The Lottery Mine

Winners And Losers

Time for a little essay…well, maybe not so little. I'll begin with the table below. It is a summary of the points of comparison between winners and losers. There are 16 of them. A detailed treatment for each of these points follows the table.




ü      think for themselves

ü      use common sense

ü      use valid analysis methodology

ü      confirm their findings

ü      accept and deal with the facts

ü      understand that there are no secrets

ü      avoid VooDoo

ü      avoid bad software

ü      don't depend on wheels

ü      actually do play

ü      play only when the conditions are right

ü      avoid bad games

ü      don't gamble

ü      utilize free resources

ü      share with others

ü      stick with it


N       depend on others to do the work

N       abandon common sense

N       use invalid analysis methodology

N      rely on unconfirmed findings

N       ignore the facts and fantasize

N       chase secrets

N       chase VooDoo

N       use bad software

N       depend on wheels

N       rarely actually play

N       play under wrong conditions

N       play bad games

N       gamble beyond their means

N       spend on freely available resources

N       take from others

N       become anti-lottery crusaders


Think For Yourself 

There’s certainly nothing wrong with researching a subject and finding as much useful information as possible. That is the way humans typically learn anything and has proven to be the best way to build a foundation of knowledge on any subject. 

The time comes though, when it becomes important to start thinking for yourself. One must begin to question, verify and even challenge the basic knowledge that has been acquired. One must begin to forge new ideas by exploring unknown territory and formulating new theories by independent thought.

Those willing to make the effort will be rewarded by making new discoveries and by adding those new discoveries to the body of knowledge. This has been the process of progress since time immemorial. Without it, the human race would still be relying on lightning strikes as the only source of fire.

Winners will make the effort and prosper. Losers will make no effort and wonder why they never win.

Common Sense

The study of lottery games is no different than the study of any other subject. One must apply a little common sense when using the knowledge gained by that study. Winners will do this. Losers will not.

Valid Methodology

Winners ensure that the analysis methods used in their research are scientifically correct and valid. Losers are more interested in achieving results favorable to their needs rather than how those results are achieved. Working with data that is premised on bad methodology will guarantee that you remain a consistent loser.

Confirmation Of Findings

Winners confirm their findings obtained through research by comparing them with the findings of their peersalthough this isn't always possible when exploring entirely new concepts. Losers tend to skip this vital step and blindly accept whatever happens to look good at the time.

Accept The Facts

Winners accept and deal with whatever facts they find or discover…even if those facts are disappointing or discouraging. Losers tend to ignore the facts and choose instead to base their conduct on wishful thinking and self-delusion.

No Secrets

Winners aren’t looking for secrets. A winner understands that there are no secrets. Losers on the other hand are forever seeking some secret formula for cracking the lottery…which of course should be provided to them by whoever finds it.


As it pertains to the lottery, VooDoo is a term that I long ago applied to any method that involves the metaphysical, paranormal, supernatural or the many just plain wacky theories I have seen put forward. This includes astrology, numerology, necromancy, telepathy, dream analysis, biorhythms, magnetic anomalies, barometric pressure, Celtic runes, Tarot cards, I Ching, Ouiji boards, black magic and crystal balls…to name some of the main culprits. Winners avoid this kind of nonsense like the plague and reject these methods out of hand as worthless pursuits. I'll say it flat out…there is absolutely no possible connection between these kinds of activities and a simple random process such as a lottery draw.

Losers chase after these kinds of schemes like a dog will chase after its own tail and serve to confirm that the supreme American charlatan and huckster P.T. Barnum was indeed right. In order to save losers the trouble of finding the most famous quote attributed to him through a simple Internet search (although he never actually said it), I'll provide it here: "There's a sucker born every minute."

 Bad Software

There is probably no more of a controversial subject in this list than that of lottery software. Since it is so crucial, I must deal with this topic as objectively and as honestly as possible.

There is a great deal of lottery software available to the player of today. Some of it is free…most of it will cost money. Some of it is pretty good…most of it is almost useless trash. The following offers some guidance on how to tell the difference.

A Winner will choose software that:

ü      is first of all accurate. This is of utmost importance above all else. Software that fails to supply accuracy in all of its features is absolutely useless.

