Solid Software

Features of LottoCheck INFORM V2
 Quick Pick

Evaluation Features

 Game Set On Latest Draw
 Game Set On Draw History

Charting Features

 Frequency 2D Chart
 Frequency 3D Chart
 Time-slice on a Number
 Current Drought
 Worst Drought
 Profit and Loss
 Timeline on a Number

Analysis Features

 Test Theory
 Winning Pairs
 Average Winnings

The next three sections describe aspects of LottoCheck INFORM which are essential for the user to understand, as they affect almost all of the features of the program.

1. Current Lotto Database

All of the program features are subordinate to the Current Lotto Database you have selected at a particular time. ie. One of either: Tattslotto, NSW Lotto, or OZ Lotto - all three are Australian Lotto games. Remarkable, the database included with program not only has the winning numbers, but also the prize amounts paid to the cent.

Each of these three lotto databases has two separate files: Draws and Prizes. Some features use just the winning numbers in the Draws file, some just the dividend data in the Prizes file, while other features such as the Evaluate options use information from both the files.

NOTE: If you change the Current Lotto Database during a session, all of the MDI windows currently in operation are automatically closed down. This is necessary because they are all relevant to the previous database.

2. Selection Criteria

All of the Chart and Analysis features can be run on a subset of the data. The Selection Criteria dialog box has several formats but the main one is seen here. The Range of Draws you are interested in, can be specified either as: the last X Draws in your current files; or via a minimum and maximum Draw Number.

The Days of week selection defaults to all days. Simply uncheck those you wish to skip if you don't want all days.

3. Current Game Set

At all times while LottoCheck INFORM is running, a Current Game Set is in effect. When you first fire it up, the last Game Set you used in the previous session is by default the Current Game Set. It is initially displayed in a Window just below the toolbar. However, like all of the windows in LottoCheck INFORM, it can be minimised to a MDI icon at the bottom of the main window.

The Current Game Set is the one used by LottoCheck INFORM for any features you choose thereafter.

The Evaluate features and some of the Chart and Analyse features make use of the Current Game Set.

Game Set Selection and Building

You can change the Current Game Set via the Game Set dialog box. If it is not currently displayed on your screen, you can access it via the first button on the Toolbar, or via the first sub-menu labelled Game Set within the menu labelled Lotto.

Numbers 1 to 45 are displayed within the dialog box, in a grid formation. You select your numbers by point-and-shoot mouse button clicking. De-selection is point-and-shoot too.

Selecting 6 numbers is a standard Game. To select a System entry, simply select from 7 to 20 numbers depending on what level of System you want. ie. Selecting 9 numbers on a single grid, gives you a System 9 (Nb You can only go as high as a System 18 on the NSW Lotto database, as that's the maximum System you can play in NSW Lotto competition).

When using both the Tattslotto (Australia-wide 6-From-45 lotto Bloc) and OZ Lotto databases in LottoCheck INFORM, you can also test games which have just 4 or 5 numbers selected. These are called Take 4's and Take 5's. When you purchase such a game via the lotto agency, they automatically combine your 4 numbers with all other possible combinations of two numbers to make up 820 standard 6 number games. For Take 5's they combine your 5 chosen numbers with the remaining 40 numbers to make up 40 standard 6 number games. Naturally you get charged accordingly. Take 4's and Take 5's are not valid when using the NSW Lotto database, because it is not something you can purchase in that competition.

Valid games for NSW Lotto range from 6 numbers through to 18 numbers, while the valid range is 4 numbers through to 20 numbers for OZ Lotto and the 6-From-45 Australia Lotto Bloc database. Any invalid games in your current Game Set, are ignored by the Evaluation features of LottoCheck INFORM.

Look at the buttons down the right side of the Game Set dialog box now. The Add, Delete, Next and Previous buttons refer to individual games in the one Game Set named and described here. This dialog box is for viewing and editing the ball numbers themselves.

When you are first building and testing a single game or a single System, we find it useful to have just one game in the one Game Set. Then when you are happy with that combination of numbers, it can be added to other games making up a larger Game Set.

To see the names and descriptions of other Game Set, or to select or create another Game Set, you click on the List button. It brings up the Game Set List box as seen here:

There are three columns of details: Game Set Name, Description and the number of games in each Game Set.

The width of these columns can be adjusted by placing the mouse cursor at the start of a column header and dragging it sideways. Your new column sizes are remembered in the following sessions.

