# Martingale Pick-3, Anyone? Flawed Lottery Systems by Steve Player

## By Ion Saliu, Founder of Lottery Mathematics

Posted on July 21, 2000.

In Reply to: Martingale Pick-3 Lottery, Anyone? posted by Ion Saliu on July 19, 2000.

• There is yet another way of selecting correctly one pick-3 digit as the foundation of a "system": Choose one digit in the EXACT position. That is, select exactly the pick-3 digit drawn in the first position. Possibly, Steve player’s system might be based on that digit, since he does not provide lottery software to generate the combinations. It is easier to manually generate straight sets having only one pick-3 digit in the leading position. For example, if we choose 5, we will have 100 combinations, from 500 to 599.

How does such a system work out mathematically? The system is based on 100 pick-3 lottery sets. Therefore the probability p = 0.1. We get the same probability p if we consider that we must select correctly one lottery digit out of 10 for one position. Let’s compare this “pick-3 lottery system” with the one based on selecting CORRECTLY one digit REGARDLESS of the digit position, where p = 0.271. We already know (it is undeniable mathematics) that the lower the probability, the longer the skips (or misses, or losing streaks). The two values are indirect proportionate. Selecting one digit in the EXACT POSITION has skips 2.71 longer than the skips for selecting one digit regardless of position. In the case previously analyzed we encountered a skip=19. It is very likely to encounter skip=100 when p=0.100. Let’s look at the same skip report I used for p=0.271.

Digit: 5

1st position skip: 2 2 5 9 17 0 0 0 4 20 2 23 8 17 10 13 8 1 0 81 1 1 2 32 6 46 11 0 0 0 8 10 22

This digit missed 81 drawings between hits in the first position! (Drawings analyzed: 400, approximating one year, in Pennsylvania lottery.)

Let’s see in more detail what this “SP system” can lead to.
There are only 100 combinations to play, while the payoff is 500 to 1. There is no need now to use a martingale. We can apply a simpler progression. Simpler progression always means less risk, but also much lower gains. We start with \$1 per ticket. If we lose 5 times in a row, the cost is \$500, the payoff = \$500. Since there is no gain, we must change the 5th step of the progression to \$2, and also step 6. So far, we have this progression: 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2. If we win here, the payoff is 2 x \$500 = \$1,000. The cost for 6 pick lottery drawings was 8 x \$100 = \$800. The profit is \$200, or \$200 / 6 = \$33.34 a day. Steps 7 and 8 must be 3, in order to make a profit IF we win. If we win step 8, the payoff is 3 x \$500 = \$1,500. The cost is now \$1,400, a profit of \$100, or a daily gain of \$100 / 8 = \$12.50. I don’t want to analyze the steps going into 30’s, or 40’s, let alone 80’s, or over 100 (they occur, too!). I am already disgusted with the “system”.

I think this headline describes it best:
“You can lose one hundred thousand dollars for a chance to win one dollar a day!”

I do not believe there are other ways to implement a “Steve Player’s lottery system” based on selecting one pick-3 digit. Please tell your friends about the dangers of buying and using such system(s). Inform also the places accepting Steve Player’s ads that they hurt the interests of their patrons.

: Have I heard of “Steve Player” and his lotto systems? Later, I saw in rec.gambling.lottery a thread on “Steve Player’s pick-3 lottery 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. I ran POWER-3.EXE 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 pick-3 straight sets with one favorite digit. Now, you are supposed to play all those 271 pick 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. 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 lottery drawing, only a Martingale will recuperate the loss AND offer a profit. Now, the 2nd 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 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.

: Digit: 0
:
: 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 3 5 0 9 1 2 1 9 1 0 3 0 0 2 0 5 2 2 3 2 2 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 1 2 3 0 0 12 2 2 4 0 1 0 0 3 0 3 3 4 7 0 8 0 2 9 3 3 9 2 0 11 11 2 5 1 19 3 1 1 0 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 6 5 1 0 0 0 0 3 2
: 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 Lottery 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 pick-3 digit will skip 0, 1, or 2 drawings between hits. For some digits, the median skip is 1. Like this real case:

: Digit: 8
: Any Position ~ 1 6 11 1 2 4 1 0 3 10 3 3 1 0 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 0 0 1 0 7 8 1 0 1 6 4 6 7 4 0 1 1 10 1 2 1 1 1 0 3 3 3 1 9 2 11 0 0 3 1 0 1 2 4 5 1 1 2 0 0 6 7 5 2 0 3 1 0 5 1 1 4 6 3 0 6 5 11 2 2 3 0 14 0 4 4 0 5 3 1 3 2 0 0 0 1 1 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 drawing (thus, we saved the cost of 1 drawing). The chance is 50% that 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 lotto or lottery 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 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 lottery and lotto 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 lottery 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 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.

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. I call him Sticklete. He is proud of articles he wrote in Lotto World Magazine. Sticklete is obsessed especially with lotto mathematics and standard deviation in lottery. I am sure they have another big lottery scam in mind.

Ion Saliu

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