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# What is a lottery system? What distinguishes a lottery system from guesses, dreams and quick picks?

Topic closed. 918 replies. Last post 6 years ago by mayhem.

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 Posted: March 23, 2011, 8:47 am - IP Logged

The forums here exist in a hope that some means of predicting future lottery draws is possible.  Within those forums the threads split off into groupings concerning statistical approaches, results of past draws, math calculations and countless other and sometimes undefined methods.

If a successful lottery system showed itself on one of those forums how would success be defined?  Would an occasional accurate prediction qualify it as successful?  Would the 'system' need to be subject to replication from one lottery to another?  One draw to another?

Suppose the system backtested so accurately that every past draw could be accurately predicted but the system was incapable of predicting future draws.  Could that system be described as successful?

Denver, Co
United States
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December 29, 2010
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 Posted: March 23, 2011, 12:31 pm - IP Logged

I am completely flabbergasted as to how I can go through all the know prediction methods for a pick 5 or pick 6 draw such as past numbers, number announcers, adjacent numbers, hot/cold and odd/even biases, skips, sums, etc etc etc etc and so on, and come up with a set of 16 or so numbers that I am absolutely sure are going to produce a 3, 4 or even 5 number win and then only have 1 or 2 lousy numbers come up. And I mean, doing that on a consistent basis. I think I suck at predicting and am wondering if I should start playing the other numbers!!

So, for me, if I could have a system that could produce a 2nd or 3rd place prize even once out of every 5 to 7 draws, where I was breaking even on money spent/won, I think I would call that extremely successful.

Fort Worth, TX
United States
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 Posted: March 23, 2011, 12:39 pm - IP Logged

A successful lottery system...

Prerequisites:

1. The required wager must be less than winnings.

2. Cash flow between winnings should be very predictable.

These two requirements would imply that the system is accurate, efficient, consistent, and adaptive. Alone these values are vague but with the above requirements they are a lot less ambiguous. The same principles that one would use running a business should apply to playing the lottery. Yes you do accept short-term losses in a business but these are calculated and predictable (consistent). Without this you would be a fool to stay in business or keep playing a system.

In my opinion a system that qualified all of the above but failed to produce one single result in another lottery:

A. Would likely be impossible because lotteries aren't THAT different and if you found something that would work in one, you've likely stumbled upon a universal truth.

B. However, if it did exist, it still wouldn't matter because every lottery is open to every person. We measure a system's relevance by its capability for personal success. Whether or not a system works for another lottery is irrelevant, because that will never be relevant to the lottery player. If a system was devised for the Antarctic Lottery every last member of Lottery Post would figure out a way to play it.

Further, a system that was incapable of predicting future draws but could predict all past draws is a non-sequitur. It dosen't fit the description of a system at all. In its own right, it may be successful but it would be irrelevant because of its inability at producing personal success. Therefore, and this is what you we're aiming at, back-testing is paramount to devising and checking a system's validity.

How you do anything is how you do everything.

United States
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January 29, 2011
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 Posted: March 23, 2011, 12:44 pm - IP Logged

I am completely flabbergasted as to how I can go through all the know prediction methods for a pick 5 or pick 6 draw such as past numbers, number announcers, adjacent numbers, hot/cold and odd/even biases, skips, sums, etc etc etc etc and so on, and come up with a set of 16 or so numbers that I am absolutely sure are going to produce a 3, 4 or even 5 number win and then only have 1 or 2 lousy numbers come up. And I mean, doing that on a consistent basis. I think I suck at predicting and am wondering if I should start playing the other numbers!!

So, for me, if I could have a system that could produce a 2nd or 3rd place prize even once out of every 5 to 7 draws, where I was breaking even on money spent/won, I think I would call that extremely successful.

Thanks for the reply ameriken.  My solution to being a lousy predictor is studying lottery archives and histories along with the associated potential methods for predicting future draws for the interest and amusement, but almost never buying tickets.

I'm great at predicting past draws and can prove dozens of systems that show promise through backtesting but refuse to predict tonight accurately.

But I'd like to know what characteristics a successful system would have to satisfy.

United States
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January 29, 2011
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 Posted: March 23, 2011, 12:48 pm - IP Logged

A successful lottery system...

