our Trivia Question #2010-12 is: 
      Continuing with last weeks theme, we now wish to identify which Lottery States have the biggest and smallest population.  This will help to give us a better understanding of whether lottery sales are purely a function of demographics or desire to win. So, we ask:
      • Which lottery selling States have the largest population? (most amount of people)
      • Which States have the smallest population? (the least amount of people)
      Enter your answer by leaving a Comment to this post below. Leave your name, and if you have a website or blog, provide it's URL and name.

      We will provide the correct answer next Monday, August 23st, and will post your name and a URL link back to your site.

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      Monday, August 16, 2010

      New York Consistently Leads Yearly Lottery Sales (Lottery Trivia Answer 2010-11)

      Last Week's Trivia Question #2010-11 was: 
      Since lottery income has become an important source of hidden tax revenue, more and more States have been under pressure to increase sales and generate income. But, we wondered if the income received is simply a function of the population of the State. To help understand this, we first asked ourselves to identify:
      • What are the top 5 lottery revenue generating States? (those making the most money)
      • What are the bottom 5 lottery revenue generating States? (those making the least money)
      Based on information from Data360's 2006 Lottery Sales by State, we find the answers.
      • In order of yearly sales, the top 5 Lottery Sales are in: New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Texas, and California.  Near these are: Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, and Michigan.
      • The bottom 5 States, i.e. those with the least Lottery sales are: Idaho, Nebraska, Vermont, Montana, and North Dakota (the lowest).
      Data for these answers can be confirmed by visiting the NASPL Sales and Profits Page which summarizes sales for Fiscal Years 2007 and 2008 as well.
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        Tuesday, August 10, 2010

        What States Sell the Most Lottery Tickets? (Lottery Trivia Question 2010-11)

        I took this photograph of a lottery document I ownImage via Wikipedia
        This week's Lottery Trivia Question is about U.S. Lottery Sales in General.

        Our Trivia Question #2010-11 is: 
        Lottery sales has become an important revenue generator for most U.S. States. Obviously, we assume that the states with the largest population sell the most tickets and make the most amount of money. To determine whether this is true or not, we ask::
        • What are the top 5 lottery revenue generating States? (those making the most money)
        • What are the bottom 5 lottery revenue generating States? (those making the least money)
        Enter your answer by leaving a Comment to this post below. Leave your name, and if you have a website or blog, provide it's URL and name.

        We will provide the correct answer next Monday, August 16st, and will post your name and a URL link back to your site.

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        Monday, August 9, 2010

        Our New Template

        Last week, after months of reviewing a variety of background images, we settled on Google's Template Designer Simple Template with the bookshelf background.

        We chose this for a few reasons:
        • The classic color scheme.
        • The title font.
        • The bookshelf background provides a collective series.
        • We liked it.
        While the look may be a bit more professional and classic, our articles will always be progressive and informative.  Playing the lottery with the intent of winning a jackpot requires research and strategies. We hope that our articles continue to inspire you and help you fulfill your dreams.
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        Monday, August 2, 2010

        Huge Disparity in California's Mega Million Payouts

        Betting on the Favorite, an 1870 engravingImage via Wikipedia
        In last Friday's Mega Millions drawing, nobody won the jackpot, but 4 separate tickets matched all five of the white balls and claimed the 2nd place price. Two tickets were sold in Illinois, 1 in New York, and 1 in California.

        Typically, the payout for this prize level is $250,000. This is true in all states except California, which determines the prize levels on a pari-mutuel basis. So, while 3 of the 4 winners will each receive $250,000, the one winner in California will only get $182,348.

        That's a difference of $67,652 or 27% less!

        In theory, one can argue that pari-mutuel payouts are most beneficial to players. But, looking at the 9 different drawing results for the month of July 2010, seven paid out substantially less than $250K, and only two paid out more than $300K.  The highest allocation was $342.9K, but there were no winners that time, so nothing was paid out.

        While California's calculation of payout may be correct, I believe that players in California who win big prizes actually lose a lot of money to the State. Remember, the State sets the prize breakdown and doesn't share the leftover money with the players. So one must ask the question:

        Where Does the Mega Millions Money Really Go?

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        Tuesday, June 29, 2010

        Lotto Max: Why Only 49 Maxmillions Drawings?

        The most attractive aspect of the Lotto Max game is the MAXMILLIONS feature which is triggered when the Jackpot pool exceeds the C$50 million cap. For each million above that level, a separate Maxmillions number is drawn, thus giving multiple players the opportunity to win (or share) additional C$1M prizes as well. Therefore, it is no wonder that Canadian lottery players flocked to the game the past few weeks. With the advertised prizes of:

        C$50 Million + 55 Maxmillions

        for the June 25, 2010 drawing, tickets were selling at an unprecedented pace.

