Press release: Lottery-Winning Maths

Journalists sitting and writing in notepads

Six strategies for maximising your lottery winnings using mathematics and probability

Discusses gambling, games, and the invention of the field of probability

Embargo: Tues 31 Jan 2023, 2pm UK time (GMT)

We would like to invite you to a lecture by Professor Sarah Hart on Lottery-Winning Maths, on 31 Jan 2023.

Hart, the Gresham Professor Geometry, is Professor of Mathematics at Birkbeck, University of London. In this lecture, Hart will look at games of chance like lotteries, roulette and Blackjack and ask, “Can mathematics help us win?” She works out the odds of winning the jackpot of the UK National Lottery (about 1 in 45 million) before turning to her six strategies for maximising your lottery winnings.

These will include through lottery syndicates in which groups of people join together to buy lottery tickets, increasing their chance of winning and sharing winning prizes. Statistics show that one in five top prizes on the UK National Lottery are won by syndicates. She will also discuss how to maximise your winnings by choosing particular numbers. Any specific set of numbers is equally likely to come up, because it’s a random draw. But, you can minimize your chances of sharing your jackpot should you win by picking for example numbers outside of 1 to 31, which are often chosen because lots of people pick birthdays.

She will say “Never buy your ticket on a Monday. This is a slightly macabre piece of advice, but the odds of you dying on any given day are considerably higher than one in 45 million. In the UK, lotto draws are on Wednesdays and Saturdays. So, you are more likely to die before the draw than to win. If you must gamble, do it at the last minute. In fact, to take this to the extreme, incredibly, based on accident statistics, you have about a 1 in 30 million chance of dying from falling over while trying to put trousers on. So, death by trousers is more likely than winning the lottery. Be careful out there.”

This guide to chance, fate and the lottery will show how you can maximise your lottery winnings as well as exploring the mathematics and probability behind games like roulette and Blackjack.


Notes to Editors

You can sign up to watch the hybrid lecture online or in person; or email us for an embargoed transcript or speak to Professor Hart: / 07799 738 439

Read more about Professor Hart