Nice try ...

Go to your favourite search engine and type in 'Lotto Australia'. You will hit thousands of pages offering products and advice about Lotto. Typically these pages are full of psuedo-scientific jargon and erroneous statements invoking mathematics and probability theory.

This section of Smartgambler will feature some of the websites promoting dubious mystical, magical and supposed 'mathematical' solutions to the age old problem of trying to get blood out of a stone, the answer to which is also age old, you can't.

We are always on the lookout for new material so if you have recently seen a particularly bad (or perhaps good) Lotto site, please tell us about it via the 'Contact us' link on the left hand sidebar.

Here are some examples of the genre. Bear in mind that these aren't just suggestions from well meaning Lotto enthusiasts, these people want you to actually pay them for their 'winning' systems.

"To be effective on a winning percentage basis you must begin playing with more than 12 numbers in a Lotto draw. By playing with up to 40 numbers you can be assured of winning (making a tidy profit) almost every draw." -

Smartgambler readers should know or guess the obvious formula: if you win more frequently, then, when you do lose, you lose more. You can't cheat the odds, no matter how you rearrange them. In Australia you are stuck with an approximate 60% return on your Lotto games. Note the small word 'almost' in the spurious claim above. That's the killer! It's like backing 8 horses out of 10 in a race, you'll usually win a bit, but occasionally you'll lose a lot. Overall you'll lose more than you win and that's the bottom line.

SmartPick is number selection software based on Chaos Theory. The members' version additionally utilises Probability Theory to make number selections that are based on Number Frequency or Number Last Drawn data. The members version also allows control of the initial level of CHAOS used to make number selections. My adaptation of Chaos Theory comes from the idea that "Chaos theory investigates a system by asking about the general character of its long-term behaviour." (Kellert, Stephen. In the Wake of Chaos: Unpredictable Order in Synamical Systems. Chicago, Ill.: The University of Chicago Press. 1993. P. 3) By drawing upon historical lotto data and applying chaotic behaviour principles I have created SmartPick.

Who are they trying to kid? It might as well say, "Based on hyper dynamic, quasi semi regular, super scientific, post arithmetic postulates" or some such nonsensical verbiage. The fact that it uses historical data destroys credibility at once because chance has no memory. You are just paying someone to produce random numbers for you.

Submitted by BT: 20-4-2001 by e-mail

"If you want to look at a dubious lotto scheme, check out the Syndicate Club, located in Queensland. This is a multi level marketing scheme. The hook is the operators guarantee you the 6th winning number, because they add every other number to the 5 your syndicate group plays.

The reason it's so dubious in my opinion is because only a small part of the money you put in goes to buying tickets. Something like 66% of the input funds goes into front and downline bonuses and the administrators retain some money too. In this scheme, you get paid for recruiting people. In my book, that's a pyramid operation and should possibly even be illegal.

The hook and promise of getting the 6th number for sure means little because most players have Buckley's chance of getting the first 5 to begin with."

In fairness to the Syndicate Club, since publishing the letter above we have received a detailed defence of the club from a supposed member who thinks it is "a marvellous way to play" and denies that it is a pyramid scheme. This must count for something, but the Syndicate Club did make it onto the list of dodgy schemes published by the SA Office of Consumer and Business Affairs for a while and an internet search turns up some rather unflattering material. We subsequently received an abusive e-mail from someone with an interest in the business, which was dealt with in our September 2002 editorial.


The 'systems' that people try and sell usually fall into two broad categories:

1. Reduction Systems, based on 'special' arrangements of numbers.

2. Random Number Generators. These purport to be 'better' than your own selections, usually because of irrelevant historical information or other spurious details.

Neither of these methods has any mathematical validity. Your percentage return will always remain the same. Reduction systems, particularly, require large outlays of money and make claims like 'winning more often'. This may well be true, but winning 'more often' doesn't actually mean that you'll win overall. Outlaying $100 a week and getting twelve $5 wins is 'winning more often' than winning six $10 bets, but they both return $60 or 60%.

Coming out $10 ahead for six weeks and then losing the entire $100 outlay in the seventh week is also winning 'often', but the loss, when it inevitably occurs, brings the so called winnings back to earth with a thud. The reality is that Lotto games will give you back, on average, about 60c for every dollar you put in. Not good value as a gambling proposition. Fine for a nice dream, if you don't pay too much and you know what you are paying for.

As suggested on a previous page, if you really must play Lotto of any kind, keep your outlay to a minimum and try and guess numbers that will be unpopular due to their insignificance, as opposed to ones that many other people are likely to also choose. It has been suggested that choosing numbers over 31 is a logical idea because it cuts out all the people who use the dates of birthdays as potential co-winners and means if you do happen to win you will hopefully keep more of the prize to yourself.

This of course nowhere near compensates for the horrible average return of only around 60%, the worst gambling activity you can choose in Australia by a long margin.

And finally, please don't buy any snake-oil "systems" to try and alter that fact!

You can find useful resources on the internet that deal with lotto products regarded as being of a dubious nature. State offices of business and consumer affairs are often a good place to start for Australian readers.





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