        However, you can imagine the disappointment players experienced when only 49 MAXMILLIONS results were posted.

        What happened to the remaining 6 
        advertised Maxmillions numbers?

        This post examines this question and attempts to provide answers to the bewildered population.

        Why Disappointment?
        When a product is advertised, the purchasing public expects the seller to truthful in the product description and trusts that the product will be delivered as described. The advertised June 25th Lotto Max prize offerings were C$50M + 55 Maxmillions. However, only 49 Maxmillions were delivered. That's a difference of C$6 million and represents a large amount of money.

        Additionally, the missing 6 Maxmillions numbers represented the opportunity for 6 more players to win a million dollars. By not delivering as advertised, opportunities were lost and dreams denied.

        Money Was Available for 55 Maxmillions on June 25th
        The table below summarizes the Lotto Max money raised and paid out during the previous cycle. As shown, the advertised jackpot began at C$10M on April 30th and continued to grow until the C$50M cap was reached on June 4th. Thereafter, the jackpot remained constant and estimated Maxmillions offerings appeared from June 11th onward. Below that are: the 7/7 jackpot prize carry over amounts; the current drawing 7/7 prize pool; and the 6/7+bonus prize pools. These three rows are added together to determine the actual amount of money available to be paid out in that drawing. From the cash available, jackpot and the net Maxmillions payouts are deducted, thus determining the 7/7 money pool to be carried forward to the next drawing.

        Table LM-1: Lotto Max Cash Raised and Paid
        Drawing 4/30 5/7 5/14 5/21 5/28 6/4 6/11 6/18 6/25 7/2
        Advertised Jackpot 10.0 15.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 50.0 50.0 50.0 30.0

        Maxmillions 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 20.0 45.0 55.0 0.0
        Carry Over Jackpot 10.0 15.7 21.3 27.9 36.0 46.0 62.8 72.0 75.9 31.1
        7/7 Pool 5.7 5.6 6.3 8.1 10.0 17.8 24.3 33.9 34.2 n/a
        6/7+Bonus 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 n/a
        Cash Available 15.7 21.3 27.9 36.0 46.0 63.8 87.0 105.9 110.1 n/a
        Paid Jackpot 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 50.0 n/a
        Offered MaxMillions 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 5.0 27.0 45.0 49.0 0.0
        Not Paid MaxMillions 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.0 12.0 15.0 20.0 0.0
        Carry Over to Next Dwg 15.7 21.3 27.9 36.0 46.0 62.8 72.0 75.9 31.1 n/a

        As shown, there was C$110.1 million available for Jackpot and Maxmillions winnings in the June 25th drawing. This amount exceeded the advertised C$50M+55 Maximillions by over C$5 million.

        However, the Lotto Max organization reduced the Maxmillions drawings by C$6 million, even though money was available. This does not seem like a rational decision since it had previously increased the Maxmillions offerings in the June 4th and 11th (shown in red).

        Why was the Maxmillions Reduced?
        Realizing that Lotto Max had money to payout the additional C$6 Maxmillions, we have theorized 4 possible reasons:
        1. Computer Error: The Lotto Max Game Conditions state: "and ILC will cause, immediately after the Main Draw, at least as many series of seven numbers (being seven different numbers) to be drawn at random from among all numbers from 1 to 49 (each such series of seven numbers is a "Special Series") as there are tranches of $1,000,000 in ..."  Perhaps this statement was misunderstood and the program that selects the Maxmillions drawings was erroneously written to stop at 49 drawings.
        2. Duplicate Numbers Selected: Continuing on the above quote, perhaps 55 Maxmillions drawings were generated, but 6 of those resulted in duplicate numbers, and were therefore rejected.
        3. Inflate Jackpot for Next Drawing: Lotto Max tickets sell when the jackpot is higher. By reducing the number of Maxmillions offerings, the additional C$6 million was intentionally used to help begin the next drawing sequence at C$30 million.
        4. Estimation Error: The Lotto Max organization has tried to explain that all jackpot offerings are estimates. When revenue does not perform as projected, the estimates need to be revised upward or downward. After a review the Table above, it seems unlikely that irrational estimates were forecast.

        Having summarized the past 9 jackpot drawings, and understanding the results, we remain convinced that Lotto Max should have delivered the full 55 MAXMILLIONS drawings as advertised throughout the week prior to the June 25th drawing. Not delivering as advertised, players may become reluctant to spend C$5 for a ticket because they have lost confidence in the Lotto Max organization.

