There are no sure-fire ways to pick winning lottery numbers as every number has an equal chance of being drawn.
Players have discovered many methods to inspire luck and reduce the chances of splitting the prize with others.
The best methods for selecting lottery numbers include statistical analysis, simple math, and even summoning the power of the cosmos.
Like many other states, New Jersey offers a variety of lottery games, including the national Powerball and Mega Millions. The state’s Pick-3, Pick-4, and the like may be easier to select lottery numbers for and take your chance at the prize. But Powerball and Mega Millions have a pick range in the double digits, so you have a lot more numbers to choose from.
It’s important to remember that all numbers have an equal chance of being selected during a draw. But if you’re out of ideas for picking lottery numbers, try these 12 ways to pick your lotto numbers.
1. Look for Patterns in Past Picks
While every number has the same chance for selection, you can stake your bet on numbers that seem to keep cropping up over and over again. Check out the previous weeks’ number picks, which are listed on the state lottery page at NJLottery.com.
You can enter the data into a spreadsheet and use formulas and filters to identify the frequent hits. It takes a while to pore over the numbers and find the most commonly picked numbers over the past draws. But playing those recently picked numbers can give you more confidence in your selection.
You can also find websites that do all the statistical analysis for you. All you have to do is select your state, choose the game you want information on, and review the stats. You can learn about the hit frequency (the number of times a number has been selected) of every number and filter the results for the ones with the highest frequencies.
Alternatively, you could select numbers that haven’t hit in a while to target those that you feel are bound to hit. This strategy can help you take advantage of possible luck that others might be missing. It won’t necessarily increase your chances of winning, but it might help you shake up your luck and even score a jackpot that you don’t have to share with others.
2. Determine Your Lucky Numbers
Playing the lottery is all about luck, and you can use your own personal luck to pick numbers you feel might hit. Nearly all lottery players and gamblers have at least one lucky number thanks to some interesting superstitions about gambling. If you don’t have any lucky numbers or need inspiration for additional lucky numbers to try on your next ticket, check out this list of common types of lucky numbers:
Dates such as birthdays, anniversaries, and other special dates
Significant years, like the year you were born, the years your children were born, the year you got your first car, etc.
Phone numbers and addresses
Favorite sports players’ jersey numbers
Culturally significant numbers (like how 7 is lucky in many Western countries)
Numbers you find in life, such as on a fortune cookie (we know it sounds strange, but stranger things have happened!)
Consider staying away from the really common lucky numbers, like 7 and multiples of it. That’s because a lot of people are likely to play 7 or a variation of it, meaning that if any of those numbers hit, you could be sharing the jackpot with multiple people. However, if you’re okay with sharing, then lucky number 7 may bring you good fortune.
3. Try Out Unlucky Numbers
Our list may be a bit contradictory at times because there is no one way to improve your luck when it comes to playing the lottery in New Jersey or anywhere else. So, consider forgetting all about what is and isn’t considered lucky — play numbers that many people would consider unlucky to reduce the likelihood of having to share the jackpot with others.
The number 13 is seen as very unlucky to many people in Western culture, though the specific reason why is unknown. In some East Asian cultures, the number 4 is synonymous with bad luck because the Chinese word for “four” sounds a lot like the language’s word for “death.” Japanese culture sees ages like 25, 42, and 60 to be unlucky, so you can try out those “unlucky” numbers, too.
4. Choose Numbers Over 31
As we said, many people’s lucky numbers come from important dates, like birthdays and anniversaries. There are only 12 months in the year and a maximum of 31 days in a month. So, players are more likely to bet on numbers 1 through 31, which means playing (and winning) with these numbers forces you to split your jackpot.
Using this method takes away nearly half of your possible picks for games like Powerball (which has you picking five numbers between 1 and 69) and Mega Millions (which has you picking five numbers between 1 and 70). But if you win, you may be splitting that jackpot with fewer people (or none at all!).
Obviously, though, this strategy doesn’t work for New Jersey Pick-3 and the like where your selection must be between 1 and 9, or another smaller range.
5. Use the Power of Numerology
Numerology posits that there is a divine connection between numbers and life events. This belief system may be able to help you find some new lucky numbers with which to play the lottery.
