How likely are you to win the lottery if you use covid case numbers?

Now that that’s outta the way, we return once again to one of our favorite non-halal, hedonistic talking points: gambling. You know that Malaysian gamblers will try anything to get the “right” 4D numbers, including selling salt to spirits in a cemetery.

Lately, we’ve heard of people buying 4D numbers based on new daily COVID-19 cases.

Not the weirdest thing in the world, but does it work? We locked our interns in a windowless room and told them to look up the number of new daily COVID-19 cases for the past seven months to see whether they predicted any winning lottery numbers from three lottery companies – Magnum 4D, Sports Toto and DaMaCai. Here’s what they found.

You won’t win any money… most of the time

There are surefire ways to win the lottery, like being born with clairvoyance or buying every possible combination of numbers, but using COVID-19 numbers… is not it. Sifting through the ungodly amount of stats took more time than we’d like to admit, and after everything was done and dusted; we came to a sobering conclusion.

Out of nearly 270 winning 4D numbers (spanning 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Special & Consolation Prizes) that matched new case numbers in the past seven months (from January till July 2021), only 2 of them were announced within the same week of their COVID-19 counterparts. That works out to about a 0.74% chance of hitting the bullseye, which sounds decent, until you realize that the money you’d have to spend vastly exceeds whatever you might take home.

In fact, most of the winning numbers came BEFORE the case numbers, so it seems more likely that 4D numbers were predicting daily new COVID-19 infections. For instance, the 1st prize numbers for DaMaCai (3585) was announced exactly one year before the day Malaysia had 3,585 new cases. Coincidence?

Lottery companies don’t choose the winning numbers manually

Yeah. The weekly 4D numbers aren’t handpicked by some poor sod working for the lottery company. Well, they are handpicked, but not the way you’re probably thinking of, and certainly not based on real life events like car crashes. Here’s the TL;DR version of how the three main lottery companies in West Malaysia – Magnum 4D, Sports Toto and DaMaCai – do their draws.

Magnum 4D: they get the balls rolling

Sports Toto: they… also get the balls rolling

DaMaCai: they’re just horsing around

The harsh truth is that whenever a winning number matches up with the number of COVID-19 cases, it’s most probably a coincidence. While that’s the case for “legit” lottery companies, underground betting syndicates have been known to take winning numbers from notable current events… to their detriment.

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