        However, we do not believe that Lotto Max acted maliciously, nor did it attempt to retain income as a hidden profit. All money collected has been allocated back to the players, but not in the sequence as expected.

        All information derived in this article were obtained from the Canadian Lottery sites:

        Monday, June 28, 2010

        Maxmillions Discrepancy to be Described Tomorrow.

        Like many people, we have wondered why there were only 49 Maxmillions drawings in the last Lotto Max drawing when 55 were advertised. To help understand this discrepancy, we evaluated the all payout results since April 30th, when the jackpot offering began at C$10 million.

        What we discovered is that all monies have been reallocated back to the players, but not as expected using the Official Lotto Max Game Conditions.

        At present, we anticipate publishing our results on this blog tomorrow. In it we will explain how the jackpot has grown in comparison to the written rules.

        We have observed a few instances of apparent prize payout misappropriations which we cannot explain. Similiarly, we theorized why the Maxmillions drawing stopped at 49 and why the next Jackpot offering is set at $30 million.

        As you can understand, we are cautious in summarizing the past 9 drawing sequences. Thus, it is important to verify our results once again prior to distributing our conclusions.

        Tuesday, June 22, 2010

        Lotto Max Hysteria Continues

        There was no Lotto Max $50 million jackpot winner in last week's drawing, so this Friday's June 25th Lotto Max jackpot is $50 million plus $55 Maxmillions.

        That means 56 possible new millionaires!

        And naturally, Lotto Max Mania continues to roll through the country.

        Using the past two estimated ticket sales for this weeks projections, we expect:
        • A 25% chance of no Jackpot winner again.
        • Of the 55 Maxmillions drawings, about 13 will not have a winner, 6 will have three or more winners, 24 will have two winners, and 12 will have single winners.
        • Nearly 200 million combinations will be sold.
        Considering that there are only 604,800 seconds in seven days (the time between drawings), more than 300 combinations will be randomly generated each second. And knowing that most random number generators rely on a seed time to start, there is a good possibility that many of these numbers may be duplicates.

        But who cares. With so many top prizes being offered, you've got to give it a try.

        If you live in or around Canada,
        Play Lotto Max Now.

        We're crossing our fingers for you!

        Monday, June 21, 2010

        Prime Numbers for Use in Lotteries (Lottery Trivia Answer 2010-10)

        Last Week's Trivia Question #2010-10 was: 
        Prime Numbers are a small subset of numbers that all lotteries contain. Helping to educate our lottery players about various strategies, we presented the following questions last week:
        • What are Prime Numbers?
        • How can they be used for playing the lottery?
        A simple internet search yields the answers to these questions.
        • Prime numbers are those numbers which are divisible only by themselves and 1. The common set that lottery players will recognize are: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, and 59. Note that the number one (1) is not a true prime number, we include it in this subset for lottery purposes only.
        • Since the use of this subset limits the number of choices a lottery player can make, the number of possible combinations is also minimized. For Powerball, all 18 numbers are playable. In Mega Millions, only 17 are valid; and in 649 games, only 16 are permitted.
        • Additionally all but the number two (2) are odd numbers. Thus players choosing this subset will be playing mostly all odd number or odd plus 1 even number.
        In our opinion, these numbers are important because players can systematically reduce their playing number field with confidence in knowing that the numbers have more than random significance.

          Wednesday, June 16, 2010

          Lotto Max Mania Sweeping through Canada

          With this Friday's June 11th Lotto Max jackpot offering of $50 million and $45 Maxmillions, millionaire fever is spreading through Canada like an uncontrollable epidemic. And it should!

          Even though Lotto Max tickets cost C$5 for 3 combinations,

          Should you buy one or more Tickets?
          Absolutely Yes!

          Considering an estimated population of approximately 25 million who are 20 years and older, there is a good likelihood that 1 in every 500,000 to 1,000,000 people will become overnight millionaires.

          Based on last weeks results, we project that at least 30 million tickets will be sold generating approx 90 million combinations, exceeding the mathematical 85.9 million possible combinations.

          Of these, we expect to see at least 10% duplicate numbers. This means that there is a 10% possibility that the primary $50 million jackpot will not be won.

          In either case, 45 more Max Millions numbers will be drawn, but only 5-10 will not produce a winner. The other 35-40 will have one or more matching tickets!

          So if you've ever dreamed of being a Millionaire,
          Go for it Now.

          With jackpot levels this high, this is the time to give your Luck a try.

