5 Ways To Choose Lottery Numbers

Every person who plays the lottery has a system for picking their numbers. Keep reading for five of the most popular ways to choose lottery numbers.

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Adam Moelis
Nov 20, 2022
7 min read

Playing the lottery is something of a national pastime in the United States. More than half of the country routinely buys lottery tickets, with the average player spending about $86 a month on tickets

The sales of these tickets generate tens of billions of dollars in annual revenue, making it one of the most popular events in America. The popularity of the lottery can be easily explained for two reasons: the potential prizes and the convenience. 

National jackpots start in the eight-figure range (tens of millions) and can even climb as high as ten figures (over a billion). Winning money like that can change the lives of you and your loved ones in ways that you can’t even imagine. 

Convenience is another reason why the lottery is so popular. Almost every gas station, convenience store, and grocery store in states with a lottery offer tickets. You can buy a ticket as long as you’re 18 years or older and have the cash for it. 

Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of lottery players aren’t going to win any money. With many people playing national lottery games, the chances of winning are meager. 

There are only a handful of jackpot winners each year. Even if you’re lucky enough to have winning numbers, many lottery prizes have smaller payouts. A winning ticket, unfortunately, doesn’t always change your life — sometimes, it just changes your day. 

As such, you should view playing the lottery as a fun game. It’s not a viable retirement plan, and you should never play if you can’t easily afford it. It’s important to remember that playing the lottery is a form of gambling. You can play for years and never win anything of substance. 

Every form of gambling allows the player to have some form of control. You can hit or stay in blackjack, place bets in roulette or craps, and select the horse or team you think will win. For the lottery, the control comes from choosing the numbers. 

Most people that play the lottery have a unique system for picking numbers. These are five examples of the most popular ways to choose your numbers: 

1. Quick Pick

Perhaps the most popular method is the easiest: let the ticket generator randomly select a set of numbers for you. Pretty much every lottery offers the quick pick option. You could have your Mega Millions or Powerball numbers chosen randomly when the ticket is printed. 

You won’t have to take the time to fill out the ticket or worry about making a mistake. All you’ll have to do is hand over the money to buy the ticket and be on your way. The convenience of quick pick can’t be beaten, but that’s not the only good thing about it. 

Lottery drawings use colored balls or a computer to select the winning combination randomly. The process is designed to be completely random. Unfortunately for humans, we can’t help but notice patterns in life — even when they’re not there (more on that later). 

Using a quick pick will give you the most random numbers possible and remove any potential bias against specific numbers. That might explain why about 75% of Powerball winners have won using randomly selected quick picks

2. Research the Trends

Lottery drawings are intentionally created to be as random as possible. Every number in the lottery has the same odds of being selected as the other. However, some numbers will inevitably get chosen more often than others. Some view these results as predictive patterns that can increase their odds of winning.

Researching the previous drawings won’t increase or decrease your chances of picking the correct numbers. However, putting in the time to review the “hottest numbers” in the lottery can make you feel like you have an edge. 

The only downside is that other players will review the same drawings. They’re likely to play the same numbers that you do, and you’d likely have to split the prize if these numbers were to win.

The best way to get around a split jackpot would be to play the “coldest numbers” that aren’t selected as often. It’s easy to convince yourself that these numbers are “due” and will be chosen next. 

Since most people researching the trends are unlikely to play cold numbers, the odds of splitting the jackpot are much lower. The truth is that the odds for each number are the same whether it’s been picked 25 times this year or twice.  

3. Use Your “Lucky” Numbers

Everyone has specific numbers in their life that hold special significance to them. It might be the age you met your spouse, your children's birthdays, or the jersey number of your favorite athlete. 

Winning the lottery using these numbers can make you feel like everything happened for a reason.  However, the truth is that the numbers in the lottery were randomly selected. As far as we know, there is no grand design by the universe that’s helping to decide lottery winners. 

However, playing your lucky numbers can help you believe you have the edge over the competition before the drawing. 

Those feelings of perceived destiny will make the days before the numbers are drawn much more hopeful. And who knows? Perhaps your lucky numbers will make you rich beyond your wildest dreams. 

4. Try Numerology

If you don’t have any “lucky” numbers, you can always try numerology to help you find some. Numerology is a concept that can be traced back as far as Pythagoras in ancient Greece

The principle of numerology revolves around believing that numbers are affixed with mystical properties. Each number has a unique vibration that resonates differently with different people. 

