We demonstrate that lottery markets can exhibit the "hot-hand" phenomenon, in which past winning numbers tend to have a greater share of the betting proportion in future draws even though past and future events are independent. This is surprising as previous works have instead documented the presence of an opposite effect, the "gambler's fallacy" in the U.S. lottery market. The current literature also suggests that the gambler's fallacy prevails when random numbers are generated by mechanical devices, such as in lottery games. We use two sets of naturally occurring data to show that both the gambler's fallacy and the hot-hand fallacy can exist in different types of lottery games. We then run online experimental studies that mimic lottery games with one, two, or three winning numbers. Our experimental results show that the number of winning prizes impacts behavior. In particular, whereas a single-prize game leads to a strong presence of the gambler's fallacy, we observe a significant increase in hot-hand behavior in multipleprize games with two or three winning numbers.

Gambler's fallacy, Hot-hand fallacy, Lottery game, Perception of randomness
dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2018.3233, hdl.handle.net/1765/125174
Management Science
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Kong, Q. (Qingxia), Granic, G.D. (Georg D.), Lambert, N.S, & Teo, C.P. (2020). Judgment error in lottery play: When the hot hand meets the gambler's fallacy. Management Science, 66(2), 844–862. doi:10.1287/mnsc.2018.3233