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Using Maximum Entropy to Double One's Expected Winnings in the UK National Lottery

Simon J. Cox, Geoffrey J. Daniell and Denis A. Nicole
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series D (The Statistician)
Vol. 47, No. 4 (1998), pp. 629-641
Published by: Wiley for the Royal Statistical Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2988365
Page Count: 13
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Using Maximum Entropy to Double One's Expected Winnings in the UK National Lottery
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Abstract

We have used the maximum entropy method to estimate the probability of each of the 14 million tickets being chosen by players in the UK National Lottery. As data, we used the numbers of winners in the three-, four- and five-match categories and the total number of tickets sold in each of the first 113 draws. We have computed the marginal distributions for players choosing single numbers and pairs of numbers. A striking conclusion is that players preferentially pick numbers towards the centre of the ticket. By choosing unpopular combinations of numbers, one's expected winnings can be doubled.

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