“Experimenting” with the Mega Millions

A famous modern philosopher once said:

“The only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down.”

– Adam Savage, Mythbusters 2012

So here’s the writing down to document something fun I am trying with Mega Millions.

During the big run-up to the Billion dollar jackpot, my Mom asked me to play some family numbers, which, in the grand scheme of things, have as good a chance as any other if you follow probability. It got me to thinking if I can give probablity a little nudge so I am putting $40 into an experiment. I have picked 4 sets of numbers for Mega Millions:

  • Mom’s Family Numbers
  • The 6 “hottest” numbers from the last 20 drawings according to an online site. These are numbers that have been drawn between 3 and 5 times in the last 20 drawings. So, would these numbers “stay hot” and give me a better chance of winning.
  • The 6 “coldest” numbers in the last 50 drawings according to the same online site. All of these have only been drawn 1 time in the last 25 weeks, So would these numbers “catch up” to their probability of being drawn.
  • A standard quick pick, which should be a psudo-random set of numbers.

In order to give these a bit more of a chance, I have purchased 5 drawings for each set of numbers, so we’ll see what happens after 2.5 weeks.