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Why Quick Picks win...Hint: It's *NOT* what you think, folks!

Topic closed. 38 replies. Last post 10 years ago by MegaWinner.

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NY
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October 16, 2005
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Posted: April 9, 2007, 4:15 pm - IP Logged

Perhaps I should have called the thread WHY SELF PICKS DO NOT WIN  instead of a positive based assumption regarding QPs. But in theory, as KY Floyd points out, or seems to, each combo has an equal theoretical chance of winning. Most of gambling geeks who read that a majority of winning combos are 2/3 odd even or vice versa pick from those sets, while QPs will "choose" at random between ALL possible combo sets, whih in the end, gives them their subtle micro edge in real world terms, capish?  

Nevertheless, it also true that with 176 million combos, something like Mega Millions will not exhaust the possible total combinations in many of our lifetimes, or even come close. The difficulty in winning a JP is that it is like saying "pick a number between 1 and 176 million, any number, I am thinking of one,  and if you guess right you win the loot" when obviously if it was like picking the Ace of spades of deck of cards, 1 in 52, it would happen soon enough, but not here, unless lightning strikes. You can expect to win once in something like 435,000 years, in MM, supposedly, for example, the techie boys tell us. So, you simply cannot achieve it realistically, no matter what method of picking numbers you use, in your lifetime, or ten lifetimes.

As KY Floyd suggests, picking the 2/3 odd even, low high, etc. does not help much because in odds that steep, even if you pick from those "high percentage" pick zones, where MOST draw wins "come from" it does NOT aid you in finding the SPECIFIC combo needed to win on that given day. True. There are TONS of those possible combos that follow the even/odd,  low/high, number sums, to pick from, and even though DRAWS in a majority of cases might be shown, despite their randomness, to fit in those zones, you are helping yourself in a nominal way with regard to actually selecting the winning combo, at best. 

My point was the randomness of the QP IS its strength, due to its less biased nature, all possible tries are going be covered by the prospective picker, who cannot apply HIS bias over "likely combos" to the pick. He cannot "overthink" the selection. Sheer short term freak luck carries the day in most of these lotto games, with any significant odds in the odds of winning, such as lotto TX. No matter how much work you do, you cannot increase your odds in any significant way with either QPS OR self picks. Neither is scientifically better than the other.

Since each draw is a fresh trial, the draws are re-using all balls, and the law of independent trials applies, the Math profs will argue, and that applies each time no matter which picking method you use, which is also an unrelated event. 

KY Floyd, we cannot test the theory regards QPS vs non, in these games, because we all know most WILL buy QPS. As I said, I suspect the QP WOULD win in head to head, not because the odds were better using them but that the users who relied on their draw histories and such would pinhead themselves out the odd JP ot 2 by their very pickiness of making sure they only submitted "balanced" low/high, sums, odd/evens, etc. while QPS cover the gamut in an unbiased way, allowing them in the end to potentially cover a wider field as a net for any given draw. I understand all of YOUR arguments, (except your *comparison* points about QP ratios vs the non, etc. this might need a bit more explanation) have heard them by several analyzers many times and am the biggest skeptic on this board, regards odds, FYI... :)

You're still misisng the boat. Self-picked numbers do win, and they win in just about the same proportion that they're played.

"even though DRAWS in a majority of cases might be shown, despite their randomness, to fit in those zones"

It doesn't happen "despite" randomness, it happens because of randomness, and the greater number of combinations that fit the pattern. Pick any pattern at all, and over the long term the percentage of winning combinations that match that pattern will be about equal to the percentage of possible combinations that fit the pattern.

"My point was the randomness of the QP IS its strength, due to its less biased nature"

Randomness is neutral.  It's not "less biased" it's unbiased. That's an explicit part of the whole concept of randomness.

"we cannot test the theory regards QPS vs non, in these games, because we all know most WILL buy QPS"

We test it every single time there's a winner. We know that for a typical drawing 70% of tickets sold are QP's and 70% of winning ticket are QP's

Every combination definitely has the same theoretical chance as every other combination.  I believe that some numbers are more or less likely to be drawn, but I'd be extremely surprised if the relative chances of any combination differ by enough to have any significant meaning. The vagaries of randomness will have a much bigger effect on which numbers are drawn more or less than the expected number of times. By choosing your combination so that it has a 2/3 balance of odd and even numbers you're completely eliminating any chance of winning if the combination that is drawn has a different pattern, but that's balanced exactly by the better chance of having the right combination if the combination that is drawn has that pattern. The same is true for any other method that eliminates some of the combinations from consideration. If you choose only combinations that don't have a 2/3 mix there's only about a 1 in 3 chance that the combination that is drawn won't be 3/2, but if it isn't 3/2 you're about 3 times as likely to have the exact combination that was drawn.