The Edit button lets you modify the Name and Description fields of the Games-set currently highlighted.

The New button is what you click to create a new Game Set.

The Delete button lets you delete a whole Game Set of games, so be sure that's what you want to do before pressing it. However, you do get a chance to back out.

The Use button is the one that selects the Game Set currently highlighted in the list, and makes it the current Game Set. It also takes you back to the Game Set dialog box.

Quick Pick

LottoCheck INFORM has a Quick Pick feature that you may use to generate random numbers. You can ask for a standard Game of 6 or a System of 7 through to System 20, made up of random numbers. You have the option of selecting up to five of Your own lucky numbers to override the random numbers so that they will always be a part of the System generated by LottoCheck. Similarly you can list up to five unlucky or unwanted numbers to exclude from the numbers generated by LottoCheck INFORM. Click the Go button to generate the numbers.

If you are happy with the numbers generated, you can transfer them directly to your Current Game Set by a simple click on the Add to Current Game Set button. Alternate clicks on this button and the Go button, generates numerous games with your favourite inclusions and exclusions. By simply using the built-in flexibility of MS Windows, you can place the Game Set window beside the Pick window and watch each transfer, if you like.

Generating Multiple Games

You can use the Quick Pick feature to generate up to 20 games at a time. The input field in the Pick dialog box labelled Number of games defaults to 1, but you can modify it to any number of Games between 2 and 20. They will be random and no two alike. If you have favourite numbers and don't want to put on a large System entry, the multiple random Game generator is a good way to rapidly generate a lesser number of Games, but with some common numbers.

Evaluation Features

These two features are found under the drop-down menu titled Check Numbers and are also accessible via the second block of two buttons on the Toolbar. They both use the current Game Set.

  Game Set On Latest Draw

This feature checks the current Game Set against the last draw entered into your current draws database. The primary use of it, is to see whether you have any prizes to collect, when you have purchased tickets at your local newsagents for all the games within the current Game Set. This is particularly useful, if you buy tickets for a particular Game Set on a regular basis.

  Game Set On Draw History

This is perhaps the most powerful feature in LottoCheck INFORM. It takes the current Game Set and tallies up the number of prizes and the amounts of money that would have been won via those numbers, over a range of draws that you choose via the Selection Criteria button. Look briefly at the screen-shot of the Evaluate screen below. It is packed with useful information and controls.

The Criteria button gives you access to the Criteria Selection dialog box discussed earlier on.

The Speed drop-down-list gives you a fast or slow option.

When you pick the Slow speed option the coupon-like grid becomes a dynamically changing device. Your ball numbers in each Game in the current Game Set are circled, one at a time, while the six winning numbers for the draw currently being evaluated, are highlighted in a different colour. The two supplementary numbers are underlined.

The current Game Set is named in the field just above the row of buttons along the bottom of the window. To the right of that is the Game field. In Slow mode, you can observe the number of each Game in your Game Set tick over, per Draw evaluated. ie. As every Game within your Game Set is checked against the Draws winning numbers.

The Freeze drop-down-list lets you choose one of six display halting options:

• None
• Div 1
• Div 2 and better
• Div 3 and better
• Div 4 and better
• Div 5 and better
The job of Freeze is to let you examine at your leisure, the various information fields on this screen. When the evaluation hits a prize matching the Freeze option you've chosen, processing stops until you are ready to move on. Think of it as similar to the Pause/Still button on a video player, but one which pauses automatically when a certain condition is met.

The four columns below the coupon-like grid, display information for all 5 Prize Divisions. The first column with the title 'Prizes', displays how many prizes in each division were won by the current game on the current draw being displayed. Nb. The current Draw number is displayed just below the Freeze drop-down-list.

The second column with the title 'Amount ($)' shows you the actual dividends paid by the lotto agency, for the prizes displayed in the first column.

The third column titled 'Total' is the running tally (an accumulating total) of prizes won so far by the current Game Set, this far through the historical data. Remember that it is only on that part of the database which gets through the filtering conditions you've set via the Selection Criteria.

The fourth column is the running tally of actual dollars that were paid by the lotto agency, up to that point in the database, using the numbers selected in the current Game Set.

There are two boxes to the right of the 4 columns just discussed. The top one labelled 'Total Cost ($)' is a cost estimate of covering the current Game Set, over the number of draws so far evaluated. The draw count is shown in the top right box. The dollars are 'current dollars' ie. what it would cost you at todays rates of entry into lotto.