Prerequisites:

1. The required wager must be less than winnings.

2. Cash flow between winnings should be very predictable.

These two requirements would imply that the system is accurate, efficient, consistent, and adaptive. Alone these values are vague but with the above requirements they are a lot less ambiguous. The same principles that one would use running a business should apply to playing the lottery. Yes you do accept short-term losses in a business but these are calculated and predictable (consistent). Without this you would be a fool to stay in business or keep playing a system.

In my opinion a system that qualified all of the above but failed to produce one single result in another lottery:

A. Would likely be impossible because lotteries aren't THAT different and if you found something that would work in one, you've likely stumbled upon a universal truth.

B. However, if it did exist, it still wouldn't matter because every lottery is open to every person. We measure a system's relevance by its capability for personal success. Whether or not a system works for another lottery is irrelevant, because that will never be relevant to the lottery player. If a system was devised for the Antarctic Lottery every last member of Lottery Post would figure out a way to play it.

Further, a system that was incapable of predicting future draws but could predict all past draws is a non-sequitur. It dosen't fit the description of a system at all. In its own right, it may be successful but it would be irrelevant because of its inability at producing personal success. Therefore, and this is what you we're aiming at, back-testing is paramount to devising and checking a system's validity.

Lucid reply, Mayhem.  Though you surmise wrongly what I was aiming at the reply is interesting and lucid.

Thanks.

Denver, Co
United States
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 Posted: March 23, 2011, 12:51 pm - IP Logged

Mayhem gave a pretty good nswer. The last line of my last post is is pretty boring and generic and elementary, and maybe is not the answer you're looking for, but is how I personally would consider a system to be successful: "if I could have a system that could produce a 2nd or 3rd place prize even once out of every 5 to 7 draws, where I was breaking even on money spent/won, I think I would call that extremely successful."

mid-Ohio
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March 24, 2001
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 Posted: March 23, 2011, 1:44 pm - IP Logged

By design states lotteries are designed so 45-50% of tickets sales is profits for the states.  When you consider that 5% go to retailers for selling the tickets and another 5-10% goes for advertising and operating cost, players as a group are lucky to get 40% of their money back.  To attract more players 30% of sales usually go to build up the jackpot leaving 10% to pay the lower tier prizes.  Jackpots have high odds and their cash values seldom exceed the cost of buying all the possible combinations.  This Friday MegaMillions jackpot is one of the few exceptions, its cash value will be over \$193M with only 176M possible combinations.

I think any system that returns 20% or more of what you spend on tickets is not only successful but improves your odds of winning a jackpot which as a general rule is the only way to come out ahead playing lotteries.  The only exceptions to this general rule that I know might be winning 2nd prize in one of the mulit-state games PowerBall or MegaMillions, the aveage player is unlikely to spend more than those amounts in a life-time on lottery tickets.

* you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket *

United States
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January 29, 2011
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 Posted: March 23, 2011, 6:04 pm - IP Logged

By design states lotteries are designed so 45-50% of tickets sales is profits for the states.  When you consider that 5% go to retailers for selling the tickets and another 5-10% goes for advertising and operating cost, players as a group are lucky to get 40% of their money back.  To attract more players 30% of sales usually go to build up the jackpot leaving 10% to pay the lower tier prizes.  Jackpots have high odds and their cash values seldom exceed the cost of buying all the possible combinations.  This Friday MegaMillions jackpot is one of the few exceptions, its cash value will be over \$193M with only 176M possible combinations.

I think any system that returns 20% or more of what you spend on tickets is not only successful but improves your odds of winning a jackpot which as a general rule is the only way to come out ahead playing lotteries.  The only exceptions to this general rule that I know might be winning 2nd prize in one of the mulit-state games PowerBall or MegaMillions, the aveage player is unlikely to spend more than those amounts in a life-time on lottery tickets.

Seems sound as lottery reasoning goes, RJOH.  Thanks for the reply.

Another exception to your last sentence might involve the multiplier option.  Especially if a player had the multipliers included in whatever the system involved.

Thanks again for the well-thought-out reply.

