Number Preferences in Lotteries

Judgment and Decision Making, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 243-259, May 2016

17 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2015 Last revised: 1 Jun 2016

See all articles by Tong V. Wang

Tong V. Wang

Erasmus University Rotterdam

Rogier Potter van Loon

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

Martijn J. van den Assem

VU Amsterdam - School of Business and Economics

Dennie van Dolder

VU Amsterdam - School of Business and Economics; Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx) - University of Nottingham

Date Written: May 1, 2016

Abstract

We explore people’s preferences for numbers in large proprietary data sets from two different lottery games. We find that choice is far from uniform, and exhibits some familiar and some new tendencies and biases. Players favor personally meaningful and situationally available numbers, and are attracted towards numbers in the center of the choice form. Frequent players avoid winning numbers from recent draws, whereas infrequent players chase these. Combinations of numbers are formed with an eye for aesthetics, and players tend to spread their numbers relatively evenly across the possible range.

Keywords: lotteries, gambling, number preference, color preference, implicit egotism, availability, position effect, law of small numbers, representativeness, gambler’s fallacy, hot-hand fallacy

JEL Classification: D80, D03

Suggested Citation

Wang, Tong and Potter van Loon, Rogier and van den Assem, Martijn J. and van Dolder, Dennie, Number Preferences in Lotteries (May 1, 2016). Judgment and Decision Making, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 243-259, May 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2657776 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2657776

Tong Wang

Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Rogier Potter van Loon

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Martijn J. Van den Assem (Contact Author)

VU Amsterdam - School of Business and Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

Dennie Van Dolder

VU Amsterdam - School of Business and Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx) - University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

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