28 August 2015, By Tatiana Colless
6 Lotto Myths Busted
4 min read
Lotto players around the world have a lot of myths surrounding their ticket purchases. Some will tell you that there is a solid system, strategy and techniques behind their wins, others will thank Lady Luck, cross their fingers and secretly squeeze their lucky rabbit paw charm. While humans by nature are a superstitious bunch, there’s certainly no black cats and voodoo dolls when it comes to lottery. Very much like there’s no super-secret-scientific method of beating the odds or predicting the winning numbers. Here are few common lotto myths busted for you.
The odds of winning the lottery are less than the odds of being struck by lightning.
This myth was first mathematically debunked in the USA in 1997 – statistics gathered by University of Minnesota Doctor of Physics revealed that there were 1,136 winners of one million+ in 1996 vs. 91 people stuck by lightning during that same year.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, there are about 100 unfortunates in Australia that are hit by lightning yearly, with odds being around 1,000,000 to 1. There are several hundred Division 1 winners each year in Australia. There are also many more opportunities for the lotto players to claim minor division prizes of $10-100, up to several thousand in Division 3 and up to several hundred thousand in Division 2. There are also regular incentives run for players like 2nd Change draws.
So while the odds of winning the jackpot is around 8,000,000 to 1 (based on Saturday Lotto), it’s as little as 58 to 1 to actually claiming a lotto prize.
Once a set of six numbers comes up, they won’t appear again for years, so it’s pointless choosing them.
Lotto draws are not cyclic events like planetary movements or comets, they’re completely random and in every draw every set of numbers has an equal chance of being picked. The claims of number redundancy are like claims that if the first toss of the coin is heads, then the second toss MUST be tails as heads is redundant. There’s an actual example debunking this myth – the same six numbers won the NSW GoLotto in Draw Number 916 (29 Jan 1991) and Draw Number 817 (19 Feb 1990).
There are lucky / unlucky stores
Newsagents, websites, suburbs, and even states – we like to believe those stories we see in the news of the ‘lotto hot spots’, where multiple winning tickets were bought. Folks from far and away will flock to the ‘lucky’ retailer in purely theoretical hope that purchasing tickets here will increase their chances of winning.
In reality, where the lotto ticket is bought has absolutely no relevance to it containing the winning numbers. In fact, you have very much the same chance of hitting the jackpot by staying at home and buying a ticket online, as proven by one of the winners of the recent $60 million Oz Lotto jackpot – the Brisbane man purchased his ticket online.
Some people have more luck than others
We always tend to think so when we get caught out in the rain, get a flat tire or see someone else win the lottery. Grass is always greener in someone else’s backyard, and they were probably wearing their lucky charm when they bought that ticket. In fact, thinking that someone has more luck than others is pure superstition. Your odds of winning are the same if you’re wearing you lucky green shirt, having been born on the 31st of the month during a blue moon, or any other person that gets a ticket in the same draw. Much the same as the rain doesn’t care if you’re or you aren’t wearing that lucky shirt!
Winning a large prize more than once is impossible.
There are plenty of examples of double lotto winners around the world. A UK couple won their first $1.95 million in EuroMillions lottery in 2013, then won another $2.7 million in April 2015- beating the odds of 283 billion to one! In February 2015, a Perth syndicate coordinator accidentally bought two winning tickets for the same draw, and it the syndicate won two Division 1 prizes totalling $1.7 million. The same year a UK man also accidentally bought two tickets with the same numbers for the same draw – in result he won two Division 1 prizes worth over $1,000,000. In 2006, a Canadian woman saw the winning numbers in a dream and bought two tickets, both of which won her over $16 million! Another Australian man won a $250,000 instant scratch ticket prize in 1999, and only a few weeks after he won another $27,000 on another scratchie!
You cannot win unless your stars align
If your horoscope says the time’s not right, you shouldn’t be buying that ticket… People sure do love superstitions! There was ONE news story about a WA winner of $1 million, who said his horoscope claimed that his finances would improve (not a very specific prediction, is it?!) But if that was indeed a horoscope-guided win, we would see news stories popping up every week of those who picked the horoscope-suggested lucky numbers and played at exact time recommended. Following your horoscope is hardly a solid strategy for a lotto win, very much like chanting, voodoo, or holding your lucky teddy when you’re picking those numbers.
Could you be Australia’s next millionaire? Buy your lotto tickets online now.