Dallas, Texas
United States
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May 2, 2004
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 Posted: March 25, 2011, 12:37 pm - IP Logged

The forums here exist in a hope that some means of predicting future lottery draws is possible.  Within those forums the threads split off into groupings concerning statistical approaches, results of past draws, math calculations and countless other and sometimes undefined methods.

If a successful lottery system showed itself on one of those forums how would success be defined?  Would an occasional accurate prediction qualify it as successful?  Would the 'system' need to be subject to replication from one lottery to another?  One draw to another?

Suppose the system backtested so accurately that every past draw could be accurately predicted but the system was incapable of predicting future draws.  Could that system be described as successful?

Josephus, these are good question, but hard to answer due to the varying ideas of what success means to each player. BUDGET often plays a major part.

One Pick 3 player may play 10 combos, \$5, anticipating box hits, while another plays 20 combos for \$10. Our second player will feel the increased number of box hits is worth the cost. And yet a third player, will play 10 combos at \$10, in hopes of a .50/box, .50/straight win.

When you deal with occasional accurate predictions, the real question is: Is the payout worth the wait? We know that 72% of Pick3 draws are going to be single numbers. Even if they offer the smallest payout, they offer an opportunity of a hit more often. Doubles are drawn 27% of the time. Many people feel since doubles pay double, and are a smaller group, they are the moneymaker. And the third mindset is 'you can't lose playing triples.' If a triple hasn't shown in say, 80 draws, it is time to start playing triples.

Replication from one state to the next is possible with any system. Since each system is built along certain rules or a framework in which you insert the variables of your own game, it often depends on how well you know the game in your state as to success or failure. This is not set in stone as trends change from time to time, which is one of the biggest failures of all systems. Again, how well you know your game, and how quickly you identify trends can make or break any system. All lotteries are in flux.

Remember, the purpose of every every system is to find a universal key that works every draw, for any lottery. Backtesting has advantages in helping do that.

But backtesting can't account for the BRAIN.

From the pure numbers standpoint, backtesting can give an idea of how a system was producing 6 months, 6 years, or over the life of the game, based on the criteria you select, but it cannot account for what is registering in the brain at that time.

Examples of things that would register in the brain, at the time they were occurring, but can't be accounted for in pure mathematical backtests would be: doubles haven't hit in 15 draws, the digit 6 hasn't been seen in 24 draws, or triples have been out 118 days. Likewise you may have seen certain 'triggers' fall that would have led you to a hit that would be glossed over by pure math.

Inasmuch as it produces results showing IF one played in this manner, ignoring all other factors, THEN this would likely be the outcome, backtesting serves a purpose.

Creative systems intrigue me. I like people who think, who stand on the edge and look in, look out and both ways before crossing the street. Back in mid 2009, I'll guess August, WinD and/or paurths (forgive me if I appear to be giving more credit to one than I should, both are excellent thinkers!), presented a system for pick 3  players that (I feel) never received its due.

The idea is simple enough. One makes sets of 5, 6, or 7 digits. In the case of 6 digits, one would make every set from {0,1,2,3,4,5} to {4,5,6,7,8,9} and track those for longest sets out.

We then take that set, wheel the digits, and play those sets. Very simple, viable idea. Excellent, strong foundation. The drawback was not in the system itself, but in others understanding of the idea, coupled with the complexity of tracking each set. Many felt that the longest out set was supposed to hit that draw. If it didn't, the system was a failure.

At the same time, I was working from the oppsite side, based on the idea that 'a trend will continue.' I could see it no other way, so I was tracking sets that continued to hit. In doing so, I found a handful of sets that separate themselves from the pack by a couple of percentage points.

I realized WinD and/or paurths system was head and shoulders above mine when backtesting proved a set only needed to hit 2 or 3 times in the next 100 draws to maintain a leading edge, where their system did away with the headache of percentages completely.

I still use some of the routines written around their system.

1) In total, a system is only as good as the idea we use to build the framework and how well we intepret the output.

2) Backtesting has a purpose, but can never take us back to that point in time to allow us to know what the brain was thinking.

G

United States
Member #105312
January 29, 2011
435 Posts
Offline
 Posted: March 25, 2011, 2:38 pm - IP Logged

Josephus, these are good question, but hard to answer due to the varying ideas of what success means to each player. BUDGET often plays a major part.

