Is The Lottery Rigged? (10 Reasons It Is Not)

Lottery balls


Almost everyone dreams of winning the lottery.

With the right selection of numbers, all your financial worries could just disappear.

Any time there’s a long streak without any winners, the jackpot for certain lotteries grows and grows.

When someone does win, it may sometimes feel staged which can make you wonder if the lottery has a predetermined outcome.

Here are 10 reasons why the lottery isn’t rigged, including licenses, security, and random number generation.


Is The Lottery Rigged? (10 Reasons It Is Not)


1. Profit Through Ticket Sales

Selective focus of hand of gambler marking numbers in lottery


One of the reasons that the lottery isn’t rigged is that lottery companies profit from ticket sales.

Each ticket that’s sold to enter the lottery is a profit for the company.

The company takes a portion of ticket sales earnings while the rest of the money goes toward the lottery jackpot.

The longer it takes someone to select the winning numbers, the bigger the jackpot becomes.

Because lottery companies get their profit from ticket sales, they don’t have any need to rig the system.

They don’t get a portion of the jackpot, themselves, so they wouldn’t need to try and tamper with the tickets.

A lottery company also wouldn’t want to risk its reputation.

The moment that people start thinking a lottery isn’t winnable is the moment they stop playing.

If they believe that the company is rigging the lottery, then they’re not going to play.

This impacts the company because they’re no longer earning profits through ticket sales.

Rigging the lottery isn’t in their best interest.

All it would take is one whistleblower to completely ruin the company.

Since lottery companies are just like any other business in that they want to generate a profit, they don’t mess around with rigging the lottery.

They focus, instead, on marketing the lottery and driving up the hype when the jackpot starts to grow.

The more people who get excited about the lottery, the more people who are going to buy tickets.

That means more profit for lottery companies.

Rigging the system would only make them lose business.

Lotteries aren’t rigged because lottery companies make their profits through ticket sales.


2. Licenses

Licenses on Business Folder in Catalog.


In order for a lottery company to get its start, they need to acquire several licenses.

Depending on who their target audience is, they might need to file for a license federally or at a state level.

Some might even need to get licensed locally.

State governments take the lottery seriously.

They ensure that each company that has a lottery within their state is running things fairly.

This means having the right licenses to open a business.

Part of that licensing system is the commitment to provide fair play.

If a lottery company is unable to prove that they’re using practices that provide fair play, then they’re probably not going to get a license.

As a result, they won’t be able to operate in the state.

This also means that the state regularly checks to ensure that the company is still adhering to the rules stated by the license.

If they’re found in contempt, then they’ll lose their license.

They’ll no longer be able to host the lottery in the state.

This ensures that the lottery isn’t rigged because it is closely monitored.

The moment that the licensing agreement is broken is the moment that the lottery gets shut down.

To keep their business open and earn a profit, lottery companies do everything they can to comply with their licenses and ensure fair play.

The lottery isn’t rigged because of the licenses involved in running a lottery.


3. Transparency

Cropped view of happy man and woman holding hands


It’s in a lottery’s best interest to remain transparent.

There are a lot of sore losers out there who blame conspiracy theories when they don’t win.

The best thing that a lottery company can do is maintain transparency.

This means that they make their players aware of how numbers get picked and the process of keeping their lottery equipment safe.

While there’s always room for improvement when it comes to transparency, by and large, the lottery does what it can to be as open as possible with its players.

A point of contention is when winning players choose to remain anonymous.

In certain lotteries, winning players can choose to remain anonymous for their safety.

If some people they knew suddenly learned of their windfall, they may expect a handout.

Another frightening example is if the winner has a young child, someone who knows the person who won the money might kidnap the child and hold them for ransom.

To keep themselves safe or just to simply stay private, some winners don’t let the company reveal their names.

At most, people might know where the winning ticket was sold.

This can make some people think the lottery isn’t winnable because they might think that the winners are fake.

A popular conspiracy is that there aren’t real winners.

When someone anonymous wins the prize, it’s actually the government who gets to keep the money for themselves.

Even when the winner isn’t anonymous, some theorists believe that those people are just actors and aren’t real.

This is debunked when lottery winners go on to discuss how the lottery changed their lives.

Either way, the lottery does what it can to remain transparent.

If they tried to hide how they did everything, then you might have a plausible concern for thinking that the lottery may be unwinnable.

However, the lottery isn’t rigged because lottery companies try to remain as transparent as possible.


4. Independent Auditors

Bingo spinner with balls


Many lotteries hire independent auditors to check lottery equipment before the draw.

The independent auditors assess the equipment to ensure nothing is wrong with it.

Then they’ll check the balls used in the drawing to ensure they’re all the same weight.

They’ll check everything to ensure it’s all to code.

This ensures the lottery isn’t rigged in a few ways.

First is the fact that they bring in independent auditors.

The lottery company wants to assure its players that a neutral third party gets involved in the process.

This further reduces the chances of someone tampering with the lottery because the people checking everything have no access to the actual draw.

It’s far more likely that someone on the inside would tamper with the machines since it would require many steps to carry out the fraud.

The auditors only have access to the equipment.

Second, lottery companies can choose different independent auditors each time there’s a drawing.

This further ensures that no one tampers with the equipment because auditors don’t become familiar with it.

If they were to use someone in-house, then that person would become very comfortable with the machines.

That might mean that they could quickly tamper with something without anyone noticing.

Independent auditors get changed throughout the year to ensure the inspection is as neutral, safe, and fair as possible.

Finally, the fact that lottery companies use independent auditors at all helps prove the game isn’t rigged.

If they didn’t have independent auditors coming in and checking everything, then it might raise a few eyebrows.

However, the lottery takes this extra step, which probably costs them a large sum of money, to ensure their players know the game is fair.

The lottery isn’t rigged because they hire independent auditors to check the equipment before each draw.


5. Limited Access To Drawing Equipment

Close up of bowl with balls near lottery tickets isolated on red


To further complicate things, lottery companies also make access to the drawing equipment extremely limited.

Only authorized officials can access the storage room where the drawing equipment is.

This further ensures that the lottery isn’t rigged because companies limit how many people get to interact with the equipment.

The moment that someone suspects a piece of equipment has been tampered with is the moment that all those officials get scrutinized.

Each company knows exactly who can enter that room and who cannot.

They can interview everyone to determine who tampered with the equipment.

Because there’s only a handful of people who have access, the list of suspects is small.

The chances of getting caught are extremely high.

In most cases, people aren’t going to risk going to jail just to tamper with equipment when the chances of getting caught are so high.

This also means that security can immediately identify that something is wrong if someone who isn’t supposed to be there is there.

Along with restricted access to drawing equipment, each storage area also has security.

If a security guard sees an unauthorized person in the room, then they’ll get reported.

An investigation might occur to determine if they tampered with the equipment.

They might choose to bring in new equipment regardless of what the investigation finds just to err on the side of safety.

This is all done to ensure that the lottery is fair to play.

The lottery isn’t rigged because only authorized officials can access the secure areas where the drawing equipment is.


6. Protective Equipment

Woman hands putting on a latex gloves


To further ensure that the lottery isn’t tampered with in any way, all officials use protective equipment when handling drawing equipment.

For example, when someone needs to pick up a ball, they do so wearing gloves.

This is to ensure that no one can tamper with the balls to make some heavier than other balls.

Because some lotteries use an air system to pick balls, heavier balls have a greater chance of getting picked.

It’s one of the biggest conspiracy theories out there.

Some believe that officials tamper with the balls by making them heavier.

That might mean that the paint on one ball is heavier than another.

It might mean that someone puts something inside of the ball to make it heavier.

It might mean that someone even coats the ball in some sort of oil or substance that makes it heavier.

To ensure that this doesn’t happen, all officials wear protective gloves when handling the balls.

There’s no way that they can spread anything on the ball with their hands since they’re covered by gloves.

This is one small detail that lottery companies take care of to further ensure that everyone knows their games aren’t rigged.

Lotteries aren’t rigged because of the protective equipment that officials wear.


7. Lottery Balls Are In A Safe

Safe box


Another way that lottery companies keep their balls safe is by placing them in a literal safe.

Whenever a drawing isn’t occurring, lottery companies place their drums and balls inside of a secure safe.

Because only authorized officials are able to access the storage room, they’re likely also the only ones with the combination or key to the safe.

This further limits how many people can access the picking equipment.

Even if someone got in the room with the picking equipment, they’d need to know the combination to the safe or have the key.

That would require them to either get it from an official or steal a key.

Since an official likely won’t tell them the combination, the individual will have to try and force the safe open.

The same goes for stealing the key.

The official is likely going to notice if the key to the safe is gone.

Since the individual would need to crack the safe or force it open, security would surely catch them while they were committing the crime.

These are secure areas that are constantly under watch.

It also means that officials can get caught, too, if they try to tamper with the equipment.

Because the equipment isn’t sitting out in the open, the official would have to unlock the safe to get access to it.

If there’s no reason for the official to open the safe, then is an immediate red flag for security that something is wrong.

They can bring the official in for questioning and replace the picking equipment to ensure nothing is wrong with it.

The lottery isn’t rigged because picking equipment is stored in a safe when not in use.


8. They Use Random Number Generators For Picks

Cropped view of man kissing lottery ticket for luck


Another common reason that people think the lottery is sometimes rigged is because of the picks.

They believe that a computer knows all the numbers associated with the tickets that people have bought.

Since a human inputs those numbers into the computer, some believe that they can skew the winning or losing numbers.

That isn’t the case.

Depending on the lottery, some might just let their computers choose numbers at random.

Others have a more complicated way of choosing numbers.

Some use Geiger Counters, for example.

They’ll have a device that measures how radioactive the air is.

They then take that reading and translate it into a code.

That code then gets split into two-digit numbers that become the winning numbers.

It’s an entirely random process because no one knows what the Geiger Counter is going to do that specific day until it actually happens.

They also don’t know how the computer is going to translate or split the code.

Because it’s random, no one can tamper with the numbers.

The lottery isn’t rigged because many companies use random number generators.


9. They Use A Physical System For Picks

Lottery balls during extraction of the winning numbers


The other main method for choosing winning numbers is with an air system.

Some lottery companies blow air into a drum.

The balls are light, so they bounce around inside the drum.

Over time, the balls start to fall down and roll to the side where the number gets read.

This is another system that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to rig the lottery system.

Because so much goes into the protection of the picking equipment, the process of air mixing up the balls makes the pick extremely random.

No one knows which ones are going to fall first.

The air is constantly mixing up the numbers.

The lottery isn’t rigged because the use of a physical system, like air in drums, makes it incredibly difficult to choose specific numbers.


10. Fraud Claim Investigations

Top view of marked lottery tickets near dollar banknotes


A final reason the lottery isn’t rigged is that lottery companies have a whole team devoted to fraud claim investigations.

One reason that some people might think the lottery isn’t winnable is that people fake their tickets.

To ensure that doesn’t happen, each lottery company carefully examines winning tickets to ensure that they’re the real deal.

If a claim is fraudulent, then they bring the claimant to the proper authorities for punishment.

Without this team, it’d be far easier for fake tickets to win the lottery.

However, since lottery companies have these teams in place and take fraud seriously, they make winning the lottery more achievable.



Lotteries aren’t rigged because it isn’t in the companies’ best interest.

If they rigged their systems, then they wouldn’t be able to sell tickets which is how they earn money.

They also utilize many measures to safeguard their picking equipment to ensure no one can tamper with it.

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