The box below that one, labelled 'Total Winnings ($)', is the sum of moneys from the 5 prize divisions displayed in the fourth column. These dollar are 'actual dollars' ie. what the lotto agency paid out at the time, for all the prizes that have been encountered by this evaluation run.

The box labelled 'Draws Since Last Prize' on the right side of the screen, is the current prize drought. Prize droughts are measured in the number of draws which have gone by, without winning any divisional prizes.

Below that is a box labelled 'Worst Prize Drought'. This is the worst prize drought so far encountered by the current Game Set, on the current database with the current Selection Criteria applied to it.

The group of buttons along the bottom gives the Evaluate screen an extraordinary degree of user-friendliness. The 'start' button begins the evaluation run, using the conditions you have already set up via the Criteria, Speed and Freeze controls. The Pause/Continue buttons are mutually exclusive: Pause stops the evaluation, then Continue is used to override the Pause. While the screen has been Paused you may go and change the options you selected in the Speed and Freeze drop-down-lists. However you can't reset the selection Criteria unless you first press the Stop button. ie. Changing the Selection Criteria effectively grabs a different subset of the Draws database, so the figures prize and amount figures already displayed on the screen would be irrelevant to the new subset of the Draws database.

The Retain button sends a report of the completed evaluation run to an MDI window, thereafter accessible via a Report MDI icon displayed in the bottom of the main LottoCheck INFORM window. ie. You can have numerous such evaluation Report windows open at once for cross comparison. Reports have their own distinctive MDI icon.

Note: If you change the current Game Set and the Evaluate window is operational, all the computed tally data from the previous run is set back to zero, so get into the habit of pushing the Retain button when your evaluation runs are completed.

Charting Features

Since the advent of computers a whole new genre of data analysis has been born collectively termed Exploratory Data Analysis. It involves visually examining data that is displayed in a graphical form such as in the charts available in LottoCheck INFORM.

  Frequency 2D Chart

This features uses the Draws data file to plot a bar chart (sometimes called a histogram), of the number of times each of the 45 balls have come up amongst the winners. (Note that supplementary balls are included in the winners, as they are needed for two of the five prize divisions. Some American Dos-based lotto programs don't allow for supplementary numbers, because most American lotto competitions don't have supplementary numbers.)

The Selection Criteria dialog box is accessed via the Criteria button, before a 2D Frequency Chart is drawn, so that you can select subsets of the Draw databases.

  Frequency 3D Chart

This is one of our favourite new features. It takes the total information you see in the 2D Frequency chart and gives it a third dimension: time measured in draws. What you effectively get is a whole series of 2D frequency charts superimposed over one another, accumulating in time, from the front of the screen away toward the back. The last silhouette on the horizon is equivalent to the 2D Frequency Chart.

The result is a spectacular surface representation of the winning numbers over time, a virtual landscape of hills and valleys of lotto results. Using nothing more sophisticated then your own eyes, you can see trends at a glance. As numbers have gone 'hot', their accelerations as winners can be seen by the steepness of the virtual hills they help to form. Similarly, as numbers go 'cold', the hill in their vicinity flattens out.

The sheer amount of information being processed for this display puts considerable load on your PC so it can be a bit slow on older PCs. To minimise display time delays we recommend you always maximise the Frequency 3D window so that it occupies the full screen. Also, while you are not looking at it, we recommend you minimise it to an MDI icon. It can be opened again via 3D Frequency toolbar button, or by simply double clicking on the MDI icon at the bottom of the main window. If the Frequency 3D window is one of many on the screen, it will considerably slow down your activities, as every time you change something on the screen, the 3D chart goes through a screen refresh cycle.

As well as a Criteria selection button, the 3D Frequency feature has a Zoom button which becomes selectable only after the initial full 3D displays for all balls. The Zoom feature lets you examine 15 balls worth of the 3D landscape at a time. To move to the next or previous 15 balls worth, use the scroll-bar on the bottom of the windows.

  Time-slice on a Number

If you consider the 3D chart for a moment, try to visualise carving it up into slices parallel to the screen surface. What you would get is as 2D Frequency charts. But now consider taking slices at right angles to that. What you get now is timeslices on a number, 45 of them.

The Selection Criteria dialog box for this feature has an extra field - Ball Number - letting you select which one you want a time-slice on.

