Quick Pick vs. Self Pick Lotto Numbers: Which Is Better?

There is a debate in the lottery universe that has spanned the course of history and been argued by old and young players alike. This debate has led to countless opinions, fights, and possibly even wars (alright, maybe not). We are, of course, talking about the age-old debate over which is better—selecting your own numbers or using a quick pick option.

In this article, we will look at the ancient debate of quick pick vs selecting your own numbers and try to come to a definitive answer as to which of these options is the better way to go. Therefore, without wasting any time, let us dive right into it.

Quick Pick vs Self PickWhat Is a Quick Pick?

Quick pick, lucky dip, fast play, and any other name that the process goes by are all a straightforward thing. Using this play style, you as a player do not need to select your own numbers when playing in your favourite lottery. Instead, you leave the job to a random number generator run by a computer. This RNG will randomly spew out completely different number sequences for you to play. This not only makes playing quicker but also takes the pressure of trying to make sure that you select the numbers off of your shoulders. 

The Stats

One important thing to realise is that there are verifiable statistics that relate to the argument of whether selecting your own numbers or playing a quick pick is better. If you look at these statistics alone (and here we will focus on the US Powerball and Mega Millions—two of the most significant international lotteries), then the clear winner of this argument is that playing a quick pick ticket is more likely to make you a winner. This is because almost 70–80% of jackpot winners become winners off of a quick pick ticket.

You may think that this is the end of the argument because the statistics clearly show that quick pick tickets are the way to go. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. These statistics are skewed in favour of quick pick tickets. Let us explain. In total, 70–80% of lottery tickets (based on the two lotteries mentioned above) sold are quick pick tickets. Therefore, it makes complete sense that the higher number of winning tickets will be quick pick tickets because more quick pick tickets are sold than others.

And so, the statistics—while rather interesting—are quite useless in helping decide which side of the argument is gaining traction and which is falling by the wayside. Therefore, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each type of play style.

Fast Clock Hand OK ClipartQuick Pick Pros

Below are some of the most argued pros of playing with a quick pick ticket:

  • It is fast: This point does not really need any explanation. Playing a quick pick ticket eradicates the need to select your own numbers. This means that you can play a five-line ticket in almost no time at all.
  • They are entirely random: As mentioned, quick pick number sequences are generated by random number generators. This means that you can be rest assured that the numbers you get are entirely chosen at random. The argument that states this is better is based on the fact that winning lottery tickets are also wholly selected at random. Therefore, using this same method will result in a higher likelihood of matching the numbers drawn.
  • More players win with quick picks: As we already discussed earlier, this argument does not carry much weight and needs to be looked at in context. Unfortunately, this argument usually ignores context and just tries to make a lot of noise to get its point across.

While these pros clearly worked out for these huge quick pick winners, whether or not you'll have the same experience only trial and error will tell.

Quick Pick Cons

Below we have listed some of the biggest cons of playing using a quick pick option:

  • Lack of control: When playing using a quick pick option, you hand over all your control of your ticket to the computer. This means that you have zero control over what numbers are chosen for you to play. This may irk you slightly.
  • Unfamiliar numbers: One downside to playing a quick pick ticket is that you generally have no clue what numbers you have actually played in a draw. Even checking to see if you have won will mean reading your ticket numerous times because you do not know what your own numbers are.
  • Possibility of repeats: As we mentioned above, RNGs are entirely unbiased. This is usually a great thing because it means that you are getting altogether unique numbers. However, it can also be a bad thing because the computer may not realise that it has already used numbers for the ticket before. This could mean that you have certain numbers repeating often and even could mean that you could get two tickets that have the exact same number—although the odds of this winning are higher than those of winning the US Powerball jackpot.

Self Pick Pros

Powerball Winner Charles W. Jackson Jr. Holding Oversized ChequeAs you might expect, many of the argued pros of selecting your own numbers are the inverse of the cons of using a quick pick option. We have highlighted these pros below:

  • Full control over your game: Unlike a quick pick option, you have complete control over what numbers you select to play. This means that you can choose numbers that have special meaning to you, numbers you find in a fortune cookie (Charles W. Jackson Jr.), or even numbers that come to you in a dream (like Mary Wollens).
  • Avoiding sharing your winnings: When picking your own numbers, you have the ability to avoid numbers that have proven to be chosen by more players more often. This means that if you are lucky enough to win the jackpot, there will be less chance of you having to share the jackpot with somebody else.
  • Ability to try different play styles: If you are someone that likes to try different lottery strategies or even use lottery prediction software, then selecting your own numbers gives you the chance to try different ways to play numbers. This option is not available when playing a quick pick ticket.

While countless people have certainly become jackpot winners using their own numbers, one of the most exciting things about the lottery is that no one ever knows when or how they will win.

Self Pick Cons

Like with the pros for choosing your own numbers, the cons of this game style are the inverse of the advantages of using a quick pick. We have outlined these cons below:

  • It takes longer: There is a reason that quick pick has gained the name that it has. Selecting your own numbers takes longer than playing a quick pick ticket. This is not just because you have to spend time selecting your numbers but also because you have to fill in your chosen boxes if purchasing your ticket in person. Even when playing on online lottery websites, you will have to spend time clicking on each number that you have chosen.
  • Numbers may not be random: Most people that play their own numbers select them by choosing digits that mean something to them. These numbers could be family members’ birthdates or numbers that they consider to be lucky numbers in their life. The downside to this is that most numbers chosen by players fall into the number pool ranging from 1–31. This is purely because these are the numbers that can be selected as part of a date. This means that your numbers may not be entirely unique because many other players may also be playing a similar date that holds a special meaning to them. And if there are multiple winners of a jackpot, you’ll all have to split the money.
  • A rut tends to appear: While it is true that some players have won by playing the same number sequence for years on end, selecting your own numbers may lead you into a rut of playing the same numbers forever. While it may be a good thing to have a preferred number sequence—after all, some people have won only after playing the same numbers for decades—the randomness of the lottery may call for your number sequence to be shaken up every now and then.

The Verdict

Like we have seen, there are some pretty decent arguments for both playing using a quick pick and for selecting your own numbers to play with. Considering that the statistics that we looked at earlier are no real help in the argument, it comes down to the simple question of do the pros of one type of play outweigh the cons more than a similar comparison of the other type of play?

And for this, we have a definitive answer: there is no definite answer. Many people have tried to definitively prove that one way of playing is better than the other. Unfortunately, the truth is that there is no way to prove that one way is better than the other. This is because there is no tangible proof that any one way is better than the other.

We put this down to the random nature of the lottery—something that makes the lottery what it is. Without the random nature, the lottery would not hold the allure that it currently does, nor would it be so difficult to win. And knowing which way to play (quick pick vs. own number selection) would ruin the suspense and intrigue of playing. Therefore, we are happy to say that regardless of the international lotteries that you might want to play, there does not seem to be a winner for this argument—and we hope it stays that way long into the future.  


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