One Pick 3 player may play 10 combos, \$5, anticipating box hits, while another plays 20 combos for \$10. Our second player will feel the increased number of box hits is worth the cost. And yet a third player, will play 10 combos at \$10, in hopes of a .50/box, .50/straight win.

When you deal with occasional accurate predictions, the real question is: Is the payout worth the wait? We know that 72% of Pick3 draws are going to be single numbers. Even if they offer the smallest payout, they offer an opportunity of a hit more often. Doubles are drawn 27% of the time. Many people feel since doubles pay double, and are a smaller group, they are the moneymaker. And the third mindset is 'you can't lose playing triples.' If a triple hasn't shown in say, 80 draws, it is time to start playing triples.

Replication from one state to the next is possible with any system. Since each system is built along certain rules or a framework in which you insert the variables of your own game, it often depends on how well you know the game in your state as to success or failure. This is not set in stone as trends change from time to time, which is one of the biggest failures of all systems. Again, how well you know your game, and how quickly you identify trends can make or break any system. All lotteries are in flux.

Remember, the purpose of every every system is to find a universal key that works every draw, for any lottery. Backtesting has advantages in helping do that.

But backtesting can't account for the BRAIN.

From the pure numbers standpoint, backtesting can give an idea of how a system was producing 6 months, 6 years, or over the life of the game, based on the criteria you select, but it cannot account for what is registering in the brain at that time.

Examples of things that would register in the brain, at the time they were occurring, but can't be accounted for in pure mathematical backtests would be: doubles haven't hit in 15 draws, the digit 6 hasn't been seen in 24 draws, or triples have been out 118 days. Likewise you may have seen certain 'triggers' fall that would have led you to a hit that would be glossed over by pure math.

Inasmuch as it produces results showing IF one played in this manner, ignoring all other factors, THEN this would likely be the outcome, backtesting serves a purpose.

Creative systems intrigue me. I like people who think, who stand on the edge and look in, look out and both ways before crossing the street. Back in mid 2009, I'll guess August, WinD and/or paurths (forgive me if I appear to be giving more credit to one than I should, both are excellent thinkers!), presented a system for pick 3  players that (I feel) never received its due.

The idea is simple enough. One makes sets of 5, 6, or 7 digits. In the case of 6 digits, one would make every set from {0,1,2,3,4,5} to {4,5,6,7,8,9} and track those for longest sets out.

We then take that set, wheel the digits, and play those sets. Very simple, viable idea. Excellent, strong foundation. The drawback was not in the system itself, but in others understanding of the idea, coupled with the complexity of tracking each set. Many felt that the longest out set was supposed to hit that draw. If it didn't, the system was a failure.

At the same time, I was working from the oppsite side, based on the idea that 'a trend will continue.' I could see it no other way, so I was tracking sets that continued to hit. In doing so, I found a handful of sets that separate themselves from the pack by a couple of percentage points.

I realized WinD and/or paurths system was head and shoulders above mine when backtesting proved a set only needed to hit 2 or 3 times in the next 100 draws to maintain a leading edge, where their system did away with the headache of percentages completely.

I still use some of the routines written around their system.

1) In total, a system is only as good as the idea we use to build the framework and how well we intepret the output.

2) Backtesting has a purpose, but can never take us back to that point in time to allow us to know what the brain was thinking.

G

Hi Gary.  I love your reply because I'm going to have to read through it a dozen times to digest and contemplate all the points you've made.  I can see I'm going to have to go back and take Pick 3 101 sometime in the future because I'm devoid of any knowledge about it.

Nice, diverse set of replies here.  My particular view of a successful lottery system has nothing to do with whether it predicts future draws successfully.  It's a system that establishes a verifiable, easily identifiable set of relationships between the individual components of past draws, either within a specific lottery, or between historical draws of two or more lotteries.

If relationships of that sort exist the effort to understand them, what they mean globally, and what mechanism serves to cause or allow them should eventually lead to methods of prediction.  Possibly.

But from my viewpoint any system that succeeds in demonstrating those relationships if they exist is at least a partial success.

Excellent reply.  Thank you.

Fort Worth, TX
United States
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February 11, 2011
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 Posted: March 25, 2011, 3:56 pm - IP Logged

"track those for longest sets out."

