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How to win lotto: Bingo, birthdates, patterns, and other ways bettors use to hit the jackpot

By NICK GARCIA Published Feb 28, 2023 6:17 pm Updated Feb 28, 2023 6:23 pm

Many Filipinos dream of becoming rich, and they bank on lottery to achieve that. Others come up with certain strategies in a bid to boost their chances, especially that it's about one in a 29 million chance to hit the jackpot.

For a retired seaman who hit the MegaLotto 6/45 alongside another individual on Feb. 1, it's all about a bingo game.

The seaman, who hails from Negros Occidental, told the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) that to achieve his winning combination, 37-29-42-21-27-05, he put numbers 1 to 45 in a bottle and drew six. Those, then, became his "alaga" or go-to combination for two years in the 20 years that he's playing.

He brought home half of the P73.4 million jackpot, excluding taxes.

For some, choosing the birthdates of their loved ones is the way to go and is, in fact, one of the most popular ways, if not the most popular way, to play. Others also use anniversaries, significant dates, or other numbers they consider lucky.

There are, however, others who advise against using birthdates and anniversaries because the numbers are only 31 and below. Richard Wheeler, president and co-founder of Lottery Now, told Inside Edition that picking higher numbers improves the odds.

In any case, on Feb. 2, a former government employee from Isabela hit the Lotto 6/42 jackpot worth P5.9 million, using the birthdates of his parents and children.

In July 2022, a man in Canada hit the $3.8 million (P210 million) jackpot using his wife and children's birthdates. In June of that year, three individuals also won using the birthdates of their loved ones, Toronto Sun reported.

But while anybody can get lucky, there's been a prominent—and controversial—phenomenon in October 2022 when 433 individuals hit the 6/55 Grand Lotto, thanks to a curious and deceptively simple combination of 9-18-27-36-45-54, or the multiples of 9.

The 433 bettors split the P236 million, receiving about P500,000 each.

Though the combination raised rigging suspicions, statisticians have since pointed out that though least likely, it's like any other combination out of the 29 million possible outcomes.

"It is the same way as any other particular outcome, for example, 3-14-15-9-26-54," said Guido David, who teaches mathematics at the University of the Philippines and is a fellow of the OCTA Research known for its COVID-19 advisories.

Nine is also considered lucky (hence Lucky 9), and many people believe in that. Moreover, the multiples of 9 are arranged diagonally in the entry form, and people have the penchant for pattern and order according to Peter Julian Cayton of the University of the Philippines School of Statistics.

As a matter of fact, there are bettors who simply choose patterns because why not.

But many others simply acknowledge the arbitrary nature of the lottery, so much so that they choose their numbers without basis and leave everything up to fate. They even use random number generators online.

Still, there are also more diligent ones who analyze previous lottery results; subscribe to numerology or the study of the mystical relationship of numbers and patterns; or use a system like the Delta system to supposedly make their picks rational.

Rendall Pennie, a construction worker in the village of Kirkfield in Ontario in Canada, used an Excel sheet to track all winning numbers and derive his own combination from them, according to Toronto Sun. He hit the jackpot last January.

But at the end of the day, what's only needed is Lady Luck to smile at the hopeful bettor (or maybe 433 bettors and even more). As the Filipino expression goes, "Kung para sa iyo, para sa iyo."