Lotto, EuroMillions and Thunderball all offer a Lucky Dip option, which is a randomly-generated entry, alongside choosing your own numbers.
How Do Lucky Dips Work?
Lucky Dips use a pseudo-random number generator (PRNG) or deterministic random bit number generator (DRBNG), which is an algorithm that generates number sequences that are close to – but not exactly – random numbers. This is because these generators rely on specific formulas to create random-appearing numbers. However, these generators have become extremely good at approximating random lines and are regularly tested.
Are Lucky Dips Really Random?
A 2010 study by the Centre for the Study of Gambling at the University of Salford on the randomness of UK EuroMillions Lucky Dip entries concluded that there was no inherent selection bias when EuroMillions Lucky Dips were generated for customers. * While some players have reported receiving multiple entries with similar or sequential numbers, the PRNG used by Camelot does not recognise patterns or commit them to memory – it simply relies on a set formula to generate another line of numbers, which may or may not share some digits with the previous line.
Why Would I Choose a Lucky Dip?
Your odds of winning a Lotto, EuroMillions or Thunderball prize are the same on a Lucky Dip ticket as they are on a ticket where you’ve manually selected the numbers. However, they are a quick and painless way to play fun games like Lotto, so if you have a tendency to think too much about the numbers you’ll select, it might be worthwhile to buy a Lucky Dip online or when visiting a retailer.
* Centre for the Study of Gambling, University of Salford, 2010. Randomness of EuroMillions Lucky Dip: a Report for the National Lottery Commission. Retrieved from http://www.natlotcomm.gov.uk/assets-uploaded/documents/randomness-of-euromillions-lucky-dip_1273059025.pdf.