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The Most Common Winning Powerball Lottery Numbers (and Other Tricks for Winning Big)

Your chances aren’t great, but they could be better. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

You want a piece of the pie. I do, too. Heck, in 2016, three lucky winners split the highest-recorded Powerball lottery jackpot of $1.6 billion. After paying Uncle Sam, each winner took home over $300 million. That’s a good day by anyone’s standards.

As the old saying goes, “You can’t win if you don’t play.” Agreed. But how do you win? Obviously, a strong stroke of luck must be ever in your favor, but is there a rhyme or reason to the way Powerball is played? According to seven-time lottery winner Richard Lustig, you need a plan of attack when you’re playing.

But before we get into the plan, make sure you know how to play the game. You have better odds of being struck by lightning than you do of winning the lottery. Nevertheless, here’s a quick rundown. Powerball uses two drums to pull those ever-so-familiar numbered balls. The first drum consists of 69 balls from which the first five winning numbers are chosen. From the second drum, 26 red balls tumble around, and only one is pulled. That’s the Powerball. If you choose the same six numbers that are pulled from the two drums, well, you just won the jackpot, and you can quit your day job.

So you didn’t win the jackpot. That’s cool. You can still win some cold hard cash with that ticket. Any matching numbers will win you anywhere from $4 to $1 million. What’s even cooler, if you choose the Powerplay option, you’ll increase those winnings by two times or more.

Now that you know the rules, how do you choose your numbers? Lottery players have their systems, and many of them like to stick with that system. Some numbers seem to be pulled more than others. Here are some of the most commonly pulled Powerball numbers and ways to increase your chances of winning big.

1. The most commonly pulled primary Powerball numbers

The top 10 most commonly pulled primary Powerball numbers are 26, 16, 41, 32, 22, 23, 28, 42, 39, and 10 as of November 2017, according to LottoNumbers. These are the numbers pulled from the first drum of white balls, and they have all been pulled over 250 times. You may want to put those in your back pocket when it comes time to choose your numbers.

2. The most common Powerball numbers

Check your Powerball number, even if you don’t win the rest. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

It’s the big number — the one you must have to win the jackpot. In descending order, LottoNumbers says the 10 most commonly pulled Powerball numbers are 6, 20, 9, 11, 2, 12, 18, 10, 26, and 1, as of November 2017. If the Powerball number on your lottery ticket matches that of the one chosen from the drum, you can win anywhere from $4 to $40.

3. What’s the deal with the Quick Picks?

You can let the computer pick for you. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Quick Pick lottery numbers are generated by the computer. Seven-time lottery winner Lustig stands beside the notion that opting for Quick Pick lottery tickets is the lazy approach to playing the game. And perhaps it is, but that doesn’t mean the Quick Picks are not winners. After all, 70% of previous winners have been Quick Picks.

4. Not a quick picker? Choose significant numbers

You can choose your numbers. | Warren-Pender/iStock/Getty Images

When it comes to choosing your own numbers, have fun with it. But don’t forget the spread of the numbers. You have the option to choose five numbers between 1 and 69, and one number between 1 and 26. Keeping those numbers in mind, make sure you are not limiting your choices to just anniversaries and birthdays. Using those significant dates won’t always give you access to the higher end of the number options.

5. Know the overdue numbers

Some numbers should be on the verge of a win. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Some numbers are chosen more often than others, but that doesn’t mean they are never chosen. A few of the numbers that are considered to be overdue (as of November 2017) for the pulling are 46, 2, 5, 40, 33, 11, 47, 36, 9, and 60. If your favorite numbers are some of the overdue ones, this does not necessarily mean you should switch them up.

6. Don’t shy away from unpopular numbers

You never know what will get picked. | Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

For some reason, we all have our lucky numbers. Some of those lucky numbers would be considered unpopular in the lottery game. For instance, 13 is unpopular and often considered unlucky too, but I love that number. Other unlucky or unpopular numbers are in the upper range: 32, 34, 40, and 46.

7. Avoid constantly switching it up

Hold on to the numbers you like. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Lustig stands behind his theory of avoiding the incessant changing of numbers. If you are opting out of Quick Picks to choose your own numbers, keep them. Do a little research to determine whether the numbers you choose seem to be a good set. If they are, hold on to them.

8. Buy more tickets

The more you buy, the higher your odds. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The odds of winning the lottery increase when you purchase more tickets. That’s a given. By all means, avoid spending money on lottery tickets that is allocated for groceries, your mortgage, and your children’s school lunch. But if you really want to win, buying more tickets is a surefire way to increase your odds. Also, be consistent with your game playing. Finally, tune in to make sure you don’t miss out on winnings.

Certain Powerball lottery numbers are chosen more commonly than others. Here's what you need to know about choosing yours.

