Most Commonly Picked Lottery Numbers

lottery balls partyThe National Lottery is one of the UK’s most-loved gambling games. Not only does it provide a simple game to play on a regular basis, but it also provides various charities and UK projects with funding from ticket sales. Obviously, it’s also been the provider of jackpot payouts to some lucky participants, too. It’s with this in mind that it may be quite common to wonder what the most commonly chosen lottery numbers actually are. Putting aside any sort of lucky dip or randomly generated numbers, which ones stand out the most and are chosen by lottery players more so than others?

Is there any reason as to why these are the most popular lottery numbers selected by players? Have they resulted in bigger wins for people or are they simply ones that stand out more so than others do? That’s what we’re going to take a look into today. And in retrospect, what are the least commonly picked UK National Lottery numbers? Why do people tend to stay away from selecting these?

It is important to know how popular your lottery numbers are as if lots other people are playing the same numbers as you and you do win the jackpot it could mean you have to share it out more.  If your are looking for the luckiest lottery numbers, in terms of those that have been drawn the most over time see our dedicated page.

Picking The Most Drawn Numbers

Lottery NumberNumber of Times Drawn
52 73
54 70
8 69
58 67
55 65
11 64

Players will often choose numbers that mean something to them – the birth dates of special people in our lives, a wedding anniversary or perhaps your favourite numbers in general. However, this isn’t always the case. Some people tend to pick those numbers which have most commonly popped up in the results. Yet, these are not mathematically more likely to appear than any of the others. Lottery draws are completely random, so it’s just the luck of the draw that has seen these numbers revealed as the winning ones more often.

When it comes to the UK lottery, the numbers in the table above have been drawn from the machine the most (at time of writing) since October 2015 (when the ball pool was expanded from 49 numbers to 59 in total):

Since the beginning of the 59-ball draw, a few instances of multiple jackpot winners have arisen. The most recent was on Saturday 10th November 2018, which also resulted in the highest number of people sharing a winning jackpot. At that time, four ticket winners shared a £9,433,704 prize, resulting in a share of £2,358,426 each. However, does this really suggest that people are more likely to select the numbers that win the most?

number 13 drawn in lottery gameAccording to figures revealed in March of 2018, the following numbers had been drawn the most: 23, 40, 38, 33, 30, 25. None of these sit in line with the table of most commonly drawn numbers displayed above, which just goes to show that placing a wager on the most drawn numbers is not necessarily the best route to take. The most commonly drawn numbers can change on a frequent basis and so by picking numbers that have been drawn a lot in the past does not mean you will benefit from them in the future.

That hasn’t stopped some people from proceeding with picking their numbers based on draw frequency, and what’s more, UK tabloid newspapers have even suggested to people to go about buying tickets with the 'luckiest' numbers included on them. At the same time, it has been suggested to play the most “overdue lottery numbers”, which is quite absurd considering the game is completely random and nothing can make a number “due” to be drawn. Despite a lot of nonsense about number 13 being an unlucky number to have on your ticket, the National Lottery has seen it drawn 50 times since 2015. Comparing that with the number 6, which has been drawn 45 times, the number 24 which has been revealed 44 times and the number 38, which has been drawn 42 times, we’d say that 13 isn’t so unlucky after-all.

Number Combinations Lead the Way

playing the national lottery

The National Lottery itself actually revealed data that suggested players like to select combinations of multiples of seven for their tickets. It is actually common for tickets to be bought with the numbers 7, 14, 21, 28, 35 and 42, for example. And while that is quite a common number combination, those six numbers have yet to be drawn out together.

Multiples of five were also found to be quite popular with players, with other multiples of numbers being fairly popular as well. However, what may come as quite a surprise to many people is that a television series has actually influenced many lottery players with their number picks.

Have you ever watched the US series Lost? Premiering in 2004, the series followed various victims of a plane crash who had all been stranded on an uninhabited island. On that show, one of the central characters, Hurley, had managed to win a huge lottery jackpot of $114 million. His winning numbers are also mentioned countless times throughout the series – 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42. Even today, many players of the National Lottery have taken those numbers to either be lucky or their own personal favourites, buying ticket after ticket with them printed on, in hopes of winning the jackpot.

At the same time, other popular combinations include the first six numbers – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 – as well as the combination of all the 7s. This sees players selecting 7, 17, 27, 37, 47 and 57 (which wouldn’t have been possible prior to 2015’s increase in the number of lottery balls). Seven is considered by many to be a lucky number in its own right, so that’s why it tends to feature in various popular number combinations and sequences.

