Lottery expert advises one number is drawn 26% times fewer than the most common

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Danny looked through Lottery data right back to 1994 (Stock Photo) (Image: Getty Images)
Danny looked through Lottery data right back to 1994 (Stock Photo) (Image: Getty Images)

The very nature of a lottery of course means that numbers are drawn at random, as much as we might try to pick lucky or meaningful ones. There is however apparently one number you should avoid at all costs, as it hardly ever gets drawn. Last year, Danny Waites, data analyst at Embryo Digital analysed every single draw since the UK’s National Lottery started, right back to 1994.

Danny, who theorises that machines should be able to predict the outcome of draws using historical data, found some balls were drawn more frequently than others.

With a grand total of 407 appearances, the number 38 was discovered to be the most frequently drawn, while 23 was the second most common, with 392 appearances. These were followed by the numbers 31, 11, 45, and 25.

Lottery expert advises one number is drawn 26% times fewer than the most common rriqudirriezinvSome numbers were found to be luckier than others (Stock Photo) (AFP via Getty Images)

Right at the other end of the scale, the famously unlucky number 13 was found to be the least drawn ball with just 298 appearances, a full 26.7% less common than number 38.

Meanwhile, numbers between 50 and 59 also had a far lower frequency count, with Danny explaining that these were only introduced by Camelot 'to make winning more difficult and to increase the prize money with multiple rollover prize pots'.

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After figuring out the frequency, Danny, who wrote about his findings in a blog post for Embryo Digital, decided to put the probability to the test and pick some numbers of his own.

Prior to buying his ticket, Danny said: "Overall I don’t think there’s enough data to use machine learning to accurately predict what the winning lottery numbers are going to be.

"There are over 45 million different combinations of numbers that can be used and we’d need about 20 million draws to get something that would be 80% correct. But just in case I’m wrong or by chance, these numbers do come up, I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is and go ahead and try it out."

Sadly, like many hopefuls before him, he was left disappointed, later adding: "I didn’t win anything. A few numbers were close, but no dice."

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Julia Banim

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15.07.2024, 17:44 • Investigation