BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Millions of people try their luck on big lottery games like Powerball every week. Often, we wonder what the odds actually are that you'll choose the winning combinations. Now, experts can analyze past numbers to see which ones are most likely to help you strike it rich.
"It's a form of entertainment, an escape, a way to dream," says Kimberly Chopin with Louisiana Lottery. For some, the games are much more. Everyone seems to have their own set system, a way to win.
As freely as these numbers roll, so do the odds that someone's lucky numerals will pop up.
"The odd ratio is pretty small - 1 out of 146 million. It's almost impossible to win," says Dr. Min Su Kim.
Dr. Kim teaches statistics at Southern University in Louisiana. This self-proclaimed realist says with the chances of a win so slim, Powerball is not the way to go for him.
"I learned statistics and probability, so I'm a rational person (laughter)."
The Powerball drawing consists of five white balls and one red Powerball. Dr. Kim went back 10 years and found the top 5 numbers that have won millions of dollars for thousands of people. Dr. Kim says the most frequently drawn Powerball number for the past 10 years is number 20. It is followed by 37, 2, 31, and 35.
As for those white balls, the most popular is number 42. It is closely followed by 16, 35, 26, and 19.
"If you pick these numbers, there's probably more probability to win the grand prize," Dr. Kim says.
Lottery officials warn that just because some numbers have won big bucks in the past for others that does not mean they're going to do the same for you.