Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

National Lottery: Nine tips to boost your chances of winning tonight's £57.8m Lotto jackpot

Someone, somewhere has to win it – and it could be you, if you follow these simple rules

Adam Lusher
Thursday 07 January 2016 21:15 GMT
Comments
David and Donna Hendry from Edinburgh won £4,078,509 in a triple rollover
David and Donna Hendry from Edinburgh won £4,078,509 in a triple rollover (PA)

Tonight, the lottery jackpot, after 14 consecutive rollovers, is expected to reach a record £57.8m – a sum so big that under lottery rules someone, somewhere, has to win it.

Which leaves just one question: how could it be you?

Here are our nine tips to boost your chance of victory:


1. Eat blue Stilton cheese

Cheese makes you dream. And according to research by the British Cheese Board, “the voice of British cheese”, eating blue Stilton cheese produces particularly vivid dreams. Vivid enough for you to be able to remember those winning lottery numbers that appeared in your dream.

Just look at dreamers such as Terry Vigus, 59, from Loughton in Essex. In 2014 he had “a very vivid dream” about the lottery and within a month he had won £1.2m. Admittedly it was Mr Vigus’s daughter who told him which numbers to use, not the dream, but let’s not quibble. And many people say late-night cheese eating gives you nightmares, not victory dreams.


2. Get your chicken to peck your calculator

In 2003, Billy Gibbons’s pet chicken, Kiev, pecked at some seed that had fallen on to his calculator, tapping in five numbers. They came up, winning Mr Gibbons, of Audlem, Cheshire, £1,297. He was so happy, he renamed the chicken Lucky. That went less well. Lucky was eaten by a fox.


3. Move to Romford

A 2012 study suggested the Romford postcode area was the luckiest place in Britain, with one in 1,238 adults having won a prize of more than £50,000 since the lottery began.


4. Stick with the numbers you always use

They’ll come up one day, won’t they? Not according to Dr John Haigh, emeritus reader in mathematics at Sussex University. “It doesn’t make a blind bit of difference how many times you have tried a particular set of numbers,” he says. “With every draw, the probability of all six coming up is always the same, 1 in 45 million.”


5. OK then, ditch them

That’s what Eric Tarry, of Fakenham, Norfolk, did in 2008 when he momentarily forgot the numbers that he had been using since the lottery began. He bought a lucky dip instead – and won £7.6m. But here’s Dr Haigh again: “Whatever you do, the numbers come up entirely at random. The odds are the same.”


6. Try the most common numbers …

Which according to the website lottery.co.uk are: 23, 40, 33, 38, 30, 44.


7. …Or the most overdue numbers

Ball No 6, you might think, is surely due an appearance. The last time it was drawn, according to lottery.co.uk, was 121 days ago, on 9 September. Although Dr Haigh insists – for the last time – that regardless of what has happened before, the probabilities remain the same for every draw: “The balls don’t know what they are doing.” Rather like journalists who keep implying that lottery balls have memories.


8. Channel the spirit of Sir Alec Bedser

Dr Haigh does suggest learning from cricketing great Sir Alec Bedser to avoid sharing your £57.8m jackpot with another winner.

“When he bowled his leg cutters,” Dr Haigh explained, “It was said he had no idea where they were going – so heaven help the poor batsman. It’s a bit like that with the lottery.

“If you do anything systematically, it’s likely someone else will have thought of it and done the same thing, so you’ll have to share your winnings. To guard against that, choose numbers totally at random.”


9. Buy 45,057,474 lottery tickets

That’s how many possible combinations of numbers there are in the 59-ball lottery draw. So, as Dr Haigh confirms, if you buy 45,057,474 of them and choose a different combination for each: “You are absolutely bound to hit the winning numbers.”

Although at £2 a ticket, you would have spent £90,114,948. But you could call yourself a lottery winner be photographed holding a bottle of champagne and a big cheque. And get the begging letters, the marital splits, and newspaper monsterings.


Why you might not want to win after all

In 1995, Mark Gardiner, from Hastings, and his business partner, Paul Maddison, won £22.6m. In 2009, Mr Gardiner told the Daily Mail about his misery when a relative sold stories about him, of being treated “like a criminal” by the press and being taken to court by those wanting a share of his fortune.

Yorkshire couple Roger and Lara Griffiths won £1.8m in 2005. Rows, ill-judged investments and the recession ensured the marriage went, along with the Porsche. In 2013, Mr Griffiths said he was down to his last £7.

Callie Rogers from Cockermouth, Cumbria, became Britain’s youngest winner at 16 in 2003, winning £1.9m – almost all reportedly spent on parties, cosmetic surgery, holidays and gifts.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in