Picture: Twitter
Picture: Twitter

Cries of ’scam’ over consecutive numbers in latest Lotto Powerball jackpot

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Dec 2, 2020

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Cape Town – Last night’s winning lottery numbers has caused a stir on social media, with many cries of it being a ’’scam“ – not coincidence – and someone jokingly suggesting on Twitter that ‘’in order to put this to rest, all those 20 winners must be shown on TV. If not, we demand a Zondo Commission’’.

By choosing consecutive numbers – 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; Powerball: 10 – the 20 winners ignored the advice on the SA Lotto website to avoid betting six consecutive numbers. They will each receive R5 688 468.21 of the R114 million jackpot.

‘’Six consecutive numbers have never been drawn in any state or international Lotto game. I have all the drawing results for more than 180 state and international Lotto games, going back more than fifty years! Even five consecutive numbers is a very rare occurrence that, in most Lotto games, has never happened once,” the website stated.

It also advises not to play the combination 1-2-3-4-5-6. “The most popular set of numbers most often played is 1-2-3-4-5-6. Thousands of tickets are bought with this combination every drawing. The selection is too far out of balance to come up in a random drawing.’’

The reality, however, is that in the UK about 10 000 people play the lottery numbers 1-2-3-4-5-6 in every draw, according to a report by The Guardian.

Therefore, one reason not to play consecutive numbers is due to the likelihood of not winning a significant amount of money.

According to mathematical experts, the odds of drawing a certain combination is similar to the next one. In a 6/49 game, there are about 14 million possible combinations and 1-2-3-4-5 6 is just another one of them. This is why 10 000 people in the UK believe that, sooner or later, the combination will be drawn.

It is considered better to choose higher numbers, with 70% of lottery jackpots falling between a total number of 104 and 176.

“The majority of Lotto players like to play the calendar numbers, such as birth dates and anniversaries and their children's ages. This means that the most heavily played numbers are 1 through 31. SOUTH AFRICA LOTTO 6/42 has 42 numbers.

‘’If you play only the calendar numbers, you might be sharing your jackpot with dozens of other winners,’’ the SA Lotto website states.

Mathematician Professor Marcus du Sautoy said there were many mathematical phenomena wrongly put down to coincidence.

’’‘People assume ’random’ means ’evenly spaced’, he told the Daily Mail. ’’But very often random events will be clumped together.'’

’’You might think this is weird because it forms a pattern, but you don’t notice when 31 and 37 come up together because they’re not consecutive.’’

As part of his research into these patterns – and coincidences, Marcus studied results from the lottery for his book The Number Mysteries.

’’My advice is to pick consecutive numbers, like 31, 32, 33. Not many people do, but it is just as likely as any other combination. In fact, if you do win the jackpot with consecutive numbers, you probably won’t have to share it with as many other winners.’’

IOL

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