While it might sound counterintuitive, lottery numbers are randomly generated, and there’s no guarantee that a particular number will win. This is especially true if many people pick that same number. In fact, it might be easier to win if you let the machine pick your numbers for you.
However, many families struggle to understand how their lottery numbers are selected, as the DOE’s explanations of the process contain long strings of numbers and letters that many cannot easily read. Families are also frustrated that they have no access to information about their numbers on the MySchools portal, despite Mayor De Blasio’s promise of transparency around the city’s automated decision systems, of which school admission matching is one.
A few families who requested their lottery numbers received a detailed explanation and percentile information, but most were only provided with the 32-character lottery number itself. This is an unacceptable lack of transparency, given the mayor’s commitment to equity in the school system and his efforts to improve algorithmic transparency.
Some people use a systematic way to choose their lottery numbers, based on a particular theory about what numbers are “hot” and which ones are “cold”. Others choose a number based on personal events, such as birthdays or anniversaries. Still, it’s important to remember that lottery numbers are randomly selected, and there is no guarantee that any method or ritual will increase your chances of winning. Instead, look at a frequency chart for previous lottery draws, and be sure to select numbers that have been drawn frequently as well as those that have not.