# Who wants to be a millionaire?

##### March 19, 2014

Lotteries of different kinds have been part of the human culture since remote times. Apparently, the initial idea was to use the money gained through the game to finance government projects. This seems to be how the Great Wall of China was built. Then, lotteries started to be used as a simple form of entertainment. The first known European lottery dates back to the Roman Empire and since then many countries have created different types of lottery. According to Scientific Games, an authority in the global lottery and regulated gaming industry, lottery sales worldwide totaled US\$ 262 billion in 2011.

The frequentist notion states that the probability of a given event relates to the frequency at which such event is repeated. Additionally, as predicted by the Law of Large Numbers, when an event is repeated many times, the average of the results from all events should be close to the expected result. Thus, games of all kinds in which many repetitions occur (such as lotteries) are ideal labs for the study of probabilities. Now a new study shows that not all combinations of numbers have the same probability of occurring in a draw.

The study entitled The Geometry of Chance: Lotto Numbers Follow a Predicted Pattern, by Renato Gianella, is based on mathematics and probabilities theories applied to lottery drawings. It adopts a colored template that determines all the possible combinations of numbers, as established by Pascal's rule. The adoption of this colored template provides an easier understanding, and correct identification, of the combinations of numbers with highest probabilities to win. Through experimentation, the method shows that it is possible to detect that the results of a lottery draw follow the same behavior pattern as predicted by the Law of Large Numbers.

For instance, using the method proposed by Gianella, templates built on previous results from a of lottery games in different countries show that as more draws are performed, the expected result of each template is closer to the observed result, indicating that a pattern for these combinations exists. Thus, the right choice of combinations can greatly increase your chances of picking the winning combination in your next .

The method was tested with more than 20 lottery draws all over the world, and in each case it demonstrates that the probability that a given group of combinations (defined according to the colored template adopted) will occur is not the same for all groups of combinations and that there are groups that show a higher probability to win.

For instance, the method indicates that Power Ball USA has 19 groups of different rather than a single probability for all possible combinations of numbers. More than merely indicating that some combinations have more chance to win the jackpot than others, the method allows the identification of the combinations having the highest probability to win the next game.

"Lottery should no longer be seeing as a form of a gambling but a true representation of the probabilistic theory and the Law of Large Numbers," says Renato Gianella, "the man who counted" in Brazil.

Explore further: Reconsider lotto tickets as holiday gifts for minors

## Related Stories

#### Reconsider lotto tickets as holiday gifts for minors

December 12, 2012

Results from recent studies show a growing number of high school students reportedly receive one or more lottery tickets or scratch cards as gifts. This, coupled with the increasing concern about adolescent problem gambling, ...

#### Winning lottery strategy proposed by professor

January 10, 2011

The record-breaking \$380 million Mega Millions multistate lottery jackpot drawing this week had two winners and may inspire more people to take a chance on being a millionaire.

#### Lottery game helps to assess brain damage following stroke

April 28, 2010

Patients recovering from stroke sometimes behave as if completely unaware of one half of the world: colliding with obstacles on their left, eating food only from the right side of their plate, or failing to dress their left ...

#### Neuroscientists investigate lotteries to study how the brain evaluates risk

September 19, 2012

People are faced with thousands of choices every day, some inane and some risky. Scientists know that the areas of the brain that evaluate risk are the same for each person, but what makes the value assigned to risk different ...

#### Kids who get gifts of scratch lottery tickets gamble earlier in life

September 24, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—Youngsters who receive instant lottery tickets as a gift tend to begin gambling earlier in life—a possible risk factor for more severe gambling disorders later, Yale School of Medicine researchers report ...

#### Money makes people right-wing and inegalitarian

February 6, 2014

(Phys.org) —Lottery winners tend to switch towards support for a right-wing political party and to become less egalitarian, according to new research on UK data by Professor Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick and ...

## Recommended for you

#### Sexual harassment common among middle school children, study finds

December 9, 2016

The recent suicide of Brandy Vela, a teen in Texas City, Texas, was a potent reminder of the sometimes tragic consequences of bullying. According to Vela's parents, the teen fatally shot herself Nov. 29 following months of ...

#### Digitally reconstructed skull and face may reveal Robert the Bruce, king-hero of the Scots

December 9, 2016

Could this be the face of Robert the Bruce, as it has never been seen before?

#### Archeologist claims to have found proof that Hebrew was the first written alphabet

December 8, 2016

(Phys.org)—Douglas Petrovich, an archaeologist with Ontario's Wilfrid-Laurier University in Canada has sparked controversy in the ancient history scholarly community by making claims that he has found proof that Hebrew ...

#### Mobile money access lifted two percent of Kenyan households out of poverty: study

December 8, 2016

Since 2008, MIT economist Tavneet Suri has studied the financial and social impacts of Kenyan mobile-money services, which allow users to store and exchange monetary values via mobile phone. Her work has shown that these ...

#### Amber specimen offers rare glimpse of feathered dinosaur tail

December 8, 2016

Researchers have discovered a dinosaur tail complete with its feathers trapped in a piece of amber. The finding reported in Current Biology on December 8 helps to fill in details of the dinosaurs' feather structure and evolution, ...

#### Fossilized evidence of a tumor in a 255-million-year-old mammal forerunner

December 8, 2016

When paleontologists at the University of Washington cut into the fossilized jaw of a distant mammal relative, they got more than they bargained for—more teeth, to be specific.