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What Are The Most Popular Winning Lottery Numbers?

If you analyse past results you can figure out which are the most popular winning lottery numbers. But how do you do it, and does it really help you?

If you look closely at the way people pick lottery numbers, you will see there are patterns.

Obviously we're not including those who play 'quick picks' (or 'lucky dips') here, as those are randomly generated by computers.

But people who choose their own numbers tend to pick according to certain rules. That's an important thing to remember as we'll come to later.

Even if you are not personally superstitious, you have to remember that a high percentage of people are. That means 'lucky numbers', or personally significant numbers are very much in mind when people buy lottery tickets.

If you ask friends and family what numbers they play on the lottery, chances are you'll find some are playing birthday dates.

Here's a typical example. Joan has 3 grandchildren, born on these dates: 17/01/2003, 23/05/2004, 15/09/2011.

So guess what lottery numbers she plays religiously every single draw?

That's right. She plays: 1, 5, 9, 15, 17, 23.

Notice how 'low' all these numbers appear?

Because obviously everyone who plays birthdays, anniversary dates, wedding dates etc, will be picking most numbers from the range 1-31. And a lot will use the months of those dates as well as the days, making the numbers 1-12 extra likely to be used.

Lucky Lottery Numbers

Don't forget those lucky numbers too. Most people in the western world consider 7 to be a lucky number. Even if we aren't superstitious at all it's hard not to think of 7 as being 'lucky 7'!

Lucky numbers do change according to country and culture though. Jewish people treat 13 as a lucky number, where most of the rest of the world consider it unlucky.

Analysing Lottery Results

There are numerous other ways people use to select numbers too. Which will also vary according to the type of game, and even the design of the playslip (people like to make patterns on a playslip!).

But if you want to more accurately determine the most popular lottery numbers for a specific game, here's what you need to do.

Visit the official website for your lottery game, and look for a downloadable file of all historical results drawn for that game. If you can't find it, email the lottery company and ask if they can send you the results. They should be happy to do this.

If you're lucky, the results file will also include details of jackpot winners. If not, you'll need to find/get that information too.

Open this data up in a spreadsheet program. You may have to fiddle with the data to get things properly lined up and in the right columns. But what you want to end up with is one row for each draw giving e.g. data, ball 1, ball 2, ball 3, ball 4, ball 5, ball 6, jackpot amount, number jackpot winners.

Now you need to 'score' each result to find the least and most popular winning lottery numbers.

You can set up formulas for scoring using rules something likes this:-

  • 1 Jackpot Winner: score '+1' to each number drawn
  • 5 Winners Sharing Jackpot: score '+2' to each (more popular numbers)
  • 10+ Winners Sharing Jackpot: score '+3' (must be very popular numbers)
  • No Jackpot Winner: score '-1' to each number drawn (must be unpopular numbers

You can weight the scoring as you see fit. If you have the results data you can also go further and add-in Match 5 prizes too (give less weight to these though as you won't know exactly which 5 of the 6 numbers the winners actually picked).

For one reason only. And it might NOT be for the reason you're thinking!

Analysing past results like this will NOT help you figure out numbers that are more likely to win in future. Sorry - I wish it did. But lotteries are required to be random by law. So if you could predict numbers, even a little bit, that would be a whole barrel of legal trouble for the lottery operators!

The whole reason for doing this that (obviously) you're hoping for a big win! It may not be this month, or even this year.

But when you do win, you don't want to have to share your jackpot with HUNDREDS of other jackpot winners.

That CAN and DOES happen, if a popular combination of results comes out of the lottery machine.

So if you pick numbers that are NOT popular, there is a much better chance of you not having to share that jackpot with a ton of other winners. Makes sense, right?

The easiest way to do that is to use quick picks. This removes the temptation to follow any pattern. But there is still a chance you could end up with popular numbers.

You could use a random lottery number generator to produce a set of picks. Then visually inspect them to see if they include too many popular numbers, reject those lines that do, and keep playing the others.

Or you could get serious and use the method above to identify the most popular winning lottery numbers - and the least popular - for your game. Then use that data to modify the pool of numbers you pick from.

Let me know how you get on.

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