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Computers and Random Numbers

Computers are incapable of generating random numbers; every result is predictable and repeatable. As a result, computer programs simulate random results -- commonly called pseudo-random numbers -- starting from some initial value called the seed. The seed typically is extracted from the current time on your computer clock.

These draws are generated using JavaScript, a programming language included in your browser, which will probably will use a time value from your computer's clock as a seed (depending on your browser's implementation). In theory, therefore, someone could use this program to produce the same draw numbers by knowing the precise times your numbers were generated.

The numbers in the draws are generated one at a time, so several other factors will affect the outcome. The precise time any particular number was generated would be very hard to predict.

As for the real lotteries, you probably have noticed mechanical devices are used to draw the winning numbers. This is done for the precise reason that pseudo-random computer numbers are not truly random. Be very suspicious of any lottery violating this principle. Only a special computer chip -- designed specifically to generate entropy -- is capable of producing truly random numbers. Such a chip digitizes thermal noise (or white noise) to generate a number, producing a level of randomness similar to any mechanical device.

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