Written on August 23, 2000; later updates.
In Reply to: Comparative Lottery Software, Lotto Software, Programs, Systems, Strategies posted by Karl Malmberg on August 20, 2000.
• Some informed me that Gail Howard's approach has some similarities to my strategy presented on the the main winning lotto, lottery software, strategy page. I understand, however, that her method is not based on the Fundamental Formula Of Gambling (FFG). Nor is her method based on other math formulas, or mathematics in general or in particular. Rather, Gail Howard's lottery strategy appears to be based on simple observation. From what Karl shows, Gail Howard's lottery does some advanced statistical analyzing and reporting. The software is expensive nonetheless, especially when wheeling is bundled.
Here is my take on Gail Howard's methodology, now, the great year of 2005.
I do remember Gail Howard in the late 1980s. Gail Howard was pictured in a Lottery Player's Magazine advertisement. She was buying full–page ads in that mag. The advertisements pictured an attractive woman showing high winning lotto tickets. Readers of the magazine revealed later that her tickets were for the third prize: 4 out of 6. I remember the magazine published a negative material on Gail Howard. It was kind of an editorial. She withdrew her ads from Lottery Player's Magazine soon thereafter! Gaitsa (I love to give people names I believe are suited for book characters!) claimed some 97 users of her systems/software hit the lotto jackpot. No kidding, Gaitsa assured us.
I did find some extra materials. I checked really hard, because I remembered something. I received materials (some of them free!) from Gail Howard in mid-1980s — some newsletters and brochures. I did not want to buy anything from her. I realized she had no grasp on probability theory. She only had a sharp observation talent, from a statistics perspective. On the other hand, my sense of the Fundamental Formula of Gambling was getting stronger and stronger.
Gaitsa's approach was mechanic. She did not care about the format of the lotto games. I can't tell you here how she looked at the lotto statistics; I respect now more than ever the copyright thing. She looked at one or two lotto games of the early 1980s in the United States. She extrapolated her statistical findings to all lotto games, regardless of format. The lotto games turned towards bigger odds, especially in the third millennium. That makes Gail Howard's lottery method even weaker. Curiously (!) her findings look better than what the Fundamental Formula of Gambling determines. Errare humanum est. For that reason, we always resort to formulae in searching for the truth.
I make this true statement here. Gail Howard's lotto system has some basis, statistics wise. But Gail Howard's lotto method lags way, way behind Ion Saliu's gambling and lottery theory! Gail Howard's lotto method translates to looking at the first two entries in the skip reports, regardless of position. In LotWon software, the Frequency function in Util / Super Utilities; in MDIEditor Lotto WE, the Statistics functions in the menu bar. The clearest analysis of lottery skips is performed by the lottery and gambling software SkipSystem. The software handles pick-3, pick-4 lottery, lotto-5, lotto 6, lotto-7, Powerball, Mega Millions, Euromillions. Very easy to see the first two skips, plus the program calculates accurately the median skip - the most important parameter, from a probability and statistical perspective. The median skip is not accounted for in Gail Howard's lottery systems. Read thorough analysis of automatically creating lotto, lottery skips systems and FFG median.
That's all there is to Gail Howard's lottery method: Plot the first 2 skips of every lotto number, in the last 10 lotto drawings (10 most recent draws in the respective lottery). It takes much more effort to build a powerful lottery system! Many more filters are needed to eliminate that impressive number of lotto combinations! My lottery software employs some 50 filters per data layer, for up to 6 data layers. That makes Gail's lotto "strategy" look like a tiny mouse fronting the elephant!
Unfortunately, I also have an issue of decency with Gail Howard's lottery "system" as she advertises it. She claims more than 90 users/customers who are "lotto jackpot winners". For some reason she got stuck with that number — 90+ — since the 1980s (I believe I remember the "number" correctly)! That smells like deception, fata mea!
Mathematics always comes to the rescue in all human disputes. Gail's method (a tiny percent of all the strategies in my lottery theory/software) leads to playing around 18 lotto numbers. Again, I may not give you details — but 18 lottery numbers is a rosy outcome! She does not recommend playing all the combinations generated by 18 numbers in a lotto–6 game. In the 1980s, Gail Howard hadn't a clue how to generate all those combinations! So, she said, wheel the numbers!
Total combinations in a lotto 6/18 set is 18564. Gail Howard proposes a 42–line wheel assuring 4 of 6. Granted, it is the tightest lotto 6 wheel for 18 numbers. Nevertheless, that tight lotto wheel guarantees, at best, 1 in 442 probability to hit the jackpot. Further translation. It takes 442 successful situations (when Gail Howard's statistical system predicts all 6 winning lotto numbers) for one case of the 6/18 lotto wheel hitting the jackpot. That is overly optimistic because the lotto wheels perform worse when higher prizes are concerned. Read the myth of lotto wheels page for thorough analysis of lotto wheel performance.
Let's say that every customer of Gail Howard's software and skip strategy wins at least once a year (an average of 100 drawings; I make Gail Howard a huge concession here; FFG yields far worse than 1 in 100 draws!) In fact, I checked randomly groups of 200 drawings in the results file of the lotto 6/49 U.K. game. The national lottery of the United Kingdom has a large database. I could NOT find a single winning situation for Gail Howard's method in 200 lotto 6/49 draws!
One single user of Gail Howard's lotto strategy would have to wait 442 years to hit the lotto jackpot. IF - and this looks like an impossible if - her lottery strategy would hit once in 100 drawings! She would need almost 4 million customers to assure the 90+ number of jackpot winners. Again, keep in mind that a lotto 6–18 wheel cannot offer a jackpot chance better than 1 in 442. The indecent thing is that Gail considers that a lotto 6 of 18 wheel will hit automatically the jackpot! NOT!
