Winning the lottery is rare. After all, the game is classified as gambling for a reason. Since the lottery is not a game of skill, you’ll have to rely on luck and strategy to boost your chances of winning. While the odds are not usually in favor of players when it comes to the lottery, there are a few factors to consider if you’re trying your luck and want to see if you could win the jackpot.
Purchase Extra Tickets
It stands to reason that the more tickets your purchase, the higher your chances of winning. However, you may not think to do this when you play the lottery, since most people only purchase one ticket at a time. Yes, it will be more expensive to play when you purchase several tickets at once, but you’ll have a better chance of getting the winning numbers for the jackpot.
Use Your Lucky Numbers
The method of using lucky numbers is a debatable point with gamblers. Some think it’s best to let the computer select the numbers, while some believe that sticking with their lucky numbers provide the best chances of winning. One of the benefits of choosing your own numbers is that you’ll always remember them since they likely have sentimental meaning (i.e. your birthday, your child’s birthday, your anniversary). However, it’s important to note that most lottery winners have opted for the quick pick or computer-generated option. But you can increase your chances of winning with lucky numbers if you don’t play too often.
Don’t Play the Lottery Weekly
Many people who play the lottery avoid well-known games like Powerball and Mega Millions. The choose to play unpopular games that have low jackpots during the “off-season” for the lottery and get several tickets for particular draws. You’ll have to research the games you want to play, but if a winner is chosen every time, your odds will be better than in bigger games.
Choose High Numbers
While this suggestion won’t necessarily boost your chances of winning on its own, experts say you may not have a divide your winnings with others if you select high numbers. One theory for this strategy is that you should pick numbers between 1 and 31 that mark important events in your life.
Richard Lustig, a seven-time lottery winner, says that gamblers should use the “number spreading technique” and included instructions for this technique in his book Learn How to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery.
Don’t Bet Consecutive Numbers
Lustig also tells his readers that they should consider the math when betting. He states that if a draw has five numbers and the numbers only go up to 55, the five numbers you select should be between 104 and 175. According to Lustig, 70% of the winnings will be in between these numbers.
Lustig also tells players not to choose several numbers that fall in the same group of tens. For instance, don’t choose 32, 35 and 38, since they are all in the 30s. He warns against choosing too many numbers that end in the same digit as well (i.e. 25, 35, 45).
Don’t Play Patterns
If you usually file your number card using diagonal lines, an X or other patterns, chances are other players are doing the same. When you play in patterns, you’re increasing your chances of having to split a draw with other players. Avoid the patterns to boost your chances of getting all the winnings if your numbers correspond with the digits that could win you jackpot.
Play With Your Friends
If your colleagues play the lottery or you have friends and family who play, you may already be part of a lottery pool. There are a few benefits to playing in a pool. Since there is more money to purchase tickets, you can buy more playslips and gamble more often. Find some friends you trust to play with, and if you hit the jackpot, you can split a few million dollars with them.
Play Popular Numbers
Dr. Min Su Kim is a statistics teacher at Louisiana’s Southern University offers some advice on playing the lottery as well. He has analyzed the numbers on Powerball draws for the last twenty years and found that the numbers 20,37,2,31, and 35 were the most commonly drawn. The most popular bonus ball number was 42.
This may not help too much since each drawing is done at random, but it maybe beneficial to study the numbers that are drawn most often when playing their favorite games.
Check Your Tickets Carefully
While you’re likely checking your tickets constantly after purchasing them, it’s important to remember to check the details on the ticket as often as you can. You may recall the story of Jimmie Smith, a lottery winner who was only two days from losing his jackpot of $24 million because he left his ticket in the pocket of his shirt – which was in his closet. Another lottery winner failed to present his/her ticket, and the $300,000 jackpot was donated to local schools. You don’t want to have the winning numbers and forget to claim your prize! And even if you have a losing ticket, keep it so you can see if you win in the second chance drawings offered by most lotteries.
Monitor Your Cashier and Self-Inspect Your Tickets
Unfortunately, there are several stories about cashiers who take winning tickets from customers. This has become a frequent complaint, which is why lottery officials caution players to check their tickets during and after purchase.
Remember that when you play the lottery, the odds are already against you. So, to keep your odds as secure as possible, you need to pay attention to all the tickets you purchase and make sure your cashier is giving you the correct ticket.
