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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.


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