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NBA Draft 2019

NBA Draft 2019: Fast Facts on the history of NBA Draft Lottery winners

josh-jackson-2018-nba-draft-lottery
The Phoenix Suns won the No. 1 overall pick for the first time in 2018 (NBA Getty Images)

The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery takes place on May 14, 2019 (May 15 IST).

2019 marks the 35th year of the lottery system, which has undergone a number of procedural changes over the years.

For the first five years, the lottery system involved random envelope selections to determine the top picks of non-playoff teams. In 1990, the NBA adopted the concept of a weighted lottery system that is still in place today.

MORE: What are the odds for the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery?

With a new set of odds this year, the anticipation and excitement surrounding the luck of the draw will be even greater.

While history can't really give us an idea of what to expect with a random selection, it's always fun to take a look back at who the odds have favoured over the years.

Take a look at some fast facts surrounding the NBA Draft Lottery…

History of NBA Draft Lottery Winners

Who won the first-ever draft lottery?

The New York Knicks were the first-ever team to win the NBA Draft Lottery in 1985, using the first pick to select Hall-of-Fame centre Patrick Ewing.

Which teams have won the lottery the most times?

The LA Clippers have won the draft lottery five times, but have conveyed the first overall pick twice to Cleveland, most recently in 2011.

The Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers have both won the draft lottery three times.

Who has won with the worst odds?

In 1993, the Orlando Magic won the No. 1 overall pick despite having a probability of 1.52% to win the draft lottery. The pick was used to select Chris Webber, who was traded to the Golden State Warriors on draft night.

Two teams have won the draft lottery with a 1.70% probability to earn the No. 1 pick: The Chicago Bulls in 2008 (Derrick Rose) and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014 (Andrew Wiggins).

How often has the team with the best odds won?

Since the lottery began in 1985, the team with the worst record (or best odds)* has won the draft lottery seven times.

The team with the best odds to win the lottery has won in four consecutive years, most recently the Phoenix Suns in 2018.

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