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Cheap Ways to Play the Lottery (And Win Those Millions)

4 minute read

By Ryan Pratt

The act of winning the lottery is so unlikely that people often boil it down to dumb luck. And while luck is involved, statisticians and insiders have pinpointed some tips that can tilt the odds in your favor.

All dedicated lottery players indeed have a system, based on tricks that help them save money as they increase their odds of winning. Here are cheap ways to play the lottery – and maybe even win millions!

Put The Odds In Your Favor

It’s no secret how unlikely the odds are that you’ll win the lottery. In fact, mathematicians can represent those odds in numbers! The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302.6 million, whereas the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million.

If those lottery numbers don’t dissuade you from playing, hopefully it behooves you to pick a draw with better odds. Lottery odds can be determined in part by the number of digits you select, as they dictate the number of digit possibilities. Picking games that require fewer numbers in-play can increase your odds of winning.

State-run lotteries that operate on a 5-digit number carry the best odds of winning. Both the Minnesota North 5 and the Texas Cash Five charge $1 per ticket and feature a total jackpot of $25,000. While the odds of winning also depend on the frequency of draws and number of participants, these are among the cheapest lotteries to play – and win!

Find Less Popular Lotteries

Knowing where to direct your lottery funds can help you save money. All of the U.S. lotteries that are easiest to win are smaller options that don’t operate across the country. State-run examples in Minnesota and Texas and multi-state lotteries like Cash4Life and Lucky4Life have two things in common: they’re not as popular, and therefore easier to win.

Speaking of better odds, you can maximize your chances of winning by playing games that require fewer choices. Betting on an outcome (such as choosing between red and black in a roulette game) is easier because there are only two possible outcomes. Granted, the prizes are a lot smaller than the Powerball but your chance of making money is far greater.

Strategize Your Numbers

Many lottery participants assume there are no set guidelines when it comes to picking numbers. After all, each number is randomly selected. Although this is true, statistics have uncovered a surprising phenomena: consecutive numbers almost never show up in the same draw.

In fact, the evidence indicates that picking a wide range of numbers from the available pool is best. One helpful tip when picking five numbers is to make sure they add up to a total greater than 100 but less than 175. Apparently 70 percent of jackpots are won within this range.

Question Those Lucky Numbers

Your strategy not only needs to employ a larger pool of numbers, but also a greater degree of randomness. According to Richard Lustig, who won seven lotteries within two years, you should avoid numbers from the same group. Also, try to avoid numbers that end in the same digit.

At this point, you may be realizing that modeling your numbers after the birthdays of loved ones is sabotaging your chances. For what it’s worth, however, Lustig doesn’t exactly agree with that. In fact, he urges anyone who feels strongly about a specific set of numbers to trust their gut – whether they have personal significance or not.

Bet On The Misfit Numbers

Statisticians have also determined the lottery numbers that are least likely to factor into draws. You can look up these findings for specific jackpots and use them to your advantage. While it may seem counterintuitive to use numbers that are virtually never called, these misfit numbers could be the ace up your sleeve.

While the odds are slim that your misfit numbers will be selected, the odds are even slimmer that anyone else will have chosen them. This increases your chance of taking home the entire jackpot prize without splitting the winnings with others.

Design Your Lottery Playbook

As you can imagine, there are many other tips you may wish to add to your lottery playbook. Mathematicians and amateur detectives have also unearthed strategies revolving around how to play raffle tickets and Super Lotto Plus.

There are many insiders and former winners who are open about the methods behind their lottery success. Research the tips that seem most credible and be open-minded about your approach. Because if the numbers are right, the only thing standing between you and a fortune could be that one digit!

Shutterstock: Apple_Martini

Ryan Pratt



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