The Best Numbers To Play In The Powerball Depends On If You're Feeling Hot Or Cold

Although it is by now common knowledge that there's no foolproof strategy for picking a winning Powerball ticket, any trick can help when a $1.5 billion jackpot is on the line. In selecting your numbers, do you hope that Powerball's proven hot numbers keep up their streak, or gamble on cold numbers finally rolling to their time in the spotlight? However you swing, it's important to stress that no one can say with certainty what the best numbers to choose when playing Powerball are.

Still, officials behind the game have said that you might be better off not choosing your own numbers, as 70 percent of past winners won with computer-generated tickets known as Quick Picks. But don't let that stop you from carefully crafting your own six lucky numbers if the mood strikes you. To borrow from Tennessee Williams, "Luck is believing you're lucky."

In hammering out your own strategic set of Powerball numbers — five to match the white balls, which are drawn in any order, and one to match the red Powerball — it's important to first determine what belief strategy you subscribe to: hot or cold numbers. Hot numbers are the ones that continue to show up in Powerball draws again and again. Cold numbers are the exact opposite; they don't often appear, or haven't appeared lately.

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

With 1,369 drawings held since Powerball's creation on Nov. 5, 1997, there are a lot of draws to analyze. The official Powerball website lists the number of times each number has appeared in a winning draw, allowing players full access to what's hot and what's not. Thankfully, the lottery monitoring website Lotto Numbers has tabulated things for us.

The most commonly pulled white ball numbers are:

  • 26 (drawn 266 times)
  • 41 (drawn 255 times)
  • 16 (drawn 255 times)
  • 22 (drawn 254 times)
  • 42 (drawn 253 times)

The most commonly pulled red ball numbers are:

  • 20 (drawn 75 times)
  • 6 (drawn 74 times)
  • 29 (drawn 72 times)
  • 2 (drawn 69 times)
  • 18 (drawn 68 times)

The least commonly pulled numbers overall are:

  • 61 (drawn 1 time)
  • 60 (drawn 1 time)
  • 66 (drawn 2 times)
  • 67 (drawn 2 times)
  • 65 (drawn 2 times)

For those who pick their own numbers and regularly play, experts have said that you are more likely to increase your chances of winning if you continue to steadily play your preferred combo of numbers over and over again.

So choose responsibly, and good luck!