Statisticians search for how to beat the lottery - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Member Center:

Statisticians search for how to beat the lottery

You've probably heard the saying: Liars figure, but figures don't lie. Well, it's probably true - the chances of winning a Powerball jackpot is more than 1 in 175-million! Still, there's always somebody that "thinks" they can beat the system.

Whether it's your wedding anniversary, your birthday, your child's birthday, or the date of another event that's important to you, people typically pick random numbers - as any state lottery official will tell you, every number drawn is completely random.

And while that maybe true, VCU Statistical Sciences professor - and self professed math geek - Darcy Mays believes, with a database of enough winning numbers, there is at least the "possibility" of seeing patterns develop. That by no means will guarantee a win, but might up the odds a little, especially in the smaller games - like Pick 3 or Pick 4.

"If you were dedicated, and there really was some pattern that you were finding, you could not get rich - but you could probably do a good supplemental earning."

"I just combine all these frequency - and I just make a list from the most frequent numbers to the least frequent numbers," said Dr. Min Su Kim.

Dr. Kim, professor of statistics at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, doesn't mess with the small games - he's compiled a computer data base of 10 years of winning Powerball numbers and the frequency at which they appear. If the game is completely random, he argues, all numbers should be drawn at approximately the same rate - but they don't.

The Powerball consists of five white balls and one red powerball. Dr. Kim says the most frequently drawn Powerball for the past 10 years is 20, followed by 37, 2, 31, and 35.

As for the white balls, the most frequently appearing number is 42, closely followed by 16, 35, 26, and 19.

Dr. Kim admits he is a believer in statistical probability.

"If you pick these numbers, there is more probability to win the grand prize." said Kim.

Not so fast, says John Hagerty, with the Virginia Lottery.

"Every number drawn is completely random," said Hagerty. "As for your odds of winning, they're posted on our website."

• Local/State NewsMore>>

Family Fit Day promotes healthy living

Saturday, May 19 2018 8:49 PM EDT2018-05-20 00:49:27 GMT
Family Fit Day 2018 in City Park (Source: WAFB)
Family Fit Day 2018 in City Park (Source: WAFB)

Whether you run, walk or jump your way into an active lifestyle, Healthy Baton Rouge is advising residents to just do it.

More >>

Whether you run, walk or jump your way into an active lifestyle, Healthy Baton Rouge is advising residents to just do it.

More >>

FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Dry weekend with possible patches of fog

Saturday, May 19 2018 6:54 PM EDT2018-05-19 22:54:40 GMT

WAFB First Alert Weather team forecast.

More >>

WAFB First Alert Weather team forecast.

More >>

LSU drops SEC regular season finale at Auburn

Brandt Broussard delivered an RBI double in Saturday's game at Auburn (Source: Ryan McCarble)

Shortstop Will Holland blasted two homers Saturday to lead Auburn to a 14-5 win over LSU at Plainsman Park.

More >>

Shortstop Will Holland blasted two homers Saturday to lead Auburn to a 14-5 win over LSU at Plainsman Park.

More >>
• Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

Texas school gunman: 'I'm going to kill you.' Then he fired

Saturday, May 19 2018 11:51 PM EDT2018-05-20 03:51:30 GMT
Sunday, May 20 2018 8:13 AM EDT2018-05-20 12:13:52 GMT
(Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...

The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

More >>

The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

More >>

Mother has message for son after he's arrested for stealing car

Saturday, May 19 2018 8:49 AM EDT2018-05-19 12:49:30 GMT
Evelyn Thompson (Source: WMC Action News 5)

A police chase in Memphis ended with two suspected car thieves in police custody, and one angry mother with a message for her son behind bars.

More >>

A police chase in Memphis ended with two suspected car thieves in police custody, and one angry mother with a message for her son behind bars.

More >>

In deadly school shooting, a confession but no clear motive

Saturday, May 19 2018 1:10 AM EDT2018-05-19 05:10:39 GMT
Sunday, May 20 2018 12:05 AM EDT2018-05-20 04:05:44 GMT
(Galveston County Sheriff's Office via AP). This photo provided by the Galveston County Sheriff's Office shows Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who law enforcement officials took into custody Friday, May 18, 2018, and identified as the suspect in the deadly schoo...

Officials say the Texas student charged in the shooting at Santa Fe High School described planning the attack in private journals.

More >>

Officials say the Texas student charged in the shooting at Santa Fe High School described planning the attack in private journals.

More >>