ü      does not make wild and unsubstantiated claims about its predictive capabilities. Software that consists of little more than seductive slogans and hyperbole or attempts to baffle with bullshit should be immediately relegated to the trashcan.

ü      is easy to understand and use. It may be brilliant in every other regard, but if the user can’t control it or correctly interpret the results, it’s of little use.

ü      provides both visual attractiveness and functionality in the user interface. Some of the stuff out there is pretty hard to look at. Less is more here. Software that hides its lack of usefulness behind flashy and annoying graphics or special effects is a must to avoid. Especially beware of the programs that have advertising slogans and pictures of money all over the place.

ü      allows the user to easily import and export data using simple and common file formats. There is nothing worse than software that makes your work difficult.

ü      gets the job done in a timely manner without overtaxing your system resources. If the program needs to run overnight in order to arrive at an answer, then you need to change software.

ü      doesn’t require an internet connection in order to function properly. What happens if your internet service is interrupted or the software company’s website goes down or even vanishes? Your investment vanishes along with it.

ü      doesn’t require a perpetual pay-per-use scheme. This kind of crap should immediately earn a place on the garbage heap.

ü      doesn’t require a version update fee every 6 months or even annually. Software authors should of course strive to constantly improve their products. Updated versions that offer only necessary bug fixes or minor cosmetic changes should be free to registered users. Change for the sake of change is not an improvement. Adding the current calendar year to the title of the program is not an improvement. A fee is justifiable only if significant new features or improved capabilities are added.

ü      offers a fully functional evaluation version. It’s pretty difficult to properly evaluate a product that has many of it’s vital functions crippled or disabled. Imagine test driving an automobile that will only allow a top speed of 30mph or lacks a reverse gear.


Another source of controversy. Wheels or mathematical covering designs result from the work of some very clever people and can be a very useful tool for the lottery player. A wheel allows for the playing of many more selected numbers than would normally be possible by an efficient mathematical reduction of the resulting combinations to an affordable level. The intent is that a properly constructed wheel will guarantee the player at least 1 ticket that matches a specified prize level while also offering the possibility of multiple matches for lower prize levels.

This all seems like a pretty attractive way to actually win some money when playing. That is, until you realize what the conditions are. The whole concept is predicated on a number of very big IFS that can be very easy to overlook by starry-eyed players. That little word “guarantee” can easily seduce a player into believing that they are playing with some kind of special advantage over any other method. This belief is false and here’s why: You are guaranteed a win only IF:

ü      the selected set of numbers contains at least the same amount of winning numbers as the guarantee stipulates. This is by no means easy to achieve…especially with small wheels. The smaller the set of numbers is, the less chance you have of covering the guarantee. The converse of this is that the larger the set of numbers, the larger the amount of combinations that are generated…to the point where it is no longer practical or affordable to play. Consider the fact that in order to have a greater than 50% chance of matching at least 3 winning numbers in a 6/49, you must wheel at least 21 numbers. This results in 54,264 combinations for a full wheel. The best covering design I have found for a 3if3in21 wheel reduces this to 77 combinations. Does it really seem reasonable to wager $77 for a guaranteed return of $10 or less? One must also be aware of the fact that there are 39,049,918,716,424 ways to choose any set of 21 numbers from the 49 available. That number is so large that if it represented millimeters, it would equate to well over 4 light years in distance! Can anyone still see any kind of favorable advantage here? In light of this, the prospects don’t look quite so rosy do they?

ü      all the resulting combinations are played. If even 1 line is removed from play, then the guarantee is void. The problem with this is that a wheel will almost always produce combinations that are undesirable because they have such a low probability of occurrence. It is tempting to filter out those combinations and by doing so you have destroyed the integrity of the wheel.  

ü      the selected numbers have been loaded into the wheel template in the right (or favorable) order. Most covering designs will give very different results depending on where the individual numbers are positioned. Consider even a 10 number wheel. How many ways can those 10 numbers be ordered? Don’t bother trying to figure it out. Suffice it to say that it’s a significantly large number.

