Kansas Lottery Picks Same Numbers Three Nights in a Row

Dec. 20, 2005 — -- It appears the third time's the charm for some Kansas lottery players. The same "Pick Three" numbers hit three days in a row -- making a lot of people winners.

If 5-0-9 are your lucky numbers, the Kansas lottery has been good to you. On Dec. 16, 17 and 18, the Kansas lottery computer picked those numbers in the same order for the Pick Three drawing.

Lottery officials said those lucky numbers cost them. Several customers caught on to the trend, so Sunday night's lottery paid out nearly double what it brought in.

That has some local players wondering whether there's a glitch in the system. Lottery officials say their phones have been busy with both customers and retailers wondering how a lottery computer can pick the same three numbers in the exact order three nights in a row.

"It's kinda crazy," said lottery player Ryan Burgett.

"I think it's kind of weird, kind of odd," said lottery player Tom Chrispens.

Kansas lottery security audited the machine's functions and determined it was performing normally. The three numbers just came up through the random-number generator, according to lottery officials.

Normally, the odds of winning the lottery are one in 1,000. The probability that the numbers will be the same three nights in a row are a staggering one in a billion.

Lottery officials said they had several occurrences of the same numbers picked two nights in a row, but three nights was unprecedented. And while the sequence is raising some questions, players told ABC affiliate KAKE it wouldn't stop them from playing the lottery.

"There's always the chance I will win, so I will keep buying," said lottery player Jeff McVicker.

ABC News Kansas affiliate, KAKE-TV, contributed to this report.