Folk Belief – American

In order to gather lottery numbers to play the Ohio Lottery Jeff spends the entire day keeping an eye out for any numbers that seem to stick out to him. The method he uses to determine which numbers are worth recording is very difficult to explain. Jeff says that he gets a certain feeling in his gut that lets him know that the number is significant and should be recorded. One caveat to his method is that he must spend all day gathering the numbers. If he were to record all of his numbers at one time he says that they would not work. “Only lazy people do that.” Anybody can spot a bunch of numbers and write them down, but he believes that a true professional will take his time and”let the numbers come to him.”

The numbers are gathered from a variety of sources including, but not limited to: license plates, sports scores, fortune cookies, dates, number of letter in a name, ages, number of items or objects in a certain place. When I asked Jeff if he had ever actually won using his method he informed me that he has never won but he has been “so close he could taste it.” This method of picking out numbers was taught to Jeff by his mother. I asked him if she had ever won using the method and he said, “If she did he definitely didn’t share.”

I asked him if he actually believed in the potency of his method and he said that he was not sure but that it felt more effective than just guessing. I think that the method Jeff uses is fairly common. I have worked with people who use similar methods for picking lottery numbers. I once informed a friend that I received a fortune cookie that contained two fortunes and she told me to play the numbers on it because it was a sign of good luck to have two fortunes in one cookie. I played the numbers in the California lottery and did not match a single number.

Many people seem to utilize different methods of picking numbers, but whatever the method they always stick to it. The thought is that eventually they will win. Jeff told me that if he uses his method long enough it will eventually pay off. The money he plans to win will cover the cost of all the tickets he has bought in the past and there will be plenty left over to spend on other things, such as more tickets. I agree with what Jeff said about his method being more useful than simple guessing. The psychological benefit of believing that one has properly “read” the signs and discovered the correct numbers makes one feel more positive than just plain old guessing. It adds a sort of supernatural element to choosing lottery numbers.

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