Quick Pick vs. Self-Pick Lottery Numbers: Which Is Better?
There are many different ways to play the lottery, but people often question which way is better. When playing jackpot lottery games like Powerball and Mega Millions, players encounter the dreaded question of whether to go with the easy method of quick pick or the more personalised version of self pick. In both cases, there are a variety of different things to consider, as each choice has something to offer. So, the question is: should you quick pick or self-pick your lottery numbers?
Does Quick Pick Win More?
When you’re looking for the fastest and most convenient way, playing a quick pick is the obvious choice. Just like that, a random number generator gives you five main numbers (1-69) and a Powerball number (1-26). Nearly 70% to 80% of Powerball players choose quick pick, so it’s definitely favoured for its convenience. Though it seems risky, it actually doesn’t change your odds of winning. Still, there are pros and cons to consider.
Quick Pick Pros
- With the numbers being entirely random, there is much less of a chance of others sharing the same combination of numbers, meaning you’re more likely to keep the jackpot all to yourself if you do win.
- It truly is the quickest way to play, especially when buying tickets in-store. The cashier handles everything for you. Likewise, it makes things much simpler when playing online.
- Using your lucky numbers can be a bad thing if you ever miss a draw—especially if they’re winning numbers you’ve missed out on. Random numbers come with much less expectations.
Quick Pick Cons
- You can’t change the numbers after the generator selects them, so if you have a bad feeling about them, you’d have to buy an entirely different ticket.
- Though quick picks are quicker to purchase, they can be more time-consuming in terms of checking your numbers after a draw. It can be frustrating when you’re eager to see if you won.
- It may feel like a disadvantage to have no say in which numbers fill your ticket, especially if you typically use other resources—like Powerball statistics—to pick your numbers.
Self-Pick… and Choose Your Own Destiny?
With this being the more traditional way of playing, many players may be comfortable going this route. After all, it can be nice to pick your own numbers and have full faith in your judgment. Regardless, you’ll want to weigh the good and the bad before making this your choice.
- Since you’re more likely to memorise self-picked numbers, you won’t have to hunt down your ticket to compare your numbers to those of the draw. That way, you’ll know right away if you won.
- Unlike quick pick, self-pick allows you to choose any set of numbers you want for each draw—even if they’re completely different across the line. This makes it easier to play in advance.
- You control the numbers on your ticket, which allows you to consider all possible combinations—important dates, lucky numbers, common patterns, and so on. You’ll be more confident in your picks.
- The number selection is often limited, especially if you choose your numbers based on special dates, because your selection would have to be between 1 and 31. This can be a disadvantage when considering the increased likelihood that someone could be holding your exact same numbers. Though the odds don’t change, there’s a large chance that a winning ticket means a shared jackpot.
- There’s a chance that you’ll make a mistake when filling out the play slip, whether you mix up your numbers or forget to mark any boxes, and there are no refunds once it’s printed.
- It’s a much longer process to fill out a play slip, especially when you’re dealing with larger crowds due to a large jackpot.
Which is Better—Quick Pick or Self Pick?
There is no true answer to this, as it’s simply a matter of preference. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot remain the same, which is a 1 in 292,201,338 chance, with a 1 in 25 possibility that you may win a different prize. If you have a set of lucky numbers that you’re confident in, you’ll find self-pick more appealing. However, the most popular choice remains quick pick, as it’s a pretty big timesaver with its random numbers. Regardless, each option has seen their own winners.
Wisconsin Powerball winner Manuel Franco's luck with a quick pick may inspire you to lean towards that choice. On April 23rd, 2019, Manuel won the massive Powerball jackpot of $768 million. After accepting a lump sum, the winner took home $326 million after taxes. He had a lucky feeling the day he purchased his ticket, enough so that he put his faith in his random numbers. With the majority of lottery winners coming from quick picks, it’s safe to say many have shared his good luck.
Massachusetts resident and Powerball winner Mavis Wanczyk may tell you the best way to play is self-pick. After buying two losing quick-pick tickets and a winning self-pick ticket, Mavis hit the $758.7 million Powerball jackpot on August 23rd, 2017—one of the biggest wins in Powerball history. After taxes, Mavis took home a one-time payment of $480.5 million. The numbers she picked were both birthdays and lucky numbers, with a mix of random numbers. Playing the lottery was as routine for her as it is for the rest of us, but the lucky numbers she came up with won her hundreds of millions of dollars. That definitely goes to show self pick isn’t a bad way to go.
The truth is that we’d all love to be one of the lottery winners people read about, especially with the possibility of becoming a millionaire lingering in the distance. Unfortunately, there is no tried and true way to guarantee a win—otherwise, we’d all be pretty rich—but there some lotto strategies are much more effective than others. Next time you play the Powerball, you may want to consider the pros and cons of both quick pick and self-pick. Being certain about your choice may just increase your luck.