Does buying more lottery tickets increase your chances of winning?
A lot of people love dreaming of winning the lottery and often buy a few lottery tickets here and there to indulge in those dreams. You probably already know that the chances of winning the lottery are extremely small but few people realize just how small they are: you have a better chance of being struck by lightning 17 times than winning the lottery. If you’re wondering how to increase your odds of winning the lottery, keep on reading.
Does buying more than one lottery ticket increase your chance of winning?
When talking about smaller raffles, lotteries and prize drawings the more tickets you buy the better your chance of winning is. For example, if you’re at a party that has a raffle and there are 1000 raffle tickets in total, buying one ticket will give you a 0.1
When talking about national lotteries like the Powerball of Mega Millions, things get a bit more complicated since numbers are drawn randomly and you have no way of knowing how many people chose the same combination of numbers as you did. So technically yes, buying more lottery tickets will increase your odds of winning but you may have to split the jackpot with one or more other people.
And even if you buy hundreds of lottery tickets your chances of winning will be extremely small. As stated of the Powerball website, you odds of winning the lottery are 1 in 292 201 338. Even if you were to buy a hundred Powerball tickets you would still have a better chance of being killed by a vending machine.
How to increase your chances of winning the lottery?
If you’re looking for a way to improve your odds of winning the lottery, here are a few things to try:
- Play regularly. You have a better chance of winning the lottery if your play consistently and regularly, so don’t forget to pick up that weekly ticket if your mind is really set on winning.
- Know you budget restrictions. No matter how excited you might be to buy more tickets and win or how hyped up everyone around you is, the chance of winning is tiny and it’s not worth going bankrupt. So develop a strict lottery ticket budget and don’t exceed it.
- Try playing the smaller lotteries. Sure, Powerball and Mega Millions are on everyone’s mind but try to change things up sometimes and buy a few tickets for smaller lotteries – you will have a greater chance of winning with those.
- Spread out your numbers on the board. Many lottery players pick numbers that represent birthdays of friends and relatives, meaning that more people bet on numbers between 1 and 31. Even if you win playing those numbers there will be a greater chance of you having to split the win with someone else, so try to play the whole board.
The Debate: The more you play the Lottery the more likely you are to lose
Buying more lottery tickets is a sure-fire way of losing more money, and philosophically speaking, it doesn’t even increase your chances of winning. Think of it this way. If you have two tickets in your hand, which one is more likely to win? Neither, right? They both stand the same chance. And just because you […]
Buying more lottery tickets is a sure-fire way of losing more money, and philosophically speaking, it doesn’t even increase your chances of winning.
Think of it this way. If you have two tickets in your hand, which one is more likely to win? Neither, right? They both stand the same chance. And just because you have two tickets in your hand it doesn’t increase the likelihood that one of them will win, it just means you paid out (or lost) twice as much.
Yet conventional wisdom dictates that whenever a jackpot swells above a certain life-changing amount we should increase the number of tickets we buy in order to be in with a better chance of winning. Office whip-arounds are set up, syndications are born, and we all take turns to sneak out of the office and buy five times as many tickets as we would do on any other occasion.
And with jackpots becoming increasingly monstrous the instances of this happening appear to be going up. According to one news report high-earners in Canary Wharf have taken to bulk-buying lottery tickets whenever the jackpot gets above £70m to £80m in the EuroMillions, with local shops forced to take on extra staff to cover the surge in demand. Peter Wagg, owner of the News of the Wharf store, told the Financial Times that one City worker bought £15,000 worth of “lucky dips” tickets on one occasion and paid in bundles of £50 notes. No news of a jackpot winner was reported in the area after the draw.
Surprising, you may think, yet had the same man stood outside the shop and flipped a coin 15,000 times would you expect the fact that he is tossing it so many times to alter the result? Of course not, but that is the very reason people crowd around roulette tables at a weekend convincing themselves that after landing on black five times the ball must surely now land on red. It might, it might not. It has a 50/50 chance. And that doesn’t alter whether it is the first spin or the 5,000 th .
As anyone who has ever set foot into a philosophy class will know, the probability of something occurring does not increase as you use it. The mathematicians will no doubt scoff, but there is reason to believe that. My brother put it to me recently that he doesn’t know anyone who has won the lottery, nor does he know anyone who knows anyone, but he still chips in for his work’s syndicate, which flies in the face of his realisation that more does not necessarily equal more likely. So why do we do it?
Well, there are some grounds to believe that your odds of winning go up the more tickets you buy, but you should be careful which theory to believe. For example, the notion that if you buy one ticket you have a 1 in 45,057,474 chance of winning and if you buy two tickets you have a 2 in 45,057,474 chance of winning is just crude mathematics, because if two variables are independent you can’t sum the probability. Math that can be used to determine your odds of winning a raffle (where all prizes must go) can not be used to determine your odds of winning the lottery (where there does not have to be a winner).The London Economic | The Debate: The more you play the Lottery the more likely you are to lose | Opinion ]]>