The MDI (multiple document interface) is particularly useful on this feature, allowing you to do a number timeslices on numerous balls, each in their own window, allowing cross comparison of trends visually.

  Current Drought

A Drought in LottoCheck INFORM terms, is the length of time that a ball has been out of the winning list. A Drought is measured in number of draws - ie. consecutive draws.

The Current Drought option displays the duration of current individual droughts for all 45 balls, as a bar graph with 45 bars. The tallest bar represents the ball that has gone longest without being amongst the winning set. There will always be eight balls that have no bar on this graph, ie. a zero length drought. They are the balls which were drawn as the winning numbers in the last record of your Draws database. The Selection Criteria can be used to look at Current Drought for either of the weekly draws or both draws together. Note that it doesn't really make sense to specify a small draw range of Draw numbers for this feature, but if you do, the displayed drought can't be longer than the range you've chosen.

  Worst Drought

The Worst Drought on a ball is the longest consecutive stretch that it was out of the winning set, over the full length of Draw history database.

The Worst Drought can't be longer than the range of the draw history you've selected in the Selection Criteria dialog box. The Criteria most often selected with Drought charts is Day of Week, as many people are only interested in one or other of the weekly draws.

  Profit and Loss

The Profit and Loss feature takes the Current Game Set and compares it against the Prizes data. It calculates an accumulating profit from prizes won as it scans through the database. At the same time that it's adding prize amounts to the running total, it is subtracting the costs of entering that Game Set draw-by-draw. Whenever the accumulating profit falls below zero, it goes into the red, hence the 'loss' in the features title: Profit and Loss title.

The general trend on this graph is for it to descend step-by-step, then to jump high vertically when a prize pay-out is encountered.

  Timeline on a Number

Timelines are a general concept used in many fields of study, History being the field that leaps to the mind of most people. They are used to display chronological information in a spatial manner.

In LottoCheck INFORM, rather than events like 'The Battle of Hasting' on the line at year 1066, we have 'This ball was a winner' on the line at Draw Number 1305. It doesn't actually put such a text label on screen, just a uniformly sized coloured bar which represents the event 'This ball was a winner' in that particular draw.

Timelines are an excellent tool for seeing the regularity and irregularity of balls being amongst the winners, in a very condensed and time-honoured manner.

Analysis Features

There are three features which are used to analyse the data in some way. They are accessible via the Analysis menu and are represented by the 3 buttons on the right end of the toolbar.

  Test Theory

This feature lets you test your own theories about picking winning numbers (Statistically termed: Subjective Theories). To do so, it takes your theory and applies it draw-by-draw over the full history of lotto, as though you had picked different numbers week-by-week, using your theory, and compared those chosen numbers with the actual winning numbers in the following draw. ie. When the analysis is up to a given draw, part way through the database, the draws ahead of it are ignored as they represent the future, while the draws behind are the past and are used to predict the very next draw only, via your theory. Therefore, it simulates what would have happened, via your theory

You can use this feature to test several different subjective theories, over the same Draw history period, and compare them via the respective number of prizes each theory would have yielded.

To describe a theory to the LottoCheck INFORM program, you first have to understand the statistical concept of Rank, as you specify a theory via ball Ranks, not by ball numbers.

As Test Theory passes through the database it calculates what is called the Rank of each ball. This simply means it ranks them according to how many times they have been drawn in the past. The ball that has been drawn the most times, so far (ie. up to the draw being processed) is called Rank 1, while the ball that has been drawn the least is Rank 45 (or Rank 44 in NSW Lotto), and so on for those ball numbers in between.

Something you need to be aware of, is that these Ranks change as time goes by - and as the analysis passes through the database. For example the number that was most frequently drawn a year ago may have been over taken by another number this year. While Ranks do change, the best and the worst Ranks tend to change more slowly than the middle order Ranks.

Often two or more balls have been drawn the same number of times. In this case the convention LottoCheck INFORM follows, is that the first ball of the two (the lowest number) gets assigned the lower Rank, and so on.

The Test Theory feature uses the Current Game Set, but unlike the Check Numbers features, Test Theory treats the numbers in a Game as Ranks not as ball numbers. Therefore, you should keep distinct Game Sets for Test Theory runs and it is good practise to put only one Game in such a Game Set.