This method combined with jimmy's time observations is very dangerous. This method should be kept secret and all references be removed. I know my post is counterproductive to that end but it has to be said. The power of this system could potentially wreck the lottery.

How you do anything is how you do everything.

United States
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January 29, 2011
435 Posts
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 Posted: March 25, 2011, 4:06 pm - IP Logged

"track those for longest sets out."

This method combined with jimmy's time observations is very dangerous. This method should be kept secret and all references be removed. I know my post is counterproductive to that end but it has to be said. The power of this system could potentially wreck the lottery.

Well constructed 2nd paragraph mayhem.  Thanks for the reply.

United States
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January 29, 2011
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 Posted: March 25, 2011, 4:38 pm - IP Logged

Mayhem gave a pretty good nswer. The last line of my last post is is pretty boring and generic and elementary, and maybe is not the answer you're looking for, but is how I personally would consider a system to be successful: "if I could have a system that could produce a 2nd or 3rd place prize even once out of every 5 to 7 draws, where I was breaking even on money spent/won, I think I would call that extremely successful."

ameriken:  Yours is as good as any other.  The reason I asked was because I wanted to read answers from people who have an interest in lottery systems as a genre.

Mayhem's opinions on everything are important.

Dallas, Texas
United States
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May 2, 2004
1847 Posts
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 Posted: March 25, 2011, 5:42 pm - IP Logged

"track those for longest sets out."

This method combined with jimmy's time observations is very dangerous. This method should be kept secret and all references be removed. I know my post is counterproductive to that end but it has to be said. The power of this system could potentially wreck the lottery.

Mayhem I'm down! Anyone want to help us take down the Texas Pick 3, night game here's the chart of the top 25 sets (out of 210):

X1 through X6 are the digits in the set. Longest is the longest the set has stayed out since day 1. Now Out is the current number of draws this set has been out. As you can see the top 3 draws are all within 8 draws of their longest out. Just take the top set {1,2,3,5,6,8}, wheel all the combinations, pare them in any way you like to fit your budget, and play.

WARNING THIS SYSTEM IS NOT FOR EVERYBODY! (But there is no rule that says you must play all the combinations.) USE AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION!

What I like about this system is, 1) it gives you combinations to focus on and, 2) a time frame which you can reasonably expect a hit. Those are the two most frequently asked questions in any discussion on any system. What numbers do I play? And how long should I play them?

Wreck that lottery Mayhem!  (Reminder: In the event it doesn't appear tonight, please be aware that no animals were harmed in the making of this post and that should make you happy.)

Josephus, thank you for the kind comments regarding my earlier post. I composed it this morning having coffee, prior to juggling my brain mowing, hoping it would offer some insight to your questions. LP is a diverse cross section of people in your neighborhood, city, state, region and nation, all with varying viewpoints and interesting ideas. I hope what I offered proved valid if not valuable.

G

mid-Ohio
United States
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March 24, 2001
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 Posted: March 25, 2011, 6:47 pm - IP Logged

I am completely flabbergasted as to how I can go through all the know prediction methods for a pick 5 or pick 6 draw such as past numbers, number announcers, adjacent numbers, hot/cold and odd/even biases, skips, sums, etc etc etc etc and so on, and come up with a set of 16 or so numbers that I am absolutely sure are going to produce a 3, 4 or even 5 number win and then only have 1 or 2 lousy numbers come up. And I mean, doing that on a consistent basis. I think I suck at predicting and am wondering if I should start playing the other numbers!!

So, for me, if I could have a system that could produce a 2nd or 3rd place prize even once out of every 5 to 7 draws, where I was breaking even on money spent/won, I think I would call that extremely successful.

Your system may be capable of doing that but only if you allow it to pick more combinations.

My system usually goes through approximately 5000 randomly picked combinations to come up with approximately 500 combinations within the parameters I choose of which I usually pick 10-20 to play.  Lately I've been saving and checking those 500 combinations to see if I rejected any big winners and occasionally I find one, it's just that I didn't include it in the 10-20 lines I chose to play.  On those few occasions, had I played all 500 lines or so, I would have won big but not the jackpot.   Had I ever rejected a jackpot winner, I might be tempted to try playing all those combinations once in a while.

* you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket *

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