Should you play “hot numbers” or “cold numbers?” “Hot numbers” are lottery numbers that have come up more frequently than expected. “Cold numbers” are lottery numbers that have been drawn less frequently than expected. But which technique is more likely to improve your odds?

The answer depends on the overall behavior of the individual lottery machines.

The tightness test is a special test developed by our statisticians to answer this question. The tightness test uses cutting edge mathematical methods to determine whether a specific machine is favoring “hot” or “cold” numbers.

The tightness test gives a single, easy-to-understand value to help us answer our question.

What does the tightness test measure?

The Lottery Lab frequency analysis tool plots the frequency that each ball appears and the “zone” in which each ball lands. In Figure One, ball #6 is firmly in the “green zone” and is behaving the way that we would expect it to. At the same time, ball #4 is in the “red zone”. This might suggest that ball #4 is a “cold number” that is due to be drawn soon.


Figure One: Example of The Lottery Lab frequency chart

The tightness test measures how “tightly” the balls hold to the expected frequency. A machine that has all balls very close to the expected values is called a “tight machine”. At the same time, a machine that has a lot of balls varying from the expected value is called a “loose machine.”

How to use the tightness test?

If a machine is “tight” and we expect it to remain “tight,” then we would expect that numbers which have not been drawn recently will have to be drawn soon. Therefore, “cold numbers” are more likely to be drawn.

If we have a “loose machine” and think that it will stay loose, “hot numbers” would be more likely to be drawn.

Can a single lottery game have more than one tightness test?

Remember that every machine has its own tightness score. This means that it is possible for a game like Pick 4 or a bonus lotto to have a “tight machine” and a “loose machine.” This means that there will be cases that advantage players who play “hot numbers” on one machine while they play “cold numbers” on another machine in the same lottery!

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