Using the Ranks you've specified in the Game Set, LottoCheck INFORM checks to see which balls have those ranks and it then cross-checks those ball numbers with the winning numbers to tally up the prizes, that would have been won. The Test Theory results screen looks very much like that for Game Set on Draw History evaluate screen, but remember it is basing it calculations from Ranks of balls, not via ball numbers held constant over time.

As the Test Theory feature steps sequentially through the database of draws, it computes Ranks 1 through 45, at each draw, then uses your Game of Ranks to predict the winning balls in the next draw. It then compares the prediction with the actual winners in that draw, and tallies up prizes accordingly. In this way LottoCheck INFORM simulates what numbers would have been chosen by Test Theory if it had been used each and every week throughout the time period covered by the draws database, to predict the winning numbers for each following draw.

A point worth noting here, is that the testing of a particular strategy does not start until 25 draws into the range you specified. Prior to this the Rank's would be fairly useless. One difference between the on-screen numbers for this feature and that for Check Numbers is that at the very end of testing a theory the last set of numbers circled on the grid, are the numbers it predicts will win the next draw, according to the Ranks you've given it in the last Game in your Game Set.

Alternative Explanation of Ranks

Test Theory is the most complicated feature in the program. We had a version of Test Theory in the old DOS version of LottoCheck (Nb. It was called the Evaluate option in V1, in this V2, Evaluation refers to the Check Numbers screen ). After fielding many queries about "what does Rank mean?", I we issued the following explanation, with which most inquirers were then happy:

"Think of the Rank of the balls as similar to that of a football ladder during the season. Rank 1 is the top team. Rank 45 is the bottom team in a very big (future) AFL. Lets say you 'have a theory' that the teams with the top 6 odd numbered Ranks (ie. positions 1,3,5,7,9,11 on the ladder) at any given week throughout the season, are most likely to be the winners the next week! (an unlikely theory I'll admit, but it is only to suit the explanation).

Let's say you had the results of all games in the previous season, with which you wanted to test this odd ranks theory. What you would do, would be to: step through the results week-by-week; look at the league ladder for that week; pick out the teams that were oddly ranked from the ladder for that week; then see if they really did win the next week; if they did, you would add the win to an accumulating total (a running tally), otherwise the tally would stay the same; then you would move on to the next week and do the same all over again. This would continue until you have gone right through all of last years football results.

Then you could test a second theory (say the Top 6 teams on the ladder ie. Rank 1,2,3,4,5,6) - are most likely to win the following week. You would follow the above process, then compare this theories "win" tally with that for the first theory, to see which was the better theory. The theory that picked the most game winners for a season is clearly the best, and the one you would choose to use in the future..

Now, in your mind, replace the 45 teams in the fictional football ladder, with balls 1 to 45. ie. teams become balls. Ranks are still Ranks, but rather than the top Ranking team being the one that has won the most games, it is the Ball which has been amongst the prize winners, most often. Instead of having last seasons results to test your theories, you have all continuous past draws up to last weeks winners.

The Check Numbers feature then, is like picking the winners by name eg. The "Brisbane Bears" to win. While Test Theory feature is about picking next weeks winners by whoever occupies a certain position on the league ladder at that point in time. ie. Last weeks top 6 ladder position holders, whoever they are - to win.

  Winning Pairs

This feature displays a table with 45 rows by 45 columns, which is a total of 2025 cells. In these cells are the counts of the number of times each pair of balls came up together as winning numbers. Because a number cannot come up with itself in a pair, the diagonal of cells running from the top-left corner down to the bottom-right are all zeros.

The counts are displayed in one of three colours on the screen, with the following significance: Blue - pairs occurring at about the average you would expect; Red - above average counts; Black - below average counts.

As well as the Criteria button this feature has a Scroll button to view the second half of the table, as it won't all fit on the screen at the one time.

  Average Winnings

This feature displays a table with the 5 prize divisions represented by the rows, and four columns as follows: • The Average number of winners in this division.
• The Standard Deviation of the number of winners in this division.
• The Average dividend paid for this division.
• The Standard Deviation of the dividend paid for this division.
These figures are very useful for comparing different lotto competitions and the different days of the week draws, on a value for money basis.

They also produce useful figures for comparing with individual draws which seem particularly skewed - as per the draw which had 85 first division winners mentioned later on in the Strategies chapter.

Note: This page is an edited extract from the User Manual from our 'LottoCheck INFORM V2 for Windows' software package.


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This page last updated: 15th January 2003.

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