Did Gaitsa have 4 million customers in the 1980s? NOT!
Does Gail Howard have 4 million customers in the third millennium? NOT! (I don't think it possible to count that many suckers on a fairly small planet!)
The game of blackjack has its mythology: card counting.
The lottery has two myths: frequency reports and lotto wheels.
• The impact of statistical reporting (frequency) is vastly exaggerated, especially when a lot of graphical elements are thrown in. Let me stress my point right from the start. Lottery is a numerical phenomenon. Only numerical analyses are meaningful. All graphical elements are irrelevant. All the charts and graphical patterns are meaningless, as far as lottery is concerned.
As of the numerical reports, only a few have significance, but they still leave the odds at an impractically high level. Most numerical reports deal with the frequency of numbers. Then the software categorizes the numbers into “hot” and “cold” numbers. The lotto player is advised to play only hot numbers, or a mixture of hot and cold numbers.
The mathematical foundation of such an approach is very thin ice. The player can wait an eternity for those winning lotto numbers! There compelling reports possible only with my latest lottery software regarding the... infrequency of winning by the statistical reports. One can play the 24, even 30 most frequent lotto numbers — and they will never hit the jackpot in the next lottery drawing — ever! (I mean never—ever in terms of a human lifetime or two.)
I warned the readers of my free strategy presented on the lottery software, strategy page about the expectation. The strategy is aimed at no higher than four out of six prizes. I also added a very important element: filtering. The reader is advised to use MDIEditor and Lotto and pay attention to the following filters: Any-5 for lotto-5 and Any-6 for lotto-6. Those filters will help the player apply the strategy at the most favorable moments. The player cannot afford to apply the strategy every drawing. That's what the filters are for.
My lottery software offers also other helpful statistical elements: the skip charts and worst pairings. The two elements are a lot more useful than any charts or graphical patterns. The skip charts can be used even more efficiently in conjunction with the Fundamental Formula of Gambling (FFG).
The formula showed that in a lotto 6/48 (or 6/49) game, every number will repeat within 6 draws in over 50% of the situations. Let's dig deeper into this finding. So, the probability of a lotto 6/49 number to repeat is ½ times 1/6 (the number will repeat after 1, or 2, or 3, or 4, or 5, or 6 drawings). The combined probability is ½ x 1/6 = 1/12. Actually, it is .54 * 1/6 = 0.09.
But the lottery draws 6 numbers, therefore the probability to get all 6 numbers repeating after 1 to 6 drawings is: 0.9 ^ 6 = 0.000000531 (raising to the power of 6). The result can be expressed also as '5.31 times in 10 million', or '1,881,676 to 1'. Well, the odds are better than playing 6 random numbers (1 in 13,983,816): 7 and half times better. That's a law, too. No matter when you play such a strategy, your odds will always be seven times better than purely random play. You can have my freeware (LotWon or MDIEditor Lotto) create the so-called skip charts. Simply selecting 6 numbers that show as current skips figures between 0 and 5 improves your lotto 6/49 odds seven-fold! There is no doubt or mystery here. It is a formula-backed fact.
The odds are still impractical. Which brings us to the second lotto myth: the lotto wheels.
• • The static lotto wheels or abbreviated lotto systems are as loud a myth as card counting in blackjack. I call them “static lotto wheels”, as opposed to the dynamic lottery wheeling method in my lotto software. This is an example of a static lotto system: 9 numbers, 4 out of 5 minimum guarantee, 3 combinations.
The more popular wheels are for 12 numbers and 18 numbers (multiples of 6). The reality of playing lotto wheels is depressing. Let's analyze one of the most popular wheels, the 18-number system. On the surface, it covers a good deal of numbers, so most players expect to win quite often. Now, 18 numbers expand to a total of C(18,6) = 18,564 combinations. Compared to the 13,983,816 combinations of the lotto 6/49 game, it takes 753 lottery drawings for the 18-number system to hit 6 winners! And then, the system only offers a guarantee such as 4 out of 6 winners! Not profitable at all!
Of course, there are methods to select numbers that are more likely to hit in a shorter period of time. One such method is part of my free “winning strategy” on the web page mentioned above.
It is clear that a lot more powerful methods, or strategies, or approaches are needed. Which brings me to the following point:
• • • lottery filtering
No player can ever play the lottery profitably without filtering, period. The statistical analyses can only take you so far. The “static wheels” are almost immobile. The only tools that can eliminate a huge number of lotto combinations are the lottery filters. My software uses a large number of lottery filters.
I want to make it clear: Anyone can think of any filters he/she likes. Nobody has a given talent to “discover” or “invent” lottery filters. There must be countless lottery filters in this universe. I simply came up with a bundle of filters and implemented them in my lottery software. (I don't want to say that they are very easy to comprehend, for everybody, and from the beginning.) I showed you how to use the filters to even improve “static lotto wheels” (as shown for the WHEEL49.36 case). I also strongly advised that the best way to wheel lotto numbers is to do it dynamically (using WHEEL-6 application in conjunction with a set of filters). If you master the W6 reports, you are guaranteed to win, including the big one.
I don't want to make it too long now. I want to stress again that there is no way to play the lottery profitably other than using filtering. Evidently, filtering cannot be done efficiently by hand (the now–primitive pencil-and-paper method — we got computers); lottery lotto software is needed. Moreover, lottery filtering requires a fairly large number of filters (restrictions) to be enabled. Pencil-and-paper lottery systems, such as Gail Howard's, only employ one or two restrictions.
Read Ion Saliu's first book in print: Probability Theory, Live!
~ Founded on mathematical discoveries, also applied to analyses of lotto drawings and systems based on past winning numbers.
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