          Tuesday, June 15, 2010

          What are Prime Numbers? (Lottery Trivia Question 2010-10)

          This week's Lottery Trivia Question is about Lottery Numbers in General.

          Our Trivia Question #2010-10 is: 
          One strategy for winning the lottery is to limit your playing numbers to a smaller subset. One such subset is "Prime Numbers".  Our questions this week are:
          • What are Prime Numbers?
          • How can they be used for playing the lottery?
          Enter your answer by leaving a Comment to this post below. Leave your name, and if you have a website or blog, provide it's URL and name.

          We will provide the correct answer next Monday, June 21st, and will post your name and a URL link back to your site.


          Tuesday, June 1, 2010

          A Dollar and a Dream

          One of the best lottery slogans was coined by the New York State Lottery:

          With  tomorrow night's Powerball jackpot prize of $260 million, I, for one, just can't stop dreaming. Already, I've spent $5 on tickets, and have dreaming about:
          • Waking up and finding I'm the winner.
          • Taking a trip to lottery headquarters and collecting my huge oversize check.
          • Buying that lake-side summer house I've always wanted.
          • Not having to work anymore.
          • Playing cards, eating out, planning and taking vacations.
          • Surprising my family with a share of the winnings.
          • Exercising all the time so I don't get too fat.
          • Paying all my bills.
          • Laughing all the way to the bank.
          And what about you? If you have a dream, share it with us. After all, it only costs a buck to play, but you get an infinite number of dreams for free.

          Tuesday, May 18, 2010

          UK Thunderball Lottery Format Change

          During the past week, we noticed an increased amount of traffic in our Thunderball pages. When we entered the results last Sunday, we learned why:

          Thunderball Changed.

          Beginning with the May 12, 2010 drawing:
          • The Jackpot prize was doubled from £250,000 to £500,000.
          • The number of white balls increased from 34 to 39.
          • The number of Thunderballs remained the same at 14.
          • And, a new £3 prize was added for those matching the Thunderball only.
          With these modifications, the overall chances of winning any prize decreased from 1 in 18 to 1 in 12. But, the total number of combinations more than doubled, from 3,895,584 to 8,060,598.

          We are busily updating our pages and expect to have all revisions completed by the end of next week. Afterwards, we will provide an updated blog report summarizing whether these changes are better or worse for the Thunderball players.

          Monday, May 17, 2010

          Lottery Players Bear Parimutuel Risk (Lottery Trivia Answer 2010-09)

          Last Week's Trivia Question #2010-09 was: 
          The winning prize amounts of many State lotteries, such as Pick 3 and 4, are paid based on parimutuel system while other States have fixed payout prizes. To help players better understand what this means, we asked:
          • What is a parimutuel Lottery Payout?
          • How does it differ than fixed payouts?
          • Are parimutuel payouts higher or lower than fixed payouts?
          Based on our research and experience, we have found that:
          • A parimutuel payout is one in which a fixed percentage of the amount received is paid back to the players. It was invented by Joseph Oller in 1867 and is typically used in race track betting.
          • This differs from a fixed winning payout in that the amount of a winning ticket fluxuates depending upon the number of winning tickets. For example, States such as North Carolina and Texas pay a flat $250 for a straight combination $0.50 winning ticket. However, New Jersey, California, and others pay the Pick 3 winners based on a parimutuel share of the winnings.
          • Parimutuel payouts might be much higher or lower than the corresponding fixed payout. A Pick 3 parimutuel ticket may pay as little as $75 or as high as $425 on the same $0.50 ticket.
          In our opinion, the primary difference is: Which Party bears the payout risk?
          • In the fixed payout system, the State bears the risk of having to payout more than it received. To counterbalance this, the State get to retain the implied profit when few payouts are required.
          • In a parimutuel environment, the player bears the risk because: the payout odds differ from number to number; and, the odds are not shown to the player.

          Tuesday, May 11, 2010

          What Does Parimutuel Mean? (Lottery Trivia Question 2010-09)

          This week's Lottery Trivia Question is about Lottery Prize Winning Payouts in General.

          Our Trivia Question #2010-09 is: 
          Many Pick 3, Pick 4, and other lottery prizes are paid out on a parimutuel basis while some are stated as a fixed amount.
          • What is a parimutuel Lottery Payout?
          • How does it differ than fixed payouts?
          • Are parimutuel payouts higher or lower than fixed payouts?
          Enter your answer by leaving a Comment to this post below. Leave your name, and if you have a website or blog, provide it's URL and name.

          We will provide the correct answer next Monday, May 17th, and will post your name and a URL link back to your site.

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