DO THE MATHS: Winning the lottery is harder than many people think, according to an expert.
DO THE MATHS: Winning the lottery is harder than many people think, according to an expert.

Could these statistics help win tonight's $70m jackpot?

TONIGHT'S Oz Lotto has jackpotted to $70 million, but what are the chances of winning?

Speaking to the NewsMail earlier this year, University of Queensland mathematician Associate Professor Tony Roberts said hitting the jackpot was no easy feat.

"The chance of winning with a single game is around the chance of dropping a dart on a one millimetre wide line drawn at a random place on the drive between Bunderberg and Hervey Bay," he said.

"Actually it is about 18 per cent lower, but this gives an idea of how very unlikely a first division win is."

And when it comes to lotto, the odds are firmly stacked against us.

"I think we all know that buying lotto tickets is not a good investment, in that on average we get back less than we put in," Prof Roberts said.

"After lottery company profits and government taxes perhaps 70 per cent of players' money is returned in prize money."

So what's the best way to throw your cash around with the highest chance of a pay-out?

"Possibly the best returns for games of chance is provided by a single-number bet on the roulette table where (on average) 97.3 per cent of bets are returned as prizes," Prof Roberts said.

"Better than both is a $1 investment on the ASX200 share-market, where the average expected return every year is around $1.08."

It's the fantasy of a life without financial pain that keeps us all buying up tickets though.

"It is clear that lottery players buy the idea of winning a life-changing sum for a few days, and don't care about the expected return," Prof Roberts said.

If you love your lotto too much to give up, Prof Roberts has one simple tip.

"After recommending positive return investments as a first choice, my advice as a mathematician would be to buy the cheapest ticket possible - the dream is the same, and each extra dollar does very little to increase the chance of winning," he revealed.

Still want to give it a go? These tips might increase your chances, according to Golden Casket.

Numbers that will give you a bigger prize:

Winning with these numbers can statistically increase your chances of a bigger pay-out - 29, 25, 24, 26, 32, 1 and 7.

The statistically least profitable numbers are 39, 33, 43, 11, 10, 17 and 16.

Most common numbers: 

The most drawn numbers for Oz Lotto are 33, 7, 2, 28, 45, 25, 27 and 3.

Long time coming: 

Punters may want to try their luck on number 27 - it's the seventh most drawn number and hasn't been drawn for a whopping 14 weeks.

The number 25, which is also one of the most regularly drawn numbers, hasn't come up for seven weeks.

'Cold' numbers:

The least drawn numbers are 10, 42, 38, 14, 11, 24 and 18.