October 23, 2018
Tonight, illusionist Derren Brown will attempt to predict the six winning Lottery numbers on C4, moments before the BBC’s National Lottery Live draw, whose jackpot stands at ₤ 2.4 million. So confident is he of success that C4 has scheduled a follow-up show on Friday, explaining how he did it. But why let Derren Brown have all the glory? We’ve been doing our soothsaying, uncovering Lottery winning methods from the mathematical to the random, from the sublime to the ridiculous. If our tips fail, we accept no responsibility. But if you do happen to pick up that ₤ 2.4 m, remember the poor scribes who helped you teatime results.
NUMBER CRUNCHING: THE STATISTICS OF SUCCESS
Never make selections based on birthdays. The reason is simple: no date contains a number above 31, thereby excluding 18 names in the draw and diminishing the chances of success. Those aged 31-49 can improve their odds by including their ages as well. Don’t pick 13 – it is unlucky, appearing just 154 times as a main ball in the Lottery. And 16 performs equally poorly, while 41 and 20 do even worse. The luckiest number in the Lottery is 38 with 206 main ball appearances, well ahead of the next most fortunate number, 31, which has turned up 195 times. A ticket comprised of the six best performing numbers in the draw would read 38, 31, 11, 9, 23, 25. But. Most popular combination over the past year is 3, 5, 7, 11, 23, 27. So if you win the jackpot with this ticket, you’ll be splitting it an awful lot of ways.
Least favorite combination over the past year is 32, 35, 37, 38, 43, 46. So if you win with this, you’ll have it all to yourself! Until everyone rushes out and chooses it. It is more efficient to buy 20 tickets for one Lottery draw than one ticket for 20 draws, presumably because you cover a greater spread of numbers. Ensure your numbers add up to more than 177: according to a study of the Swiss lottery, this improves your chances, possibly because high numbers seem to be picked less often and therefore there are fewer winners to share with.