“Pick Consecutive Lottery Numbers” Recommends Professor Marcus du Sautoy

October 25th, 2011   ·   Read 5 Comments...

The Daily Mail just reported that Professor Marcus du Sautoy recommends you pick your lottery numbers consecutively – because it ‘increases your chances of winning’.

Unfortunately, whilst it made a good headline, the Daily Mail got their conclusions entirely wrong from the facts Professor du Sautoy gave them.

Yes, Marcus did recommend you pick consecutive numbers. But he specifically said the reason to do that was because most people don’t pick numbers that way. Which would mean you are less likely to share the jackpot.

In the very same breath he actually said consecutive numbers were:

just as likely as any other combination

The Daily Mail turned that into the Professor saying combinations with consecutive numbers were more likely to win! Which is simply untrue, and not what Marcus said at all.

It’s a shame as the rest of the article was a really interesting view on probability in our daily lives, and why we often see significance in something that really is just a coincidence.

But instead a lot of people are going to take that headline at face value, and walk away spreading more useless misinformation about choosing lottery numbers. Of which there is far too much out there already.

What do you think of the article (apart from the plain misleading headline)?

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Your Comments ↓

  • Lottery Blog

    Just noticed some of the readers (such as Someone and Mike) have already picked them up on the bad headline. But sadly most people probably won’t notice their comments. Hopefully Prof du Sautoy will read it and roast them for the silly headline. Or make them print a retraction.

  • Michael

    Which of the consecutive numbers is he talking about? consecutive even numbers, or consecutive odd numbers or consecutive even odd or consecutive odd even numbers??

    • Lottery Blog

      He says in the article “My advice is to pick consecutive numbers, like 31, 32, 33”. But the important point is the reason why – i.e. because not many people pick numbers that way. Which may therefore increase your chances of being the only jackpot winner (if you win). But does NOT increase your chances of winning the jackpot. Something the Daily Mail failed to understand.

      • Michael

        Thanks for the quick reply. i still don’t get it. My point is that in most lotto results, consecutive numbers are in different types just like I mentioned in my previous write-up, if you don’t teach the people the pattern to use in picking the consecutive numbers the advise to play a consecutive number is almost like advising somebody to go for a quick pick.


        OK, OK, OK, I just read the article. Some jounalists are very good at quoting people out of context. I was wondering because with my little experience, consecutive numbers are like every other number combination. Their importance depends on their patterns of appearance and how often.

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