Updated: Monday 20th July 2015
Two sets of three consecutive numbers appeared when the Lotto draw was held on Saturday 23 January, 2008. The lottery results were 24, 25, 26, 38, 39, 40, and anyone who makes a habit of entering consecutive sequences would have been encouraged by these numbers even if they didn’t happen to win.
Some National Lottery players might think that the odds of having consecutive numbers drawn are bigger than the odds of having so-called unconnected numbers, but that isn’t the case. The odds of any combination of numbers being drawn in the Lotto game are always 1 in 13,983,816, and a sequence like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 is therefore just as likely as any other.
Of course, because of the way the human brain is wired by nature to recognise patterns wherever it encounters them, a sequence containing more than a couple of consecutive numbers is always going to catch our eye. It could even inspire a few players to change their approach and start entering numbers based on patterns rather than birthdays and anniversaries.
The problem with entering patterns of numbers is that lots of players already do it, and this actually increases the chances of you having to share the jackpot if you do get lucky enough to get all of the winning numbers. For example, the jackpot for Saturday 23 January, 2008 was £5,585,136, but there were actually four winners, so each of them won a much smaller £1,396,284.
To reduce the chances of sharing a jackpot, we always recommend buying a Lucky Dip or picking numbers at random yourself. The odds of you winning a jackpot will still be 1 in 13,983,816, but it is less likely (though by no means impossible) that someone else will have picked exactly the same numbers as you. For details of which numbers have been drawn most and least often, pay a visit to our Lottery Statistics page.Published: Monday 26th January 2009
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