The easiest way to think of numerology is to consider it the math-based version of zodiac signs. Depending on critical details in your life, each person has a different assigned zodiac that will influence their life. Learning your “core numbers” can help determine which lottery numbers to play. 

The most important of your core numbers is known as the Life Path Number. This single-digit number is believed to reveal your strengths, weaknesses, personality, dreams, and skills while influencing your past, present, and future experiences. 

Here is the formula for how you can calculate yours: 

  1. Write out the date of your both numerically. If you were born on July 14th, 1984, it would be 7/14/1984. 
  2. Each number needs to be reduced to a single digit. The seven is already there, but the other number would require some math.
  3. Break down 14 into 1+4, which equals five.
  4. Break down 1984 into 1+9+8+4, which equals 22. You would further break down this number into 2+2, which equals four.
  5. Add all three of your numbers together. For this example, it would be 7+5+4, which equals 16.
  6. Break down the 16 into 1+6 to get a Life Path Number of seven. 

5. Use the Delta System

The delta system is just a long-form math equation that can help you select numbers randomly. These numbers aren’t based on anything in particular and won’t hold any spiritual value. It’s simply a fun way to choose a few numbers randomly. 

There is no exact system; you can plug in different numbers as you see fit. Here is just a random example of how a delta system can generate six random numbers:

  1. Pick any number between one and eight (let’s say two).
  2. Pick two numbers between one and ten (let’s say three and six).
  3. Pick a number that borders ten (let’s say nine).
  4. Pick two numbers between one and 20 (say 16 and 17).
  5. Write your six numbers in order (2, 3, 6, 9, 16, and 17). These will be referred to as your delta numbers. 
  6. Add up your delta numbers to ensure that the highest number doesn’t exceed the options in your lottery. Ideally, the sum of these six numbers should be within 15 of the highest lottery number. You’ll have to change the range for your number selection if the sum is too high or too low. The sum for our example is 53, which will typically fit most lotteries. 
  7. Rearrange these six numbers so that they’re non-sequential (6, 17, 3, 16, 2, 9)
  8. The first delta number will become your first lottery number (6).
  9. Add the first delta number (6) to the second delta number (17) to get your second lottery number (23).
  10. Add the second delta number (17) to the second lottery number (23) to get your third lottery number (40).
  11. Add the third delta number (3) to the third lottery number (40) to get your fourth lottery number (43).
  12. Add the fourth delta number (16) to the fourth lottery number (43) to get your fifth lottery number (59).
  13. Add the fifth delta number (2) to the fifth lottery number (59) to get your sixth lottery number (61).
  14. The sixth delta number can be the bonus ball if your lottery features them. 

For this example, you would select 6, 23, 40, 43, 59, and 61 as your lottery numbers with a bonus ball of 9. It’s a lot of math to get these numbers, but they’ll be generated randomly. You never know how many might match with the randomized drawings of a lottery. 

There's No Wrong Way To Pick Your Numbers

It’s no secret that the odds of picking the correct numbers aren’t in your favor. It’s improbable that you’ll successfully choose the winning lottery numbers. The good thing about this harsh reality is that it takes the pressure off picking your numbers. Each number has identical odds of being selected, so there’s no such thing as a “bad” pick. 

You could fill in consecutive numbers or important dates (like anniversaries) or use a random number generator. There’s no concrete “how to win” rubric for lottery picks; you may have lost in the past draws with the numbers that’ll win the next drawing.

It’s important to remember that a lottery is a form of gambling, and you’re simply playing a game. There’s no reason that you can’t have fun with it by using one of the methods mentioned above. The biggest issue with playing the lottery is that you can start spending too much on tickets. It’s a fun game, but it can add to a lot of money spent each year. 

Yotta has you covered if you’re worried about spending too much on lottery tickets. We offer prize-linked savings that encourage you to save more and spend less. Instead of receiving a standard interest rate for your account, you’ll be given free tickets to our weekly drawing. 

Users often describe Yotta as a no-lose lottery. You’ll have all the thrills with none of the costs. Depending on how many numbers match, you could win up to $10 million in cash and prizes without spending a single dime. 

Even if you don’t hit the jackpot, you won’t have to spend any money and can try again next week. With Yotta, it’s simply impossible to lose.

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