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# Lottery games picking numbers by Computer

Topic closed. 21 replies. Last post 14 years ago by konane.

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Baton Rouge, LA
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 Posted: July 6, 2004, 10:26 pm - IP Logged

Some states have games picked by a drum full of white balls while others have their winning numbers picked by computer.

Computer random numbers aren't necessarily random, so I wonder if there would be a way to beat a computerized drawing over the drum full of white balls.

Greece
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November 18, 2003
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 Posted: July 7, 2004, 7:43 am - IP Logged

Let's take the simplest form of random numbers generated by a computer. This is the random() function met in many programming languages. This code is based on a seed value determined mainly by the computer's time. Every time you make a call to random(), it returns a value (with pseudo-random characteristics). If the seed is the same, you get the same sequence of random numbers all the time.

In order to beat the lottery's computerized drawing, you have to:

1) have the same random number generator code

2) Know the seed used

3) Apply the random function the same way the lottery does (eg the lottery might feed a seed value but they might get the 10th number produced etc)

As you may understand, the only way to beat it by the means of a random number generator system is to have the same program used by the lottery. Still, you have to know the seed value used or each draw; pretty unlikely to ever find it.

If you have something to do, at least do it well...

United States
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February 9, 2004
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 Posted: July 7, 2004, 11:59 am - IP Logged

A lottery computer has circuitry designed to pick up atmospheric static. When the static hits a certain signal strength, it starts a timer. When it hits it again, it stops the timer. The time between static bursts is used to determine the seed value. Needless to say, there's no way to predict the strength of atmospheric static.

Baton Rouge, LA
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 Posted: July 7, 2004, 12:51 pm - IP Logged
Quote: Originally posted by apagogeas on July 07, 2004

Let's take the simplest form of random numbers generated by a computer. This is the random() function met in many programming languages. This code is based on a seed value determined mainly by the computer's time. Every time you make a call to random(), it returns a value (with pseudo-random characteristics). If the seed is the same, you get the same sequence of random numbers all the time.

In order to beat the lottery's computerized drawing, you have to:

1) have the same random number generator code

2) Know the seed used

3) Apply the random function the same way the lottery does (eg the lottery might feed a seed value but they might get the 10th number produced etc)

As you may understand, the only way to beat it by the means of a random number generator system is to have the same program used by the lottery. Still, you have to know the seed value used or each draw; pretty unlikely to ever find it.

I do know about the Random function in most programming languages and the seed value.  I remember a trick we used to do with Commodore computers where we'd fire it up, take an RND function, write it down, turn the computer off and on, take another RND number and they'd match.

I was wondering if "random" isn't truly random, perhaps there might be a way to improve the odds playing such a game.  There are alot of systems for the games using red and white balls, why not this?

Just a thought.

PrisonerSix

Greece
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 Posted: July 7, 2004, 5:22 pm - IP Logged
Quote: Originally posted by Fwup on July 07, 2004

A lottery computer has circuitry designed to pick up atmospheric static. When the static hits a certain signal strength, it starts a timer. When it hits it again, it stops the timer. The time between static bursts is used to determine the seed value. Needless to say, there's no way to predict the strength of atmospheric static.

That makes things even worse!! Well, I believe the only solution we have is to analyse the facts and the facts are the history draws.

If you have something to do, at least do it well...

Chief Bottle Washer
New Jersey
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 Posted: July 7, 2004, 5:46 pm - IP Logged
Quote: Originally posted by Fwup on July 07, 2004

A lottery computer has circuitry designed to pick up atmospheric static. When the static hits a certain signal strength, it starts a timer. When it hits it again, it stops the timer. The time between static bursts is used to determine the seed value. Needless to say, there's no way to predict the strength of atmospheric static.

Where the heck did you get that from?  Which "lottery computer" are you talking about?  I have never heard of anything remotely like that being used by any of the states.

Unless you can point to a source of information, that is really just bunk.

Besides, instead of using random static to generate a seed value (because the atmospheric static is truly random), they would just use the static-generated value itself!  They wouldn't create an new non-random number based upon a random seed value!  (Or maybe they should have their heads examined.)

Also, the recent investigation in Indiana by a couple of Lottery Post members has shown that your statement is totally wrong.

Check the State Lottery Report Card

Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
Help eliminate computerized drawings!

Australia
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December 22, 2003
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 Posted: July 7, 2004, 6:49 pm - IP Logged

PrisonerSix

Plenty has been said in this Forum on the subject of Random Numbers, their generation, problems with repeats and distortions, including a few paragraphs by myself.

Do a search. If you find something there you'd like to run with let's hear it. I don't think we should be approaching the subject as if nothing has been written about it on this forum.

Colin

(Fwup. You were joking, right?)

United States
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 Posted: July 7, 2004, 7:11 pm - IP Logged
Quote: Originally posted by Todd on July 07, 2004

Quote: Originally posted by Fwup on July 07, 2004
A lottery computer has circuitry designed to pick up atmospheric static. When the static hits a certain signal strength, it starts a timer. When it hits it again, it stops the timer. The time between static bursts is used to determine the seed value. Needless to say, there's no way to predict the strength of atmospheric static.

Where the heck did you get that from? Which "lottery computer" are you talking about? I have never heard of anything remotely like that being used by any of the states.

Unless you can point to a source of information, that is really just bunk.

I'm sorry, I can't discuss it. It's classified. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything. The lottery police may come after me.
Chief Bottle Washer
New Jersey
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 Posted: July 7, 2004, 7:19 pm - IP Logged

Yeah, right.

Check the State Lottery Report Card

Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
Help eliminate computerized drawings!

San Diego
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May 1, 2004
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 Posted: July 7, 2004, 7:59 pm - IP Logged

The static thing, to me, seems just like another way to somehow randomize the seed. Usually you do it by taking the time of day (seconds or ms, depending on your system), or the seconds elapsed since Jan 1, 1970, or some such value, and then hash it somehow. To duplicate this, you would need to know the hash function and you'd need to know where the raw seed is coming from.

If they actually use something outside of the box itself, some analog value, which he is describing, it is actaully a clever way to make the seed impossible to reconstruct, unless you have the same analog detector in the same environment, which is impossible. Then there is calibation with an analog device that helps even more.

So before I ridicule this, I might say that if it were my job to design a random number generator with a seed that can't be duplicated I would use some analog to digital peripheral device to obtain my seed.

United States
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 Posted: July 7, 2004, 8:41 pm - IP Logged

The device I described actually exists, and is used to obtain a random value to produce cryptographic algorithms. I used to repair the equipment it's in.

Chief Bottle Washer
New Jersey
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 Posted: July 7, 2004, 10:19 pm - IP Logged

"Cryptographic algorithms",

Check the State Lottery Report Card

Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
Help eliminate computerized drawings!

Dump Water Florida
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 Posted: July 8, 2004, 1:57 am - IP Logged

Some secret.

http://www.random.org/sform.html

Can be used for lotto play, no evidence yet it's used for drawings. BobP

United States
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 Posted: July 8, 2004, 11:26 am - IP Logged
Quote:
Chief Bottle Washer
New Jersey
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 Posted: July 8, 2004, 11:32 am - IP Logged

There's some sensitivity around this topic, because the states don't do enough to ensure randomness in their drawings.  There is a big investigation on-going in Indiana, thanks to a couple of Lottery Post members.

Your message appeared to be factual, so it was important to debunk it so that misinformed people would not be misled into thinking that computerized drawings are approprately random.  I believe that certain states are going down a dangerous path in their attempt to save a few bucks by going to computerized drawings (no ping pong balls).

Check the State Lottery Report Card