To try to predict the winning numbers, the user tested two different AI tools.
Playing the lottery has always been a game of chance... but could that all be changing with the avent of artificial intelligence (AI)? A TikTok user made waves using an AI program to predeict the winning patterns of the Mega Millions lottery game in the US state of New Jersey.
In a video on his account on the Chinese social video network, @jabob.seeger explained his process, which uses two principal tools: a data scraper, called Browserflow, and the AI program Peltarion.
How to use AI tools to win the lottery
In the video, published in 2022, Jacob Seeger shared that firstly he used the software Browserflow to scrape data about winning lottery numbers and the dates they were issued, from the publically available New Jersey lottery website, into a database that he owns. He described Browserflow as is "all-time favorite tool", because it is able to automate many tasks that you commonly do on your browser, but which are time-consuming, like locating and copy-pasting winning lottery numbers.
Next, Seeger used the AI application Peltarion to actually produce the predicted numbers which he hoped would have a high probability of coming up. Peltarion is a firm that specializes in crafting learning models capable of discerning data trends and forecasting future events. While using Peltarion, I created multiple iterations of an algorithm to see if there was some sort of pattern in the past winning numbers," he said.
Following extensive hours of algorithmic exploration, Seeger successfully identified his ideal set of numbers for an upcoming draw: 12, 21, 33, 45, 58, and 14."
Putting it to the test
Finally, Seeger tested his method by buying a New Jersey lottery ticket, and playing the exact numbers recommended by the algorithm.
So... did it work? Unfortunately not. Seeger did not win, and concluded his video saying "In reality, it is impossible to predict these numbers. It's completely random."
Unfortunately, scientists agree. When asked whether AI could be used to predict winning lottery numbers, UCLA Professor Emeritus of Statistics and California lottery statistician Donald Ylvisaker didn't heasitate. "I am confident the answer is no, no such machine exists," he said. "[The lottery] relies on a random number generator. Random number generators have improved immensely since the old days. Old ones used old-fashioned algorithms. Nowadays, they are very, very sophisticated."
A major obstacle in uysing AI for lottery number prediction lies in the extensive data analysis required. Numerous random number generators are employed to choose the winning numbers for each lottery draw. Therefore, even if a pattern were to be identified in one machine, it might not apply to another identical machine. The sheer volume of potential combinations to analyze runs into the trillions.
Our advice? Don't waste your money and time either playing the lottery, or trying to predict it using AI!