Carlos Figueroa purchased a scratch-off ticket recently at a CVS in Waukegan, Illinois. He purchased a “Merry Millionaire” card that awarded him a jackpot of $1 million. However, when Figueroa tried to inspect his lottery ticket using an automatic machine, the machine tore his ticket. He took his torn ticket to the clerk, Russell Kelly. Figueroa says that Kelly forced him to give over the ticket. When Figueroa finally gave Kelly the ticket, the clerk disappeared for 20 minutes. When he returned, Kelly told Figueroa that he didn’t have a winning ticket. However, Figueroa says that the ticket Kelly returned to him wasn’t his actual ticket.
The two men started to argue about the ticket but Kelly stood his ground by continuing to state that the ticket wasn’t a winner. This is definitely a strange situation. However, lottery experts state that this happens more often than people think, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on your ticket.
There was also a well-known incident in Syracuse, New York, where a clerk stole a customer’s ticket, worth $5 million, by passing the ticket off as a $5,000 winner. The owner of the ticket only went home with $4,000, since the clerk convinced the winner that he had to keep $1,000 for lottery taxes. Experts have confirmed that this is not the first time a clerk has cheated players out of their winnings.
Many lottery boards record undercover stings to determine whether store owners are being honest with the players who win jackpots. Most of the time, the situation is the same. The clerk looks at the ticket and knows that it’s a winner but tells the player it’s a losing ticket and pockets the money.
You may have heard of these cases occurring in your state, even though it doesn’t happen every day. However, you should still exercise caution when it comes to your tickets to ensure you get the jackpot you deserve.
This is not a recommended way to play the lottery. However, it’s true that cheating has worked for some individuals.
Stefan Mandel, a math whiz from Romania who has been called the “lottery mastermind,” won 14 jackpots after he came up with an equation where he picked every ticket with five of the six winning digits. Of course, Mandel had to purchase all these tickets, but it ended up paying off for him.
The results are apparent, and while this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll win using the same strategy, it’s worth a try.
You may want to pick a day or week when you buy several tickets so you’re not spending excessive amounts on lottery tickets. Of course, your ticket purchases will likely go to a good cause, like the schools in your area, but you want to take your daily expenses into account when you’re playing the game.
Take a Chance
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to take a chance if you want to increase your odds of winning. After all, there are low odds for other things in life as well (your chances of being hit by a car in any given week is 1 in 500,000) so you may as well try your luck and see if you can win the jackpot.
You can boost the odds of winning of your buy your ticket(s) on the night of a huge drawing. This will not only heighten the chances that you’ll avoid a car accident with the winning lottery ticket in the days before the drawing – it will increase the chances that you’ll receive a bigger payout if you win.
Don’t Be Afraid to Lose
You should be playing the lottery for fun. Don’t count on lottery winnings to help you out of a financial situation, since your odds of winning aren’t extremely high. You’ll have to admit to yourself that there’s a (really) good chance that you won’t win the lottery. You’ll have a better chance of being struck by lightning, unfortunately. So remember to have a good time and don’t take it too seriously. That way, if you do happen to win, it will be a pleasant surprise.
Play Second Chance Games
If your numbers weren’t winners in a drawing, don’t toss your ticket just yet.
One individual reported a huge lottery win in June of 2010. However, the didn’t win due to the numbers she played when purchasing the ticket. She wo because she decided to enter the second chance game for the lottery in Kentucky, her state of residence. Her name was drawn randomly and she ended up taking home $120,610.70 after taxes.
The moral of the story: don’t give up on the lottery if you don’t win the first time. If your game has a second chance drawing, you should enter. This will increase the chances that your ticket could result in some winnings for you, even if it’s not the largest jackpot.
If you read articles or books or search online for tips on how to win the lottery, you’ll likely find several suggestions that don’t really work. Don’t buy into lottery schemes, since every number you play has an equal chance of being a winning number, regardless of how recently the number was drawn. It’s also not necessarily true that software will pick “better” numbers for you than if you select the numbers yourself. This is essentially wishful thinking, but it does make playing the lottery easier.
There’s not real way to consistently predict all the numbers that will appear in the lottery. You may do better to choose unconventional numbers so you can lower the chances of having to split your winnings if there’s a tie.
Always remember that winning the lottery is not a matter of playing only one game. Each state has several lottery games, and each games has different odds. Make sure you read all the odds before buying a ticket to get a more realistic idea of your odds.
You should also keep in mind that games like Mega Millions and Powerball are national lotteries, which means they have a wide entry pool. State lotteries require that you be in that state to purchase your ticket and will usually provide better odds. Don’t forget about scratch-off games as well, which may offer prizes that are similar to traditional lottery games with higher overall chances of winning.