Search is on for the winning combination
Saturday 25 February 1995
The National Lottery is 15 weeks old today. The total staked each week has settled down at more than £27m a week for the past five weeks, comfortably ahead of the £21m-£22m which the razzmatazz of the launch brought in. There have been 15 million winners to date, sharing £365m worth of prizes.
But the big money is in the jackpot prize pool, where 171 winners have shared £132m so far. This is the big time, and inevitably with up to £20m at stake for a single winner, and 22 real live millionaires already created, the search for winning systems is well under way.
The beauty of the random ball selection system the lottery employs is that, like roulette, the winning numbers every week are the product of pure chance. If the lottery runs for long enough every number from 1 to 49 has an equal chance of winning and every number should win an equal number of times. But that has not stopped the search for winning combinations and the study seems certain to grow and multiply.
In the 14 weeks to date, two numbers, 16 and 38, have each come up trumps five times, six more - 5, 21, 29, 30, 31 and 44 - have come up four times, if bonus balls are included, but five numbers - 8, 24, 33, 34 and 41 - have yet to score, and both 10 and 28 have only registered as a bonus ball.
A distribution analysis shows there have been clusters of winning numbers from 3-6, 14-17, 29-32, but there is no visible pattern in the distribution of winning numbers to date. The first 10 numbers have come up 20 times, the next 10 19 times, the third 21, the fourth 20 and the last nine numbers 18 times. There is little to go on in the distribution of odds and evens. The 25 odd numbers have produced 48 winning numbers, the 24 even numbers 50, including bonus balls.
There should be a bias in favour of big winners when there is a relatively high number of winning numbers between 32 and 49. This is a direct result of the fact that the favourite system used by many punters is to choose numbers based on the birthdays of family and friends.
Systems based on ages, or on collapsing favoured numbers over 49 by adding the digits together also tend to bias selections in the lower half of the range, and so should reward fewer individual winners with bigger prizes when most of the winning numbers fall towards the top end of the range.
Four times so far there has been only one out of six winning balls numbered above 30, excluding bonus balls which only come into play as tie-breakers. Those four draws have produced nine jackpot winners. On 31 December and 4 February, four of the six winning numbers were over 30, and on 10 December, no less than five numbers were over 30, ruling out everyone who relies only on birthdays.
Sure enough there was only one jackpot winner on each of those three occasions.
But just to prove that there is no such thing as a foolproof system, on 14 January three of the six winning numbers were above 30, and yet that was the week which produced 133 jackpot winners. Ah, well, back to the drawing board!
Mark Dampier: How to get an income now that savings are past the 'use by' date
Thousands of UK investors could lose out following collapse of Secured Energy Bonds
Bargain Hunter: Fly off for a winter break in France or Portugal for well under £100
Millions in line for compensation after being sold unnecessary credit card cover
Weekly Money: Round-up of the personal finance stories you may have missed 26-30 January
- 1 Three-year-old boy shoots pregnant mother and father in New Mexico
- 2 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 3 Jewish community urged to boycott Cornwall village after residents vote for 'Hitlers Walk' sign to be reinstated
- 4 Benedict Cumberbatch's Alan Turing gay-rights campaign snubbed by Prince William and Kate Middleton
- 5 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
President Putin is a dangerous psychopath - reason is not going to work with him
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...
Day In a Page
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion