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How to Increase Your Chances of Winning a Lottery

Last Updated: June 17, 2020 References Approved

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Everyone dreams of winning the lottery, even without having a single lucky number to rely on. Winning a big payday is a long-shot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun playing. There are some basic strategies you can use to improve your chances. Play smartly by adopting picking strategies and playing different lottery games. Winning isn’t guaranteed, but you can still have plenty of fun playing in the hopes of hearing your numbers called.

How to Increase Your Chances of Winning a Lottery. Everyone dreams of winning the lottery, even without having a single lucky number to rely on. Winning a big payday is a long-shot, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun playing. There…

How to increase your odds of winning Powerball

Gallery: Powerball $900 million odds

The odds of winning Powerball are astronomical, but there are a few things you can do to actually improve your odds of winning. Even if it’s just a very slight increased chance.

The odds:
Ticket holders have a 1 in 292.2 million chance of winning Powerball. One expert says you have the same odds of flipping a quarter and getting heads 28 times in a row. It’s nearly impossible.

Increasing those odds:
Scott A. Norris, an assistant professor of mathematics at Southern Methodist University, said there’s no trick to playing the lottery, but your microscopic odds of winning are a bit better if you let the computer pick rather than choosing yourself.

Why let the computer pick? Norris says many people use birthdates or other favorite figures to pick their numbers. When they do, they generally choose numbers 31 or below. That ignores the fact that there are 69 numbered balls.

How much buying multiple tickets helps:
Your odds increase with additional tickets, but it’s important to keep in mind how small they are to begin with.

If you have a 1 in 292.2 million chance of winning with one ticket, you have 10 times the odds if you buy 10 tickets. Yet the probability is still incredibly small.

“The odds are so astronomically small that even 100 times that number is exceedingly unlikely to win,” Norris said. “It’s probably still not going to happen if you buy a hundred tickets or a thousand tickets or even a million tickets.”

Every number combination:
If you have the cash and want to actually buy all possible number combinations, at $2 a ticket, the strategy would cost about $584 million. When taxes are subtracted, you’d end up losing money.

And if someone else had the winning numbers, you’d need to split the prize. You’d make back some of that money by smaller prizes paid for matching three, four or five of the balls plus the Powerball, but chances are it still wouldn’t be a good bet.

About the Powerball jackpot:
The Powerball jackpot for the Wednesday, January 13, 2016 drawing has grown to a record $1.5 billion and counting. The odds of winning are 1 in 292.2 million. In other words, nearly impossible odds. The drawing is held at 10:59pm (ET).

Forty-four states (plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) participate in the game.

Edward Pevos is the entertainment reporter for Mlive covering Detroit and Southeast Michigan. You can follow him on Twitter @PaparazzoPevos

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How to increase your odds of winning Powerball Gallery: Powerball $900 million odds The odds of winning Powerball are astronomical, but there are a few things you can do to actually improve ]]>