These are the luckiest Lotto outlets
Are you feeling lucky?
The number drawn most often in Saturday night's Lotto is one.
The second is seven, the third is lucky 13, followed by 21, 38 and 12.
And if you are selecting a Powerball for Saturday's draw, the record suggests two is a much better pick than seven.
The numbers are from Lotto Draw Frequency data provided by Lotto NZ for the 1406 Lottery family draws held to last Wednesday.
The Big Wednesday data shows the luckiest numbers are 30, 12, 20, 31, 28 and 16. And heads is drawn more often (232) than tails (216), based on 448 draws to last week.
In theory, selecting the numbers drawn most often would result in more prizes and avoiding the numbers drawn least would result in fewer losses. The record speaks for itself.
Lotto NZ and an independent expert insist the odds don't change regardless of past results. "Due to the entirely random nature of lottery games, there are no strategies that can increase a player's chances of winning," Lotto spokeswoman Kirsten Robinson said.
"All of the balls are equally likely to pop out," Dr Raazesh Sainudiin, of the Mathematics and Statistics department at the University of Canterbury, said.
The variation between the most drawn number (one, selected by the Lotto device 276 times) and the least drawn number (28, selected by the Lotto device 218 times) over 1406 draws is within the expected variation, Sainudiin said.
It is a lesson that New Zealanders seem to have mastered.
Presented with the data, Sandra Ebert insisted she would stick with random numbers. She used to pick numbers based on birthdays, but when grandchildren came along, there were too many. Ebert has form, having won second division twice decades ago. She spent the $35,000 total on a car and dental work, but is a lifetime lottery winner - winning more than she has spent.
Mel Stevenson sells tickets in the South Island's luckiest lotto shop, at Pak 'N Save Riccarton. She said "it's best to stick with your gut" as winning numbers were "flukes". She buys the Triple Dip most weeks but will flutter on Big Wednesday when it jackpots.
Lotto's demographic data shows the most common buyer has a partner and children (who don't live at home) and lives in Auckland, followed by Christchurch.
Just 2 per cent of Kiwis aged 18-24 buy Lotto, compared to 28 per cent of those 65 and older. Sainudiin has used number frequency data in university papers and said using it as a strategy could backfire because other Lotto players were likely to pick the same number, which would mean prizes had to be shared. "If enough people believe in a pattern, then the strategy is to know what they are thinking and do something else," he said.
About 60 per cent of Lotto buyers and 70 per cent of Big Wednesday buyers let the computer select their numbers.
Just for fun, The Press wanted to buy Lotto tickets for tonight's Big Wednesday draw and Saturday's Powerball. For both draws, we would pick the most commonly drawn and least commonly drawn numbers as well as numbers in between. Eight draws, $8.80 of shareholders' money, what the heck. Tahiti is nice this time of year. According to experts and statistics, all eight draws are equally unlikely to win.
But Lotto wouldn't accept a credit card and drawing petty cash was too tedious, so the reporter used his personal Eftpos card.
To learn if we won and how much, follow the story on press.co.nz and in papers this week and next Monday. The story about the potential lawsuit might run for years.
The luckiest Lotto stores in the South Island