Selecting Lottery Numbers by...

Playing Cards

Here's a method for choosing Lottery Numbers using a pack of 52 playing cards. How's that done, then?

Take a pack of cards and give it a good shuffle. Take a card at random. Any card. Turn this into a lottery number by this method:

1. Take the number of the card; ace=1, 2=2, 3=3 ... 10=10, jack=11, queen=12, king=13.

2. Add 13 if it's a club, 26 if it's a diamond, or 39 if it's a spade. If it's hearts, keep the number the same.

3. This is your first number, unless it's the jack/queen/king of spades, in which case it's not a good omen for entering the lottery this week, so you might decide to leave it!

4. Repeat the method for the other five numbers.

Star quality: The neat card-trick principle.

Also, the fact that the number of lottery numbers is 49 and the number of cards in the pack is a similar number, 52, only 3 more.

Variations: Take the jack/queen/king of spades out of the pack first, or ignore them if they are drawn. Incidentally, on selecting six numbers using a full pack, the probability is almost exactly 30% that one or more of them will be one of those cards.

Also see other things to do with playing cards. Some more serious gambling is available at the Gambling page.