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Patterns in manually selected numbers in the Israeli lottery

Brian A. Polin, Eyal Ben Isaac and Itzhak Aharon

Judgment and Decision Making, 2021, vol. 16, issue 4, 1039-1059

Abstract: We investigate the manual selection of numbers by lottery participants, with a database consisting of over 800 million selections from 118 consecutive draws of the national lottery in Israel. Our findings replicate results from prior research and introduce novel discoveries. (1) Preference for, and avoidance of, specific numbers 1 through 37 are consistent throughout all the drawings. Strong, but differing preferences are observed in the selection of the “power†number ranging from 1 to 7. (2) The number of guesses entered per draw correlates with the size of the prize, with each additional million in prize money generating 33,000 additional manual guesses. (3) Number preferences are strongly influenced by their location on the form. Numbers in the first of the four horizontal rows are consistently the most popular, while numbers in the fourth rows are consistently unpopular. (4) As the number of guesses increases, popularly chosen numbers tend to become slightly less popular, while unpopular numbers tend to become less unpopular.

Keywords: lotteries; number preferences; spatial effects. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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