The following screenshot, taken from my own Lottery Data Miner program will perhaps serve to illustrate what all players are up against:

This shows quite a bit of interesting information. Going down the left side of the window you will see the odds of having matching hits within a full wheel of 21 numbers. Note that you are much more likely to have 5 matching numbers than none at all…and that you are most likely to have 3. For the sake of this illustration though, let’s imagine that you have somehow managed to beat the odds of almost 258 to 1, and 6 of your 21 numbers have actually been drawn. Now take a look at the data within the blue rectangular border. It clearly shows that even though you may have all 6 jackpot numbers within your set of 21, over 80% of all the combinations played would fail to win you even the minimum prize level. Bear in mind that this is just the raw data for any 21 numbers and for any draw results. It has nothing whatsoever to do with specific numbers. Nothing has been done by the player to disqualify these 43,498 combinations for one reason or another. They are just natural losers due to the simple mathematical facts inherent to the game.

This still leaves over 10,000 combinations that are potential winners of some sort and of course only 1 of those would be the actual jackpot match. We are left with the thorny problem of somehow deciding which ones are worthy of playing and which ones aren’t…but that’s a whole other subject isn’t it?

In summary for this section, Winners understand some of the advantages of wheeling their numbers, but also realize that there are many disadvantages in doing so and look beyond pursuing the perfect wheel as a means of achieving ultimate success. Losers tend to get hung up on this step and waste a lot of time and money by doing so. This is not to say that people involved in creating wheels are losers in any sense. They are very clever and gifted people and I give them all due credit and respect for the work that they do.


The probability of winning without a ticket is zero. Winners use the knowledge they have gained and put their trust in it. They don’t just talk the talk…they walk the walk by actually playing…but only when the conditions are favorable or when it just “feels” right. Favorable conditions would include things like waiting for the jackpot to roll over at least twice to a sizeable amount. There’s no need to chase a jackpot that is at the minimum level for the game. The benefits of this are three-fold:

  1. If you’re going to win, it may as well be a big win…the one you can actually permanently retire on.
  2. If the jackpot turns out to be shared, it’s better to have 1/3 of $15M than 1/3 of $2M.
  3. It costs less money over time and allows the player to be more relaxed and better prepared.

Losers tend to follow two opposing courses of action:

  1. They almost never actually purchase tickets…and when they do, it’s under bad conditions.
  2. They play every draw.

Bad Games

What is a bad game? In my opinion there are many of them based on the following criteria:

  1. Cost vs. return Given the same cost per play, which games give the greatest potential prize?
  2. Odds All lottery games have high odds of winning, but some are truly ridiculous.
  3. Control Does the player have full or limited control over how the numbers are selected.
  4. Frequency How often are draws held?

The worst offenders:

  1. Keno – high odds, poor return, too frequent
  2. Daily Pick 3 or 4 - poor return, too frequent
  3. Powerball – extremely high odds, poor return for anything but the jackpot
  4. Super 7 – high odds, poor control

There are no truly good or easy games, but some are better than others. Here’s what to look for:

  1. a pick 5 or pick 6 game (that preferably also draws a bonus number)
  2. jackpots that return millions for your buck
  3. odds no greater than a 3rd rollover jackpot
  4. player has full control over selecting numbers played
  5. draws no more than twice a week


Winners don’t gamble. They take a calculated risk, play responsibly and don’t wager beyond their means. Losers exercise poor judgment and play the lottery like it’s some back-alley craps game. They’ll bet the farm on some unknown shooter and wonder why they lose.


Winners seek out, find and use lottery resources that are free…and there are many available. Losers will pay through the nose for the very same resources. This is especially true for wheels. There's a ton of software out there that will charge a player major dollars for wheels (or "systems" as they like to call them) that are absolutely free elsewhere.


Winners share their knowledge and resources for free, as much as possible without giving away all of their hard work. Losers do nothing but take…and have the nerve to constantly demand even more from the givers…while offering nothing in return but whining and complaints that they never win the jackpot. Truly unbelievable!


Winners stick with it and stay the course…which is often disappointing and difficult. Losers quickly become disgruntled because they never win and rapidly become anti-lottery crusaders. They take it upon themselves to discourage anyone else from ever winning as well.


This page last updated 05/22/2004 06:09 PM

© Paul McCoy 2004
All Rights Reserved

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