## Can past draws be used to predict winning lottery outcomes?

Earlier this week I found myself watching a couple of YouTube videos produced by Alberta resident Jeffery Hinchey, who calls himself “Mr. Lottometrics.”  Mr. Hinchey says he has spent the past 18 years thinking about systematic approaches to improve the odds of winning, or at least prolonging your ability to play within the budget you have set for yourself.

Mr. Hinchey has evolved his thinking and mathematical analysis about “pick 6 out of 49” types of lottery games to the point where he has developed what he calls the Luck 649 Lottery System.  The system is available for sale in the form of sheets of numbers (\$12 each) that he recommends players use to complete their selection slips.  He claims Luck 649’s filters produce number selections that are consistent with 95 per cent of the winning combinations behind all of the “pick 6 out of 49” lotteries past winning draws in Canada.

One video demonstrates the type of analysis he does in order to generate the number combinations for the Luck 649 system.  For example, when Lotto 6/49 draw results are published he does what he calls sums analysis (sum of all numbers drawn), even and odd analysis (how many even or odd numbers were drawn), prime number analysis (how many are divisible only by “1” and the number itself), end number analysis (last digit of each number drawn) and his personal favourite,  numerologic reduction analysis (digit of each number is added to arrive at a single digit, one to nine … and where result is higher than nine that result is added together until the result is a single digit).

All of this analysis results in a profile for one draw, and Mr. Hinchey indicates that his Luck 649 incorporates profiles from every Lotto 6/49 result ever produced in Canada.

In another of Mr. Hinchey’s videos he defends his system in the face of apparent public criticism.   He makes the statement that Luck 649 “is a winning guarantee wheel” but he doesn’t “advertise that fact because not every lottery has the same type of wins.”  However it shouldn’t be an issue because “that is incorporated in the [Luck 649] system.”

In the same video Mr. Hinchey discusses probability and acknowledges that any combination of numbers has the same potential for being drawn.  He also points out “there is no way to really guess a winning number and so it would be foolish for me to sell anybody on the concept that I could guess a winning number.”

Mr. Hinchey appears to be a nice man.  He makes a point of advising people not to spend money on lottery products that they can’t afford to lose, or spend money that should not be available except to take care of basic needs.  Unfortunately, it is also pretty obvious that Mr. Hinchey lacks a full appreciation for the concept of randomness:

If you were using the same [Luck 649] sheets every draw in your lottery pool, the one week you didn’t win it would only make sense that there might be … increased probability of winning the next week with the same number.

Random events are unpredictable.

The odds of a random event happening don’t increase because that same outcome hasn’t already happened.  A coin that has been tossed five times and all five times come up “heads” doesn’t change what is likely to happen on the next flip: there is still a 1 in 2 chance that heads will come up.

For all of Mr. Hinchey’s mathematical analysis of previous draws, as he himself admits, there is no way to predict what the winning numbers will be on future draws.  Doing this type of detailed analysis or using systems to help you decide which numbers to choose (birthdays and anniversary dates are examples of systems that some people use) may add some fun to playing the lottery for some people, but they’re not going to help you win.

Don’t take my word for it.  Ask Mr. Hinchey.  This is what he says on the Disclaimer page of Luck649.com:

Jeffery Hinchey by way of luck649.com does not infer in any way that these combinations if played in a pick 6 of 49 lottery game will win any type of prize. The information provided in this document is for entertainment purposes only. You are personally responsible for any financial losses incurred as a result of any information provided here in this sheet or on the luck649.com website, and it is assumed that you are a responsible adult with responsible gambling patterns, and will not increase your personal lottery spending in any manner as a result of receiving the above mentioned information.

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### The government also provided details of compensation for affected gambling venues which they are terming a “participation fee”, equivalent to 20% of their 2010-11 gross gambling revenue, as well as payment to cover staff training, funding for “mandatory pre-commitment workers” and business planning support.

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