Yet, is there really any sort of  reason for proceeding with picking combination? After all, if it’s such a popular sequence of numbers and it becomes a winning selection, you could end up sharing a huge jackpot with multiple others. Instead of winning a huge £50 million, that could be split up between 10 other people who had purchased a lottery ticket with the same numbers on it. Therefore, you’d only receive a share of £5 million instead. Imagine what else you could have done with the remaining £45 million from that entire jackpot amount.

Generally speaking, it would be probably be better to utilise your own thought-up combination of numbers, rather than one that many people opt for in the end. After all, you have just as much chance of winning with any combination of numbers, and if you do win from a less popular sequence of numbers, you are not as likely to have to share the overall jackpot with others.

Unusual Number Sequences Spark Conspiracy Claims

number sequence 1 6While the UK National Lottery hasn’t specifically been hit with claims over bizarre number sequencing that has seen people win, you don’t need to look far to find conspiracy theories coming out of the woodwork. In December of 2020, the South African lottery was labelled as rigged by participants when 20 players all shared a jackpot when a strange number sequence was drawn out.

The word ‘fraud’ was very much thrown out when the numbers 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 were drawn from the national lottery over there, and 20 people took home a share of the country’s jackpot for that week, which stood at 5.7 million rand each, or £279,000. Another 79 people in the country won about £300 for guessing the first five numbers without number 10 as the PowerBall. Of course, the outcome of this sequence in a lottery is no less likely to appear than when compared with any other number sequence. What is quite strange though, is that 20 people all managed to get their hands on a piece of the jackpot. That’s a very unusual circumstance when it comes to the South African lotto draw.

That being said, it was also claimed back in 2013 that around 10,000 people who participate in the UK’s lottery choose the same numbers of 1 to 6 each and every week. Those people also tend to hope that others won’t follow in their same footsteps.  If 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 were actually drawn and the jackpot was say £10M, with 10,000 people playing those numbers the pay out would be a measly £1,000 each.

South Africa’s National Lotteries Commission (NLC), which operates as the regulator for the country’s lottery, did state that the number sequence was very unprecedented. However, it vowed to look into the draw and find out if any sort of fraud had taken place before, during and after the draw took place. While the country has experienced a couple of people claiming a share of a large jackpot, multiple winners beyond this are extremely rare.

Other Unusual Lottery Results from Number Sequences

numbers piled up

It’s not only the South African lottery that has experienced winners being made from unusual number sequences, either. In fact, on March 17, 2017 the UK Thunderball draw allowed four winners to share the top prize. The main numbers drawn out for that particular occasion were 4, 8, 16, 28 and 32, which are all multiples of four. The Thunderball was drawn as the number 10, and each of the winning ticket holders managed to acquire £500,000.

Yet, we can go even further back in time to January 14, 1995 to uncover quite the astounding lottery outcome. On this date, 133 players managed to share a lottery jackpot of £16.2 million, when the numbers 7, 17, 23, 32, 38 and 42 were matched. Why was it that so many people had chosen this seemingly random sequence of numbers? Well, as it happens, these numbers were all printed down the central column of the lotto slip. Therefore, the players had simply gone down the centre with their sequence and this is what resulted in the shared victory – a number sequence that was apparently quite popular, although you wouldn't have know it.

If we travel to Bulgaria, we can discover something even stranger taking place. In 2009, the numbers of 4, 15, 23, 24, 35 and 42 were chosen as the winning ones in a draw. Nothing so unusual about that, right? Well, of course not. Until the exact same number sequence was drawn only four days later. And while nobody won in the first draw, a record 18 participants managed to obtain the top prize when the second set of winning balls were drawn.

Selecting the same numbers that have already been drawn in one game is thought to be a fairly popular strategy for some people, although it had never actually been recorded as being successful before this time. Naturally, an investigation was undertaken by officials when players raised their suspicions of game manipulation. However, nothing untoward was discovered and chairman Konstantin Simeonov said that it was simply a strange and unheard-of occurrence. Of course, the fact that 18 people won the second time around will always be a moment that Bulgarian lottery players look at with some level of suspicion.

What Numbers Should You Pick?

lottery ticket close upOf course, lottery number sequences aren’t something that can really be guessed in advance, because if everything is being conducted properly the outcome of draws should be totally random. In this respect, it is pointless to hedge all your bets on a sequence that utilises all the sevens or runs from 1 through to 6, because they have no greater chance of occurring than you sticking your hand in a bag of numbers and drawing six out to be your lottery picks. Random means 100% random – which is something that all lottery games should aim to provide to players. Fairness should not be undermined ever.

Still, it is always worth considering the numbers that other people play and try to pick numbers for yourself that are more unique, because if you do win the jackpot you wan to share it with as few people as possible.