The winning numbers are...

The vital statistics behind today's record jackpot. By Clifford German

National lottery fever reaches boiling point today after two successive rollovers. The average weekly stake has been running around pounds 65m, and the jackpot something over pounds 9m, but the prospect of a double jackpot last week took the stake to pounds 78m and the jackpot to pounds 23.9m.

The lure of the first-ever treble jackpot pay-out this week is expected to persuade millions of occasional players to try their luck.

On average something approaching 30 million people play the lottery more or less regularly, and over 80 per cent of the adult population have played at some time or another. It is not hard to imagine that a record number will be taking part this evening.

The average stake could also rise from pounds 2 or pounds 3 to pounds 3 or pounds 4 a head, taking the stake money to pounds 90m or more. It could easily be pounds 100m if the hype is to be believed, generating a record sum for good causes.

After the pounds 10 prizes have been paid out, 52 per cent of the remaining prize pool is added to the jackpot, which is expected to rise to at least pounds 35m, maybe even pounds 40m - even if the stories about the Australian-based International Lotto Fund and its Romanian-born master-mind's plan to invest pounds 14m to cover every possible combination of numbers turns out to be pure fiction. Church leaders can denounce the siren call of the lottery with all their might, but Camelot's own warnings that players should buy their tickets early this week were calculated to inspire even an bigger demand, and certainly got sales off to a very brisk start as soon as shops re- opened last Tuesday.

Perhaps the best hope of preventing lottery fever creating real hardship this week is that addicts will reduce their spending on instant scratch cards, currently running at around pounds 26m a week, in order to finance their dream of mega-riches.

Since it started on 19 November 1994 the lottery has now created more than 140 lucky jackpot winners, (as well as, some might say, a lucky lottery regulator).

But Lady Luck continues to defy the statisticians.

After 59 weekly draws each number should have come up a little under nine times including bonus balls. In fact number five has now turned up as a winning number 15 times, including four times as the bonus ball.

Numbers 16 and 28 have come up 13 times, 22 has been drawn 12 times and numbers 30, 44 and 48 have all won 11 times.

At the other end of the scale, number 39 came up last week for the only the second time and that after a losing sequence of 53 weeks, just in time to forestall the lottery equivalent of a steward's enquiry. It is no surprise to some that the next unluckiest number is 13 with only three winning balls plus one bonus, while 37 has only come up five times, and numbers nine, 12, 24 and 34 have won only six times.

There are also some long losing sequences. Each number should come up every eight weeks or so on average, but it is 32 weeks since 13 came up, and 25 weeks since 31 dropped into the winning slot, while number 38 has not won for 19 weeks now, and 22, which has won 12 times, last did so 18 weeks ago. It is 16 weeks since 41 was a winner, and 15 weeks since 24 appeared.

The last two weeks produced no jackpot winners, perhaps because on both occasions three of the six outright winning balls were numbered 40 and over.

The previous week saw several winners but only one winning ticket, which may well reflect the fact that two consecutive numbers, seven and eight came up.

If there is a lesson to be learned it is that if you choose consecutive numbers or several numbers closely bunched together you may not win very often, but when you do, you should win big. That seems to be the basis behind the tactics of the lottery syndicates like the International Lotto Fund.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
New Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd, wrote to the Big Six suppliers to ask whether prices are reflecting companies’ costs

It’s time to wipe out our energy debt

Companies should start to play fair and pass on reductions to customers

The programme was a look back at the Mad Men-y age of the Sixties and Seventies

Women born in 1950s facing severe financial hardship over pensions could have fates changed by Ros Altmann - should she choose to help

Women born in 1950s facing severe financial hardship over pensions could have fates changed by Ros Altmann - should she choose to help

PPI complaints were down by about a half

Banks face fresh wave of PPI compensation claims after landmark ruling

The PPI scandal has already cost Britain’s banks around £24 billion

Some experts warn that the bond sell-off may continue until the autumn, when the US Federal Reserve is expected to lift interest rates

Is it really that bad in the bond market?

The great sell-off has sparked fears for our pensions as well as bonds. Simon Read asks if you should keep calm or panic
Up and away: rates will rise but your mortgage won't escape its moorings with a long-term fix

Is a 10 year mortgage deal a fix too far?

A cut-price deal for a decade-long home loan - where's the problem? Only, says Simon Read, that circumstances can change and it won't be easy to get out
In a surprise move the Tories have decided against putting a career politician into the job. Instead they’ve handed the responsibility to campaigner Ros Altmann

New pensions minister has massive job on her hands

The Tories have appointed campaigner Ros Altmann to the post

Promises, promises: David Cameron talks to staff at Asda's head office in Leeds today

General Election 2015: How you vote next week could affect your finances

Rival party pledges could shrink your savings or grow your nest egg
Logos for the 'Big Six'; energy companies (top row from left) British Gas, EDF, RWE npower, (bottom row from left) SSE, E.ON and ScottishPower

Winter heating underpayment brings summer pain

One reader’s monthly direct debit charge has been increased by 62 per cent

Almost 15,000 people died last winter through living in cold homes that they couldn’t afford to heat

Social tenants locked into energy tariff for 40 years

Many Londoners who live in social housing estates are not allowed to switch because their landlord has ‘locked’ them in to buying from one supplier

Will your credit card rewards be scrapped following new EU rules on charges?

Providers are unhappy with new EU rules - but ultimately it is customers who will have to foot the bill
There remain more than a million unclaimed Premium Bond prizes worth collectively around £48m

Have you won £1m in the May Premium Bonds draw?

More than £60m was paid out to more than 2 million prizewinners this month

The 0 per cent introductory deals that credit cards offer are one of the most odious tricks

Beware credit card firms’ odious tricks

Why can’t we just have open and honest charges, without all the cross-subsiding?

The pound’s recent strength against the euro could be hit by economic uncertainty under a new government

How planning can make your travel cash go further

With the pound at a high against the euro, it pays to buy now before uncertainty post-election

Put the phone down on the coldcallers who see pension liberation as an opportunity to liberate your pension from you

Pension freedoms: How to deal with cold calls from scammers

Sean O'Grady offers advice on keeping your money safe
Switching to a better bank account is much easier than it used to be

More people are switching current accounts – but what do the figures mean?

Experts disagree about the 7% increase over the past year

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

    Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

    £70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

    Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

    £23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

    Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

    £13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific