We all know the statistics on the lottery. Even if you're not familiar with the exact numbers, you've probably heard phrases like, "You have a greater chance of being struck by lightning.…" And while this is certainly true, many people still like to play the lottery. It's a fun way to spend a little money and daydream about what life would be like if you were filthy rich.

But if dropping a dollar and picking up a random ticket has gotten boring, you can liven up your lottery with some "alternative" ways to choose your numbers. In this article, you will learn about everything from the stars in the sky to the dreams you have at night. Let's get started with the ancient practice of numerology.

Understanding Numerology

Did you know that when you play your birthday numbers -- as many folks do -- you are using a very ancient ritual? Numerology is the study of the meanings of numbers. Its exact origin is unknown, but it predates the time of Christ and was practiced by the Chaldeans of southern Babylonia (southern Iraq). Some believe that the mysterious design of the Pyramid of Giza was, in part, based upon numerological calculations.

And in case you think those old beliefs have no bearing on today's world, think again. Why do you think some architects, to this day, number the floors of most tall buildings from 1 to 12 and then from 14 upward? And -- be honest! -- ask yourself: Have you ever deliberately chosen seat number 13 on an airplane?

The eminent Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung, who studied with Sigmund Freud and is best known for his introvert/extrovert personality classifications, devoted many writings to numerology. He stated that numbers existed before the consciousness of man existed, meaning that man discovered numbers and did not invent them. He believed that numbers play a large part in everyone's life. Instead of joining the multitudes trying to decipher a predictable design or pattern in the lottery, try focusing on something far easier to predict: your own personal winning pattern.

You may have noticed that certain numbers crop up frequently in your life, such as phone numbers, anniversaries, and addresses. Or maybe you've observed particular days or times when it seems you just can't lose -- as well as those times when it seems everything you do goes wrong! Here's how to determine what some consider your luckiest numbers of all -- your birthday numbers. There are two different types of birthday numbers: your primary number and your secondary number. Each number is calculated in a different way.

Your Primary Number

Although some numerologists disagree as to which of the birth numbers are of greater significance, the birth date, or the primary number, is generally considered to be your most influential number. Your primary number will apply to you in every aspect from the lottery to significant anniversaries, such as births, weddings, and important career events.

Determining your primary number is a snap. It's simply the day you were born. If a person was born on December 8, 1950, his or her primary number is 8. If a person was born on a double-digit date, such as December 17, 1950, for example, the primary number is still 8; in numerology, numbers are always reduced to their lowest value: 1 + 7 = 8.

Your Secondary Number

Another significant number in your life is your secondary number. As mentioned above, some numerologists consider it of greater importance than your primary number. Through trial and error, you can use them both, and over a period of time decide for yourself which one to use when picking your Lotto numbers.

Determining this number is only slightly more complicated than figuring your primary number. To determine your secondary number, add the numerical values of the month, day, and year of your birth together. Then reduce the total number as previously shown. The months of the year have the following values: January = 1, February = 2, March = 3, April = 4, May = 5, June = 6, July = 7, August = 8, September = 9, October = 10, November = 11, and December = 12.

The person born on December 8, 1950, will compute the secondary number like this: month + date + year. The number for December (12) reduces to 3 (1 + 2 = 3). Now add 3 (month) + 8 (day) + 1 + 9 + 5 + 0 (year); this equals 26. Then reduce the double-digit total as follows: 2 + 6 = 8. This person's secondary number is 8.

But what happens if you forget to reduce the numbers before you add them up? You'll find that no matter how you add up the numbers, and then reduce them, the result will always be the same. Using the same date, if we were to add the numbers like this -- 12 + 8 + 19 + 50 -- we'd get 89. Then we would add 8 + 9 = 17, which then reduces to 8 (1 + 7 = 8).

Of course, we're just scratching the surface of what numerology has to offer. Move on to the next section for more tips and tricks using numbers.