The lottery number is an important part of the application process because it determines your order of placement in a school. Parents often believe the system is rigged when they know of other applicants with bad or good lottery numbers, but these results are the result of small samples and are very likely to produce outliers.
The lottery numbers are 32-character hexadecimal numbers that start with 0 and go to f (0-9, then a-f). Each character in the lottery number has a probability of 0.4% of being drawn. For example, the first character in a lottery number is expected to fall between the 21st and 25th percentile in a sample of 600 applicants.
But there are many other factors that impact your chances of getting admitted to a particular school, such as how your child ranks the school in the main round and whether you have a waitlist number. In addition, there is a strong correlation between your child’s rank in the main round and their waitlist number.
This is why it is difficult to predict your child’s lottery number based on past frequency of the digits. For example, the hexadecimal number 66824 was recently picked by two different people, and it’s possible that someone will get lucky again next year. If this happened enough times, however, it would take 43 years for the odds of getting that combination to even out. This would be the equivalent of winning the lottery twice in one year.