Where is The Best Place To Buy a Lottery Ticket. Can you Affect The Odds?

Posted on August 22nd, 2012

We have a friend ( I am not mentioning his name- yes it is a he) who insists that you can increase the odds of winning the National Lottery or Euromillions or whatever, by the location in which you buy the ticket. The theory goes that there are towns and communities who win a higher percentage of the prizes (especially the big ones). There’s nothing stopping you driving over there, and buying your tickets over there, and thus increasing your odds.

When I try and explain that this is just plain ridiculous, and frankly a touch mad, he goes off on a (quite convincing) spiel detailing all of the big winners, where they live, their socio-economic background etc. His closing statement is along the lines of “how many lottery winners do you know of who live in Kensington & Chelsea? Mayfair?”

For the sake of thoroughness, we thought we’d at least take a look at the theory. Hey, we might even save him some petrol schlepping up to Gateshead in the North-East for the mid-week draw.

If you’ve ever thought that where you bought a lottery ticket would help you win…sorry…it doesn’t matter where you play the lottery, the odds of winning are the same.

It’s all random. It maybe that in certain towns and cities, the population is more likely to buy more lottery tickets than people who live in other areas (eg Kensington and Chelsea).

Every ticket has an equal chance of being the Golden Ticket. The drawing is random. There’s no way to favour one location over another.

Another point is that humans are programmed to look for patterns- often randomness produces patterns. If you play roulette for 1000 spins, at some point you’ll probably see 10 reds in a row. By itself, it looks strange, but in the context of 1000 spins, it is not.

So sorry to pour cold water on the theory. We hope we have saved you some petrol money!!

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