With numerology, you use a bit of math to determine certain significant numbers based on your date of birth, the number and combination of letters in your name, or other dates, like the date of the drawing, the date you pick your numbers, or another date that stands out to you. There are numerous (see what we did there?) ways to use numerology to find significant (or at least unique) lottery picks.
One number that numerology fans say to include in your pick is your Life Path Number, which is the sum of each digit in your birthday. Let’s say a player named Patrick was born on March 22, 1989. His Life Path Number would be as follows:
4+2+2+1+9+8+9 = 35
So, based on numerology, Patrick should seriously consider playing the number 35. This may even play out in his favor based on the “play numbers above 31” rule, too.
With the Life Path Number, he can also play the sum of 35, which is 8.
Now, Patrick can also use the letters in his name to come up with a number. Based on the Pythagorean Numerology letter chart, his number(s) would be as follows:
Patrick can use the sum (33), the single digits, and/or any combination of these digits for his lottery pick, such as 17, 29, 39, 32, 37, 23, etc., that are within the lottery game’s range.
6. Draw a Shape
If you’re filling out a physical selection ticket, connect with your inner artist and draw a unique shape or pattern to pick your numbers. You might draw a heart, a triangle, a circle, a smiley face, part of a Deathly Hallows symbol, whatever. Again, there’s no guarantee this will help you win, but it can help you select numbers faster.
7. Avoid Consecutive Numbers
As you select a shape to draw, you might want to consider avoiding any patterns that have you selecting consecutive numbers. That means squares, rhombuses, and even triangles with straight-across bases are off the proverbial table. The reason to avoid consecutive numbers is that it can limit your spread, which may impact your ability to win for that draw.
8. Do Pick Consecutive Numbers
Alternatively, there are arguments for why picking consecutive numbers is a good idea. Many players don’t pick consecutive numbers and spread out their numbers, so you could actually cut the competition by doing what they least expect.
9. Choose Outside Numbers
Since many players spread out their numbers, they may have more numbers closer to the center. You may want to select numbers on the outer edge of the pick ticket to avoid having to split the jackpot with other winners.
10. Use the Delta Lottery System
The Delta Lottery System is one in which you use random choice and math to pick your lottery numbers. There are a few steps that may seem challenging at first but are actually relatively easy to follow.
Choose a low number between 1 and 5.
Pick two additional numbers between 1 and 8.
Pick another number closer to 8, like 7 or 9.
Select two numbers between 8 and 15.
Add up these selected numbers to make sure it’s within the game’s range OR repeat the process if the sum is higher than numbers in the game’s range.
Mix up the numbers so they’re not in numerical order.
Use the first number in your new sequence as your first lotto pick.
Add the first lottery number and the second sequence number together to get the second lottery number.
Add the second lottery number and the third sequence number together to get the third lottery number.
Add the third lottery number and the fourth sequence number together to get the fourth lottery number.
Repeat this process going along the whole sequence to get your whole selection.
Let’s break it down with an example and help Patrick pick new numbers with this strategy.
He selects 1, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 13.
Added together, he gets 43, which is within the game’s range.
He mixes up the numbers to get 4, 9, 13, 10, 1, and 6.
His first lottery number is 4.
He adds 4+9 to get 13, which is his second lottery number.
He repeats the adding of the lottery numbers and delta numbers to get the following picks: 4, 13, 26, 36, 37, and 43.
You’re more likely to get numbers that are higher than 9, so it’s best to use this method on games that have a large range, like Mega Millions.
11. Pick Random Numbers
You can also pick lottery numbers the old fashioned way: randomly and hoping for the best. You can just pick numbers based on what your gut tells you to pick.
Or, you can use a random number generator online. Google, Siri, and other online AI assistants can randomly generate numbers when you ask them to pick a number between 1 and whatever the game limit is. You can also find random number generators that are specifically for generating lotto picks for certain games, and NJLottery.com even has a generator for each game. All you have to do is select the draw game you want to play, go to the “How to Play” tab, and hit the “Generate!” button to get your random numbers.
12. Let the Machine Choose Numbers for You
Leave it completely up to fate and let the random number generator in the ticket machine pick numbers for you. This takes pressure off you and saves you time.
What Are the Odds of Winning Different Lotteries in New Jersey?
Here are the odds of winning various lottery games available in New Jersey: