New Jersey Lottery – Are Your Chances Affected By Where You Buy Your Ticket?

by Donald Hanson • June 18, 2011 • Newsy JerseyComments (0)2698

With the economy the way it is, people want to win the lottery now more than ever. Does the location you buy a lottery ticket in New Jersey have an effect on your chances of winning? Some people think so. Some South Jersey residents brought a case to court a few years back because something like 88 percent of winning lottery tickets were sold in North Jersey. They claimed that this meant the the lottery was biased or fixed. What they left out was that about 88 percent of the total amount of tickets sold were sold in North Jersey. So it makes perfect sense. The more tickets you buy, the better your chances are of winning. The case was thrown out as it had no merit. But does the location of your ticket purchase change your chances of winning?

I came across an article about what areas are more or less likely to win the lottery. There has been a study on how much money a zip code spent on tickets and how much they have won and there seems to be a significant loser :

“The odds of winning the lottery are long, but in few places do they appear to be longer than in ZIP code 07102. The Star-Ledger analyzed every winner of $1,000 or more since 2005, as well as the total lottery revenue in each ZIP code in the state. The analysis found that lottery players in 07102 have shelled out close to $129 million for lottery tickets, but of the top 100 spending ZIP codes in the state, it is the only one to get back less than $1 million in winnings”

You can look up your zip code and see how often people win. So in this case people are spending a lot of money on tickets but not winning. This does not mean that people buying a ticket in that zip code are any less lucky or that you will get a better chance by spending your money somewhere else.

First of all, there is no difference at all if you pick your own numbers. The only statistic in question are the luck of the quick picks. You can make a very weak statistical argument that the zip code of 07102 is past due because every quick pick that the machines generate is completely random. The article doesn’t get into how many wins in each zip code come from quick picks and how many come from people choosing their own numbers. Buyers in that zip code could be simply picking numbers on their own that don’t come up. In the pick 3, every combination should come up in less than 3 years and yet there have been some that take more than 20 years between hits. So there is no guarantee that buying a ticket in 07102 is going to be any luckier than anywhere else.

If you want to see how your zip code or others stack up on winnings go to : http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/06/analysis_of_nj_lottery_data_sh.html#incart_hbx

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