What  does happen as a result of people picking non-random combinations is that the pattern of winners is skewed. The NY lotto referenced in my first post is one example. The best example is the fortune cookie  incident. For any given drawing the chances that the combination will match a combination from a fortune cookie might be 1 in 10,000, but if the winning combination does match one from a fortune cookie there's an extremely good chance we'll see winners, even if ticket sales are small. The best birthday number example I know of is from the 12/22/04 PB drawing, when there were 3 winners. The chances that a QP would have those numbers was directly proportional to the perentage of combinations covered by QP's. If there were enough QP's sold to cover 20% of the combinations then there was only a 20% chance that a QP would have that particular combination. If enough self-picks were sold to cover 20% of the combinations some combinations would have had less than a 20% chance of being picked and some would have more than a 20% chance of being picked. Birthday combinations are among those with a better chance of being played.

In short, everything balances out exactly.  QP's are more likely to  cover combinations that some players would avoid, and self-picks are more likely to cover some combinations that  QPs only play as a result of randomness and simple probability. No matter what criteria you use for picking combinations, they all have the same chance of winning. If you buy enough tickets to cover 0.01% of the combinations then you've got a 0.01% chance of winning. It doesn't matter whether they were all QP's, all self-picks, or some mixture of the two.

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    NY
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    Posted: April 9, 2007, 4:17 pm - IP Logged

    The winning combo had 5 odd nums / 1 even num, not 6 odd nums.

    A 5/1 split is more likely than a 6/0 split.

    Letitride obviously isn't as a good at paying attention to the details as possible, but that has nothing to do with the ideas we're discussing. While 5/1 is more common than 6/0, 3/3 is more common still. The point that some people will think those numbers are a "bad" combination still stands.


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      Posted: April 9, 2007, 10:17 pm - IP Logged

      Winning a MM, PB, or CA SLP jackpot using Quick Pick is pure luck.

        Badger's avatar - adu50016 NorthAmericanBadger.jpg
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        Posted: April 9, 2007, 11:48 pm - IP Logged

        I think the only conclusion one can come to from this thread is a lottery player is lucky to win a big prize regardless of how he picks his numbers.  Buying QPs is easier and less time consuming but if a player enjoy picking his own numbers then he's getting an additional thrill similar to that of a gambler trying to beat the house odds.

        I Agree! Exactly.  With jp games and odds of more than a million to one, there's nothing the player can do to reduce the odds against him/her significantly.  That's why many people like to play the Daily Games (especially Pick 3 with odds of hitting a straight "only" 1000 to 1 against you) In that game at least, you have a chance of reducing the odds against you.

        But the main point of playing/picking your numbers in a jp game isn't that you're reducing the odds against you.  It's the experience of picking your own numbers.  You want to feel that in the process of it all, you actually played a part in it.  You weren't "blessed by the great computer" or "blessed by the mighty ball machine".  You actually did something and you won.

        ============

        How can you tell if a politician is lying?

        Answer: His lips are moving.

          OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
          Gurnee, Illinois
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          Posted: April 10, 2007, 8:57 am - IP Logged

          Winning a MM, PB, or CA SLP jackpot using Quick Pick is pure luck.

          Winning a MM, PB, CA SLP, FL L, TL, or any lotto game using your own picks is pure luck...how many thousands of times have you played your own picks only to not win $1?  It's luck whenever anybody wins regardless of the method used to pick the numbers...geez louise!

           

          I see these old gents pull up to the convenience store in their Badillacs, hooptie vans, and beaters, take some drags on their cigarettes, get out with their protective plastic lottery playslip holder in hand, trudge to the counter and hand over their pre-filled out playslips and cash to the clerk...and they do this day in day out, week in and week out...and I have never heard of any of them winning a thing.  Whereas I have been LUCKY enough to win with both QPs and own picks...and you know what?  When ever I win off of a QP, I usually will say, "I never even would have played that particular number set."  But whenever I purchase a QP and I think, "Wow, those are a lot of the numbers I would have played....I ALWAYS win zilch...zero dollars!  And yes, the Texas lotto QP numbers definitely were an odd sort.

          Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

          The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

            guesser's avatar - Lottery-017.jpg

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            Posted: April 11, 2007, 10:31 am - IP Logged

            If a person just played birthdays, you are limiting yourself to an awful lot of numbers - from 1 to 31, and ignoring 32-55.

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              Posted: April 11, 2007, 10:52 pm - IP Logged

              The computer that generates quickpicks is not set to sell ALL the POSSIBLE combinations there ARE in a drawing.

              Read that sentence again: The computer that generates quickpicks is not set to sell ALL the POSSIBLE combinations there ARE in a drawing.

              When the jackpot approaches $200+ million, the computer is programmed to sell MORE if not MOST of ALL the POSSIBLE COMBINATIONS.

              That is why there are so many winners who have all five numbers but not the megaball.

              That is also why the jackpot will never reach $1 billion dollars.

              The quickpick you buy today in New York might be the same quickpick combination generated in California tomorrow.

              Always tell the truth; that will astonish some, and gratify the rest.

              President Harry S. Truman, Democrat

                Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
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                Posted: April 11, 2007, 11:12 pm - IP Logged

                The computer that generates quickpicks is not set to sell ALL the POSSIBLE combinations there ARE in a drawing.

                Read that sentence again: The computer that generates quickpicks is not set to sell ALL the POSSIBLE combinations there ARE in a drawing.

                When the jackpot approaches $200+ million, the computer is programmed to sell MORE if not MOST of ALL the POSSIBLE COMBINATIONS.

                That is why there are so many winners who have all five numbers but not the megaball.

                That is also why the jackpot will never reach $1 billion dollars.

                The quickpick you buy today in New York might be the same quickpick combination generated in California tomorrow.

                Always tell the truth; that will astonish some, and gratify the rest.

                President Harry S. Truman, Democrat

                The computer isn't programmed to sell more combinations just because the jackpot is higher. There are more combinations sold because more people are playing because the jackpot is higher.

                Gonna win.Big Smile

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                  Posted: April 12, 2007, 9:21 pm - IP Logged

                  The computer isn't programmed to sell more combinations just because the jackpot is higher. There are more combinations sold because more people are playing because the jackpot is higher.

                  Actually Guru, you can read documentation on what or most of what I stated in William Atwood's book, The Lottery Solution

                  1- Again, not the number of tickets but the number of combinations to be sold is controlled and has nothing to do with how many people are playing (although that most likely influences more combinations being released for a future drawing).

                  2- You can buy a ticket in NY and I can buy a ticket in CA and we can have the same combination. 

                  3- The number of quickpicks sold and the number of combinations released (computer-generated) are two different things.

                  "Always tell the truth.  That will astonish some and gratify the rest."

                  President Harry S. Truman, Democrat

                    justxploring's avatar - villiarna
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                    Posted: April 12, 2007, 10:10 pm - IP Logged

                    Last night in FL one person won $33 million playing Lotto.  It was a Quick Pick.

                    2 - 5 - 12 - 19 - 26 - 43

                     

                    2 and 19 are numbers I play all the time.  Actually, I got 5 numbers, but on 3 different tickets! The other 4 numbers are each 1 or 2 numbers apart from my other 3 numbers.  So why would my personal combination have any more or less of a chance than this one?

                    Let's say my number is 2 - 7 - 12 - 19 - 27 - 44    or    2 - 6 - 12 - 19 - 25 - 41

                    or many, many other combinations.

                    Close doesn't count.  So many people on this board will say "Oh, I was soooo close" but it means absolutely nothing in the lottery world unless you get 5/6 or 4/6 and win a little money.

                    It is the very randomness, the mindless number allocation, free of "lotto draw statistics" application,  that is the strength of the QP. It is not constrained by the opinion of some nerd. 

                    I've bet quick picks I got for previous drawings days or weeks (even months) earlier.  No matter how you look at them, they were once quick picks...no more or no less random just because they were a few days or a few weeks old. So why on Wed night would the numbers generated as quick picks on Wed have any better chance of hitting?  Stating that personal numbers or quick picks have any advantage, is stating that the winning numbers are pre-determined as if something is controlling the balls according to what has been played for that particular game.  This is one reason I do not believe in computerized draws, because that would be very possible.

