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

Dongbei University of Finance and Economics - Institute for Advanced Economic Research

Rogier Jan Dave Potter van Loon

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

Martijn J. van den Assem

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Dennie van Dolder

University of Essex - Department of Economics

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 Jan Dave 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

Dongbei University of Finance and Economics - Institute for Advanced Economic Research ( email )

217 Jianshan Street
Dalian, Liaoning 116025
China

Rogier Jan Dave 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)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

Dennie Van Dolder

University of Essex - Department of Economics ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

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