How to pick lottery numbers – Methods and considerations

This post is dedicated to methods related to choosing and picking lottery numbers.

How do you pick lottery numbers?

You spend money for your lottery ticket, therefore you should get the most out of it. Unlike other types of lotteries you have control over how to pick lottery numbers.

Most people have some kind of method for picking numbers, and normally they don’t change their favorite way of placing the bet. At this point I would like to ask you to think a moment about the success your method had until today, how much do you spend and how much is your average return? Maybe your method is not the best and you are not satisfied with the results, so please read on to find out the reason why. The following chapters discuss the pros and cons as well as possible pitfalls of different methods people are using to choose their bets.

However, every subject has supporters and opponents and this post is also intended to initiate a discussion about the topics, so feel free to drop your comment/suggestion at the end of this writing.

Now let’s dive into the different options you’ve got in your toolbox for picking numbers.

Birthdays, anniversaries and lucky numbers

The date of birth is one of the most popular methods for picking, although it limits your range of numbers drastically. For the day and month number you have only the numbers 1 to 31 available, for the year even only 2 (number 19 or 20)+last 2 digits which will be different after year 2031(so no birthday yet!).

Let’s see how many birthdays can be played with Powerball. There are 69 numbers, so the years between 1901-1969 and 2001-2018 will have a hype on 19 and 20 in the first place because the last 2 digits may by any of the remaining 67. Therefore, anytime numbers 19 or 20 are drawn, the total number of tickets having these numbers is increased along with the chance that you might have to share your prize with many others.

The next thing to consider is that -in case of Powerball- that you can maximum play only one of your numbers between 32 and 69(almost half of all available!), therefore you are competing with a large crowd in a narrow range and in case of winning you are most likely not the only one to take the prize. Therefore, consider this practice as “quota killing”.

Now to the lucky number: Everyone has one (most people have only one) and some use it extensively in every single play. But your lucky number might be a so called “dead number” (in terms of draw frequency) within the lottery you are participating… For that reason you should check the draw statistics to ensure that your number is in harmony with your lottery of choice. If so, you’re good to go, otherwise you have three options: switching to another lottery, not playing that number or changing your lucky number (which is most unlikely!).

Remember to check the statistics of your lottery once in a while to find out how your lucky number develops among the others.

Being unique is crucial when it comes to big prizes. For small wins prize amounts are normally fixed or fluctuate little, unfortunately this does not apply to the larger amounts where every additional winner cuts your share. Therefore, try to be different from the main stream, while staying away from too cold and icy numbers.

Why QuickPick is wasting money

Hastiness seldom pays.

This applies to almost everything in our daily life. The reason is that if you don’t take time to evaluate your options you are most probably won’t make the best decision at that moment. The more time you invest in thinking about the opportunities you’ve got the better are chances for a positive outcome.

Usually you receive your QuickPick through a computer random generator, which does not consider statistical history. That’s OK and how it should be in the first place because every number has the same chance to be drawn and at least in the very long time every number would have been drawn equally. But this is all theory and everybody knows that reality looks different, so let’s go back to the real world and consider historical data.

You might think: “If I only could QuickPick out of the hot numbers…”

Here is the answer: “Yes, you can!”

In fact this topic is related to what this site is all about. You will understand the foundation of this website by reading my post “About Lottery Prediction“.

Having this in mind, please don’t QuickPick! This option is by far the worst deal you can make with your money. QuickPicks are the cash cows of the lottery providers and nothing but a genius marketing idea for sales promotion. However, feeding the cash cow increases the amount of jackpot, so at this point we honor the QuickPickers for doing so (no offense).

If you don’t have any other method for picking other than this or you like random picking, please use at least refined QuickPicks provided by this site, where your set of numbers consist of hot candidates only. It won’t cost you more than before but you drastically increase your chances of winning compared to the “blind” QuickPick provided by your lottery company.

Picking patterns – A very tricky method

This topic is very easy to defend because we have an actual real-life history record in that matter. Picking patters on your sheet may look funny but beware there are far more people out there than you might imagine thinking likewise. In fact -compared to the birthday method- this type of choosing numbers is even worse. Read on to learn what happened.

On January 23, 1988, the German “Lotto 6/49” had one of the most spectacular surprises in lottery history by following draw:

The result: 222 jackpot winners!! , bringing everyone about 84,804 Deutsche Mark (in US dollars about 48,138).

You see, it can happen and if you are still in doubt, here some other examples for “second main prize” winnings. Please keep in mind that these prizes were still worth hundreds of thousands of dollars but every “winner” got only a relatively small cut of it because of the high sharing rate. Here they are:

October 4, 1997: 124 winners with $31,625 each

April 10, 1999 :38,008 winners (yes, it is 38 thousand!) with $225 each

February 15, 2003: more than 25.000 winners with $233 each

Remember we are talking about Germany here, where the population is only a quarter of the USA…

Well, I think this chapter needs no further comment as it talks for itself. We should accept that reality is the best evidence and that said consider this type of playing as a “quota killer”, too.

Hot and cold numbers

Some people study the statistics and play only the most drawn numbers, and there are other players who swear only on the least drawn numbers because the expectation that cold numbers pick up the equalization is high. Here we can refer to the chapter of picking birthdays and patterns, because many people will do like this and both result into mainstream effects (sharing the win with many others).

As you might have noticed this site groups hot and cold candidates by short term appearance as well as considering the frequency of past drawings. Because we are talking about the main subject of this website, a single chapter would be too extensive to explain the full subject. For that reason a separate post will be dedicated to this topic in the near future.


We learned that picking strategy has mostly to do with how to find number combinations with better quotas and avoiding those which can make us even annoying of winning.

Remember, at the end of the day every number has equal chance to be drawn, so at this moment we should be aware that picking strategies is equal to being unique in the first place, rather than following mainstream movements.

Keep in mind: The chances of winning stay the same but the amount you can win would be higher if you try to be unique.

So far this result is what science is telling us. However, this site has a mission to go one step further and approaches to suggest picking concrete numbers.

Well, every claim needs evidence, therefore any of the lotteries listed on this site will display the comparison of the past predictions with the corresponding results to find out if the predictions are just average like blind picking from all numbers or if there are above average results to ob serve, which is the main target of this project.

That said, let the performance talk… check it out and judge by yourself.

Many thanks for reading this article. Please feel free to add your comment/suggestion.

Pick wisely.


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