Number preferences in lotteries

TV Wang, Rogier Potter van Loon, D van Dolder, MJ van den Assem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


We explore people’s preferences for numbers in large proprietary data sets from two different lottery games. We find that choice is far from uniform, and exhibits some familiar and some new tendencies and biases. Players favor personally meaningful and situationally available numbers, and are attracted towards numbers in the center of the choice form. Frequent players avoid winning numbers from recent draws, whereas infrequent players chase these. Combinations of numbers are formed with an eye for aesthetics, and players tend to spread their numbers relatively evenly across the possible range. Keywords: lotteries, gambling, number preference, color preference, implicit egotism, availability, position effect, law of small numbers, representativeness, gambler’s fallacy, hot-hand fallacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-259
Number of pages17
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Research programs

  • EUR ESE 31


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