Abbreviated Lottery Wheels generate a combination that guarantees wins other than the jackpot.
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Abbreviated Lottery Wheels

An Abbreviated Lottery Wheel generates a combination that is much less in number than that generated by full wheels to guarantee wins other than the jackpot. The design of an abbreviated wheel itself is not a simple matter; there is no formula for it and is mostly a result of iterations and trials and errors. In fact, in mathematics, it is called Covering Design and belongs to a branch of mathematics called Combinatorics.

There are hundreds of abbreviated wheels and each is represented mathematically by

In English, it reads as
"Covering of v sets of numbers combined into groups of k to guarantee at least a t if m numbers are correct, resulting in b plays."

Since there is no standard notation for the rest of us, we shall, in this website use the following notation to represent an abbreviated wheel:

K-V, T if M in B
Which means - "For a game of K numbers, V numbers are wheeled to generate B combinations that will guarantee T correct if M numbers match."

For example, a wheel represented by C(10,6,3,4)=4 or, by our notation as 6-10, 3 if 4 in 4 would be a wheel that generates 4 plays of a 6-number game from 10 numbers to guarantee at least a 3 if any 4 of the winning numbers are among the ten numbers. So, if we use such a wheel on the ten numbers 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, the result would be:

3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 24
3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 27
3, 6, 9, 12, 21, 30
15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30

And if the winning lotto numbers contain any four of the ten numbers, then at least one of the four plays listed above will have three correct.

We have recently added abbreviated wheels to all US nulti-number games in this web site. All non-US lottery games can use the general abbreviated wheels available at If you have your own lottery wheel, you can check its validity at the wheel checker page, or analyze it at the wheel analyzer page.

Note that there is no unique abbreviated wheel for a given combination. For instance, you'll find wheels on the internet for a 6/49 lottery game to generate plays that guarantee a three by using all the 49 numbers. I have seen "6-49, 3 in 168", "6-49, 3 in 167", and "6-49, 3 in 163" (there is no 'if' since they cover all the numbers). The difference between these wheels is the number of plays to be generated, otherwise they all have the same purpose and result. In these situations the one that claims the minimum number of plays is the best since it is the least expensive. Whether it is a true claim or not is another question.

Abbreviated Lottery Wheel with Fixed Numbers

Just as it was done for Full Wheels, some numbers may be fixed in an abbreviated wheel as well. Although this sets more stringent conditions, it will result in either better guaranteed wins, or smaller number of plays generated.


Related pages:
About Lottery wheels
Full Lottery Wheels
US multi-number games
Lottery odds calculator
Description and classification of United States lottery games
List of US-state lottery games
List of US Multiple-state lottery games

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