How many of you bought tickets for this week's huge lottery and how did you come up with what you hope to be your lucky Numbers? Is there a way that you can actually increase your odds of winning,... See More
How many of you bought tickets for this week's huge lottery and how did you come up with what you hope to be your lucky Numbers? Is there a way that you can actually increase your odds of winning, some method to the madness. Our Paula Faris went on the lookout to see if there is a winning formula. Reporter: Buying tickets for the next big lottery drawing? Many of you are, myself included. So many, in fact, that jackpots are now in excess of $300 million. So you may be wondering, "What are my lucky Numbers?" You know, Numbers that will give you more of this and less of this. Do you have lucky Numbers? My mother's birthday and my son's birthday. Four, two, ten, seven. My house address, my license plate. 9 and 30. My girlfriend's birthday. I love you, Kelly. Reporter: Yes, you're a person with a plan. You're not going to just let the computer pick Numbers for you. Boring. I would say it is better for a person to pick their own Numbers only because you will intuitively get a feeling of what's good for you. Reporter: Glynis Mccants is known as the Numbers lady, appearing on shows like Dr. Phil as a numerologist. She'll explain. Numerology is a science of Numbers. When you look at someone's Numbers, this is how you get them -- your name has three Numbers. Your birthday has three Numbers. And that can give you a numerology blueprint of who you are. So somebody born 1-6-1960. What you do is take the full date of birth and reduce it to one digit. So one plus six plus one plus nine plus six plus zero becomes 23. But in numerology, you want to reduce it to one digit. So two plus three is five. So this person's a five life path. So this person is a five life path. Reporter: Glynis says people with a "Five life path" seek freedom, fun and adventure. Fine, you say. But how does your life path number determine what lottery Numbers you should pick? A woman who was a one life path -- she picked 1, 10, 28, 37. Well, those are all ones. She won $120,000. So do you see what I mean? Reporter: No. Now we know we're 85 seconds into the story and haven't introduced our skeptic. So before all you skeptics get your undies in a bundle, here he is, America, your skeptic. Ucla mathematician skip Garibaldi. Numerology is in no way a science. Numerology is lacking two crucial factors that we expect in science. So, one is, why should adding up the digits in your birth date have any effect, any correlation whatsoever, with what's going to happen to you in the next year? And the second thing it's lacking is controlled experiment to test the claims. Reporter: Oh, party pooper. Still, we wanted to know, do some lottery Numbers come up more frequently than others, making them by definition lucky Numbers? My "20/20" colleague, Melissa, did a little research. So what'd you do? So out of the 50 most recent drawings over 100 million dollars I took, all the winning Numbers and tallied up how many times they all showed up. The number 10 came up 10 times number 31, 12 times. Those have to be lucky Numbers. On the other hand, the number two came up just twice. And the number 40? Just once. Glynis isn't surprised. It is literally the breakdown of the number. 'Cause here's what's interesting. The number four. But the purity of the number four can have hard lessons attached. So I'm not surprised it doesn't show up very often. Reporter: But the number 31 showed up 12 times. I have never seen somebody win the lottery and not jump for joy. Reporter: I'm so glad they're happy. Hard to know where these ideas are coming from. But back to our study because our skeptic is starting to get annoyed. If you looked in the next 50 drawings and you had exactly the opposite frequencies, the uncommon Numbers in the previous 50 showed up a lot in the second 50, that would seem totally Normal to me. Like my colleague Melissa has nothing better to do. Well, I did as he said, and I took the next 50 drawings over 100 million dollars and tallied up those winning Numbers and got some different results. Reporter: Skip said we'd find that uncommon Numbers in the first 50 drawings might now show up a lot in the second 50 drawings. In the first set of drawings, the number two came up twice but in the second set, it came up seven times. The number 40 came up only once in the first set, now eight times. And you're probably not shocked that some Numbers that were common in the first set of drawing, specifically 31 and 10 were now hard to find in the second set. It's all about the size of your sample. Powerball did its own math on every drawing from the past 16 years, and as predicted -- Each numbered ball in the lottery has an equal chance of being called. Reporter: That info could put our numberologist out of business. But it probably won't. So eight plus three plus two plus zero plus one plus three becomes 17. One plus seven is eight. It doesn't surprise me at all that people find patterns in Numbers. Or significance in Numbers. Because our brains naturally find patterns even where no patterns exist. Reporter: So you'd think professor Garibaldi would be above buying tickets for this week's jackpot? I enjoy thinking about, "What would it be like to win all that money?" I'm going to go and buy a couple tickets, too. But I expect to not win a single cent. Reporter: Yeah, me neither. Those tickets I bought won me exactly zero dollars and zero cents. So, looks like I'll be seeing you at work tomorrow.
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