Published on July 19, 2000; later updates.
• BigJer posted a while ago asking if I had heard of Steve Player. Later, I saw in rec.gambling.lottery a thread on “Steve Player's pick-3 system”. I think I got it right. The foundation of such a system is choosing one digit in the pick-3 game. Something like a favorite digit. I put the “system” to a test using LotWon lottery software. I ran POWER-3 without any filters. I pressed N to all the 7 prompt screens. Then I selected the option 1 favorite digit. The program always generates 271 combinations with one favorite digit. Now, you are supposed to play all those 271 lottery combinations. Let's say we play them for $1 each. The cost; $271. If we win the first time, we make a profit of $500 - $271 = $229. But what guarantees you get the “fixed” digit right from the first try?
Let's use here the Fundamental Formula of Gambling (FFG). Namely we run a great piece of probability software: SuperFormula. The probability p = 271/1000 = 0.271. In order to have a 50% degree of certainty (DC) that we pick the right digit we need 2.2 tries (drawings). That is, there is a 50% chance we will lose more than 2 lottery drawings in a row. Since we lost our first drawing, only a Martingale will recuperate the loss AND offer a profit. Now, the 2nd lottery drawing, we double the amount: $271 x 2 = $542. We already lost $271, so the total cost is now $813. We played $2 a ticket, so the win will be $1,000. Profit: $187 over a period of 2 days; profit per day: $93.5.
What happens if we lose 3 days in a row? We must play now $4 per ticket: $271 x 4 = $1,084. We add to this amount what we lost the previous 2 days. Total cost: $1,897. The win will be $2,000, the profit $103 or $34.34 daily profit. It is very plausible to lose one more time. The Martingale will be 8 x $271 = $2,168. Total cost for 4 drawings: $4,065. The win will be 8 x $500 = $4,000. From this point on, we always lose, even if we hit the winning pick 3 lottery combination! So, a power-2 Martingale is not sufficient to apply this “system”. We probably need to apply a power-3 Martingale: 1-3-9-27…
And it is possible to lose many more times in a row. Can you say the 10th step of a power-3 martingale multiplied by 271? One must be a millionaire first before winning a few hundred dollars at pick-3. Look at this real sample from Pennsylvania lottery.
We can generate thorough statistical analyses of the pick-3 lotteries by running Bright, then Super Utilities, option F = Frequency Reporting by Digit.
Look at this real sample from Pennsylvania lottery.
Skips regardless of position: 3 5 4 0 7 2 1 2 4 2 0 4 3 1 9 1 5 3 0 4 9 0 1 ...
This digit missed 19 drawings in a row! Hello, Martingale, step 19! How about steps 9, 10, 11, 12?
I am not suggesting an improving of this system. Maybe some might suggest using my software to pick the right digit. I demonstrated on saliu.com/LottoWin.htm (Winning Strategy) that the pick-3 digits repeat according to FFG. Basically, a pick-3 digit will repeat, in at least 50% of the cases, within 2 drawings. That is, the chance is 50% that a digit will skip 0, 1, or 2 drawings between hits. For some digits, the median skip is 1. Like this real case:
Any Position: 1 6 11 1 2 4 1 0 3 10 3 3 1 0 1 1 1 1 2 ... 6 7 5 2 0 3 1 0 5 1 1 4 6 3 ... 3 0 14 0 4 4 0 5 3 1 3 2 0 0 ... 1 8 1
· Median Skip Any: 1
It looks like the ideal case. The digit has median skip = 1 and it already skipped 1 lottery drawing (thus, we saved the cost of 1 drawing). The chance is 50% that pick-3 digit 8 will come out the next drawing. But we are talking 50%, not 100%. We can see that 8 had skips of 10 or 11 in the past! The Martingale could be devastating even for a favorable digit like this one.
I wonder how such systems come to life. I can't believe such a lack of honesty! And some put so hard on me, as if accusing me for being honest! I never, ever tried to cheat people with my lottery software. I put all my knowledge into it. Isn't my software HONESTLY and scientifically closer to winning the lottery than anything else? I firmly believe so, and that's why my software and this website are alive.
I sincerely admit that the documentation leaves much to be desired, especially from the perspective of non-mathematicians or non-statisticians. My lotto and lottery software presents also some difficulties in usage. But you don't even imagine that what I use is even more complicated. For starters, I use special lotto software that creates the winning reports for “fixed” data files. The additional 4 fixed files are never changing. Then I run the combination generator with the real lottery data file, get an output file, purge it against the first fixed file, get a 2nd output file, purge it against the 2nd fixed file, etc., etc.
Many, many things have changed for the better ever since — I am referring to SALIU.COM Web site and Ion Saliu's lotto, lottery software. Be sure to get the freshest information … and software!
• Steve Player caused another incident in 2007. Read this in the lotto-lottery-gambling forum:
An editor's note - 2007
There is no one single person named 'Steve Player'. It is a group of so-called “lottery systems developers”. They are related to a now-defunct publication: Lotto World Magazine. The magazine was primarily a vehicle for Steve Player's lotto systems. Half of the publication consisted of full-page ads for those “lottery systems”. Most likely, the publishers and Steve Player were one and the same entity. The ads also featured a fake photo of a weird-looking man who was living in the wilderness of New England, surrounded by computers and developing lottery systems! One of the weirdoes of the “Steve Player Clan” still spams me from New England. He wants my formulas and even unpublished lottery theories.
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