This is the fifth article in the Lotto Lies series. There are many who believe that there are no such things as a lottery number patterns or trends. Therefore, using a computer for Lottery Number Analysis is a waste of time. After all, the lottery is a random game of chance. Right? How could there possibly be any trends? Such skeptics would have a good point except for the fact that the trends are there for everyone to see. Well, at least those that are willing to look.

Lotto Lie No. 5 – *There are no such things as lottery trends.*

All right, let’s go looking for some lottery trends.

**Prospecting**

Now, there are people who possess a unique ability to look at a lottery’s winning number history and see lottery number patterns and trends. They are few and far between and, I admit, I don’t have a clue how they do it. Most people, me included, could look at the winning number history for weeks on end and only hope to find that bottle of Motrin.

If we are going to go prospecting for lottery trends, we are going to need some prospecting tools. Such modern-day prospecting is done with a computer and a quality lottery software program. We also need to know what a lottery trend looks like. Otherwise, how would we recognize one if we found it?

**A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words – But, a Graph Is Better.**

Let’s start this discussion by making a graph. We’ll use the Mega Millions 5/56 lottery as an example.

First, for each drawing in the lottery’s history, we’ll select 5 numbers at random and compare them to the winning numbers and see how well we did. If two of our numbers were winners, we would plot a 2 on our graph for that drawing. If none of our numbers were winners, we would plot a 0, etc. When we were finished we would have a nice graph to look at for our effort. We’ll call this graph our random selection graph.

Each point on the graph represents how we did in that drawing. But, how well did we do overall? The easiest way to answer that is to simply average all the points on the graph. This would give us an Average Number of Hits per Drawing. We can use this as a figure of merit. We could compare other number selection techniques to this figure of merit to see if we did better or worse than random number selection.

What should this Average Hits per Drawing be? Selecting 5 numbers out of 56 means we’re selecting 5/56 or 8.9% of the possible numbers. Therefore, we should expect that, over the long haul, we would average 8.9% x 5 correct picks per drawing or 0.45 Average Hits per Drawing. The Average Hits per Drawing for the random selection graph will be very, very close to this number.

Some of you are probably asking, “What was this exercise for?” The purpose was to find the Average Hits per Drawing, 0.45. We can now compare lottery trends we discover to this number to see if the trend is better or worse than random number selection. Now, we know what a lottery trend should look like. If we find a Mega Millions trend with an Average Hits per Drawing that is greater than 0.45, we’re on to something.

**Aha! A Trend.**

So, do trends like this even exist? And, if they do, how good are they? The answer to the first question is, “Yes; in every lottery, every day.” The answer to the second question is, “Much better than you might expect.” We’re not talking about a paltry 1% or 2% improvement above random number selection. We’re not talking 4% or 5%. We’re not talking 8% or 9%. We’re not talking 11% to 12%. Oh, no. Depending on the lottery, we’re talking 15% to 30% improvement!

Excited yet? Let’s look at 194 drawings of the Mega Millions 5/56 lottery from 1/04/11 to 11/09/12. Since we are looking for lottery trends, we are looking for numbers that are resurfacing in some statistically influential way. In other words, we are looking back into the lottery’s history to select numbers to play in the next drawing. But, where in the history should we look?

This is where a computer with a lottery software program is indispensable because it would be virtually impossible to uncover these trends by hand calculation. Well, not impossible, but the drawing is this Saturday and, next month, after working 24/7 without food or drink, when you finally complete the analysis, the train already left the station.

**Cycles Will Bring You Around**

Cycle 13 has been the best in the Mega Millions lottery. Cycle 13 identifies a place to look in the lottery’s history. That place is 13 drawings ago. By always going to that place to find 5 numbers to play, rather than randomly selecting them, you would have averaged 0.56 winning numbers per drawing instead of 0.45. That’s an amazing 24% improvement! This is an obvious trend that is statistically relevant and cannot be ignored. Cycle 3 was a close second at 0.55.

But, that’s not all. Without realizing it was a poor choice, suppose you always selected your numbers from eight drawings ago; Cycle 8. Sadly, it only produced an average of 0.36 winning numbers per drawing. Cycle 13 outperformed Cycle 8 by a whopping 55.5%! As you can clearly see, making good decisions is vitally important. Now, don’t you wish you had this kind of information available to you before picking your lottery numbers?

In any other game of chance out there, a 24% to 55.5% advantage will bring a big smile to any gambler’s face. This doesn’t mean that Cycle 13 has always produced winners. But, it does mean that over time, it has been the best producer of winning numbers.

I can hear the skeptics out there right now, jumping up and down, saying, “Ya but, that doesn’t mean it will continue to be the best.” True, but these trends have what I call Persistence. They don’t appear overnight nor do they disappear tomorrow. Cycles 13 and 3 were both in the top ten producing Cycles 50 drawings ago (drawing 144). That means they have been two of the best choice for the last 50 drawings.

So, if you’re going to play the most difficult game in the world, you need to take advantage of everything your lottery has to offer. Does this mean you’re going to win the lottery? No, not at all. There is much more to it. This is just a simple example to quiet the naysayers, skeptics and critics who try to insist that lottery number analysis is a waste of time and there are no such things as lottery number patterns or trends. Now, to join the ranks of serious lottery players, you’re going to need a computer and a quality lottery software program.

Look for the sixth article in the Lotto Lies series; “Best Lottery Advice – I don’t play the lottery because that’s gambling.”