Are you aware of the impact popular lottery selections have on prizes won?
Among terminal-based lotteries, some selections are played more frequently than others. Consequently, playing a popular selection may affect the amount of certain prizes paid out to holders of such a selection if it is drawn, given that certain prizes are shareable (e.g. Lotto Max, Lotto 6/49, Québec 49 and Extra) and/or limited to a maximum amount (e.g. Banco, Jour de paye, Triplex and Astro).
Popular selections are often based on:
- series of consecutive numbers
- series of numbers in a logical sequence (e.g. multiples)
- graphic forms created by numbers on a selection sheet ()
- selections that catch the general public’s attention (e.g. the numbers from the TV show Lost).
To illustrate this point, here is an example from January 30, 2010's Lotto 6/49 draw.
The 7 – 14 – 21 – 28 – 35 – 42 selection was played 824 times in Quebec for this draw, making it the most popular selection. If these numbers had been draw for the jackpot ($4 million in this case), the ticket holders would have won $1,215 (assuming that the selection was bet in the same proportion in the other provinces, approximately 3,300 times in all).
The most popular selections in Québec, for the draw on January 30, 2010:
- 7 – 14 – 21 – 28 – 35 – 42 (multiples of 7) : 824 wagers
- 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 (consecutive numbers) : 424 wagers
- 4 – 8 – 15 – 16 – 23 – 42 (numbers mentioned on the popular TV show Lost): 377 wagers
It is important to remember that all selections have the same mathematic probability of being drawn. The way you choose your numbers does not affect your chances of winning, one way or the other. The winning numbers for the different lotteries are all based on chance.