Can Lotterycodex Improve My Lottery Payout Expectations?


Last updated on March 10, 2024

A conversation between a lottery player and a lottery guru. The player ask that he wants to improve the expected value of his ticket. The guru said, "strategize"
Hi Edvin,

First of all, thank you for your work; it's very thought-provoking. I'm already happy with my purchase, even though I haven’t won anything yet!

I’ve been experimenting with your methodology and checking some parts of it, and I'm eager to continue using it going forward.

I'll be playing the UK Lotto, which is a 6/59 + 1 bonus ball from the same urn.

Could you please help me understand the expected payout from using your methodology? Before we proceed, I wanted to clarify that I understand why you don't provide expected payout calculations. To do so, you would need to know the cost per ticket as well as the prizes awarded. Furthermore, your calculations exclude the bonus ball, which is crucial for the second-largest prize in the UK Lotto. Finally, the jackpot size rolls over until someone wins it. So, I'm fully aware of why these calculations aren't being made.

Nonetheless, I feel the need to know if my expected payout is close enough to break-even to justify investing in the lottery. Therefore, I would really appreciate it if you could help me calculate how much more likely a combination from template #1 is to be selected compared to a normal random combination.

Looking forward to your response.


Dear MJ,

Thank you for reaching out, and I’m glad you appreciate my work.

Firstly, I want to avoid giving you false hope. At Lotterycodex, we encourage players to aim for the best chance of winning possible, and we use the “success-to-failure ratio” as the basis for decision-making.1

The only way to increase your chances of winning is by purchasing more tickets.2

More tickets + choosing the right S/F ratio = the best chance of winning.

Certainly, we recommend using a lottery wheel when buying more tickets instead of randomly selecting numbers. A wheel will strategically capture the winning numbers in a calculated manner.3

Beyond that, there truly is no method to beat the odds.

Regarding the topic of expected value, the expected value of participating in the lottery, regardless of your strategy, will always be negative. Winning requires enduring a long series of losses. The expected value remains negative even if the prize reaches its maximum cap. That’s the reality.

However, let me offer you a tip.

To enhance the expected value of your tickets, I suggest waiting for the “roll-down draw” policy to activate.

Not every lottery system features a roll-down draw, but if yours does, it’s wise to leverage this policy.

For instance, the UK Lotto, a 6/59 + 1 bonus from the same urn, employs what is known as a “must-be-won” draw. The UK Lotto can only roll over five times. The fifth rollover triggers a Must Be Won draw.

Here’s information directly from the official UK Lotto website:

In a Lotto Must Be Won draw where no one secures the jackpot by matching six main numbers, there’s a Rolldown. This means the jackpot is shared among players matching two or more main numbers, allowing thousands to win a boosted cash prize.4

This roll-down draw significantly enhances the expected value of your tickets. However, if someone wins the jackpot during the “must-be-won” draw, the prize is awarded to the jackpot winner, and payouts proceed as usual.

If the jackpot is not claimed in a Must Be Won draw, match 2 winners will each receive £5 in addition to their Lotto Lucky Dip. The remaining jackpot is distributed across all other winning prize tiers according to set percentages.

Thus, when you participate in a must-be-won draw, either hope to win the jackpot or that no one wins the jackpot, allowing the prize to be shared among the lower prize tiers, increasing the expected value of your tickets.

Regrettably, this strategy requires purchasing more tickets. That’s the harsh reality of lottery games. This is why I always suggest playing as part of a syndicate.

I’ve documented a detailed account of a syndicate that benefited from this roll-down draw policy, profiting 8 million over seven years.5 They didn’t hit the jackpot but accumulated significantly by purchasing more tickets during roll-down draws. You can access this story inside the Lotterycodex calculator. After you log in, go to the main menu and look for “The Power of a Syndicate.”

What should you do when there’s no must-be-won draw? Save your money so you’re prepared for the next must-be-won draw.

I hope this information is helpful.

Stay safe,

Additional Resources

  1. The Winning Lottery Formula Using Math    []
  2. How to Win the Lottery According to Math    []
  3. Lottery Wheel: A Clever Mathematical Strategy That Works    []
  4. Lotto Must Be Won Draws    []
  5. A Calculated Approach to Winning the Lottery    []

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