# Is it possible for computers to pick true random numbers as in lotteries?

by Cyberslayer

*Question by gshewman*: Is it possible for computers to pick true random numbers as in lotteries?

Some lotteries use only the computer generated methods for drawing the winning numbers. Is this acceptable for accuracy?

**Best answer:**

*Answer by chocolate_icecream*

well it would have too work sometime or another

**Give your answer to this question below!**

no. the program made to pick random numbers is only semingly random numbers. if you wanted to do the math you could actually accurately predict the number that will be chosen.

No, all computer can do is calculate a number from a data. There is no way for a computer to pick truly random number unless the data is random. However, today’s good random number generators (programs) are good enough for any purpose you use them to.

Yes, there are several random number generating programs out there.

ha ha,nothing impossible for pc.in c language programming there is a function called “randomize”which pick numbers randomly

Well, I think computer generated random number are really pseudo-random. IE, they attempt to simulate randomness via brute complexity of how the numbers are generated. Lots of times they’ll use the time of day (which is fairly random and depends on the exact moment the calculation starts) to generate other numbers with which to do computations and thus achieve a random-looking number. But if you had their algorithm and their initial input variables you’d likely be able to come up with the same results. Since computers are just number crunchers, they use the same basic math rules we do. random number generation just tries to use as random as possible input to achieve as random as possible outputs.

But it’s not technically speaking “random” it’s just a highly complex algorithm to “simulate” randomness.

the only thing truly random in the universe has something to do with atomic particles… so all numbers are not truly random, unless you’re using some very sophisticated electron machines

of course seemingly random numbers can be picked through several methods on the computer. depends on the computer language

An effective randomization program will be just as good as spinning a bunch of balls around. One way of generating random numbers is to have a person flap their hands around a keyboard for a minute or two. As long as the person does not pay attention to what they are doing and uses a variety of fwacks on the keyboard an extremely unpredictable amount of seed data will be formed. This seed is then run through a random number generator to create a number that is as random as one can get without using a particle accelerator.

Random number subroutines intrinsic to languages such as FORTRAN-90 and C++ use algoithms to produce a series of seemingly random numbers from 0 to 1. However the algorithm requires a seed number.

You can imagine designing a subroutine to calculate pi out to an arbitrary number of digits, it could also pick a certain section of digits after the decimal based on a seed number you provide. Random, in the sense that you couldn’t find a pattern within that series, but not random in the sense that you still get the same series if you give it the same seed.

If you need an indefinitely long list of ‘random’ numbers you could run a program that continually calculates the position of a number of ‘planets’ moving within the gravitational field of a system of three ‘stars’. But, again, if you restart the program with the same numbers you’ll get the same series.

To remove the human element of repeatability, you could seed a random number subroutine or the initial conditions of a complex physical system (one without an analytic solutions) with numbers determined by variables we can observe but not control…for example, the the latest air temperature reading in Clovis, New Mexico, the sum of the magnitudes of the last 10 earthquakes reported by the US Geological Survey…etc.

Thats about the best you can do I think. I think the computer programs used to pick lottery numbers use a system similar to this – a regular random number generator seeded by a set of observables independent of human control.

no, if it does happen then it might be a coincidence

The numbers are as random as the person progamming the the pc made them

Wouldn’t you think that if it WASN’T foolproof, that someone would have found out the pattern and capitalized on it?

I am very familiar with the lottery systems, and, while it IS impossible for a computer to pick a TRULY random number… the algorithm is complex enough that it doesn’t generate traceable or noticeable patterns.

Much like 256-bit encryption is ‘virtually’ impossible to crack (it would take extremely powerful computers a dramatically large amount of time to decrypt it) the algorithm cannot be traced back to a pattern

So… yes… it is acceptable for accuracy.