The Most Common Powerball Numbers of 2019

The New Year has arrived and 2019 is done and dusted, so it’s time to take a look at some of last year’s most interesting Powerball statistics. Delve into the data to find out what the hottest numbers of the year were, which draws had the biggest Power Plays, and more.

Most Common Powerball Numbers

There were 104 Powerball draws in 2019. Over the course of those draws 520 main numbers were drawn and the most commonly drawn number was 14, which appeared 14 times. Behind that, number 6 was drawn on 13 separate occasions and the numbers 32 and 66 were each drawn 12 times.

Of the Powerball numbers, 21 was the most commonly drawn in 2019, having appeared eight times, while number 3 appeared in seven draws. The table below shows the 10 most common numbers to have appeared in Powerball draws in 2019:

Number 14 6 32 66 5 8 23 53 59 35
Frequency 14 13 12 12 11 11 11 11 11 10

Another popular statistic is the most common pair of numbers – the two numbers that have appeared the most in the same draw. The most common pair of 2019 was 12 and 21, which appeared in four separate draws last year. There were 15 other pairs that appeared together on three separate occasions.

Least Common Powerball Numbers

On the opposite end of the scale are the least commonly drawn numbers. These were the numbers that appeared in the fewest draws in 2019. There were three numbers at the top (or bottom) of the last year’s list: 33, 40, and 58 each only appeared in three out of 104 draws. Number 11 only appeared four times, and then there were six other numbers that were drawn on five occasions. The table below lists all the least common numbers of 2019:

Number 33 40 58 11 9 13 31 54 55 62
Frequency 3 3 3 4 5 5 5 5 5 5

When it comes to overdue numbers – those that haven’t been drawn for the longest amount of time – there was one clear frontrunner in 2019. Number 49 wasn’t drawn after Saturday June 15th, making it the most overdue number by far. Considering that each number should appear on average every seven weeks (see below), six months is a long time for one to go without being drawn.

With the New Year came new luck, however: number 49 was one of the winning numbers in the very first draw of 2020, which took place on January 1st.

Power Play Statistics 2019

It’s also worth taking a look at the Power Play statistics from 2019, starting with how many times each multiplier was selected. The table below shows how many times each of the five different Power Play numbers was selected in a draw, alongside the odds of each one appearing:

Power Play Appearances Frequency Odds*
x2 54 1.89 1 in 1.79
x3 35 2.91 1 in 3.31
x4 7 14.57 1 in 14.33
x5 6 17 1 in 21.5
x10 2 33.5 1 in 43

Stated odds are when the 10x Power Play is available – odds differ slightly when it is not

Firstly, it’s worth pointing out that the 10x Power Play is only available when the Powerball jackpot is $150 million or less, so the fact that it appeared just twice in 2019 is not surprising.

Out of the 104 Powerball draws last year the jackpot stood at $150 million or less in 67 of them, so just under two-thirds of the time. When it is available, the odds of the 10x Power Play being selected are 1 in 43, so over 67 draws the odds state it would appear 1.56 times. Round to the nearest whole number and you’ll see that last year’s stats were right in line with the odds.

As the table also shows, the other Power Plays also appeared roughly the number of times they should have according to the odds. It was, in fact, a good year for Power Play as the 5x multiplier appeared once every 17 draws, which is better than the 1 in 21 odds of it being selected.

These numbers provided a real boost for some Powerball players. The first time the 10x Power Play was selected in 2019, for example, was on August 28th and one lucky winner from Arizona saw their prize money boosted from $50,000 to $500,000. In the same draw more than 55,000 players won $40 just for matching the Powerball.

Why Are Some Numbers Drawn More (Or Less) Than Others?

Each Powerball draw is a unique, random event in which every number has an equal chance of being selected. The results of previous drawings have no bearing on future ones. That being the case, probability states that on average each number should appear roughly once in every 14 draws.

However, their randomness means that many thousands of draws would need to take place before this even begins to balance out and until then some numbers will be drawn more or less frequently than probability states they should be. You’ll see some numbers go on ‘hot’ streaks – in other words they’ll be drawn more frequently – and some will go on ‘cold’ streaks, where they won’t be drawn as often.

Even when you look at the statistics from all the draws that have taken place in Powerball’s history – and there have been around 3,000 of them already – you can see this variance in action. The frequencies are a lot more even but the most common number has still been drawn 50 more times than the least common.

Note: this takes into account only the numbers 1 to 45, which are the ones that have been in play since Powerball launched in 1992. Other numbers have been drawn less frequently but they were also introduced to the game at later dates.

Take a look at some of last year’s most interesting Powerball statistics. Find out what the hottest and coldest numbers of the year were and more. ]]>