Bits & Bytes
LOTTERY SOFTWARE THAT TAKES THE GUESSING OUT OF LUCK
For some lottery players, picking numbers is a "science." Some play birth dates of loved ones, while others make sure their picks correspond to the Dow Jones industrial average. Most people, however, realize that any method is as good as another because the winning lottery numbers are selected randomly.
Not so, says Dennis Wadsworth, founder and president of Entertainment On-Line Inc., a Westborough (Mass.) maker of number-picking software for personal computers. His Complete Lottery Tracker & Wheeler program statistically analyzes past lottery numbers from more than 30 states. If a certain number, say 28, hasn't come up in a while, the program will note that. When pressed, Wadsworth acknowledges that analyzing data from the past cannot help predict when a number will come up again. But he says that his company makes money from lottery players who believe otherwise. A spokesman for the New York State Lottery says that lottery picks are certified to be "completely random" by auditors. Maybe so, but Wadsworth claims to have proof that his program works: Some of the 75,000 people using the program have won. Then again, people who have played their children's Social Security numbers have won as well.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG