We all know lotteries are random. There is no such thing as a “lucky” store or set of numbers more likely to produce winners than others.
Even so, part of the fun of lotteries is indulging in such pattern-seeking. To that end, MassLive recently shared with its readers a way to search results from the Massachusetts Lottery and see when and where the biggest prizes were won.
As a demonstration of the search tool, MassLive noted that during 2020, the city of Worcester was a particularly good place to buy a lottery ticket.
That’s because of all Massachusetts towns and cities, Worcester lottery vendors sold the most tickets awarding prizes of $100,000 or more last year.
14 six-figure scores or better in Worcester, one $15M winner
Lottery players in Worcester purchased 14 winning tickets worth $100,000 or more in 2020.
In fact, half of those winning tickets were worth at least $1 million. That includes the biggest prize won in the state last year.
In May 2020, someone playing the 200X game who bought a $30 ticket at a Lucky Mart convenience store in Worcester won the top prize of $15 million.
May seemed to be one of the best months to play the lottery in Worcester. Players in the town purchased three tickets worth $100,000 or more in that month. July also yielded three six-figure-or-better prizes in the city.
Across the state, lottery players purchased 488 tickets in 2020 that awarded prizes of at least $100,000. Almost 200 of those were worth $1 million or more.
Challenging Worcester for “luckiest city” status in the state were Dorchester, Methuen and Reading. Vendors in each of those three cities sold 13 tickets awarding prizes of $100,000 or more.
Worcester vs. Boston: Twice the winners, a quarter the population
In terms of population, Worcester ranks second in Massachusetts behind Boston. Around 185,000 live in Worcester, equating to about one-fourth of the population of 700,000 residing in the state capital.
A quick check of the MassLive search tool shows Boston lottery vendors sold seven tickets awarding prizes of $100,000 or more in 2020, half of Worcester’s total.
In Massachusetts, lottery vendors are called “Lottery Agents.” According to the Massachusetts Lottery, as of this month, there are over 650 Lottery Agents in Boston, each representing a different location where lottery players can purchase tickets.
Meanwhile, just over 250 Lottery Agents sell lottery tickets in Worcester. That’s a lot fewer than in Boston, but plenty for those encouraged by last year’s results to try to purchase a winner in Worcester.
Then again, perhaps this year the lottery luck has moved on to Springfield. Or to Cambridge. Or to another Massachusetts city.
With more winners come more patterns, and more ways to assign significance to them, meaningful or not.