Historical Lottery Analysis

Historical Lottery Analysis


292 Million to One

“It was a million to one shot, doc, million to one.” – Kramer (Seinfeld)


As a company that strives to be on the cutting edge of software development and is constantly looking for a challenge, we decided to have a little fun with the upcoming Powerball by running basic analysis against previous winning numbers. Our dataset dates back to December 2005. Since that time, there have been 1,056 Powerball drawings across 4 generations of the lottery game. Over that time, the odds have fluctuated as the total number combinations have changed. As the title suggests, the odds currently sit at 1 in 292 million. Below are the insights we gathered from the data; armed with these, you still won’t win, but you might be able to improve your odds.


To start, we wanted to simply look at frequency of rolls of each of the first five white numbers. These first five can be picked in any order, and with the latest version of the Powerball, there is a 1.44% percent chance for each of these to show its face Wednesday night. Fifty-four numbers are currently performing better than that in winning lottery picks, but all of these numbers belong to the group of 1 through 55, which have been in play for all 525 weeks of the data we used. What is interesting is that the numbers 6 and 33 (each with a 1.42% chance) are both slightly under-performing the baseline of 1.44% despite being around for all 525 weeks. So that should be the end of it: pick the top 5 rolled numbers by historical frequency, grab the top rolled Powerball, take your $2 to the nearest gas station and live the rest of your life on a highly customized yacht in the Bahamas.


When looking at the historical frequency in this way, we are leaving some numbers out of the running, as they haven’t been around long enough to get rolled as much as the 1- 55 set. Enter the new challengers.


On January 7, 2009, the Powerball added the numbers 56 to 59 to the mix, and then on October 7, 2015, 60 to 69 were introduced. At this point, these numbers haven’t been in the running long enough to compete on historical frequency with 1 through 55, but after introducing the Level Up Development Picks-Per-Week (PPW) factor, we began to see something interesting with the data. Some of the originally underrepresented 60 to 69 set have shown a 1-in-5 chance of being picked at least once per week. This is higher than all but one of the original 55 numbers. This is data with which we can work reliably.


Below we have listed the Level Up Powerball Picks using the adjusted PPW calculation. Instead of doing all the work for you, we have decided to leave some of the fun in your hands. Our recommendation is to pick two from the below-55 category, pick two from the over-59 category and one more distinct number between 1 and 69. Then pick one of the four provided Powerball options.


First-Five Picks

 Pick All-Time Picks Weeks In Running PPW Adj. All-Time Picks
 32  108 525  .21  108
 14  104 525  .2 104
 13  104 525 .2  104
 12  104 525  .2  104
 41  102 525 .19  102
 68  4 14  .29  151.75
 62  4 14  .29  151.75
 69  3 14 .22  113.81
 64  3 14  .22  113.81
63 14 .22 113.81

The Powerball Picks

 Picks All-Time Picks Weeks In Running PPW Adj. All-Time Picks
 18 170 525  .32  170
 23 170 525  .32  170
 14 170 525  .32  170
 5 170 525  .32  170


Looking forward to splitting the jackpot with you all. 😉


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