How to Win the Lottery: 7 Tips that Really Work!
No Schemes! Just Common-Sense Lottery-Winning Tips
If you look for information about how to win the lottery, you’ll find many tips that don’t work. Lottery schemes like picking “rare” numbers (every number has an equal chance of winning, no matter how recently it was drawn), software that’s supposed to be better at picking numbers, and other forms of wishful thinking abound.
There’s no way to predict the numbers that will come up in the lottery. The drawings are completely random, so the best you can do is try to pick unusual numbers so you won’t have to split the jackpot if there’s a tie.
But that doesn’t mean that there’s no way of increasing your odds of becoming a lottery winner. Here are some fact-based tips that really work, and will help you win the lottery.
Improve Your Chances of Winning the Lottery by Playing the Right Games
People talk about entering the lottery as if it were just one game, but every state has a selection of lottery games—and they each have different odds of winning.
Read the odds before you spend your money to ensure you’re maximizing your chances of winning. By picking games with better odds, you boost your chances of being a lottery winner.
Remember that lottery games like Powerball and MegaMillions are national lotteries. They have fixed odds of winning, but if many people enter, you could end up splitting a jackpot. That would lower the value of your prize.
Don’t write off scratch-off games, either. They usually offer smaller prizes but higher chances of winning overall.
Join a Lottery Pool to Get More Entries Without Spending More Money
The easiest way to boost your odds of winning lotteries is simply to buy more tickets. But of course, that costs money, and even if you invest a lot of money buying tickets, your odds of winning are still poor.
But what if you could buy tickets at a fraction of the price? Lottery pools give you that chance.
Lottery pools give you the opportunity to improve your odds without spending more money. Consider joining your office lottery pool or starting one of your own to get better chances of winning without breaking your budget.
Don’t Miss a Lottery Win!
Imagine winning a big jackpot—but missing out on your money because you forgot to double-check your numbers. It happens more often than you think.
For example, one MegaMillions lottery ticket worth nearly $300,000 was never claimed. Somewhere out there, there’s someone with no idea that they won, and lost, a huge prize. Don’t let that happen to you.
When you buy a lottery ticket, keep it somewhere where you can find it again easily. Jot down the drawing date and time in your calendar if you’re afraid you might forget it.
Check the numbers against your ticket, and double-check them, just to be sure. Also, make sure that you are looking at the numbers for the correct date.
Some people like to have convenience store clerks verify their tickets to be sure they don’t make a mistake while checking their numbers. Another option is to use a lottery app to help you keep track of the drawings.
Multiply Your Chances of Winning the Lottery with Second-Chance Games
OK, so your numbers didn’t come up in the drawing. That means it’s time to toss your lottery ticket, right?
Many lotteries offer second-chance drawings on non-winning tickets. Fill out the form on the back, send it in, and you’ll have a bonus chance to be a winner.
On June 8, 2010, a TheBalance Everyday reader reported a big lottery win. She didn’t win because of the numbers she played when she bought the ticket, but because she entered the second-chance game in the Kentucky Lottery.
Her name was randomly drawn as the second-chance winner, and she took home $120,610.70 after taxes.
So don’t give up just because you didn’t win the first time. If your lottery game includes a second-chance drawing, entering could be your ticket to winning.
Someone Else’s Loss Might Be Your Lottery Ticket Win
A lot of people throw out their lottery tickets after a drawing, but that doesn’t mean that the tickets are worthless. Perhaps they didn’t bother to check the numbers, or they checked the wrong drawing or misread the winning numbers.
If you find a discarded lottery ticket, it’s worth taking the time to double-check.
Even if the discarded ticket is a loser, there’s a chance you could still win with it. If there’s a second-chance drawing associated with the lottery game, you can use found tickets to enter, giving you more chances to win.
Take Steps to Secure Winning Lottery Tickets
If you are lucky enough to win the lottery, the last thing you want to do is let the prize slip through your fingers.
To protect yourself, the first thing you should do after you receive a lottery ticket, even before you know whether it’s a winner or not, is to sign it. Your signature on the back of a lottery ticket can help prove it’s yours if it gets lost or stolen.
Also, never hand a ticket to a clerk at a lottery location and ask if you’ve won. Use a computer terminal to determine if you’re a winner, ask the clerk for the winning numbers and verify them yourself, or check online or in newspapers to find the winning numbers. It’s easy for an unscrupulous clerk to pocket your ticket and tell you it was a loser.
If you intend to cash a lottery ticket by mail, make sure you make copies of both sides of the ticket, in case it gets lost in transit.
Win a Bigger Payout by Choosing Rarer Numbers
While it’s impossible to predict which numbers will be chosen in any given lottery drawing, picking certain numbers might have a slight advantage, not for your chances of winning, but for your payout.
If you win a lottery jackpot, there’s a chance you might have to split the payout with other people who picked the same numbers. So all things being equal (in that all numbers are equally likely to be picked), you might as well try to select rarer numbers to improve your odds of keeping more of the pot for yourself.
So how do you know which numbers are rare? Some people try to use statistics to find out which numbers are chosen least often. Others look at combinations that other people tend to avoid, like consecutive numbers. Using a lottery app might help you select and remember numbers to play.
Beware of Lottery Scams
Unfortunately, many scammers try to take advantage of people’s dreams of winning the lottery. Here are a few tips to protect yourself and avoid lottery scams:
- Only buy tickets from authorized lottery retailers.
- It’s not legal to sell lottery tickets across national borders. You can usually buy tickets if you are located in the country, but offers to sell international lottery tickets by mail or online are usually illegal.
- If you didn’t buy a lottery ticket or participate in a second-chance lottery game, you didn’t win.
- The lottery doesn’t notify you when you win; you are responsible for checking your winning tickets.
- You’re never required to pay money up-front to receive a winning lottery prize.
Learn how to win the lottery with 7 effective lottery-winning tips that cost you nothing and improve your odds of scoring a prize.
The Best Time to Play the Powerball Lottery, According to Math
Playing the lottery is never a good financial investment, seeing as you have better chances of being on death row and getting a last-minute pardon by the governor than winning . However, if you do play for that glimmer of hope, there are times when it makes more sense to buy a Powerball ticket than others.
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Mathematician and Business Insider reporter Walter Hickey looked at over 1,000 Powerball lotteries that took place since 2003 to run the numbers. He found the probability of the jackpot being split, the correlation between the number of tickets bought and the size of the jackpot, the value of the jackpot in each scenario, the probability of winning the jackpot, and the expected value of one ticket (regardless of the jackpot). With all that data in mind he determined:
- If you’re going to play and you do win, don’t take the cash up-front but instead take the 30-year payments
- Play when the jackpot is at least $380 million
- Minimize your taxes. “Taxes will probably mean that it is never profitable or sensible to play the lottery.”
You might have a better chance of winning also if you only play small state lotteries . Finally, as financial advisor Jason Hull says , it’s okay to buy one ticket for entertainment—but only one.
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Playing the lottery is never a good financial investment, seeing as you have better chances of being on death row and getting a last-minute pardon by the governor than winning. However, if you do play for that glimmer of hope, there are times when it makes more sense to buy a Powerball ticket than others.