6 Tips for Choosing Your Lottery Numbers

Playing lotteries makes equals of us all, because everyone has the same chance of winning. There are multiple ways to choose which numbers to use on your ticket and you can try them out and see which method works best for you. We've listed some of the more common systems for number selection below, although there are no guarantees which numbers will win. In any case, good luck with the numbers you choose!

#1. Stick to Your Favorites

Most people have numbers that are important to them. Maybe it’s a family member’s birthday, a wedding anniversary, an address, or a number that’s proven lucky all one’s life. Many people find lottery success when they play their lucky numbers.

Stories of lottery winners who said they played the same numbers for twenty, or even thirty years keep popping up in the news. These lucky winners stuck with their favorites until they finally won. For example, Portland-area accountant Art Brenner had been playing Oregon's Game Megabucks with the same numbers for 16 years, buying a ticket for each drawing until he won a $30 million Megabucks jackpot in November 2004. "I just picked the numbers that seemed to come up over and over again," he said.

Of course, the likelihood that your favorites will one day win the jackpot is exactly the same as any other combination of numbers, but you never know!

#2. Let the Computer Make a Quick Pick

Many lottery players are unsure what numbers to pick. In some cases, they don’t want to take the time to fill out their tickets. Or, they want to play the lottery with totally random numbers. That’s when the Quick Pick feature can be particularly helpful. Utilizing this option lets the computer automatically select the numbers. There is no method involved; the numbers are chosen at random.

Daniel Gannon of Milwaukie was on his way to dinner with his wife when he stopped to use an ATM in 2006. After getting his cash, Gannon noted the size of the Powerball jackpot. “I saw how big the jackpot was and bought a $5 quick pick,” he said. His prize was $182.7 million, one of the biggest lottery prizes ever won in Oregon!

Choosing your numbers with a quick pick selection won’t always give you a quick win, but it will save you the hassle of choosing the numbers!

#3. Mix up Your Number Selections

Statistically-speaking, there is no combination of numbers that has a better chance of winning than any other. Still, you might want to mix up your number selection when you fill out your Mega Millions ticket. One possibility is to avoid using consecutive number selections. For example, don’t use combinations such as 2, 3, 4 and 28, 29, 30, etc. Another possibility is to fill out one ticket with your favorite numbers and the next ticket with numbers you don’t consider lucky at all. There is absolutely no logic defining which numbers are drawn, so mix it up when you play!

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#4. Consider Hot or Cold Numbers

Another popular method of filling out one’s ticket is to pick hot or cold numbers. But what are they?

Hot numbers are those that are most often drawn in a lottery. Cold numbers are those that are drawn less often. Some theorize that because hot numbers are often selected, it’s likely they may be chosen again. On the flip side, others believe that since cold numbers don’t appear often, they are more likely to be selected in the next draw.

Filling your ticket with either hot or cold numbers makes for yet another fun way of playing the lottery but of course, the ‘temperature’ of your selection doesn’t guarantee that it will win.

#5. Let Someone Else Choose the Numbers

When you play the lottery with family members or friends, as part of a lottery pool (syndicate), the burden of selecting the lottery numbers shouldn’t only be on your shoulders. Let someone else choose the numbers. Or better yet, choose the numbers together. When you play as a group, you have the advantage of pooling your money together and equally sharing the cost, giving you the opportunity to purchase more tickets. And the more tickets you play, the better your odds of winning. With 100 tickets, your odds of winning are ten times better than if you only have 10 tickets, but you're still quite a way from anything like a sure win. When someone else chooses the numbers, no one will be blaming you for not winning!

#6. Go with Your Gut

If you wonder what numbers to use when you fill out your lottery ticket you could simply go with your gut. Choose whatever numbers seem right to you at that very moment. Let your impulses guide you.

If you feel that a certain number will bring you luck, choose it. If a number combination came to you in a dream, maybe that’s what you should use. Don’t think too much about it. Just do it!

Will any of the methods of choosing lottery numbers guarantee a jackpot win? Unfortunately, no. Our tips won’t improve your odds of winning, as every ticket has just as much chance of winning the jackpot as any other ticket. But no matter how you select your numbers, we hope they bring you a lot of luck when you play the lottery!