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                      Posted: April 12, 2007, 10:26 pm - IP Logged

                      I won 3 games today, not big $ but all picked with different algorithms, no QP. Last time I had 3+1 on Powerball or Mega it was manual pick. When I had 5 of 5 it was manual pick. I can't even remember the last time I won anything over 10 dollars on QP. Anyone who thinks QP's are better often has weak algorithms in which case they're equal. If you play daily numbers games then especially avoid QP because the Lottery takes out 50% so there's no way on pure luck the vast majority of players would overcome that. On a jackpot game you only need to win one time so a few do get lucky. Also I might be a dweeb or a nerd (translation: program expert) but my prg. is way past a "calculator" and it will sometimes give me 3 consec. #s, I don't see why that would be a problem. It's just pure jealousy talking.. but let not your heart be troubled for I shall release my technology if and when I win "the big one".

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                        Posted: April 12, 2007, 11:49 pm - IP Logged

                        Whether it's a quick pick, numbers off of the serial number of a dollar bill noticed while waiting in line, or a set of numbers that someone put six months of tracking and research into, if any of those sets of numbers hit on the night played, it still comes down to nothing other than the luck factor.

                        Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                        Lep

                        There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

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                          Posted: April 13, 2007, 12:00 pm - IP Logged

                          Actually Guru, you can read documentation on what or most of what I stated in William Atwood's book, The Lottery Solution

                          1- Again, not the number of tickets but the number of combinations to be sold is controlled and has nothing to do with how many people are playing (although that most likely influences more combinations being released for a future drawing).

                          2- You can buy a ticket in NY and I can buy a ticket in CA and we can have the same combination. 

                          3- The number of quickpicks sold and the number of combinations released (computer-generated) are two different things.

                          "Always tell the truth.  That will astonish some and gratify the rest."

                          President Harry S. Truman, Democrat

                          Greg...as I make these comments please note I have not read The Lottery Solution, so any insight you can offer would be appreciated. As you mention a ticket in NY and CA are purchased, this specfic reply will be based upon the Mega Millions game.

                          You state "the  number of combinations to be sold is controlled".  This implies a pool of numbers is offered for sale, while another pool of numbers is held back.  Does this mean that all of the lottery machines in the Mega Millions states are linked to a central computer and obtain a supply of numbers for each drawing?  Is this how you understand the quick pick system for Mega Millions works?

                          In past posts the quick pick system has been described as each indvidual lottery machine operates in an independant manner when generating quick picks.

                          Which is it, a centralized pool of numbers or each lottery terminal is it's own RNG?  As answers come forward on this subject it would be good to mention a source for this information.   

                            justxploring's avatar - villiarna
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                            Posted: April 13, 2007, 12:56 pm - IP Logged

                            If a person just played birthdays, you are limiting yourself to an awful lot of numbers - from 1 to 31, and ignoring 32-55.

                            I agree with you, Guesser.  That was a problem with one of my combinations, but I kept it and began playing an additional set years ago.  Of course any combination can win, but when the matrix changed and more numbers were added, I chose one higher number to sort of "balance" the card, if that makes any sense.  I decided to use my age at the time.  (Now I'm too old! Thank goodness the numbers don't go up that high! LOL)   However, you can use birthdays (with years) and cover a lot, i.e.,  if someone was born 2-19-1953 and her husband was born 11-30-1948, you've got 6 numbers.  2-11-19-30-48-53     I know someone here will say that even 6 low numbers can win, which is true, even 1-2-3-4-5-6.  But more often than not there are 1 or 2 numbers from the 30s, 40s & 50s.  

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                              Posted: April 13, 2007, 2:17 pm - IP Logged

                              Greg...as I make these comments please note I have not read The Lottery Solution, so any insight you can offer would be appreciated. As you mention a ticket in NY and CA are purchased, this specfic reply will be based upon the Mega Millions game.

                              You state "the  number of combinations to be sold is controlled".  This implies a pool of numbers is offered for sale, while another pool of numbers is held back.  Does this mean that all of the lottery machines in the Mega Millions states are linked to a central computer and obtain a supply of numbers for each drawing?  Is this how you understand the quick pick system for Mega Millions works?

                              In past posts the quick pick system has been described as each indvidual lottery machine operates in an independant manner when generating quick picks.

                              Which is it, a centralized pool of numbers or each lottery terminal is it's own RNG?  As answers come forward on this subject it would be good to mention a source for this information.   

                              The combinations that will be allowed are distributed by a small central computer. To keep that computer safe, and away from prying eyes, it is constanly being moved around on a special fleet of black helicopters. Greg only knows about it because the flights aren't random enough, and the helicopters have spent far too much time flying around his house.