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WWE Royal Rumble 2016: Is your number up? Here’s the balls you want to draw in wrestling’s most unique event

We've crunched the stats and found out which numbers you should look out for in the 2016 Royal Rumble match

by Josh Powell | January 18, 2016

What is your lucky number? Seven tends to be a popular choice, as does 16, most normally pluck for a birthday of some sort. Everyone has a favourite number, but if you’re a WWE superstar with a ticket into the Royal Rumble next week, there’s only one number you should be hoping to draw – and it isn’t number 30.

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You’d think that being number 30 – the last man to enter the ring – is the greatest advantage of all. In theory the majority of your opponents will have already been eliminated by the time you swagger down to the ring. But just two wrestlers, The Undertaker (2007) and John Cena (2008), have won from number 30 – the same number of winners that have come from entry number one.

The lucky number you really want to draw is in fact, number 27.

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Yes, number 27 can boast of four wins in Rumble history – with a strike rate of almost 15 per cent. Big John Studd (1989), Yokozuna (1993), Bret Hart (1994) and Stone Cold Steve Austin (2001) all made their entrances as number 27 and went on to win the Rumble. The worst performing number 27 entry was actually Dolph Ziggler in 2009. Despite a favourable draw The Show Off was the 15th man eliminated, and lasted just 21 seconds as Kane dumped him over the top.

If you’re main pick comes out a touch earlier at number 24, that isn’t a bad omen either. Entry 24 has an 11 per cent strike rate, with Hulk Hogan (1991), Steve Austin (1998) and The Rock (2000) all winning from that draw. Last year’s 24th entrant was Kane, and he lasted more than 17 minutes until being the 27th man eliminated.

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The numbers you don’t want? Number three and number 11.

Number 11 is one of the nine entry numbers which has never won a Rumble – the others are four, six, seven, 10, 12 13, 15 and 17. The problem for entry number 11 is that they end up spending the longest time on average in the ring with no reward to show for it – 14 minutes and nine seconds to be exact. The only two entry numbers to have a longer average ring time are one and two, and they can both boast of two Rumble victories each. Six superstars including most recently Dean Ambrose in 2014 have entered as number 11 and spent more than 30 minutes in the Rumble with nothing to show for their efforts. If you’re fancy draws this cursed number, expect him to be around for a while but come up short.

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Number three on the other hand won’t be around for long. By working out the average elimination of each number, it works out that entry number three is the most likely to be thrown over the top rope first. A total of 10 wrestlers out of 26 have entered as number three and been eliminated first including such heroes as Papa Shango (1993), Razor Ramon (1997), Big Boss Man (2002) and Santino Marella (2008). The worst performing entry at number three is the easily forgettable Tom Bandi who lasted just 12 seconds in 1998 before being eliminated by a combination of Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie.

Don’t forget however, The Nature Boy Ric Flair lasted more than an hour and won from entry number three in 1992 so it’s not all bad. Wooooooo!

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So what are the numbers you need to look out for when you’re watching the Rumble come Sunday 24 January? Number three won’t last long, entry number one has a 22 per cent chance of making the final four, don’t worry about nine or 12, number 11 will be around for ages and not win, while your most likely winners are going to be either number 24 or 27.

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