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Triples players put money on favorites in playing lottery

| Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, 11:07 p.m.

Linda Stark's eyes lit up on Monday when she heard The Daily Number had hit triples. Unfortunately, Sunday evening's Pennsylvania Lottery drawing was 1-1-1 instead of her 4-4-4.

“A lot of people play those trips,” said Stark, of Scott. “But they haven't been coming in lately.”

The 1-1-1 combination on Sunday netted 9,299 lottery winners a combined $2.29 million payout.

The Daily Number is a twice-daily, three-digit numbers game in which players can choose numbers or allow the computer to pick.

Numbers can be played straight, boxed or in other combinations. A $1 straight-wager winner pays $500.

Triple 1s last hit during the evening drawing on Oct. 3 and for the midday drawing on April 10, 2012.

Since the lottery started in March 1977, The Daily Number has hit triples 191 times, with 146 of those happening during the evening drawing.

The 1-1-1 combination has come up 19 times. The most common triple winners are 2s and 4s, which have been drawn 23 times each for Daily Number winners.

The triple combination that has hit the least is 9-9-9, having come up only 11 times. A record 14 triples were drawn in 2010.

The most popular triple plays are 2s and 7s, said lottery spokesman Gary Miller.

“We do have certain number combinations that are popular with certain players,” Miller said.

Paul Patterson of Bridge-ville said he doesn't often play The Daily Number but knows plenty who do.

“I don't have any luck with it,” said Patterson, 42, who played a Cash 5 and Match 6 at a CoGo's convenience store in Bridgeville. “Some people play triple 6s around Easter time because that's when they believe they come out. But who knows? It could hit tonight.”

Since 1980, 6-6-6 hit eight times — or nearly a third of the total number of times it has hit — in March or April, lottery records show. The number is linked to an infamous Pennsylvania lottery-fixing scandal in April 1980.

Stark plays 4s for $4 every midday drawing at the same convenience store on Washington Pike in Heidelberg. She said she used to play 8s for the evening drawing.

“I just like fours,” she said.

She said she has won $2,000 numerous times playing those numbers, but admits four dollars a day adds up.

“I personally don't know anyone else who throws their money away like I do,” said Stark, an administrative assistant. “I work to play 4s.”

Fours last hit in 2010 in the midday drawing.

Jason Cato is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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